Happy Black History Month, everyone! If you’ve been following our brand, you most likely know how important it is for us to be inclusive and diverse in every area possible. That includes amplifying other voices, learning how we can improve our inclusivity and building a team of people from all different backgrounds. Celebrating and recognizing Black History Month and all the Black creators that are paving the way in the beauty and wellness industries is something we believe in and want to encourage our customers to do as well.
Did you know from 2007 to 2018 businesses owned by Black women grew 164 percent? That’s a stark contrast to women-owned businesses in general, which grew 58 percent. Black women are taking over markets everywhere and it’s inspiring to see so much growth in so little time.
There’s a downside, though. Despite Black-owned businesses are growing so quickly, Black women only received .02 percent of venture funding between 2012 and 2014. Additionally, the average investment for their businesses is around $36,000. (Seriously.) This is why it’s important to us to lift up Black entrepreneurs. There are so many great Black-owned businesses out there – it’s up to all of us to support them. Here are a few of our favorite businesses where you can start.
Photo: BLK + GRN
BLK + GRN is a natural-product marketplace that features only Black creators and artisans. There are dozens of businesses featured through BLK + GRN and each artisan is featured on the website so you can get to know them, their products and why they choose natural. Some of the products featured include haircare, food, bath and body, skincare, makeup, skincare and more. PiperWai has been working with BLK + GRN for a few months now and we’re proud to be part of the company’s mission and movement.
We had the pleasure of meeting Shea Yeleen founder Rahama Wright at a conference last year and were blown away by her products and passion. Since then, Rahama has become a great friend and PiperWai supporter. Since 2005, Rahama and Shea Yeleen have been empowering women in West Africa and the United States by providing fair wages and encouraging small-business startups. The company utilizes fair-trade, pure, unrefined shea butter at the core of its products. (Trust us, these products are nothing short of magic.) It also utilizes essential oils and natural ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, vitamin E and more and includes body butters, soaps and lip balms in its product lineup.
Nancy Twine noticed the natural hair market needed some shaking up. Many mainstream products contain chemicals in them and frankly, don’t hold up to the claims made. Inspired by her grandma’s beauty recipes, Nancy took things into her own hands and founded the all-natural company Briogeo in her apartment. (Just like us!) Each product is texture specific and has a quiz on its website so you can get the most customizable experience for your hair type. Products include shampoos, conditioners, treatments, tools and styling and finishing. You an either shop by collection or shop by your hair’s needs. Take the quiz and have Briogeo help you out!
Bold lipstick is fun, but what if you don’t want to go bold? That’s the problem KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson solved when they founded Mented, which offers nude lip colors to women of color. After struggling to find the perfect nude lipstick, they said “screw it” and created their own, filling a need in the beauty market, and highlighting the lack of beauty products available to women of color. The company has grown and with that growth, incorporated more beauty products in its lineup. In addition to lipsticks, Mented also sells lip gloss, lip liner, eyeshadow, shimmers, nail polish, accessories and even – gasp! – a few bold reds for when you’re really feeling saucy. All Mented lipsticks are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, cruelty free and made in the U.S.A. We dig it.
Do you have any favorite Black-owned businesses you’d like to amplify? Share with us on our social media pages: @PiperWai! We’d like to support your favorite businesses!