Anyone can start a business, but that doesn’t mean all aspiring entrepreneurs are equally set up for success. Limited access to funding, business resources, and social capital all continue to impact Black business creation in the U.S. So, what can we do about it?
By investing in Black-owned businesses, we can help close the wealth gap, prioritize diversity, and support local economies. Not only can your purchase help a small business prosper, but by consistently having Black-owned brands on your radar every time you shop, you aid in the development of community wealth, for both business owners and employees.
We partnered with Hannah Harris, founder and creator of @browngirlhands, and IN THE BLK, a collective of over 40 fashion creatives, to curate beauty and fashion product collections featuring top-notch items from Black entrepreneurs. You might want to bookmark these (we know we did) for the next time you catch yourself in an endless scroll through your favorite shopping app and want to spend with purpose.
Meet Hannah Harris
Hannah Harris is pushing forward the conversation about inclusivity within the beauty business one Instagram post at a time. By capturing photos of herself holding beauty products on her Instagram account, @browngirlhands, Hannah is helping diversify the beauty industry’s consumer-facing content.
“I created Brown Girl Hands as a response to Jessica Defino’s article entitled, ‘Where Are All The Brown Hands?’,” Hannah says. “I wanted to show that we’ve been here all along despite traditionally being left out of the industry.”
I wanted to show that we’ve been here all along despite traditionally being left out of the industry.
Meet IN THE BLK
Black designers and creatives are innovating the fashion world in so many ways—creating some of the trendiest designs the industry has to offer. IN THE BLK, a collective of over 40 Black fashion creatives and entrepreneurs, is working to promote equitable business growth for emerging Black-owned brands, expanding the space for talented designers, and helping to drive investment in their brands.
“Cultural and social values shape our shopping choices and increasingly fashion lovers are calling for the industry to truly represent the global audience it serves,” says IN THE BLK. “There is real opportunity for [marketplaces] to partner with a diverse array of brands and help foster strong growing connections between them and millions of customers.”
There is real opportunity for [marketplaces] to partner with a diverse array of brands and help foster strong growing connections between them and millions of customers.
At Shopify, we’re all about the power of independence and we believe that entrepreneurship should be accessible to all, no matter your age, what part of the world you live in, or what your business model is like.
Take Kheris Rogers, founder of Flexin’ in My Complexion, whose mission is to empower self-love through her clothing designs. After being teased for her skin complexion in school, Kheris’ older sister, Taylor Pollard, posted a picture of Kheris on Twitter, hashtagged #FlexinInHerComplexion, to boost her self-esteem. The post immediately went viral and at only 10-years old, Kheris was inspired to help others feel confident in their skin.
The Flexin’ In My Complexion apparel line was born out of Kheris’ home garage and her uplifting merchandise was selling out quickly. T-shirts with proud messages like “Representation Matters”, “I Matter”, and of course, “Flexin’ in my Complexion,” soon gained the attention of celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o and Alicia Keys. At only 11 years old, Kheris became the youngest designer to showcase a collection at New York Fashion Week.
With an abundance of beauty, apparel, and accessory labels to shop from, making the conscious decision to buy from and embrace Black-owned businesses has a profound impact today and every day. You can always advocate for Black-owned brands by following and sharing their accounts on social media or through word of mouth. Tastemakers like Hannah Harris of @browngirlhands, influential groups like IN THE BLK, and inspiring entrepreneurs like Kheris Rogers, are prime examples of using their platforms to amplify Black voices and build awareness.
To help get you started, discover Black-owned beauty and fashion brands that you can shop today, tomorrow, and always. Read on to discover why these brands are some of our favorites, and we promise you won’t regret adding them to your wishlist.
UNSEASONAL KIND FROM KLUR
You’ll want to get your hands on this oil-based treatment from Klur that will provide you with impeccable skin replenishment while washing away any sign of fatigue. A perfect blend of Squalane, Coq10, and Vitamins C and E work to mimic your skin’s natural protection mechanisms. For best results, use a couple of drops on clean, damp skin or over a water-based serum 2-3 times per week.
Esthetician and makeup artist Lesley Thornton was in the beauty industry for 18 years before creating Klur—an eco-inclusive skincare brand built on the values of clean and sustainable beauty. With expert training and hands-on experience, Lesley observed how various ingredients and formulations worked on all types of skin conditions and ethnicities. Lesley makes use of readily accessible ingredients like aloe vera, dandelion, and sea kelp, making sustainability a priority for the brand’s product development.
Smoothies? Yum! For your skin? Even better! Be sure to snatch up the Clean Greens Face Mask from Golde. A real treat for your skin, this nourishing mask is packed with chlorophyll and detoxifying superfoods. Add it to your favorite cleanser for an instant boost and be left with clear, glowy skin.
Trinity Mouzon Wofford is the cofounder and CEO of Golde, a successful health and wellness brand she started with her partner, Issey, in 2017 when she was just 23 years old. When her mother began struggling with rheumatoid arthritis and found significant improvement in her symptoms through holistic and alternative therapies, Trinity was inspired to help others with a focus on nutrition and total body wellness. Not only are Golde’s products healthy and filled with superfoods, they are also approachable and always fun. We particularly like the Coconut Collagen Boost and the Superfood Latte Sampler.
If you need an easy-to-use brow applicator with maximum control, look no further than the Brow-Fro Baby Hair from Uoma Beauty. The perfectly precise tip will unquestionably define and fill your brows by mimicking the effect of real-life teeny, tiny eyebrow hairs.
Nigerian-born Sharon Chuter launched UOMA Beauty in 2019 with a mission to create a world of beauty that is for all of us. After walking away from a career in the corporate beauty industry where she realized products were not tailored to a diverse audience, Sharon decided to create an inclusive beauty community where everyone feels welcome and products are suitable for all skin tones. UOMA (pronounced ‘uh-mah’) means beautiful, and the brand believes “every person deserves to walk into the beauty hall and feel inspired and included.”
This Milk & Honey Highlighting Palette from Beauty Bakerie will give your face a sugar rush in the best possible way. With buildable shades that apply silky-smooth, your skin will glow brighter than the stars in the sky.
Cashmere Nicole launched Beauty Bakerie in 2011 after her challenging but successful fight with breast cancer. After enduring her battle, Cashmere became very health-conscious about the products we put into and on our bodies and began her life-changing health journey. Shocked at the ingredients she came across while researching beauty products, Cashmere knew she needed to create long-lasting, clean—andaffordable—makeup. Her brand is a reflection of her passion for high-quality, healthy ingredients that enhance the beauty in everyone and sweeten up your beauty routine.
Shopping for more?
Browse more trending products in this hand-picked beauty collection in the Shop App, our favorite shopping companion.
If your wardrobe is begging you to upgrade your handbag game, be sure to snatch up this top-handle bag from Brandon Blackwood. Featuring a green mesh exterior with vegan leather details, this bag is stellar for any occasion.
Brooklyn-native Brandon Blackwood launched his handbag label in 2015, but he struggled to gain popularity at the start. To build a customer base, Blackwood turned to Instagram. Business was moving along and then in 2020, Blackwood released a statement-making “End Systemic Racism” bag. The style went absolutely viral, noticed by many celebrities like Kim Kardashian, and practically sold out overnight. Since then, Blackwood has continued to drop successful styles, build a cult following, and gain the attention of megastars Doja Cat, Saweetie, Winnie Harlow, and more.
ARC NECKLACE FROM THIRD CROWN
Searching for gorgeous jewelry options without breaking the bank? The Arc Necklace from Third Crown is the perfect everyday piece that will become a staple in your jewelry box. Simple, clean, and elegant—this necklace is timeless and a must-have on any wishlist.
They say a couple that hustles together stays together, and that is true for husband-and-wife co-designers of Third Crown. Kristin and Kofi Essel created Third Crown fueled by their passion for jewelry and design and their years of experience. Kristin previously worked in production for David Yurman, Reed Krakoff, and Eddie Borgo, and Kofi worked at various menswear brands like Kenneth Cole and Sean John. Naming their brand Third Crown to “celebrate the merging of two forces coming together to form something new,” their jewelry brand is gender-neutral, defined by clean lines, and inspired by structure, architecture, and bold accents.
TOGO HEEL FROM BROTHER VELLIES
Whether spring-time is approaching or has already passed you by, it’s always a good time to refresh your sandal repertoire. With handwoven knotted straps and a square-toe that we all know reigns supreme, the Togo Heel from Brother Vellies will lift you up and elevate your look.
In 2013, Brother Vellies was founded with the goal of celebrating traditional African design practices and techniques, while creating and sustaining artisanal jobs. The cherished accessory label is built on ethical production, sustainability, and artisanal care. Aurora James is not only the creator and brains behind Brother Vellies, but is also the founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge: a call to action for major retailers to commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Within the first year of this initiative, over two dozen corporations took on the Fifteen Percent Pledge, effectively creating over $5B in capital for Black entrepreneurs in the United States.
NETTED PANT FROM THEOPHILIO
If you’re looking to make a fashion statement, or fill your closet with bold colors, the Netted Pant from Theophilio will add the flair you’re searching for. This intricate style does not lack in craftsmanship, and is abundant in character and liveliness, enhancing your wardrobe with the expression and vibrancy that we all need right now.
Jamaican-born Edvin Thompson launched Theophilio, a contemporary clothing brand for men and women, in 2016. Uprooted several times throughout his childhood, it wasn't until his freshman year of high school that Thompson found his niche: a fashion club he and his friends named, “Cool Kids Crew.” He took his love for fashion into design and interned for Amanda Uprichard and Gypsy Sport, building on his creative skills that would eventually turn the heads of those in the fashion industry for his own apparel brand. Taking inspiration from his Jamaican heritage, Thompson’s designs for Theophilio are vibrant, colorful, and bold. Thompson is not only consistently creating great designs, but is also cultivating a community for other Black creatives to own their own stories and visions.
Shopping for more?
Browse more trending products in this hand-picked fashion collection in the Shop App, our favorite shopping companion.