Though it may feel as though Small Business Saturday has been around forever, the shopping event, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is actually only ten years old. Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 as a vehicle to encourage people to “shop small” during Thanksgiving weekend and beyond.
As we all get in gear for holiday shopping, it’s important that we not only remember to shop small but that we also remember to shop Black — especially this year. According to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, nearly half of Black-owned businesses have already been wiped out by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Further, their report found that Black-owned businesses are two times more likely to shutter than their white counterparts.
“Nationally representative data on small businesses indicate that the number of active business owners fell by 22% from February to April 2020—the largest drop on record,” the report said. “Black businesses experienced the most acute decline, with a 41% drop. Latinx business owners fell by 32% and Asian business owners dropped by 26%.”
We know that systemic racism is to blame and while the issues stemming from institutional racism can’t be solved overnight, what we do know is that we are so much more powerful when we unite and support one another.
Here are 10 Black-owned businesses that you should have on your radar as you shop this weekend.
Originally founded in 2007 as a storefront in Brooklyn, New York, Paper Doll Apparel returned in 2020 as a web-based fashion destination for the versatile woman. Offerings range from loungewear to contemporary pieces.
Known for their popular Africa Coasters Collection, Rain+Sky Home is a home decor company that was founded in 2018 by Asia Clayborne with the intention of celebrating culture.
“We are known mostly for our Africa Coasters Collection. Our collection is sculpted by hand, right here in Atlanta. An original collection, unlike any other,” Clayborne told Voyage ATL of the popular collection. “By sculpting our pieces in the shape of Africa, we have turned a mundane household item into a one of a kind art piece that celebrates culture. Our techniques are exclusive to our brand, and it has allowed us to create custom pieces for people around the world to celebrate a culture that is unique to them!”
Kubra Kay Skincare
Founded by biomedical engineer Khadidja Toure, Kubra Kay is “rooted in global skincare practices and having natural, organic formulas to keep your skin healthy and glowing all year round,” a publicist for the brand explained. Kubra Kay’s current product offerings range from reusable makeup removers to vitamin-enriched night cream.
2 Mango Sisters
Inspired by their two daughters Emma and Ellea, wigmaker Jane Harris and her husband, Chef Ed Harris set out to create a vegan hair care brand that not only worked but encouraged people to be proud of their kinky hair textures.
“We can’t get around the fact that it takes more work, it costs more money to manage the kind of hair that we have. But I want them to know there’s a reason for it,” Jane told MadameNoire. “You have something so beautiful, it’s not gonna be easy. Instead of being upset or crying about it, you can nurture it, you can feed it, you can take care of it.”
Their products add softness, manageability, and lasting moisture for the driest of textures.
Founded by husband-and-wife duo Denise and David and one of the first of its kind, BE Boxes is a Black-owned educational subscription box service for infants and children with a sharp focus on social-emotional learning.
“We believe in social-emotional learning as a means for creating healthy humans,” Denise explained. “This is where our passion and purpose meet! Social-emotional learning provides a foundation for safe and positive learning and enhances children’s ability to succeed in school, careers, and life. Why not have fun with it?”
Orinjin Bee Dolls
As you shop for the little girls in your life, don’t underestimate the gift of representation. Black girls are constantly receiving messaging — both directly and subliminally — that they are less than beautiful. Orijin Bees were designed to encourage girls to “embrace their orijinal features.”
“Our dolls represent girls of different skin complexions and hair textures,” the website explains. “All of our dolls are eco-friendly and nontoxic.”
Mateo New York
Founded by Matthew Harris, a native of Montego Bay Jamaica and self-taught designer, Mateo New York offers women’s fine jewelry and handbags at an affordable price point.
“My aesthetic is one of simplicity and minimalism often inspired by modern/contemporary art,” Harris told Forbes. “I believe simplicity is the essence of exuberance. Less is always more.”
Black Sunrise Hats
If you feel as though you have to choose between keeping your head warm and maintaining your hairstyle during the colder months, look no further than Black Sunrise Hats. Their satin-lined hats will keep you warm in the winter while also preserving your hairdo. Their stylish hats also come in children’s sizes.