Hello beautiful people and Happy Juneteenth! I struggled with what to say next, so I’ll just say this: I’m hurting, I’m frustrated and ready for change, but as a white woman, I understand I’ll never be able to truly empathize with the Black experience in America. Something I find myself asking every day is, “What can I do?”
The answer – actually, a lot. I can educate myself, donate to causes I align with, connect with my community, have tough conversations, accept that I am always learning, admit and correct my mistakes, and make every effort to re-evalute any preconceived biases on a daily basis.
I can also support Black-owned businesses, the same way I make an effort to support small businesses.
“A 2017 study from the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Cleveland found that black businesses owners apply for funds at a 10 percent higher rate than white-owned firms, but their approval rates are nearly 20 percent lower. When black entrepreneurs do get approved for financing, only 40 percent receive the full amount they requested, compared to 70 percent of white business owners. Forty percent of black business owners surveyed are so pessimistic about their chances of being approved for bank loans that they don’t even bother to apply.” (click here for the full article)
From the US Census Bureau: Black Americans account for roughly 12 percent of the population, yet own just 3.3 percent of businesses less than two years old.
I also searched for statistics on the percentage of Black Woman owned businesses in the United States specifically and couldn’t find any data. I’m going to take a wild guess that it’s lower than 3.3%. I’d love to update this with the proper stats if anyone knows – hit me up – but in the meantime, let’s all agree that Black Woman Owned Businesses are not prevalent enough in the US today.
DESPITE all those unfavorable statistics, there are SO MANY amazing Black Woman Entrepreneurs doing the damn thing, and I’d like to highlight them here.
And just a note – these are 5 businesses I’ve ordered from recently, or have a personal connection with. There are so many more BIPOC owned businesses out there doing amazing things; I strongly encourage you to do your own research. AND – I haven’t forgotten about my BIPOC performer friends who ARE their own business. I admire you all more than you know.
Okay let’s jump in:
PARDO NATURALS offers a wide array of products, everything from bath bombs, to dishwashing detergent, pet products and more, all free of harsh chemicals. Their skin and hair care is amazing. I purchased: Hunny Be Clean Hair and Body Wash, Pink Berry Mimosa Exfoliating Body Polish, and a Mango Papaya Bath Bomb. I was especially impressed with the Hunny Be Clean Hair and Body Wash. If you like the smell of lemongrass you’ll LOVE this body wash. It has only 5 ingredients. I compared that to a Bath and Body Works body wash I had at home…it had 42 (FORTY TWO!) ingredients. Price point: $-$$
KARTER L’ROSE CANDLE COMPANY creates beautiful, all natural, dye free soy candles. Great for gifts, these candles are a little pricier than ones you might grab from the store but they’re BIG, provide long burn time and smell SO good. I bought the Cloud 9 candle from their Spring Collection. It arrived thoughtfully and carefully packaged. What I love the most is that once the candle fully burns you have a vessel to hold jewelry, cosmetics, whatever you like. Price point: $$
EVERYTHING MADE FOR YOU is a skincare brand that my friend Anna (HI!) turned me on to. They use fair trade ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging. I bought: the Blackseed Milk Facial Cleanser, Bliss Mask, Balance Mask, and the Rosewood and Lavender Body Polish. I keep the masks in the fridge to keep them cool and keep them from spoiling as they’re made from totally fresh ingredients. I love EVERYTHING I ordered. They’re doing 40% off for Juneteenth today and tomorrow only, no code needed! (I like the Blackseed Milk Cleanser so much I just bought two more at the sale price so I never run out.) Price point: $-$$
SIP TEAHOUSE offers loose leaf tea, instant tea, gift packages and more. I jumped on their website today and was happy to see they’ve sold out of almost all products. I highly recommend the sunshine and unwind blends – if you like looseleaf tea, it’s worth signing up for the re-stock notification, trust me. The owner Shalese sent along a personal note and a stress-relieving playlist she’d put together. Price point: $-$$
DIVERSE STYLE BY SYDNI DION I met Sydni and her mom Niki through Addiction Dance Competition, one of my favorite companies to work for. Sydni was Miss Teen Illinois USA in 2018, and struggled to find nude shoes made with women of color in mind. To fill this void in the industry, she created a line of shoes for pageants, formal wear, and beyond for all women, in every shade of nude. Their styles are chic, they offer high and low heel options, and they’ve really nailed the nude shades – each one looks natural and flattering on a range of skin tones. Price point: $$$
Have another business we should all know about? – tell me in the comments!
Love to you all. Black Lives Matter.