Before this year, my support for women-owned small businesses was mediocre at best. Word-of-mouth was the easy part. Continuing to buy products after an initial test-drive is where I fell short. As a self-proclaimed (and since reformed) product junkie, I’d stumble upon something on Instagram or through a random Google search, buy it, love it, and forget to reorder because I had already moved onto something else. There are more than a few ways to support a small business, but consistently spending your hard-earned coins on their product(s) is the most effective.
The pandemic has done considerable damage to businesses in general, with women—and Black women in particular—suffering the most devastating losses. A lot of say we’re committed to economic empowerment but rarely take our support beyond our Instagram pages. National Women’s Small Business Month is an opportunity to keep it real and put your money where your mouth is. Women-owned small businesses aren’t hard to find—they’re in the Target aisle (like The Honey Pot Co.), in your friends’ Instagram stories, and in your local neighborhood. The only challenge is deciding what to invest in, especially if you’re on a tight budget and working on your own passion project.
This list of carefully-curated hidden gems isn’t the be-all and end-all of women-owned small businesses, but it’s a place to start. From home decor to brand consulting and more, here are 10 standout brands you’ll have trouble keeping to yourself.
Mattie is a living, breathing influencer dictionary. A successful influencer in her own right, the BlogHer speaker teaches up-and-comers how to do leverage their brands and elevate their profile with her tried-and-true tactics.
I discovered this brand while redecorating my apartment earlier this year and fell in love with Roachele Negron’s handmade wall hangings. If your aesthetic leans heavily on positive reinforcement, you’ll want everything from her product range which includes pennants, pins, bookmarks and more.
This SHE Media Partner Network member is a details-obsessed strategist that specializes in helping all kinds of brands reach their fullest potential and increase profit. With programs as simple as a strategy session and as expansive as a “Brand360 Accelerator,” Williams truly does it all.
A work-from-home station simply isn’t good without a couple of smell-goods in the mix. Although I love incense and burning palo santo, candles are my go-to and this body care brand makes one of my absolute favorites—a luxurious, zero-waste container that houses a myriad of mesmerizing scents.
SHE Media Partner Network member Kamelia Britton, also known as “The Hackerette,” was inspired by her own personal pivot from nurse to full-time blogger to create a coaching business for entrepreneurs who want to upgrade their Instagram Business skills.
Naturalistas (myself included) rejoiced when O.G. YouTuber Whitney White, also known as Naptural85, launched Melanin Haircare. I have multiple friends who swear by the Multi-Use Softening Leave-In Conditioner—watch any of Whitney’s tutorials and you’ll probably want to try everything.
From her free resource library to her many online courses and consulting opportunities, Lozano’s website is a one-stop-shop for getting more eyes on your brand and more money in your bank account.
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📚 We Brought a Bookstore to the Bronx and We're Going to Keep It "Lit"! CliffsNotes: -We’re doing our part to keep you and our BXsellers safe from The Rona and #flattenthecurve. Our shop is closed for sipping and browsing until further notice. -I'm an entrepreneur and used to not getting paid, lol, but I need your support more than ever to continue payroll for our BXsellers and to help us weather the storm. In between TikTok challenges, shop your essentials (books & audiobooks) with us online! LINKS IN BIO. -Please stay home. The sooner we comply, the sooner "we outside". 📚 Dearest Bookboos, Everything's trash, but it's okay. We're from The Bronx; and if I had to bet on any community to thrive under uncertainty with limited resources… welp 🤷🏽♀️, I'm just saying. All half-jokes (my coping mechanism) aside, The Rona has affected us all personally and professionally in various degrees, and I hope this finds you and your loved ones in good health and relatively good spirits. I've put out most of the fires ignited by our temporary closure and now I'm here to reconfirm our commitment to you. In the 10 months since our opening, we've collectively put our borough on the literary map through our events, partnerships, and day-to-day connections. We are in a position to survive this and look forward to returning stronger than ever. If you keep up with my interviews, you know that digital media production was already on the horizon for us as a way to stay innovative and impact diversity in the greater literary landscape. We're taking this opportunity to ramp up those efforts as well as develop projects (that I over-ambitiously thought we'd launch in our first year) like @kiddielitr programming, indie author love, poetry slams, book clubs… and yes, CAFECITO! For me personally, I'll finally get around to staying off the ankle I sprained last month and do the thing that business stole from me: READ :) We look forward to staying creatively connected with you while our doors are closed. Sincerely Yerrrs, @1st.noelle
In my quest to start ordering books from small businesses, I discovered The Lit Bar, a Bronx-based bookstore owned by Noëlle Santos. The curated lists are truly one-of-a-kind and all online purchases are handled through Bookshop, an online retailer that directly benefits independent and locally-owned bookstores.
The “TrapAerobics” craze begins and ends here—a now digital destination for fitness with flavor and in lieu of the pandemic, group therapy sessions.
This online concept shop is made for and by Black people. In addition to books, you’ll find apparel, accessories and audiobooks—all of which are just waiting to be shown off on your Instagram feed.
For even more small business recommendations, make sure you’re registered for BlogHer Biz, a month-long workshop series dedicated to educating and inspiring women entrepreneurs during National Women’s Small Business Month.