Shopping small is always important, but supporting a variety of small businesses is equally as important. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a number of small businesses have pivoted to online platforms, which means you no longer have to shop local to support them. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to shop and support Black-owned businesses for a variety of your needs.
Rather than turning to major retailers for a pair of earrings or purchasing coffee from a big-box brand, you can turn to a Black-owned shop or store for quality, handcrafted goods. Whether you're in the mood to splurge on yourself, are in search of the perfect gift or are looking for something unique to bring into your home, you can find it from these entrepreneurs.
TODAY lifestyle contributor Jill Martin joined the show to spotlight four Black-owned businesses from across the country that you'll only wish you'd known about sooner.
Whether you're looking for new candles to bring into your home or a new piece of handmade jewelry to show off on video calls, there's a Black-owned business you can support in doing so.
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Ariel Young, inspired by the ways her mother found to wrap presents and notes, founded Copper & Brass in 2017. After years of little encounters with stationery products that featured Black people on them, Young set out to fix the problem she spotted in the paper goods aisle by creating her own company out of her Georgia home. She first began selling wrapping paper that featured Black Santas in 2018 and now has an entire line of paper goods that are suitable for nearly every occasion, including HBCU notebooks, notepads, pens, greeting cards and more.
Jot down daily affirmations, plans, schedules and to-do's in this notebook that is made for women who get stuff done. It's filled with 80 pages of lined paper that make it easy to keep track of all that life throws at you.
Turned to snail mail during the last year? These adorable notecards are a chic way to drop a note and let someone know you're thinking of them. The set comes complete with eight notecards and envelopes they'll be sure to appreciate.
North Carolina-based Bright Black Candles was founded by husband-and-wife duo Dariel Heron and Tiffany Griffin, who are using their passion to share narratives about Black culture with the broader community. Each of the high-quality scents are named after cities from around the world and are meant to honor the Black Diaspora, transporting you to vibrant Black communities across the globe inspired by joy, collectivism, strength and beauty. Their latest scent, L'espoir, means "hope" in French, which Heron and Griffin say is not just a "critical coping mechanism" for the Black community, but is something we could all use a bit of as we enter further into 2021.
Inspired by the scent of Heron and Griffin's home base, Durham, this candle boasts notes of cotton, tobacco and whiskey with in a 10-ounce jar. The combination of soy and coconut wax allows for a clean burn for up to 80 hours.
This limited-edition scent is crafted with a combination of florals, allowing for a fragrance that is light and sweet. Ten percent of sales of the L’espoir candle will be donated to the Nyumbani Children’s Home, a nonprofit in Kenya that is providing care to 100 HIV-positive children.
Sisters Carlene Browner and Cassandra Browner Richardson learned how to work with clay from their mother, growing up in rural Georgia. The duo now makes statement jewelry from clay and metallics as part of their side hustle; outside of BR Design Co, they are both essential workers! Carlene has been a teacher for more than 20 years and Cassandra has been a nurse for over 30 years. They operate the business out of Charleston, South Carolina, making each design on clay slabs before molding them into individual, handmade pieces.
Simple yet elegant, these gold hoops were practically made for spring. Crafted from polymer clay and hypoallergenic stainless steel, they're built to list and serve as a fashion statement.
These handmade earrings can pair with everything from sweaters to sundresses. BR Design Co has a wide array of arch-shaped earrings in its Black + White collection.
Childhood friends turned business partners, Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson founded BLK & Bold as a passion project while working corporate jobs. Since the two used to catch up over coffee, they decided to create their own line of java that gives back and sold 275,000 bags of coffee last year alone. The brand donates 5% of all profits to help youth who have encountered hardship find the tools to get back on their feet. Des Moines-based BLK & Bold also recently launched a 2021 "Be Bold" campaign, highlighting entrepreneurs that are making a difference within their respective industries.
Those who prefer a darker roast will love the smooth and heavy notes in this blend. It can be used for both drip coffee and espresso beverages, and yields about 24 cups of coffee per bag. The certified fair-trade coffee features hints of sweet bell pepper and a tart citric acidity.
Described as sweet, creamy and nutty, this medium roast is perfect for those who prefer something a bit more subtle. BLK & Bold's signature roast, it is roasted in small batches and yields 23 cups of coffee per bag.
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