Celebrate Black History Month with KNB's newest round-up
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In honor of Black History Month, the KNB team has put our heads together to compose a list of our favorite Black-owned businesses. From vegan cookies to well-tailored suits, there are some spectacular brands out there doing good for both the consumer and society. Take a look below so that you, too, can Buy Black and support our favorite Black-owned businesses.
One of my favorite Black-owned businesses is Oh Happy Dani. I love artist Danielle Coke’s whimsical design aesthetic as well as her mission to, in her words, “encourage hope, inspire justice, and guide people to take action in pursuit of the ultimate good” through her art.
My favorite Black-owned business is Maya’s Cookies. Maya’s cookies are vegan gourmet cookies, and they are absolutely delicious. It’s so difficult finding delectable vegan treats, but Maya’s cookies always hit the spot. Check out the cookie selection – you won’t be disappointed. Super fans can join the Cookie Love Club, which sends six scrumptious cookies every month: two seasonal favorites and four exclusive flavors for Cookie Love Club members. It’s a great company with a yummy product and exceptional customer service. They are also dedicated to community engagement, with a focus on youth and underserved communities. What’s not to love?
I’m obsessed with the custom suits tailored by Kenneth Boggs (KB), and even more, the story behind them. Kenneth grew up poor, spending his childhood in Los Angeles’ Section 8 housing. His grandmother taught him to sew, while his grandfather exposed him to Motown music, and in doing so, helped Kenneth see how the well-dressed are often well respected. After college, KB launched his designer suit company, Custom by Kenneth Boggs. Today, he designs bespoke suits for some of the most famous athletes and celebrities in the world. Despite his success, KB is grounded by his roots. He works with at-risk kids in urban areas, teaching them how to dress and carry themselves professionally. He also donates his talents to ensuring young men who cannot afford a suit for a job interview or other potentially life-changing opportunity, are able to dress for success.
Amy Roberts, Vice President of Communications and Client Services
A few months ago, I discovered Supergut, a Black-owned business established in 2019. In doing my typical, exhaustive research, I fell in love with the purpose of the product as well as its origin and became a subscriber. There is an altruistic endeavor behind the company and the products they produce. In founder and CEO Marc Washington’s words, their purpose is to “meaningfully impact public health and help close troubling health disparities for the Black community.”
Locally, my favorite place to browse for books is Harriet’s in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. Named after Harriet Tubman, this bookshop opened by Jeannine Cook weeks before the pandemic hit, managed to weather the storm and continues its mission to celebrate women authors, artists, and activists.
I am also obsessed with nail polish by 25th and June. This is the only vegan, cruelty-free nail brand I’ve found that has brilliant colors and is also free from nasty chemicals like parabens and xylene. The warm, nude color trio is my current favorite.
The Cincinnati Tri-state area has a troveof black-owned businesses, but as a firm believer in a proper Friday happy hour, one of my all-time favorites is Revel urban winery (insta @revelotr.) They've mastered an at-home vibe in the center of OTR and keep the old-school hits on a loop. While the grapes aren't grown in the Tri-state, they're mastered, aged, and bottled in the basement. A few of my faves – the Sangiovese + the Black Sheep Rouge (aka Rosé) – also, if you've never had a margarita with a red wine floater, here's your notice!
I love trying new types of food in my hometown of Syracuse, New York. So when CNN included EthioEritrea Restaurant on their list of 20 of the world’s best new restaurants for 2020, I had to check it out! The owner, originally from Eritrea, spent seven years in an Ethiopian refugee camp. He brought his delicious hybrid of both nations' foods to the United States. It’s definitely a must-visit if you are in the area!
I love using Brigeo hair products. The founder, Nancy Twine, was inspired to start the company by her mother and grandmother who taught her growing up how to make products with natural ingredients. Rather than focusing on ethnicity, Brigeo focuses on hair type and has products for everyone. I love using the “Don’t Despair, Repair” line, especially in the winter, to help revive my dry hair.
One of my favorite places to visit for a healthy filling meal is a local restaurant in my college town called Pulse Cafe. The cafe has mastered turning usually unhealthy foods such as burgers and pizza, into 100% plant-based nutritious options. I began enjoying everything Pulse Cafe has to offer before I knew it was a Black-owned business, and am happy I get to support them, and other Black-owned businesses near me!