Don’t Call It A Comeback. Black Makers Have Been Here for Years
Posted by Mark Pinn on
With the news that there are nearly 2.6 millions African American-owned businesses in the United States bringing in upwards of $10 billion in annual revenue, popular news media began championing the “rise” of Black-owned businesses. The rise? We been here. From Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first black millionaire, to Jay-Z, the most recent inductee into the Black billionaire’s club, we know that the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the Black community has known no bounds.
Thanks to the Pro-Black and Buy Black movements, and yikes, even that episode of Killer Mike’s Netflix series Trigger Warning (“Living Black”), more and more people are thinking about what it means and what it does to keep Black dollars within the Black community. So, when you’re looking for gifts or shopping for yourself, you might want to keep these 4 incredible NYC Black makers and creatives in mind:
You might recognize this Brooklyn-based illustrator’s work from the cover of the novel The Hate U Give or the illustrations accompanying articles for The New York Times and The Guardian. Her beautiful watercolors draw inspiration from Black people, our hair, our history, and current affairs. On Instagram, she wrote that her best-selling prints are of Black women relaxing in bed—a contrast to the typical images of Black women carrying the load and being the backbone of society. “I gotta make more images of us just being some lushes cuz the world need to know we tired and done,” she wrote. I felt that in my soul.
Sheryl Jones is quite literally one-of-a-kind: she’s the only woman of color operating in NYC’s ‘Diamond District,’ retailing her own showstopping designs. If you’re looking for fine jewelry that reflects your style, crafted with attention to detail, her bespoke pieces may speak to you. Whether it’s earrings, cufflinks, or engagement rings, you can join her roster of blinged-out clients who range from Oscar-winning actress Cicely Tyson to singer Andra Day. Shout out to the makers breaking barriers and looking fly while doing it.
Head down to 5th Avenue or visit her website here.
Flo & Theo
If you’re looking for your next go-to beauty product, look no further than the fabulous Flo+Theo. Based out of Queens, this skin care line was founded by two sisters, Mayowa and Ebony, who wanted to create simple, effective, and natural products for all types of skin. It all started with them looking for products that could soothe and treat their sensitive skin. They put together their experience and knowledge to offer 100% vegan skin care products for men and women that can clear acne, moisturize, repair, and more.
Smell is strongly linked to memory—Harlem Candle Company’s founder Teri Johnson harnesses this connection to evoke the history of the Harlem Renaissance. Specializing in luxury home fragrances, Teri calls Harlem Candle Co. a “manifestation of her love affair with fragrance, jazz, and Harlem.” Her products all tell a story: for example, the Josephine blends bright florals with earthy aromas, for an impact as exciting and sensual as Josephine Baker was herself.