Elevating Black Entrepreneurs: 10 Black-Owned Shops You Can Support Now and Always
Discover black-owned brands, and the brilliant minds behind them, who transformed passion projects into thriving business ventures.
1. Fe Noel
Founder, CEO, and self-made design extraordinaire, Felisha Noel commemorates her Grenadian heritage with a luxury womenswear brand of the same name. Noel is a first-generation American with family roots in Grenada. The self-taught designer turned business owner first made the runway in 2015 after joining prestigious design agency Harlem’s Fashion Row. Noel’s conceptual eye for design, Grenadian passion, and her family’s entrepreneurial influence has been integral in shaping her blossoming career. Noel’s gift has even captured the attention of public icons. She contributed to the first Nike shoe designed entirely by women as part of the Lebron James franchise, which sold out in minutes. In 2019, Michelle Obama showed support for the emerging designer during a book tour, wearing a bright orange ensemble that positively shook the internet. Aside from designing, Noel enjoys emboldening young girls who are passionate about entrepreneurship through her Fe Noel Foundation.
Pictured: Fe Noel founder Felisha Noel
2. Tackussanu Senegal
Friends and Co-Founders Jasz Dio and Cheikh Biaye bonded over their shared love of urban and local sustainable pieces crafted by artisan women in rural Senegal. Jasz, a Bronx native, fell in love with Senegalese culture as friends and family visited her in New York bearing gifts from their West African home country. Biaye, who was born and raised in Senegal, met Jasz after moving to the U.S. in 2016. Shortly thereafter, the buds turned business partner duo decided to launch a company selling traditional woven baskets with a focus on supporting female artisans. In 2019, their shared entrepreneurial and female empowerment dreams became a reality with the opening of Tackussanu Senegal in Harlem. The signature hand-made pieces have been carried by major retailers online and in-store including Bloomingdales, Madewell, and others. You can find their collection online with partnering merchants or at in-person pop-ups across the country.
Pictured: Tackussanu Senegal founders Jasz Dio and Cheikh Biaye
Business prodigy, inclusion advocate, and 24-year-old millionaire Jordan Bentley built Hypland from scratch at the precocious age of 14. In the span of ten years, Bentley transformed a school side hustle into a global label. From selling t-shirts out of the trunk of his mom’s car in Los Angeles to being mentored by the late international fashion giant Virgil Abloh (the first Black designer at the forefront of Louis Vuitton and French men’s fashion) to making his first million by junior year in college, Hypland’s explosive success is proof of Bentley’s unbending ambition and design aesthetic. The brand’s signature amalgamation of anime and multicultural streetwear represents individuality, and consciously subverts short-lived fads. Bentley’s design pursuits even include collaborations with brands loved by the masses, such as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Hello Kitty, Naruto, and more.
Pictured: Hypland founder Jordan Bentley
4. Yummy Extensions
Nigerian-American businesswoman and global CEO “Yummie O.” Okunfulure, has taken Yummy Extensions to new lengths since its start in 2012. But her career aspirations weren’t always rooted in beauty. After ten years as an IT professional, and mothering three daughters along the way, Yummie’s passion for curating an elegant line of natural hair products evolved into a full-blown operation. With locations in Brooklyn and Dallas, Yummy’s success and storefront expansion are undoubtedly indicative of Yummie’s belief in herself — even receiving praise in Allure, Essence, among other notable publications. When she’s not busy trailblazing the hair supply space, Ebony also hosts coaching sessions with budding entrepreneurs.
Pictured: Yummy Extensions founder Yummie O. Okunfulure
5. Top Dawg Entertainment
Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, has always had a finger on the pulse of fresh talent, especially those with progressive approaches to the crafts of R&B, hip hop, and rap. In 2004, Tiffith founded his namesake independent record label for eclectic, genre-bending artists to flourish their careers. After building an impressive roster of up-and-comers, Tiffith helped to catapult promising visionaries into household names including none other than Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, SZA, Isaiah Rashad, and other larger than life artists. It’s no question that Top Dawg Entertainment has made a historical impact in producing records that will stand the test of time and influence future artists.
6. Spencer Badu
As fashion embraces the emancipation of non-binary self-expression, designer and CEO Spencer Badu is steadfastly at the heels of expanding inclusive apparel. Badu founded his eponymic Toronto-based label in 2015 when he was only a freshman in college, driven by a zeal for art and Toronto-inspired fashion. The trademark ultra-modern label breaks barriers, as Badu creates by his own rules. He throws traditional gender distinctions out the window, making streetwear fluid for a postgender world with androgynous silhouettes and color stories. While Badu’s approach to design is minimalist, his collection makes for bold, next-generation statements that resonate with the movement to challenge heteronormative constructs.
PiperWai likes their hygiene products how they like Earth: non-toxic. From its humble beginnings inside a kitchen to the multi-million viewer stage of Shark Tank, to going gangbusters and garnering a global following, PiperWai is moving the needle in environmentally conscious hygiene products. In 2014, Sarah Ribner co-founded PiperWai after the company formulated its first proprietary PiperWai Natural Deodorant formula. Ever since then, Ribner has doubled down on ways to safely create personal care that does the body and planet good. Every PiperWai product is cruelty-free, vegan, and always free of harmful ingredients. In 2021, PiperWai ditched traditional plastic packaging for Recycled Ocean Plastic in an effort to minimize their carbon footprint and declutter ocean waste.
Pictured: PiperWai founder Sarah Ribner
8. Swank A Posh Boutique
When business savviness runs in a family, odds are the entrepreneurial spirit will carry on for generations. And CEO and Founder of Swank A Posh Ebony Shaw aka Ebony Swank is no exception. Entrepreneurialism is practically in Ebony’s DNA thanks to her lineage of self-starter women. Originally established in the heart of Detroit back in 2009, Swank A Posh Boutique currently has two locations, a thriving e-commerce site, and more than half a million followers on social media. But it wasn’t a straight line to success. Like most small business owners, Ebony had to overcome growing pains and learning curves. Even so, the thriving business that stands today is a testament to Ebony’s emboldening “be your own boss” attitude, industry acumen, and intrinsic drive to help women feel good in what they wear. From the acclaimed SuperGA jeans to a diverse range in sizing options, Swank A Posh is resolute on personalizing stylish and comfortable clothing for everybody, budget, and lifestyle.
Pictured: Swank A Posh founder Ebony Shaw
9. Veer Active
A force for positive change and cultural inclusivity, Veer Active is the Canadian-based activewear brainchild of CEO and Co-Founder Yves Kibambe, as well as his brother and cousin. Originally from The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yves has a deep appreciation for African heritage and its artistic symbolism, which he channels into the statement-making performance wear and athleisure. Despite not having a formal background in fashion, Yves and his family successfully cultivated a brand that both supports healthy lifestyles and captures the stunning essence of African artistry. Together, he and his family are globalizing African prints that inspire and celebrate their ancestral homeland.
10. 8586 eightyfiveightysix
Owner and millennial, Jeremy Moore, is fusing nostalgia and retro style with his gender-neutral boutique 8586 eightyfiveightysix. After ten years in the apparel industry, and just before the 90s fashion renaissance, Moore ideated a shopping experience the space lacked: a one-stop-shop of labels and aesthetics curated specifically with his generation in mind. What began as a niche e-commerce site, grew into a downtown Los Angeles boutique with a collection of boho pieces, streetwear, and beloved 90s brands that go beyond the gender binary. In fact, Moore has expanded the shop’s designer collection to include contemporary brands as well as a proprietary 8586 eightyfiveightysix product line.