Black History Month 2021: 7 Black-owned Retailers To Support This Month (And Always)

Corinne Watson

Reading Time: 10 minutes

February is Black History Month: a time to welcome and celebrate Black American culture. While we are still not able to come together in-person to applaud Black excellence and accomplishments, there are plenty of other ways to support. 

At Postscript, we are obsessed with our customers. 

  • We have a Slack channel dedicated to sharing our favorite stores with each other. 
  • We have a weekly “customer share” where a team member presents a Postscript brand who is doing something neat with SMS. 
  • We give our employees extra money strictly to spend at customer stores. 

We are also big believers in practicing what we preach. Our culture + ethics constantly push us to create a more inclusive environment. In this age of continued unrest and unfairness towards Black people, we want to highlight some of our team’s favorite Black-owned ecommerce businesses who are using the Postscript platform to encourage reader support. 

1. Eu’Genia Shea & Mother’s Shea

Eu’Genia Shea & Mother’s Shea sells Ghanaian shea butter products. 

Founder Spotlight

Naa-Sakle Akuete

CEO and Founder

Tell me a little bit about Eu’Genia Shea & Mother’s Shea.

In Greek, the words Eu-Genia (you-geh-knee-ah”) means the origin of goodness. Shea butter is Nature’s Wonderbalm. Eu’Genia Shea is a family-run social enterprise dedicated to all-natural premium shea butter moisturizers.

My mom was born to a wonderful Ghanaian midwife named Comfort (also aptly known as Grandma Sunshine). By the year, 2000, Mom was making use of Grandma Sunshine’s best-kept midwifery secret – raw, unrefined Ghanaian shea butter. With the help of thousands of sustainably paid and organically trained pickers, Mom grew her bulk shea butter business, selling shea butter by the ton to brands and distributors. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I decided life was too short to not spend our days together. We’re using her past experience as the President of the Global Shea Alliance to provide consumers with the best shea around. 

The more shea butter the better, but not all shea is created equally. Our high concentration and quality can help you reap all the benefits of nature’s wonderbalm.

What does being a Black-owned business mean to you?

I am black. I am African. I am American. I am also a business owner, so our company and its products are a reflection of all parts of me. Though I’m essentially a one woman show at the moment, all our partnership decisions rely on filling gaps to my knowledge base, bringing in relevant expertise, and reflecting our consumer base; all of that depends on diversity in all of its facets.

What is your favorite Eu’Genia Shea or Mother’s Shea product? 

Our Dermatological Formula in 12oz.

2. DI’YANU

D’IYANU (dee-ya-nu) is a ready-to-wear bold print clothing line offering quality, trendy African inspired fashion at affordable prices.

Founder Spotlight

Addie Elabor

CEO and Founder

Tell me a little bit about DI’YANU.

I launched D’IYANU in Jan 2014 in a quest to build a legacy and create a lifestyle brand that allowed myself and others to express ourselves and celebrate the African culture in a modern way. D’IYANU offers trendy, ready-to-wear African inspired clothing for men, women, and kids. 

Our mission is to be a force for good not only by empowering people through fashion, but also by giving back to our community through our various charitable donations. Since inception, we have grown to an 18 person team operating from our office/warehouse in Norristown, PA which is outside Philly.

What does being a Black-owned business mean to you?

Being a black-owned business gives us a sense of pride and we take the opportunity to serve our customers very seriously. Though our products are for anyone who is interested in celebrating the African culture, we primarily serve the black community so our marketing is tailored to represent that community. Our staff is pretty diverse.

What is your favorite DI’YANU product? 

We have so many great products! I particularly love our Safina Pants which come in several prints and are super comfortable since they’re made with a stretch woven fabric which is unique to our brand.

How does DI’YANU use SMS marketing? 

We use SMS marketing to increase overall revenue and retain repeat customers. SMS currently accounts for around 10% of overall sales. We use it for promotional campaigns along with some SMS flows such as abandoned cart.

What are you excited about for 2021?

We are excited about our upcoming Spring and Summer collections and super excited to launch our Brand Ambassador program in March.

3. LegendaryRootz

Created due to a need for representation and a safe space for the black community, LegendaryRootz’s purpose is to reclaim black history and celebrate black culture through powerful apparel and accessories.

Founder Spotlight

Raven Gibson

Founder

Tell me a little bit about LegendaryRootz. 

I created LegendaryRootz to empower, liberate, and uplift Black Women worldwide. We are the one-stop shop for all things celebrating Black Women culture featuring tees, crewnecks, hoodies, and even floor mats! I remember growing up seeing Black paintings on the wall and I love being able to create that same sacred space with my designs! 

When I first started the brand, I wanted to create a safe space where I could express my experiences and journey growing into a Black Woman. What I did not expect was that I would find so many other Black Women around the world who are able to relate to that experience!

What does being a Black-owned business mean to you?

I love being Black. I love being able to serve and share my art with the Black community. Being a Black owned business means having the ability to create a legacy for future generations to come. 

However, diversity is a sort of funny word to me. When it comes to uplifting Black brands and creatives, it seems to only be an objective during major holidays or gut wrenching injustices. I am Black everyday and I would love for my outside world to reflect that. America needs to do a better job; whether that’s seeing Black Women who look like me while I scroll for a show to watch on Netflix or creating truly safe spaces for Black Women in the corporate world. 

Being a Black-owned business means creating those opportunities in spite of the 400-year obstacles in front of me. I am grateful for all of those who have supported the Legendary Rootz vision and have allowed for us to grow into such an amazing community!

What is your favorite LegendaryRootz product?

Our Protect All Black Girls Tee.

How do you use SMS marketing for your store?

I use SMS marketing to connect with current supporters and future supporters! For the first day of Black History Month, I sent out an encouraging message that stated ‘Reminder Of The Day. You are capable of extraordinary things. Don’t you ever forget that!’ That message was on my heart and I did not imagine the amazing response we would get from it.

What are you excited about for this year?

I am releasing my first Black Art collection February 6, 2021 that celebrates the beautiful shades of Black Women. 

I am also excited about stepping into the tech industry with some pretty innovative ideas I’ve been working on for a few years!

4. Cee Cee’s Closet NYC

Founder Spotlight

Uchenna and Chioma Ngwudo

Founders

Tell me a little bit about Cee Cee’s Closet. 

Cee Cee’s Closet NYC is a contemporary women’s fashion brand that specializes in luxury protective styling options for women. Cee Cee’s Closet NYC began because we wanted to make high-quality, African-made, fashionable clothes and accessories easily accessible to people around the world.

What does being a Black-owned business mean to you?

Being a Black-owned business allows us to tell rich stories about Black culture through our photos, videos, and marketing. Each campaign gives us an opportunity to spotlight a culture from the vast African diaspora. Our audience appreciates this education and enjoys celebrating the diversity of the diaspora. 

As Black women, we also understand our responsibility to highlight a wide range of ways Black women can be beautiful. It’s important to us that young Black girls feel represented in our marketing and see themselves in our marketing.

What is your favorite Cee Cee’s Closet product?

Right now, we love our BLM earrings and our caftans.

How does Cee Cee’s Closet use SMS marketing?

We use SMS marketing to share new releases, promotions, and updates about our company.

What are you excited about for this year?

We’re excited about our continued growth with SMS marketing. Postscript has been an important partner in helping us build relationships with our customers and retain website visitors’ information.

5. JACQ’s

Founder Spotlight

Barbara Jacques

CEO & Founder

Tell me a little bit about JACQ’s.

JACQ’S is the most interesting vegan and sustainable skincare brand created for women of color.

What does being a Black-owned business mean to you?

As a Black-owned business owner, I understand our customers’ needs and their problems because I too share the same needs and problems. The truth is, in a market composed of many conscious green beauty brands, there is a lack of inclusion and diversity. JACQ’S is creating a new lane for the woman who wants to achieve beautiful, healthy skin while honoring and embracing their individual beauty. I believe women of color deserve clean products that are fun, vegan, and sustainable.

What is your JACQ’s product? 

My favorite JACQ’S product includes our Hibiscus & Carrot Beauty Bar. It’s a delicious hand-crafted soap bar that produces the most soft bubbles and leaves your face feeling soft and hydrated.

What are you excited about for this year?

I’m excited for any and all the opportunities warranted to Black-owned brands. I am excited for the possibility to showcase and sell on retail shelves. I am excited for the grants available to small Black-owned brands.

6. Africa On My Back

Founder Spotlight

Shanette Prince

Owner

Tell me a little bit about Africa On My Back. 

Africa On My Back is a socially conscious fashion brand that provides study abroad opportunities for Brilliant Black Boys while simultaneously supporting small businesses in Ghana through the sale of handcrafted, African-print backpacks. 

I founded Africa On My Back in 2016 following my first visit to the continent. Enlisting my two sons, Isaiah and Cameron, as partners, I began Africa On My Back to bring authentic African products to the diaspora and rest of the world. 

Our social impact mission is to provide study abroad opportunities for Brilliant Black Boys, an initiative that seeks to empower African-American young men through international study abroad opportunities. We took our first group of 14 people to Ghana in March of 2020. 

What I like most about the company is the opportunity to bring people together based on our product. Customers will see each other in airports and at events and will instantly recognize the product and start a conversation.

What does being a Black-owned business mean to you? 

Being a Black-owned business means having the ability to embody the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.

What is your favorite Africa On My Back product?

My favorite product varies from day to day depending on what I am doing and where I am going. If I am traveling, it’s definitely the backpack and face mask. If I’m out on the town – I love to wear our fringe earrings and carry a wristlet. If I have meetings – I’m using a laptop bag or sleeve. We just added fans and I cannot wait to use them when it warms up.

How does Africa On My Back use SMS marketing? 

We use SMS marketing to share updates, sales and to stay in contact with our customers weekly.

What are you excited about for this year?

I am excited about our new warehouse space that is large enough to house inventory and a fulfillment team. We are finally adding lunch bags, and diaper bags to our product selection.

7. Yummy Extensions

Founder Spotlight

Yummie O

CEO/Founder

Tell me a little bit about Yummy Extensions. 

Yummy Extensions is a luxury brand that specializes in producing exceptional beauty products and tools to consumers all over the world. This company started from a vision, very little savings, and a calling to impact the beauty industry and leave a legacy. I initially started Yummy Extensions as a second stream of incoming while working in corporate America. I love our customers and company culture and our mission to provide exceptional products and tools that help to enhance the natural beauty of our customers while providing the most compelling shopping experience possible.

What does being a Black-owned business mean to you?

Owning a business is a privilege in which you can leave a legacy, do what you love, and experience the power of your very own ideas manifest from their unique infancy. It has always been a dream of mine to provide opportunities for woman of color in corporate America, where many have been denied the opportunity. In owning my own business I have developed a brand where women are able to enhance not only their natural beauty, but confidence in their day-to-day life. Owning a business means freedom and responsibility. It is the freedom to create, manifest, and thrive with the responsibility of everything that comes with it. It is very important to me to provide opportunities to women of color all over the world and it is displayed in our operations, marketing, and hiring as we pride ourselves in also being an equal opportunity employer.

What is your favorite Yummy Extensions product?

Raw Cambodian Natural Wave and Raw LAO Wavy.

How does Yummy Extensions use SMS marketing?

Abandoned cart automation, to send campaigns, and to drive traffic to retail stores.

What are you most excited about for 2021?

New products launching and new acquisitions.

What Postscript is doing during Black History Month 2021

As part of our workplace benefits, Postscript employees receive a $100 stipend to spend at customer stores every month. This month, that stipend is doubled, and employees are encouraged to spend at Black-owned businesses. 

Other things to read: lists of Black-owned businesses, educational resources, and more

This list of retailers is admittedly tiny. To discover more brands to support, I encourage you to take the time to browse through the Empowered by Shopify project, this fantastic list of 50 black-owned ecommerce businesses by Privy, or this Google Sheet.  

This month is about more than just putting money towards Black-owned businesses. In order to be an effective ally, you should get educated about Black History Month, the broader civil rights movement, and other important topics. Here are some links to start:

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Corinne Watson

Corinne is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Postscript. After working at an ecommerce brand straight out of college, Corinne made the roundabout journey to leading content at BigCommerce, afterwards joining the Postscript team in March of 2020. When she's not researching and writing about all-things-ecommerce, she's exploring Austin, enjoying time with her 4-month old, and not waiting for the dough to chill before putting it in the oven. Follow her on Twitter at @corinnejuliette.