Black History Month 2021: 12 Black-Owned Small Businesses to Support
2 min read
Happy Black History Month! This month we celebrate and honor black excellence of the past, present, and future. This month at Consumer Sense, we are spotlighting exceptional black-owned small businesses and black entrepreneurs around Pittsburgh and abroad. Check out the businesses below:
Third Day Soaps Garden Spa
Third Day Soaps Garden Spa is a small business specializing in bath and body care products based out of Duquesne, Pennsylvania. It is owned by Dr. Cynthia L Hill, an industry expert specializing in natural skincare and cosmetics. All of Dr. Hill’s products are organic and take inspiration from the natural beauty and flowers of Southwestern PA.
On their Etsy site, Third Day Soaps Garden sells 64 different products and has received a five-star-rating. Third Day Soaps Garden sells an herbal hand sanitizer, a necessity we all need right now. It is available in 10 different scents and contains 80% ethanol alcohol as well as aloe vera and tea tree oil. They also sell a “Big Baby” body butter to combat that irritating winter dry skin. This product contains shea butter, irish moss, and sea moss and helps to soothe psoriasis and eczema. Many of Dr. Hill’s products are made to remedy skin conditions such as their “Way Deep!” body salve which soothes arthritis as well as their eczema bath bar made with tea tree oil and black charcoal. Along with singular body care products, Third Day Soap Garden also sells gift sets for men and women. For example, the Men’s Spa set includes all of the perfect ingredients for relaxation including a candle, body wash, body butter, and cologne in a cigar-shaped bottle. Samples of almost 10 products are available for only $5. Check out Third Day Soaps Garden Spa’s Etsy page to purchase the aforementioned products and see many more!
Rooted Woman is an online store selling non-toxic, safe, and organic nail polish since 2015. It was started by India D. Williams who quit her professional job and opened this business with a focus on personal wellness after a health emergency. Rooted Woman’s four principles of self-love, wellness, sisterhood, and freedom serve to inspire their business practices and products.
Rooted Woman sells a shade of nail polish for every season including a variety of pinks, reds, nudes, with a couple of funky blues and purples. Each bottle is only $15. Rooted Woman also sells non-carcinogenic and non-toxic nail polish remover for $10 which removes all brands of nail polish, not just Rooted Woman nail polish. Check out Rooted Woman’s website to order the discussed products and follow them on Instagram at rootedwoman for updates and motivational posts.
Coloured Raine is a cosmetic company started by Lorraine R Howdy in 2013 in Brooklyn, New York. Once a worker in corporate America, Howdy left that career to pursue her dream of a racially inclusive and diverse make-up brand. All of the products are made in the US and are inspired by Howdy’s love for vibrant colors.
Coloured Raine offers all you need to do a beautiful makeup look. Their lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip lacquers come in a variety of reds, pinks, purples, and even bold blues. They are priced at around $17. Their variety of eyeshadow palettes are highly pigmented and cover a broad spectrum of colors from basic nudes and neutral colors to bright, bold neons. They start at $25 and cost at most $52. Coloured Raine does not just sell cosmetics, they also sell cosmetic accessories. Compared to $20 beauty sponges at Sephora, Coloured Raine sells beauty sponges for $6. They also sell inexpensive yet high quality eyelash curlers, tweezers, and makeup brushes.
Alaffia is a beauty company started in 2003 by Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Rose Hyde in Washington state. Alaffia offers a variety of soaps, shampoos, moisturizers, among other body care products. One of my favorite Alaffia products is their African Black Soap enhanced with charcoal. It works great to keep psoriasis and acne breakouts at bay, while also keeping my skin soft and smooth. Alaffia also has a line of children’s lotions, shampoos, and bubble bath.
Not only does this company provide great, natural products, it also gives back to Tchala’s native West Africa. Started in the mid-2000s, the Alaffia Foundation has funded almost 6,000 safe births, built 15 schools, planted over 93,000 trees, and has donated over 28,000 pairs of eyeglasses. On the Alaffia website, shoppers can make donations of any size to any of the aforementioned charities. Alaffia has also created almost 14,000 jobs in Togo, West Africa, 10,000 of which are women who create shea butter and African black soap. Though it is a beauty company, Alaffia also sells small purses, pillow cases, and aprons in its “Queen Alaffia” line. Each piece is uniquely handcrafted by a Togolese woman. Check out Alaffia’s website to buy the aforementioned products and much more. You can also find Alaffia products at a range of retailers including Whole Foods Market, Target, and Walmart.
Freshman Vintage is a vintage shop located in Pittsburgh. Their website touts that all of their pieces are specially curated from the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. Freshman Vintage sells a variety of vintage basketball jerseys, Pittsburgh sports sweatshirts, and baseball caps. They have both a brick-and-mortar store located at 126 East 8th Street in Homestead and an online store that ships internationally. The store is open from Monday through Thursday by appointment only and Friday and Saturday from noon to 7 pm. To set up an appointment, contact Freshman Vintage at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also very active on their Instagram and Facebook pages and post new arrivals weekly.
Blakbird Jewelry is a Pittsburgh-based jewelry company started by Selima Dawson in 2010, with a redesign in 2018. All of Dawson’s pieces are made of lightweight aluminium and brass and are inspired by the Corvid family of birds. The pieces are also based around Blakbird Jewelry’s mission statement of “Blakbird Jewelry is not a bird, or a business, but a vehicle.” All of the pieces on their website are quite inexpensive, with their classy earrings averaging about $40 and their chunky bangle costing $120. Check out their website to see more items and follow them on Instagram for information on sales promotions and new arrivals.
Kiya Tomlin Fashions
Kiya Tomlin Fashions is a clothing brand and store started by Kiya Tomlin in 2014. Tomlin’s brand is nationally known and has been mentioned in the Oprah Magazine and People Magazine’s Style Watch. Each of Tomlin’s pieces is handcrafted to be both glamorous and comfortable. Tomlin captures Pittsburgh’s love for sports in her Gameday line. This has pieces perfect for lounging on the couch watching the game, such as the Game Day Onesie, as well as looking chic at Heinz Field, such as the Game Day Poncho. Tomlin also sells dresses, skirts, and shirts all inspired to give a classy look, yet maintain the comfort of jersey material. Check out Kiya Tomlin’s website to shop her products or visit her store located on 388 Butler Street in Pittsburgh.
Knotzland is a line of unique, environmentally conscious bow ties founded by Nisha Blackwell in 2014. She was inspired by the thousands of pounds of textile waste that ends up polluting landfills every year, many of which are synthetic and do not break down. Within only 7 years of opening, Knotzland has saved almost 3,000 pounds of textiles from being dumped in the landfill. Knotzland’s bow ties come in all colors and prints and are all handmade right in Pittsburgh. In the pandemic, Knotzland has begun to make masks, as well as mask and bow tie bundles. Check out their website to browse their products or visit their showroom located at 303 South Trenton Avenue in Wilkinsburg.
Cakery Square is a Pittsburgh-based bakery started by former Pittsburgh Steeler, Wes Lyons, and Amber Greene. Not only does Cakery Square provide delicious cakes, cupcakes, and other sweets, but they also give back to the community. Their mission is to help underprivileged children in the Pittsburgh area and give them the skills to be successful adults. Cakery Square sponsors decorating parties in which guests are taught how to decorate a small cake as well as school programs in which students help decorate and bake cupcakes. Visit Cakery Square’s website to learn more about them or visit their store located at 15 East Bridge Street in Homestead. Cakery Square delivery is also available on Postmates.
Uncle Jammy’s Hot Sauce
Uncle Jammy’s is a line of sauces created by Jamal Etienne-Harringon in the summer of 2010. Each of Uncle Jammy’s sauces is comically named, such as “Your Arrogance Amuses me”, “Hooray for IPA”, and their classic “Area 51.” A tropical honey-mustard sauce called “Funkalicious” is coming soon to Uncle Jammy’s line of sauces. Along with sauces, Uncle Jammy’s also sells dry rubs for barbeque and all-purpose seasoning. Check out Uncle Jammy’s website to see more products or you can find them in most Pittsburgh area Market Districts, Whole Foods Markets, as well as on the menu at a couple Fox’s Pizza locations around Pittsburgh.
Happy Day Dessert Factory
Happy Day Dessert Factory is an ice cream and dessert shop started by 20-year old Galen Moorer Jr. This is a brand new shop and was opened in mid-2020 amidst the pandemic. Per its name, all of the shop’s products display their cheery logo of a bright yellow ice cream cone with a wide smile. On a daily basis, the shop has 12 flavors of ice cream such as birthday cake and mocha fudge pie. They also offer several flavors of dairy-free water ice, as well as ice cream cakes and cookies. Happy Day Dessert Factory offers catering and also uses its physical location as a party venue. Check out their website for more information or visit their shop at 306A Western Avenue on the North Side.
Emmanuelle Creations is a ceramic dinnerware and homeware line designed and created by Harrisburg native Emmanuelle Wambach. Inspired by her mother’s love of flowers, each piece is handcrafted to reflect the beauty and fragility of flowers. Wambach’s “Lace Works” collection features mugs, plates, and platters all featuring an intricate lace design on them. Emmanuelle Creations offers seasonal pieces too, such as their Pennsylvania state-shaped Christmas Ornaments. One of the most beautiful pieces on the website is a vase with vines creeping up the sides, adorned with 3D blueberries. Emmanuelle Creations gives consumers the option to customize their order with different clay types, patterns, and glazes. Check out their website for more information.
Along with the above list of businesses, check out Pittsburgh’s first black business directory on Cocoapreneur to find more small black-owned businesses!
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