Time and time again, you hear about people stepping out on faith and chasing their dreams by starting their own businesses. Each industry has seen an influx of talented individuals who are trying to disrupt the status quo and bring something innovative to the general population. While Black-owned businesses are growing every day, there is still a racial gap compared to their counterparts when it comes to ownership and circulating the Black dollar. According to recent statistics, there are more than 3 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. This number still only represents 3 percent of all companies nationwide. So since August is Black Business Month, it is only right to highlight some that are making waves in different areas of the entrepreneurial game.
The talented CEOs and visionaries behind these brands are proof that everyone deserves a seat at the table. Whether it is in hospitality, fashion, healthcare, or beauty, there is no area where individuals can’t show more representation and encourage future entrepreneurs to pursue their passions, too.
Here is a list of seven Black-owned businesses featured on digital marketplace Empower Global that you should keep on your radar.
1. Vontelle Eyewear
Vontelle is a luxury eyewear brand that offers eye-catching, ethnic patterns reflecting the African Diaspora, including Caribbean and Latinx cultures. Founders Tracy Green and Nancey Harris launched Vontelle after experiencing losing their eyewear. The goal for Vontelle is to provide a better fit that is stylish and represents the culture of POC communities. Since launching in 2020, this brand has been able to partner with Paramount and Nickelodeon to design specs for children. Vontelle is shifting the narrative in the industry and showing how culture can be more celebrated in the space.
Whtart is a great destination to find artwork that showcases intricate details and beauty while challenging limits and what has been deemed impossible. Whtart was created by artist William Toliver, who has been inspired by art since a young age. From original pieces to prints, and apparel, Toliver hopes to remind others that in order to defy gravity, you must dream loudly and boldly.
PerryCo. is a unisex brand that is breaking gender barriers in the sneaker industry. After seeing a lack of inclusivity in options for women when compared to men, PerryCo. founder Brittney Perry launched the business in 2018 to provide high-quality, genderless shoes and apparel that appeal to all styles and identities. For PerryCo., no matter the occasion, the goal is to have pieces that others can wear on a daily basis. Since the launch, the company has been able to partner with department store Macy’s and distribute products at a larger scale.
June79 is a luxury fashion house founded by chief architect and Creative Director Shawn Pean, who is an industry veteran and pioneer. June79 transforms luxurious European fabrics into unique tailored garments that are inspired by the continent’s sophistication and Brooklyn attitude. As a prominent figure in the fashion industry, Pean saw a need for a brand that represents people’s duality and wanted to expand the world’s perception of luxury. Pean is also a DEI advisor and mentor at RAISEFashion, an organization that connects individuals and Black-owned brands with fashion professionals for pro-bono support.
SKNMUSE is a premium beauty brand that focuses on body care using clean and pure ingredients. CEO of SKNMUSE Ezinne Iroanya believes in the accessibility of self-care and advocates for more Black women to be represented in the beauty industry. SKNMUSE has been featured by Beyoncé, Issa Rae, and Vogue, rated top 10 by ELLE, and is a recent Glossier Grantee.
6. Dorian Webb
Dorian Webb creates intentional jewelry, home decor, and fine art that celebrates women, African American culture, and strives to amplify the beauty of connection. As an award-winning designer and artist, CEO Dorian Webb encourages people to take time and recognize the beauty that is around them. Webb was recently been chosen for the Emerging Designer Diamond Initiative, which focuses on increasing diversity in the diamond industry. The brand not only specializes in sterling silver and gold sets, but also prides itself in elevating daily life for customers.
7. Kilali Cosmetics
Kilali Cosmetics is a brand that hopes to bridge a gap in the industry while sharing the beauty that lies within Africa. Kilali also wants to ease the frustration of customers who constantly worry about finding their makeup match, no matter the skin tone. Founder Tope Adubi created this brand to highlight African beauty through effective and functional products and education. All the brand’s items are named after heroines, monuments, and monikers of Africans. When you make a purchase, you are able to read more about each name and whom it signifies.
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