Features + The Range

The Range: Seven Black-Owned Brands That I Love

This week, I am participating in the #aplifymelanatedvoices campaign on Instagram.  So I thought I would share some of the black-owned brands and retailers that I love.  Please feel free to leave any black- or minority-owned retailers and brands you shop in the comments.

Lettie Gooch is a longtime D.C. retailer that has a wonderfully curated selection of fashion and lifestyle goods.  If you live in D.C., it is a very dangerous store to just pop into because you’re going to leave with something.  It is one of my favorite places to find fun gifts for people.  Definitely check out this red floral blouse, her selection of face masks, and this gorgeous caftan tunic.

Gregory Sylvia sells clothing, accessories, and handbags from a home base in North Carolina.  The handbags are fabulous.  Their Cameron Satchel has a classic look in a medium size.  Their Hillis Satchel is a stylish, slouchy bag that blends from work to weekend.  And if you’re looking for something that is incredibly sleek and perfect for the office, the red Parklane bag is it.

Briogeo is an incredible beauty brand that creates clean haircare products.  The founder, Nancy Twine, learned how to make natural beauty products from her grandmother and turned that knowledge into Briogeo.

I received their Don’t Despair, Repair! conditioner and Scalp Revival in last month’s Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift.  The scalp treatment is the only one I’ve ever used that doesn’t leave a residue on my hair, but leaves things feeling fresh.  And the conditioner is really nice on my fried, heat-treated ends.

Jungalow is the creation of Justina Blakeney.  The word comes from the mix of jungle and bungalow because Justina loves plants and wild decor.

If you love plants too, she makes wonderful planters.  She also has a line of rugs for Loloi that are just gorgeous.  If you love color, or you just need a bit of happy in your home, her decor is always bright and joyful.  I especially love the bright colors in this art print.

Pat McGrath Labs makes some of the most luxurious beauty products on the market.  If you’re searching for heavily pigmented eyeshadows, these are them.  I have her Astral Quad Palette in Iconic, and the gold in it is the perfect thing for when you want to amp up a fresh face makeup look.

Sephora mostly carries her palettes and shimmer shadows; if you want matte shadows, you can get them on the PML website.

linguaNigra was a recommendation from a friend who has such effusive praise for the etched bangles at left that I may have to buy one myself.  Here’s part of the e-mail she sent me: “I received an LN bangle from my sister as a gift.  I bought another one for myself.  My husband bought me one.  The deeper the stack gets, the more I love them.”  I also included these lace agate drop earrings that are so my style.

I learned about the Honey Pot Company from the Target commercial for their feminine care line.  The Honey Pot makes a line of natural, Earth-based products to cleanse, protect and balance your vaginal health.  And since you can buy their products on Amazon and at Target and Walgreens, it’s easy to make the switch.

This may be a total overshare, but I stopped using chemical-based products to treat yeast infections, and the Honey Pot’s boric acid suppositories work as well (or better) without the harsh chemicals.

{I used affiliate links when the brands I wanted to promote had them available, others don’t utilize affiliate marketing, so I may earn a commission for promoting the products that do}



  1. LESLIE Jeannene says:

    thank you for the lingua Nigra recommendation. Just bought a beautiful pair of earrings. Can’t wait for them to arrive.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  2. kate says:

    These are inspiring products all the way around and I thank you. But, that jewelry line in particular is calling my name. Thank you so very much for this today.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  3. Bo says:

    I love this post! I wanted to highlight two of my absolute favorites.

    Polished Concrete by Brittney Mayes. She has beautiful, handmade jewelry. I love wearing her pieces!
    Website: https://www.polishedconcreteshop.com/
    Instagram: @polishedconcrete_shop

    My friend Aaz owns the Melanin Beaker mug. It’s a really cool mug that is made from 100% borosilicate glass and has the melanin compound for the design front! Her product was featured in Essence Magazine, Oscars Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, and the Trumpet Awards.

    Website: https://www.themelaninmug.com/philosophy
    Instagram: @themelaninmug

    June 3, 2020/Reply
    • Shanghai says:

      Thanks for sharing polished concrete, Bo. I’ve been looking for jewelry. Instead of something generic from a big box store just picked up a few beautiful pieces from Polished Concrete and LinguaNigra!

      June 5, 2020/Reply
  4. kk says:

    Hi, Abra! How are you using the profits from the affiliate links in this post? How are you going to continue highlighting black-created and black-owned businesses in your future posts?

    June 3, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m planning to make a donation at the end of the week to EJI. Profits for the blog have been real low since Covid so I’m going to wait til I have final numbers and decide whether it can be a percentage of sales or it needs to be just a static number.

      And I’m figuring the second part out and open to suggestions.

      June 3, 2020/Reply
      • Lucy says:

        Thank you so much for this post and for your continued candor. Something that I would love to see is more products from Black-owned stores and brands incorporated into your regular weekly posts and then labeled as such (i.e. “this shirt is from xxx, a boutique based in DC owned by a Black woman”). That red floral shirt is to DIE for and while I love Ann Taylor/Nordstrom/Banana, it would be great to see pieces from small businesses and particularly small businesses owned by people of color generally incorporated into weekly posts.

        June 4, 2020/Reply
        • Belle says:

          I think that’s a great idea.

          June 4, 2020/Reply
          • LS says:

            I know I’m a few days late, but I shop almost exclusively from Small Businesses all of the time and can give suggestions for small, Black owned brands if that would be helpful, Abra. I think as a site admin you can see my email.

            June 7, 2020/Reply
    • firstgirl says:

      Love this post. I’m a long-time reader who is thinking about ways I can reduce my dependence on big name brands and start sending more of my dollars to independent businesses, including black-owned companies. I’d love to see more of those companies featured regularly.

      June 7, 2020/Reply
  5. Christine says:

    Oooh, those bangles….

    i LOVE that you’re doing this, Abra. As a longtime reader, and also a Black woman, it means a lot to me that you’re showing up. Your earlier post was an incredibly display of candor that was –perhaps this will sound odd– very comforting to read on a hard day. It’s difficult sometimes to know if what is happening is having an effect on anyone outside of our communities, so it’s uplifting and hope-inspiring to see that people are thinking and engaging deeply with what’s happening, and using their platforms to do so. Your peers will listen to you in a way that they will not listen to me. Your voice has a distinct impact.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  6. Elz says:

    Your Instagram was such a good source of information yesterday and introduced me to new voices and new groups. Thank you. And, thank you for this, It’s a great way to shop!

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  7. Allison says:

    Estee Laundry (@esteelaundry on IG), the anonymous beauty collective, has been posting and updating a great list of black-owned beauty and wellness brands, if anyone is looking for more!

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  8. Jules says:

    Another idea: My SO gave me for Christmas a tote/lunch box combo from MinkeeBlue, a black woman-owned business. It’s nylon and vegan leather, important to me as I don’t use leather, and it’s been great, very versatile, sturdy and attractive. He also gave his engineer daughter a backpack from this brand, she loves hers, too.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
    • Sarah says:

      Thanks for sharing this one! Oh my gosh the Ella tote looks amazing with the shoe compartment. If I’m ever allowed to go to the Hill for meetings again I’ll have to snag one!

      June 4, 2020/Reply
  9. ANdrea says:

    Thank you for the introduction to what are sure to become favorite businesses.

    And, oh my, those rugs are absolutely gorgeous!Off to measure my makeshift “home office” space so I can add in one of those beauties.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  10. Allison says:

    Love briogeo! Also thanks for the introduction to gregory sylvia, just got the prettiest bracelet, I’ve been looking for something like it for a while.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  11. CP says:

    Thanks for the introductions! I love bracelets and bought the hand etched bangle. It looks gorgeous and I can’t wait to see it in person.

    I started using the Honey Pot pads last year and absolutely love them. (Never was a fan of tampons.) The pads have essential oils that tingle a bit at first but are very refreshing, soothing, and help with cramping. The pads are also “clean” and don’t have any bad chemicals.

    June 3, 2020/Reply
  12. Jo says:

    If you’re in DC (or elsewhere shopping online), you can also check out HunnyBunny Boutique for bath and beauty products! I’ve been buying from them for a while now, and in my various visits, I’ve met the husband and wife who run it and their two adorable daughters. They are all super nice! I’ve used only their bar soaps, but they also sell scrubs, deodorants, masks, lotions, etc. As an added bonus, I know they try to reduce their environmental impact as well 🙂


    June 4, 2020/Reply
    • Jo says:

      To clarify: when I say “I know,” I’m referring to a conversation I had with one of the owners, plus some of their posts on their social media, such as this one: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-11J60BfVQ/ I am not psychic 🙂

      June 4, 2020/Reply
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