Philly’s conscious shopping trend helping Black-owned businesses

South Philadelphia native Shannon Maldonado remembers when customers cleaned her home-and-life shop, Yowie, wholly out of inventory earlier this year.

The boom coincided with anti-racist demonstrations that brought thousands of Philadelphians out to protest police brutality and show support for Black-owned businesses like the South 4th Street shop.

Stationery and candles for sale at YOWIE in South Philadelphia.
Stationery and candles for sale at YOWIE in South Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“Our business grew in the last eight months, which, you know, I almost feel weird saying, because it’s such a strange time,” said Maldonado, who started the business in 2016. “But we’ve been working so hard just to get our name out there for so long. So it felt good to have the support.”

Yowie is just one of the many Philadelphia businesses that stand to benefit from support during the 2020 holiday season. A recent survey from Deloitte found that 43% of shoppers in the city prefer shopping at local retailers rather than national chains.

YOWIE on South 4th Street in Philadelphia.
YOWIE on South 4th Street in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“This year probably taught all of us a lot of things about how we want to spend our time and spend our money,” said Maldonado. “More than ever, people are going to be shopping intentionally.”

Businesses like Black woman-owned Sable Collective, Harriet’s Bookshop, and Marsh and Mane reported similar rushes earlier this year — surges of interest that appear to have continued.

Dorothea Gamble co-owns Trunc, a shop in Northern Liberties that sells the work of local creators, with her partner Dagmar Mitchell. The pandemic challenged them to be more efficient. Gamble said she and her partner have been more critical about their merchandise and expenses.

“You do have to keep on top of things, but not like now,” said Gamble. “There’s no wiggle room, and your focus has to be sharp as a tack.”

The 65-year-old Black woman said the business did not get the push driven by increased anti-racist awareness that Yowie and others received, but more recently, they’ve seen a spike in interest.

Dorothea Gamble in front of her store Trunc in Northern Liberties.
Dorothea Gamble in front of her store Trunc in Northern Liberties. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)
Businesses on 2nd Street in Northern Liberties.
Businesses on 2nd Street in Northern Liberties. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The momentum ought to continue through the holidays, said Gamble.

“These last couple, three months have really been phenomenal,” the entrepreneur said. “We’re expecting a pretty decent Christmas.”

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Black Power Clothing Releases The Ultimate Black-Owned Businesses Guide





The Ultimate Black-Owned Businesses Guide

(Image: Black Power Clothing)


A much-needed guide has just been released that lists businesses owned by Black people. Black Power Clothing has just announced that they have published The Ultimate Black-Owned Businesses Guide.

The free guide is now available on it’s website, Black Power Clothing. The company promises that the business guide will continue to grow and there will be more businesses added. The guide includes over 350 businesses and they are broken down into nine categories and 83 sub-categories to make it easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for. The businesses listed in the guide also include online and local brick-and-mortar businesses.

“Millions of consumers want to change the world with their wallets,” said Tarek Williams, the founder of Black Power Clothing and the creator of the Ultimate Black-Owned Businesses Guide. “This guide allows them to support Black-owned businesses. By supporting these businesses, they are ultimately supporting the communities in which the owners and employees live. The Guide will help the African-American community continue to grow, financially and culturally.”

The main purpose of the publication of the guide is to try to help mitigate some of the damage that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused within and toward minority communities. The Ultimate Black-Owned Businesses Guide provides small- and medium-sized businesses a new marketing outlet that allows them to reach a specific, highly-motivated clientele.

“Our goal is to help people find a Black-owned business to meet each of their needs,” Williams said. “This gives consumers an alternative to mainstream businesses and will help the Black economy to grow.”

The Ultimate Black-Owned Businesses Guide was conceived and created by Tarek Williams with help from countless members and supporters of the Black community across the country. The Guide is the first stage in an ongoing mission to deliver Black-owned businesses more customers and to create more financial independence in the Black community-at-large.


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Black-owned shops hosting special holiday shopping weekend

Photo of Larry Rulison

ALBANY — A group of local organizations are sponsoring a four-day Thanksgiving weekend shopping program in downtown Albany that will benefit Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs in the region.

The event, known as Black Wealth Weekend, is a partnership between the Albany nonprofit called A Village along with Siena College and FlagshipUltra, an Albany marketing firm.

The event will include in-person shopping at A Village’s new showroom at 347 South Pearl St. on Friday, Sunday and Monday and on Saturday at what’s known as the Ujaama Market at the Boys & Girls Club at 51 Delaware Ave. along with online shopping through the South End Market’s social media pages.

The new showroom on South Pearl Street also houses what’s known as Nascent, a new initiative by A Village that is a 10-month training and mentoring program for new business people that grew out of the South End Night Market, which is held Thursday nights on Warren Street in Albany and has attracted 25 vendors.

The Friday event will take place on Black Friday at the South Pearl showroom from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, which is Small Business Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Cyber Monday event will take place at the South Pearl showroom from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We encourage people to participate in Black Wealth Weekend if they are interested in finding unique gifts for their loved ones and
supporting entrepreneurship in the community,” A Village events manager Kaciem Swain said.

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A Gift Guide Featuring Black-Owned Businesses, for Those Who Like to Pamper

While the holidays may seem different this year one thing that won’t change is that Americans love to buy things. Despite the fact that millions of Americans have lost their jobs this year, spending on consumer goods from January to September increased by 7.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

But this isn’t just about the holidays. For everyone who made a vow earlier this year in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement to be a conscientious shopper, one way to do that is to support Black-owned businesses.

In the spirit of Beyoncé, who compiled her own list of Black businesses for consumers, we have assembled a list of self-care gifts from Black-owned businesses.

A vitamin C serum

Not everything was bad in 2020. BeautyStat, a skin care company, was founded this year by Ron Robinson, a veteran chemist who mixed formulas for Estée Lauder for more than 20 years and has now created his own serum. The Universal C Skin Refiner ($80 for one ounce) is a 20 percent vitamin C serum that promises to banish dark spots and increase collagen production.

A candle promoted by love

When Kanae Branch, the founder of Zipora Scents, was running out of steam while filming a promotional video for her candles and bath products, her boyfriend stepped in and gave her and sales a boost. This 100 percent soy wax candle ($22.50) has hints of lavender, rose and mint.

hoops never go out of style

Trust us. These Yam Nyc hoops ($130) do a little more with a hanging pendant. Every piece is made by hand by the label’s founder, Morgan Thomas, in New York’s most New York borough, Queens. Don’t @ us, Brooklyn.

A face serum with ginseng

Winter is coming and your homies need a good face oil. Redoux’s Borage Ginseng Active Serum ($84) has a sensual citrusy scent and a blend of oils Founded by Asia Grant and Alejandro Cuevas, the label makes all its products in small batches.

A stylish face mask ComplEment

Most of us are wearing face masks these days. If you’re looking to stand out, this $19 bandanna from Diop, a Detroit label, could do the trick. The designs on the bandannas reminded the founder, Mapate Diop, of Lagos, where he is from.

A CBD Oil with a conscience

Noirebud was founded by Carolyn Gray after she saw that the marijuana industry was not embracing people of color who have been incarcerated for marijuana offenses. This product ($45 for 250 milligrams) has only three ingredients: hemp-derived CBD coconut oil, olive oil and vanilla.

Earrings that give you life

On This Rock Jewelry was founded by Janet Hill Talbert, to inspire and encourage. We all need a little of that these days. These earrings ($75) do just that.

A stress relieving body butter

Brown Girl Jane is owned by Tai Beauchamp, Malaika Jones and Nia Jones, who wanted to diversify the marijuana industry. This body butter ($54) has 400 milligrams of CBD

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These Black-Owned Etsy Shops Have Exactly What You’re Looking For In A Gift

Supporting Black-owned businesses shouldn’t be a well-meaning thought that begins and ends with a black square and a clever caption posted via Instagram. It should be sustained year-round, and we’re hoping to make that fun and easy this holiday season. Now that the shopping portion of the festivities has begun, it’s time to scratch off the plethora of names on your list with a unique gift from a Black-owned Etsy shop.

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Don’t worry: we did the heavy gifting for you. Ahead, put your money where your mouth is and indulge in a roundup of totally presentable (we’re on a roll!) items ranging from soy candle sets to delicious cookies and inspirational wall art — all from a curated variety of Etsy makers that are setting out to make gifts personal again.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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Looking for gift ideas? Black-owned Cincinnati shops to support for Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a chance to support local business in our community.



a building with a store on the corner of a street: The store front of the Smith & Hannon Book Store on Vine Street in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.


© Sam Greene
The store front of the Smith & Hannon Book Store on Vine Street in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

This year, due to the pandemic, our local shops have been struggling, but we can help.

This year, there is a movement saying bye to Black Friday and encouraging people to #BuyBlack Friday. This movement, from Facebook Elevate, is to get people to buy from Black-owned businesses every Friday through Black Friday.



a man standing in front of a building: Cam Means, 27, left, and Marcus Ervin, 29, the owners of Black Owned outside their new store on 822 Elm Street that opens on October 18. The store will sell clothing with the Black Owned label on the items.


© The Enquirer/Cara Owsley
Cam Means, 27, left, and Marcus Ervin, 29, the owners of Black Owned outside their new store on 822 Elm Street that opens on October 18. The store will sell clothing with the Black Owned label on the items.

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A day after Black Friday, on Nov. 28, is a holiday called Small Business Saturday. Another opportunity to give back, support local and support Black-owned businesses owners by visiting one of these stores or shopping online.

Shop local this holiday season: Check out these Cincinnati shops for Small Business Saturday

The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on small businesses, with more than 3.3 million businesses – or 22% – shutting down from February to April, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Black-owned businesses were hit even harder, with 41% closing permanently.   

Here’s a list of Black-owned small businesses worth checking out on Small Business Saturday:

If you’re hoping to get in shape …

Give the gift of personal training and classes from 1 More Rep Cincinnati Fitness CenterBody Revamped Bootcamp or Paradise Gym and Fitness Center.

If you’re looking for wellness coaching and health services, try visiting Caldwell Family Wellness, Garden of Wellness Massage Therapy and Just Essential Nutrition.

If you want to give the gift of food …

You can share a meal with a loved one at any of Cincinnati’s Black-owned restaurants. If you want to give a gift, buy a gift card.

More: Cincinnati has a lot of black-owned restaurants. Here are 25 that you should try

If you’re shopping for a fashionista …

You have a ton of options in the Queen City.

Visit Aphrodite Muse Clothing, BlaCk OWned Outerwear or Chic Life Apparel.

You can buy local jewelry from IMGBAT Art and Jewelry and Junebug Jewelry Designs.



a store front at day: The storefront of the Joseph Clark Gallery on Hamilton Avenue in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.


© Sam Greene
The storefront of the Joseph Clark Gallery on Hamilton Avenue in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

If you want to support local artists …

Cincinnati has a ton of Black artists with their own shops and selling works online.

If you want to support a local Black artist, buy work from Black-owned Joseph Clark Gallery. You can also buy directly from some of the 16 artists who created the Black Lives Matter mural in front of City Hall.

More: Behind the Black Lives Matter

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From bookstores to beauty shops, 25 Black-owned businesses in metro Phoenix

Corrections & Clarifications: In a previous version of this article, the name of Grassrootz Bookstore and Juice Bar was misspelled. 

Supporting Black-owned businesses on

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27 Wish-List-Worthy Beauty Gifts From Black-Owned Brands

We know it’s hard to find the right gifts for your loved ones, so we’ve compiled a ton of fashion and beauty-focused gift guides tailored to a range of interests and budgets. Check out our latest below and find more right here.

In keeping with the tenets of the 15 Percent Pledge — and as part of a general push to highlight companies we feel good about supporting — we’ve been making an effort to ensure at least 15% of our picks in any given shopping story on Fashionista.com come from Black-owned and/or -founded brands over the past several months. The beauty space, in particular, is absolutely abundant with innovative, gorgeous, highly giftable options from Black-owned companies, so we figured it’s high time for a dedicated guide showcasing some of our favorite finds for 2020.

Ahead, you’ll find 27 hair, skin, makeup, fragrance and wellness picks to suit everyone on your holiday list — all from Black-owned businesses. Click through to see (and shop!) ’em all. And for looooots more shopping inspo, hit up our database of nearly 500 Black-owned beauty brands here.

Please note: Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. This in no way affects our editorial decision-making.

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Yelp Continues to Push Black-Owned Businesses During the Holiday Shopping Season

Yelp is teaming up with the Jrue and Lauren Holiday Fund and My Black Receipt on an initiative to drive $5 million to Black-owned businesses.

The business directory and crowdsourced review forum said that since debuting its Black-owned business attribute in June, in partnership with My Black Receipt, nearly 20,000 businesses have opted in to the attribute, and consumers have spent $7.5 million with Black-owned businesses.

Yelp added that searches for Black-owned businesses on its platform are up 6,500% compared with the same period last year.

In order to participate in the campaign, people who buy from Black-owned businesses between Nov. 27 and Dec. 18 can upload their receipts here.

My Black Receipt is a movement aimed at empowering the Black community with economic independence.

Kezia M. Williams, CEO of My Black Receipt and Black upstart, said in a Yelp blog post, “Black Friday kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year and, with the ongoing pandemic, it’s important to continue to support Black-owned businesses, which have been disproportionately impacted. We are excited to once again partner with Yelp to encourage consumers to spend with their values and demonstrate how individual purchases can make a big impact in the Black community.”

The Jrue and Lauren Holiday Fund was founded by National Basketball Association point guard Jrue Holiday, who was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this week, and his wife, Lauren Holiday, a former forward and midfielder for the U.S. Women’s National Team and FC Kansas City in the National Women’s Soccer League, to highlight Black-owned businesses that have been devastated by the impact of Covid-19.

Jrue Holiday said in the Yelp blog post, “Looking ahead to the holiday season, it’s important to support the businesses that have been impacted by Covid-19, especially Black-owned businesses that have been devastated by the pandemic. Yelp makes it easy to find and share Black-owned businesses with your community so you can support these businesses and spend money with them.”

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Here are 5 holiday gift ideas from Black-owned businesses in Louisville

Louisville is chock-full of small businesses that could be suffering lower sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve been making a point to visit more Black-owned Louisville businesses this year, why stop now? Here are five ideas of things to buy from Black-owned local businesses for your loved ones this holiday season. 



a sandwich sitting on top of a table: Whitney Powers' Garden Girl Foods offers around 40 products of locally-grown vegetables with canned jams, vegetables, soups and cornbread. "This really was an accident, but I'm grateful," said Powers. "Me and my husband have this thing of putting things we can make with our hands back into our own community. I'm glad I can give people nostalgia, whether it's with the jars, the pies, the rugs. Whatever it is. It's in their home."  Oct. 9, 2020


© Matt Stone/Courier Journal
Whitney Powers’ Garden Girl Foods offers around 40 products of locally-grown vegetables with canned jams, vegetables, soups and cornbread. “This really was an accident, but I’m grateful,” said Powers. “Me and my husband have this thing of putting things we can make with our hands back into our own community. I’m glad I can give people nostalgia, whether it’s with the jars, the pies, the rugs. Whatever it is. It’s in their home.”  Oct. 9, 2020



an empty bottle on a table: Brough Brothers Bourbon's bourbon whiskey.


© Brough Brothers Bourbon
Brough Brothers Bourbon’s bourbon whiskey.

Who doesn’t like getting bourbon as a holiday gift? This year, try picking out a new brand with Brough Brothers Bourbon, the first Black-owned distillery in Louisville. Brough Brothers Bourbon is founded by brothers Chris, Bryson and Victor Yarbrough and has one signature bourbon whiskey ready for sale. 

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The signature Brough Brothers bourbon whiskey has a medium body with notes of green apple and orchard pears and a smooth finish filled with baking spices, ginger and nutmeg. The golden-honey colored bourbon whiskey’s nose has aromas of orchard apples and blooming red roses. Shop at Kroger of various liquor stores around Louisville. 

COST: $32 for a 750 ml bottle of Brough Brothers bourbon whiskey 

You may like: Shop local: Here are 6 Kentucky-made gift ideas for the holiday shopping season



a group of people sitting at a bus stop: Trainer Rema speaks with a customer at Body & Soul Personal Training.


© Bruce Miller
Trainer Rema speaks with a customer at Body & Soul Personal Training.

Got a fitness buff in your family, or someone who’s looking to get healthier in 2021? This gym and training facility might be the answer. Body & Soul Personal Training was founded at 1914 Bardstown Road in 2002 by Bruce Miller, who has logged more than 10,000 hours of personal training. His team is all certified or have degrees in Exercise Science and are experts in helping to strengthen the body and motivate each client to stay consistent. The best part? Training here means you’ll get one-on-one attention — or small group sessions (less than six people) if that works better for you. 

The gym is following COVID-19 guidelines with equipment spaced six feet apart and offers individual training starting at $39 for a half-hour session. There’s even an in-home training option, classes for kids and seniors and package discounts.

COST: $39 to $88 per training session, depending on length and group size

You may like: Shop local: Here are 5 gift ideas for the family to help you celebrate the holiday indoors

Shop Local: 5 self-care gift ideas from Louisville shops to soothe your 2020 anxiety

Whitney Powers knows what’s up with vegetables. She’s been growing them

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