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This past year, we saw the entire world ablaze with passionate support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We also saw a record number of Women of Color and LGBTQ+ candidates running for public office during national and local elections. Plus, it’s Black History Month, and what’s a better way to celebrate than supporting Black-, Indigenous-, and People of Color (BIPOC) owned businesses?
Besides giving us great products, these BIPOC-owned businesses support local vendors, promote sustainable farming practices, and give back to their communities. These business owners went out of their way to create mentorship programs, podcasts, book clubs, and many more to engage with their communities in a positive way — a true feat when you’re also launching a business from the ground up.
Here are 7 BIPOC-owned businesses you need to know about right now:
Partake makes scrumptious cookies, snack packs and baking mixes without peanuts, eggs, dairy, soy, tree nuts, artificial flavors, GMOs and preservatives. When Denise Woodward started her business, she had her daughter, Vivenne, in mind. Having been diagnosed with multiple food allergies, Vivienne couldn’t eat most of the snacks on the market for kids. Woodward left her corporate job, threw herself into developing the type of snacks that would be safe for Vivienne to eat, and thus — Partake was born.
As a Black She-EO and founder, Woodward goes out of her way to share her knowledge with other Black female entrepreneurs through her mentorship program. She also started a Food Equality Initiative that serves allergen-free food to communities in need.
Founded by artist and entrepreneur Keba Konte in 2014, Red Bay Coffee Roasters is proudly serving a diverse community in an industry that sorely lacks diversity. Konte’s team prides themselves on hiring and serving people of color, women, the formerly incarcerated, and people with disabilities. Shop their selection of sustainably harvested coffee beans, like the Coltrane. Named after legendary saxophonist, John Coltrane, this roast features smooth notes of black grape, dark chocolate and cane sugar. All of their selections can be traced to local farms all over the world. Coltrane happens to hail from the region of Pendamo, Cauca, Colombia.
Konte also hosts a popular podcast called “Coffee Dojo,” a nickname bestowed upon himself after dedicating his life to entrepreneurship and the craft of coffee roasting. He invites fellow creatives and entrepreneurs on the podcast to talk about the role of community organizing in art.
Reparations Club's IRL space in Los Angeles is open and cozy — a home for radical people committed to dismantling oppressive systems in our country, one book at a time. Reparations Club hosts an online monthly book discussion called Noname’s Book Club, highlighting two books written by people of color. They also send copies of their monthly book club picks to incarcerated community members. While they’re closed for in-person shopping, you can order books through their online shop or for curbside pickup.
If you’re looking for books to increase your racial awareness, head to Reparations Club. Instead of buying your books from Amazon, spend a few extra bucks to support a local, Black-owned, Woman-owned business with exceptional customer service.
With an initial humble offering of their signature Organic Turmeric Latte Blend, Golde started in founder Trinity Mouzon Wofford’s apartment in Brooklyn, New York when she was 23. Now 25, her business has evolved into a super successful wellness brand, offering supplements, health foods and skincare products. She’s leveraged partnerships with Sephora, Target, Urban Outfitters and The Wing, while consistently selling out on their own website.
Passionate about spreading her entrepreneurial tips and tricks to fellow BIPOC business owners, Mouzon Wofford started an business-centric content series called #office_hrs where she shares everything she knows about building a sustainable business model.
In the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s native language Patwin, the word ‘Séka’ means ‘blue’ — a name that honors the blue hills overlooking the Nation’s land in Northern California’s Capay Valley. The Yocha Dehe Tribe has been tending to their 22,000+ acres of diverse farmland for thousands of years, delivering some of the highest quality olive oils, honeys, nuts, meats and other food products. They also work to integrate the newest technology to make the farms as sustainable as possible.
Major upgrade: when you grow olives of this caliber, you begin to describe olive oils like fine wines. Unlike mass-produced olive oils, Séka Hills prides themselves on harvesting and milling their olives as soon as possible to preserve as much of their complexity and freshness as possible. Their 2020 harvest of Picual olives were bottled into their signature Picual Olive Oil, which has a delicate tomato leaf aroma with flavors of green almond and herbs.
In 2015, YouTube influencer Deepica Mutyala’s hack for color-correcting dark circles under the eyes went viral. Her trick was simple: she lightly dabbed red lipstick under the eye before applying concealer to neutralize dark olive undertones. What started as a simple hack turned into a larger conversation about how the beauty industry fails to meet the needs of people with a darker skin tone.
In 2018, Mutyala began Live Tinted, a digital community that held space for conversations about culture and beauty. Soon, they began selling their own products, starting with the Huestick — an all-in-one color corrector that can also be used as blush, lipstick or eyeshadow in a pinch. Fans have raved about the way the product glides smoothly onto the skin without tugging while making such a noticeable difference in the overall look.
If you’ve always thought the words “color-correcting” needed to be left to beauty experts working backstage at Fashion Week, this product is for you. It’s insanely easy to use, plus they’re vegan, hypoallergenic and cruelty-free.
Using sterling silver and 18k gold, Paola Vilas creates undeniably feminine with a luxurious edge. Each piece is hand-crafted by production sources in her hometown of Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Since starting her brand in 2016, Vilas’ work has been featured in Brazilian publications of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, plus noteworthy features in Refinery29 and Byrdie.
Vilas’ Germaine Earrings, pictured above, were named after a town in France that uses the eye design as a protective symbol. Vilas designed the piece with the intention of connecting to spirituality and protecting feminine energy. These earrings are working overtime, both as the perfect statement piece to add to any outfit, but also a beautiful protective symbol.
Shop The Edit
Whether you’re shopping for a one-stick-wonder from Tinted for enhancing your regular makeup routine, trying to learn something new about social justice from Reparations Club, or buying artisanal food from an Indigenous brand like Seka Hills, we’ve got you covered. Supporting these 7 brands is an easy way to shop for great products while supporting causes that you believe in.