Blackout Day 2020: Black-Owned Food, Fashion, Home and Beauty Businesses You Can Shop Now
The death of George Floyd and the widespread unrest that has followed has left many Americans wondering how to help, heal and build lasting bridges between communities. Making donations to organizations that fight police brutality and systemic racism is an incredibly important way to promote peace and progress, but another smaller action can have real and far-reaching effects into the future: shopping.
On Tuesday, June 7, many Americans will be participating in Blackout Day 2020 (under the hashtag #BlackoutDay2020 on social media), a day-long event in which Black Americans and allies will not spend money — or if they do, pledge to only do so at Black-owned businesses — as a means of economic protest.
According to the Facebook page for The Blackout Coalition, the group responsible for organizing Tuesday's event (though the concept was first introduced in 2015), Blackout Day was designed to be "an awakening of the national consciousness," in which "not one black person in America will spend a dollar outside of our community." The movement hopes to both strengthen and uplift Black-owned and -operated businesses while also demonstrating the power Black dollars hold in the economy.
"We are a nation of people within this nation that at any time can demand our liberation by withholding our dollars," reads the group's description. And although allies of all races are invited to participate in the movement, the group makes one thing clear: "Black people alone account for an estimated 1.2 trillion dollars or more of spending in the economy annually. Together we have 3.9 trillion dollars in economic spending power. While we welcome allies who choose to stand with us, we make absolutely no apology for the fact this movement is FOR US & BY US."
There are countless Black-owned businesses that sell online and ship all over the U.S. Here are just a few of the ones PEOPLE editors love — from fashion and beauty brands to home decor and food companies — that you can support for Blackout Day 2020.
Food & Beverage
This family-owned company started small when siblings Jen and Jeff Martin discovered their love for heirloom popcorn (the kernels are smaller and purer in flavor) at home. It's grown significantly since 2012, thanks in part to a Shark Tank deal with Barbara Corcoran. Now with help from Jeff's wife Teresa, the trio sells not just popcorn, but also cheese balls, corn dippers, and crackers.
Buy it! $16 (for 4 bags); pipsnacks.com
The Sip's founders Erica Davis and Catherine Carter are on a mission to make discovering new luxury sparkling wines a breeze. The subscription-based bubbly company sends three mini bottles every other month straight to your door — and they offer promotions on full-size bottles once you've decided on a favorite.
Buy it! from $55 per box; thesipsociety.com
Founder Denise Woodard's ultra-successful, allergy-friendly cookie company was born out of needing to find a treat safe for her daughter Vivian, 5, to eat. Gluten-free, vegan, and free of the top eight allergens, Partake, sold on their site and nationwide in Target stores, comes in flavors like chocolate chip, birthday cake and carrot cake. The brand even has the backing of Jay-Z, who invested $1 million in 2019.
The Furlough Cheesecake
Though the name likely resonates with millions of Americans who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was actually a result of the federal government shutdown in 2018. When sisters Nikki Howard and Jaqi Wright were put out of work, they started selling cheesecake on social media. Now they ship six different flavors nationwide.
Buy it! from $20; thefurloughcheesecake.com
Trade Street Jam Co.
Smoked peach, blueberry lemon basil, plum and rose. If you couldn't already tell from the options, these are not your average jellies. Founder Ashley Rouse sells low-sugar jam without thickeners or stabilizers for a smoother spread with big flavor.
Buy it! from $13; tradestjamco.com
BLK & Bold
Get your caffeine fix and give back — both are possible when you buy BLK & Bold. The Iowa-based coffee and tea company donates 5% of profits to support at-risk youth. Buy by the bag or subscribe to receive deliveries as frequently as you brew them.
Buy it! from $14; blkandbold.com
If you haven’t already seen the colorful wellness brand on a scroll through your feed, get ready to fall in love. Trinity Mouzon Wofford and Issey Kobori sell a variety of superfood latte blends and pure matcha so you can feel good inside and out. They do good, too. In just three days, the founders raised over $10,000 for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund by donating 100% of their proceeds.
Buy it! from $22; golde.co
McBride Sisters Collection
Good wine and a good story — what could be better? Half-sisters Robin and Andréa McBride were raised on opposite sides of the world in New Zealand and California, but when they finally met in 1999, they bonded over their shared love of vino. They’ve since been in the business for over 15 years, bottling wines that speak to both of their backgrounds.
Buy it! from $17; mcbridesisters.com
This relatively new, family-run company hand pours beeswax candles and raw honey fresh off of their New York farm. Give their Instagram a follow for an education on beekeeping, too. “It took me two years to calm the panic that set in when I was in the hives,” says founder Yvonna Kopacz-Wright. “But now this sound is medicine to me.”
Buy it! $38; lomarfarms.com
Love Cork Screw
You have full permission to judge this wine by its bottle since the cute labels are just the start of the appeal. Choose from six refreshing varietals including Pinot Grigio and Concord at affordable prices.
Buy it! from $15; lovecorkscrew.com
Breastfeeding mother of two Krystal Nicole Duhaney, a nurse and lactation consultant, started Milky Mama in 2015, when she realized that a "milk-making cookie recipe" she made "dramatically increased her supply" of breast milk. Now, her website offers cookies, brownies, drink mixes, smoothie mixes, herbal drops and more to help fellow nursing moms reap the same benefits she found. Duhaney even offers a breastfeeding course through her website, as well as a free meditation sample track.
Buy it! from $3, milky-mama.com
Home & Lifestyle
Justina Blakeney’s lifestyle empire started in her own plant-filled bungalow, the “jungalow,” and she’s since brought her bohemian vision to life in products ranging from wallpaper to band-aids. Her latest creations include these painted face bookend vases.
Buy it! $98 each, jungalow.com
Shopping this modern paint brand, founded by former fashion PR pro Nicole Gibbons, is far from the hardware store experience. Find inspiration on her site, then choose from colors like Rosé Season and Money Moves. They’ll send swatches, paint and any supplies you need to your door.
Buy it! $54 per gallon, clare.com
Jeanine Hays runs a lifestyle magazine, a decorating business (she recently worked on Orange Is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks' New York home) and an online shop, where you can buy items like these Cameroonian-inspired “juju hats,” which she makes in collaboration with South Carolina-based Maman Afrique Boutique and uses as wall decor
Buy it! from $395; aphrochic.com
Nicole Crowder Upholstery
Washington, D.C.-based upholsterer Nicole Crowder’s main business is recovering custom furniture for private design clients, but she also sells colorful one-of-a-kind cushions with her favorite patterned fabrics. They’re intended as “meditation pillows,” but also make for a stylish decorative accent.
Buy it! $65; nicolecrowderupholstery.com
This London fashion editor turned textile designer sells everything from pillows and poufs to rugs and fabric in graphic West African-inspired motifs. Her pieces are high-end but come in a wide range of prices — a makeup bag is $44, a throw pillow goes for about $87. And most importantly, she ships to the U.S.!
Buy it! Items from $44, evasonaike.com
Founder Ashley Fouyolle sells paper gift wrap ($18), reusable fabric wrap ($22), cards ($4.50) and more, in original patterns from a group of artist collaborators. Patterns range from a blush pink take on classic cheetah and tropical leaves to several depicting women of all colors that look more like fine art than run-of-the-mill wrapping paper.
Buy it! Items from $4.50, unwrp.com
Love Notes Candles
This Brooklyn-based business sells hand-poured, soy candles in cheeky packaging and dreamy scents. Owner Nya Kam has formulated custom-blended scents like jasmine, aloe, coconut and cocoa butter (Love Note No. 1) and lemon verbena, ginger and mint (Love Note No. 6, above). Those looking to spoil their body as well as their nose, should check out Kam’s Self-ish collection of “body teas” for the bath.
Buy it! Candles from $18, lovenotesfragrances.com
The founders of the cult favorite travel accessories line WANT Les Essentiels, Byron and Dexter Peart, have branched out into home goods — selling ethically made and impeccably designed furniture and accessories by a collective of designers. The Bassi market tote, above, was designed by the pair in collaboration with Cartiera, a social cooperative dedicated to empowering asylum seekers and migrants.
Buy it! $199, goodeeworld.com
Bronx native Jasz started selling artisanal baskets inspired by her family’s gifts from Senegal to support herself and her three daughters. With the help of her friend and business partner Cheikh Biaye, they launched a business that supports female craftspeople and turns out beautiful — and useful! — decor, like the Black Confetti basket above.
Buy it! $80, tackussanusenegal.com
54Kibo, named for the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, is an online marketplace stocked with the goods of 30 creators. Founder Nana Quagraine sells everything for the home from pendant lights and full-size furniture to knit kids’ toys and soft goods, like the Gabi Ethiopian throw blanket above.
Buy it! $155, 54kibo.com
Nasozi Kakembo’s degree is in architecture and planning, but today she’s focussing on creating beauty on a much smaller scale. Her brand, which she’s dubbed “a lifestyle without borders,” creates upholstered benches, cotton face masks (for just $12!), and mud cloth and Batik pillows, like the dotted style above.
Buy it! $100; osxnasozi.com
Under the Sunlight
This stationery company started with a deck of cards printed with daily affirmations designed by founder Sinan Franklin and meant to encourage her to "choose joy" and practice self-care. It's since expanded to a line of thoughtful paper goods, including notebooks (on table) and calendars (above left). The latter can be disassembled after it's used and each month's image becomes an art print (above right).
Buy it! 2020 sun wall calendar, $20; underthesunlight.com
The lux ready-to-wear and bridal brand, established in 2008, is a celebrity favorite on the red carpet. Known for its sleek, sculptural silhouettes and black-tie ready designs, the label is now bringing its high-fashion sensibility to a more accessible price point with a line of summer-ready dresses launching at Target on June 6. The brand’s founder Carly Cushnie has been very vocal about how the fashion industry needs to amplify Black voices and take a role in creating a new path forward. “The Black community needs mentorships, internships and development programs early on as this industry is so far out of reach for many Black people,” Cushnie shared with Business of Fashion in a recent article spotlighting Black industry tastemakers. Shop the best-selling pieces on CUSHNIE’s site now, and its Target collaboration in selects stores and on Target.com arriving June 6.
Buy it! Dark Teal Silk Charmeuse One Shoulder Draped Top, $403; cushnie.com
The unisex line was established in New York City in 2005 by Telfar Clemens. The Liberian-American, self-taught designer — who first launched into the fashion spotlight with a hotly coveted line of leather carryall handbags and has now ventured into jewelry and clothing — won the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award for his work. “I just want to thank everybody for being down,” Clemens said while accepting the honor. “I know it’s been a hard, long road but that’s what pioneers do.”
Buy it! Telfar Gold Logo Earrings, $160; telfar.com
The lingerie label is founded, designed and operated by New York-based Shiara Robinson, with the goal of empowering women with transitional pieces that make her customers feel “sexy, sensual, and confident” from day to night. Robinson uses her business platform as a place to give a voice to Black women everywhere. During the pandemic, she's also been dedicated to hand-making face masks to donate to essential medical workers.
Buy it! Ada Slip, $150; lasette.shop
Brooklyn-raised Kerby Jean-Raymond started Pyer Moss seven years ago and it has quickly grown to be one of the most thought-provoking and transformative brands in the industry, thanks to his ability to highlight powerful social, political and racial issues in his elevated sportswear-inspired collections.
Buy it! Bell-Sleeve Cropped Hoodie, $325; pyermoss.com
Fashion buyer and business owner Telsha Anderson launched t.a. as a way to "provide product that presents a renewed outlook towards luxury living." The brands featured at t.a., including Eudon Choi, Ashya and Wesley Harriott, have been personally sourced by Anderson from locations around the world, including Tbilisi, London, Paris, Peru, Milan, South Korea, Los Angeles, New York and more. Although t.a. remains an online destination right now at shop-ta.com/shop, their brick-and-mortar location in N.Y.C. will be opening as soon as COVID restrictions are lifted.
Buy it! Eudon Choi White Cotton Dress, $473; shop-ta.com
The Tiny Tassel
Mimi Striplin founded The Tiny Tassel in 2015 with the goal of "bringing a little joy to life" with her colorful, hand-made tassel jewelry. She's since expanded to accessories (like summer-ready straw bags), clothing (which is made by her mom) and party decor. Every Tiny Tassel collection features bright colors and timeless prints. Shop The Tiny Tassel online, at select retailers across the country or visit Mimi's shop, Cannonborough Collective, that she co-owns in Charleston, South Carolina.
The luxury watch company is owned and operated in Brooklyn by Harvard graduate, Milo Dee, and each timepiece is crafted by the company's head of design, Kirk Halliburton. Milo and Kirk's latest collaboration was with The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the late American artist who holds an indelible influence on Black culture and art around the world. "Basquiat's work led the way for other Black artists, and we're proud to highlight that in this collection," the brand shared.
Buy it! DAEM x Basquiat "Now's the Time" watch, $425; daemwatches.com
Misses Brie Swimwear
Model, blogger and designer Brielle Anyea started her swimwear company to celebrate “women that strut with confidence and define their own beauty.” The SI Swimsuit model search finalist is committed to giving back right now, donating 50 percent of the profits from her brand through June 4 to organizations that are providing support to peaceful protesters. "I am a black woman,” Brielle said addressing her Instagram followers. “I am a new black business owner, but I am willing to step up and do what I can do to make sure my people are okay.”
Buy it! Ms Safari Bikini, $99; missesbrie.com
Designer Sade Mims started the Brooklyn-based accessories brand Edas in 2015 for the "the eclectic being." The sustainably focused line includes handbags, jewelry, as well as special clothing accessories including the apron and the wrap top in the most recent collection. Shop the pieces (which typically range in price from $400 for handbags to under-$100 for jewelry) at Edas.store.com.
Buy it! The Mya Hoops, $76; edas.store.com
Valerie Blaise is a self-taught designer who founded Vavvoune, a leather accessories brand, in 2015. The line contains thoughtfully created purses in a variety of cool and colorful variations (including the latest bucket bag, belt bag and wallet styles). The pieces are designed in Brooklyn, crafted in New York City’s Garment District, and all unworkable scraps of leather are donated to art programs across the country.
Buy it! Mishe Top-Handle Bag, $495; vavvoune.com
The Haitian-born, New York City-raised designer is known for his elevated and sexy take on knitwear. After working in the fashion industry as a publicist, design assistant and style director for various brands he launched his own inclusive eponymous label in 2006, and after a re-launch in 2015, he quickly became a celeb-favorite. (After Selena Gomez wore his red sweater in Vogue’s 73 Questions video, it sold out on Net-a-Porter.com.) "To me, sweaters are like jeans — you wear them all year round," Glemaud said in an interview with Fashionista in January.
Buy it! Tier Dress, $436.50; shopbop.com
MUXE New York
The gender-free streetwear label is founded, designed and operated by New York-based Parsons alum Kadeem Alphanso Fyffe, with the intent of "creating unisex garments that comment on gender, politics and culture." Kadeem is a passionate advocate, fighting for change in underrepresented communities, with a specific focus on the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. He's also made it part of his platform to guest speak at different schools as a way to inspire and educate the next generation. A portion of all sales from MUXE are donated to Live Out Loud, the NYC based LGBTQ+ youth organization, which helps support queer minority youth.
Buy it! Equali-Tee, $20; muxenewyork.com
Uoma (pronounced uh-mah) means “beautiful,” and that’s exactly how you’ll feel when you use their makeup products. From the Stay Woke Concealer to their Black Magic Color Palettes, UOMA’s product names are just as good as their formulas, too. In response to the killing of George Floyd and resulting outpouring of social media posts from brands, UOMA Beauty CEO and founder Sharon Chuter is also launching #PullUpOrShutUp, a campaign to bring awareness to the underrepresentation of Black people in leadership roles in corporate America. “This is not an exercise in naming and shaming but simply a call for all brands to review their own practices,” Chuter said in a press release. “It’s easy to say racism is other people’s problem but it’s important at this critical point in time that we all look at how we may have contributed to this issue and have the humility to accept it and make an effort to change it.”
Buy it! Black Magic Carnival Color Palette, $44; uomabeauty.com
This clean beauty line was founded in the early aughts by Jamyla Bennu and her husband Pierre and inspired by Jamyla’s desire to find good-for-you products for her highly-textured hair. Fast-forward almost 20 years, the duo make over two dozen products hair and skin-care products for women and men.
Buy it! Ginger-Mint Co-Wash, $12; oyinhandmade.com
Tristan Walker created this mens’ grooming line to address the specific skin needs of men of color. The sleek assortment ranges from a cordless trimmer, to affordable skin-and-body-care such as a $15 face serum for dark spots and scars and a $10 streak-free deodorant.
Buy it! Trimmer and T-Blade, $210; getbevel.com
KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson founded Mented (short for pigmented) “over a glass of Pinot” to put Black women at the forefront in the cosmetics conversation. What began as a line of vegan, non-toxic nude lipsticks for all skin tones has grown to include foundation, brow pencils, nail polish, and more products. The brand also hosts regular tutorials and Q+As on their Instagram, which has amassed over 146,000 followers.
Buy it! Lip liner, $12; mentedcosmetics.com
When Nancy Twine couldn’t find hair products that got the job done with clean ingredients, she decided to make her own. With the premise that every woman should be able to customize the perfect clean, effective, custom regimen for her hair, Briogeo was born. Take the brand’s hair quiz to find out which products are best for your strands — like the best-selling “Don’t Despair, Repair!” collection for dry and damaged hair — or, mix and match products to create your perfect routine.
Buy it! Curl Charisma rice amino + quinoa frizz control gel, $20; briogeohair.com
London-based hairstylist Charlotte Mensah has worked with celebs including Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu, is an award-winning authority on natural hair and was the first Black woman inducted to the British Hairdressing Hall of Fame. So, yeah, it was only fitting for Mensah to launch a haircare line. Featuring manketti oil — an ingredient she learned about while traveling in Kenya — and other organic and sustainably sourced ingredients, Mensah’s shampoo, conditioner, finishing mist and hair oil leave hair soft and hydrated, but never weighed down.
Buy it! Manketti hair oil, $48; charlottemensah.com