Like many of my fellow influencers, I wanted to put all of my usual content on hold this week on both social media and the blog to stand in solidarity with the Black community and to amplify melanated voices. This past week I’ve been focusing on listening and learning how I can be a better ally, to be actively anti-racist, and looking into ways to use my voice and help.
It shouldn’t have taken this long for us to take action, to listen, and to learn. A lot of posts have been reposted and shared on social media over the last several days, but this is just one step towards change. The power of change comes from taking action, and there are many lanes in which we can each take action. With that said, I’ve been reading books, listening to my Black friends and many others, donating to important causes, and coming up with ideas on how I can better use my voice for good and not just online. I’m making a commitment to be better.
As an influencer, you come to my social media and website to be influenced in fashion, travel, beauty, and lifestyle. It is my job to write about and feature all kinds of brands when it comes to these categories and more. I love being a reliable source to introduce these brands to you. However, over the last week I have reflected upon my own content and I acknowledge my lack of inclusion when it comes to Black owned businesses, and for that I apologize. In the future, I want to be more aware of being more inclusive when it comes to featuring brands on my social media and website.
Over the last few days, I’ve been researching some amazing Black owned businesses and I fell in love with so many. Today I am listing some of them, including ones I have already been a fan of for some time. These are only just a teeny tiny microscopic fraction of the amount of incredible Black owned businesses out there, and I’m looking forward to finding even more wonderful discoveries. I considered posting these solely on Instagram, but stories only last 24 hours and static posts get pushed down further and further as time goes on. I wanted this post to live somewhere that was easily accessible for everyone online, so here it is.
A sustainable shoe brand in NYC founded by Aurora James in 2013, their artisans create some absolutely gorgeous handmade shoes! With leathers being tanned by vegetables, soles made from recycled tires, hand carved wood, and floral dyed feathers, sustainability is very important and crucial as each pair of shoes is made across the world in South Africa, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Haiti, and Italy. These shoes of theirs are my favorite, as they have a very Victorian meets French Revolution vibe, so of course I purchased a pair.
A contemporary luxury brand co-founded by Camille Perry and Holly Wright, their pieces express femininity and longevity. The fabrics used to create their pieces are of the utmost luxury, with gorgeous flowing dresses and blouses that are screaming my name. The name Tove is actually derived from the female Danish name, meaning “strength” and “beauty”, which perfectly describes the brand. I fell in love with this dress and this skirt, and I hope to add them to my closet very soon.
A swimwear brand with pieces made in Los Angeles, Jade’s swimsuits work for every body shape by smoothing and sculpting in luxe fabric. I’ve seen my friend Kamie wear their suits before, so I finally purchased my own suit that I cannot wait to wear to the beaches here in Hong Kong once these thunderstorms let up.
Designed by women and made by women, Liya Kebede founded Lemlem after a trip to her native Ethiopia where she met incredible weavers looking for a market for their craft. Handwoven in Ethiopia and steadily spreading productions across artisans in Africa, their cotton pieces are perfect for summer. I was introduced to this brand not too long ago, and I have this purple dress and this orange patterned one.
A dreamy womenswear brand founded by Felisha “Fe” Noel, all pieces are influenced by Fe Noel’s Grenadian heritage and passion for bold prints. She also started her own foundation – the Fe Noel Foundation – a program to help other young women start their own businesses. My favorite pieces are her robes, which are handmade to order. I’m obsessed with this robe. That pattern and those sleeves are to die for!
A beautiful, colorful brand founded by Phyllis Taylor in 2005, all pieces are designed in London and handmade to order in Ghana. Through production, their goal is to provide employment opportunities and fair wages through social and environmental responsibilities. A few days ago I ordered this dress because it’s so perfect for hot summers here in Hong Kong, but I’m also in love with this dress and this dress.
A sustainable, eco-friendly womenswear brand based in San Francisco, Aliya Wanek founded her namesake brand in 2016. Most of the garments she sews herself, and when need be she works with a local production company. I love this dress and its gorgeous blue color!
A stunning womenswear brand founded by Asiyami Gold and empowering women to embrace their history and culture, all pieces are handmade in Nigeria with 10% of every sale going towards education for youth in Abua, Nigeria. I’ve got my eye on this dress and I’m hoping it comes back in stock, but all her dresses and their patterns are breathtakingly beautiful.
This accessories brand founded by Agnes Baddoo in Los Angeles, featuring amazing belts, hand sprays, and gorgeous leather bags. I’ve got my eye on this white leather bag because not only does it look chic and dreamy but also extremely versatile. Thanks to my friend Grace Atwood for introducing me to this brand.
Founded in the UK by Abi and Liha, Liha was influenced by her mother who works as an aromatherapist as well as the Yoruba traditions of beauty and skin care from nuts, tree bark, and plants. Their most popular products are their Idan oil (which can be applied anywhere on the body including hair) and their shea butter. I have the oil but I’m looking to buy their gold shea butter when it comes back in stock!
A very popular beauty brand founded by Rihanna, I’ve seen so many of my friends talk about Fenty beauty products over the past couple of years that I had to try it. I’m a big fan of their plush matte lipstick (I have color Thicc) and their body lava body luminizer.
This popular, natural hair care brand was founded by Nancy Twine in her NYC apartment thanks to her grandmother’s beauty recipes. You’ve probably heard of their extremely popular, well reviewed hair mask and trust me IT’S WORTH IT. I know a hair care post has been long overdue on here, but on Instagram I’ve been receiving a lot of messages lately asking how my hair is looking so strong and full. One answer is this mask. Also it smells DIVINE! But since I love the mask so much, I bought their castor oil this week to try to grow out my eyebrows.
This sweet all natural Etsy brand founded just this year by Dami makes all natural skin care products, including face oils filled with rosehip (one of my secret weapons for smooth, bright skin), and shea butter infused with my favorite scents of ylang ylang and bergamot. The face oils help combat acne and lead to a glowing face, and the shea butter provides intense hydration on the body. I can’t wait to try this oil, this oil, and this shea butter!
KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson founded Mented Cosmetics as a beauty source for everyone no matter what your skin tone, as well as keeping their brand cruelty-free, non-toxic, and vegan. Unfortunately they do not ship to Hong Kong, so I won’t be able to purchase those dreamy semi-matte lipsticks or vegan nail polish until I am back in the US, but I can’t wait to add them to my beauty collection!
Thanks to some of my followers suggesting this amazing beauty brand, I discovered Beauty Bakerie this past week and immediately purchased some of their popular matte whip lips. Founded by breast cancer survivor Cashmere Nicole, she overcame countless odds to build her beauty empire. Cashmere Nicole and her brand were also recently featured on Beyoncé’s website!
This vintage and antique brand based in Paris and founded by Ajiri Aki, who was born in Nigeria. Her amazing collection of antiques to purchase include dishes, bowls, books, and other incredibly feminine and vintage finds from around France. You can also rent from her for parties or photo shoots. As I am still styling my new home here in Hong Kong, I splurged on a few pieces from her collection including this cake stand. I really wanted the amber coupés too but they sold out before I could grab them!
This Charleston based brand was founded by Stephanie Summerson Hall and named after her grandmother, Estelle. This luxury brand of hand-blown colored glass stemware and cake stands adds a vintage feel to your table. Unfortunately they do not have international shipping, but as soon as I’m back in the US I will be ordering these stemless wine glasses to bring back to Hong Kong.
Diane Hill is an amazing painter where she paints her work at home in the UK, having been trained by master painters in China in the art of chinoiserie and traditional techniques, where she learned to use natural brushes designed for using watercolors on silk. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? As I’m in the process of creating an art wall in my new home, I am looking at adding this print and this print to my art collection.
As I said before, these are just a few of the incredible Black owned businesses out there around the world. I can’t wait to discover more! Remember, you don’t have to purchase anything to show support. Subscribing to their newsletters and following them on social media is also a great way to show your support.
Please add to this list by sharing any Black owned businesses that you love and support in the comments below!