Browse Tag

accessories

4 mins read

Black Owned Eyewear Brands You Should Know

Black-owned eyewear brands are a growing force in the fashion and accessory industry, offering unique designs and high-quality products that cater to the needs of individuals seeking both style and function.

From sunglasses to prescription glasses, these brands are creating products that cater to a diverse range of customers and provide a refreshing perspective on the traditional eyewear market.

Whether you need protection from the sun’s harmful rays or require prescription lenses to see clearly, there is a Black owned eyewear brand with the perfect solution for you.

Black Owned Eyewear Brands

CEV Collection

The CEV Collection offers a range of sunglasses and blue light blocking glasses. CEV, which stands for ‘Clear Eye View’, believes that a focused vision is key to making changes in life, achieving goals, and finding purpose.

Bon Vivant Safety Eyewear

Bon Vivant Safety Eyewear is a company that specializes in safety glasses and goggles that meet ANSI standards for high impact. They also offer a variety of lens options, including transition lenses, photochromatic lenses, polarized lenses, and DiaVista lenses designed for people with diabetes.

SWAV Eyewear

SWAV Eyewear is an inspirational eyewear company that sells stylish sunglasses & frames to inspire you to never give up on the Vision you have for your life.

Ember Niche

black owned eyewear

Ember Niche eyewear was established to provide imaginative eyewear and to promote the concept that “Your face is your brand.”

3rd Eye View

black owned eyewear

Paying homage to the esoteric concept of a speculative invisible “inner” eye, 3rdeyeview has provided perception beyond ordinary sight since it’s founding in 2014.

Godnii

GODNII is a distinctive vision and fashion company most known for its emerging eyewear lines made in small batches from premium, sustainable and plant-based materials.

Shades of Shades

Shades of Shades is a luxury nude eyewear brand that believes in self-love and unity and offers a range of 14 custom complexion palette shades.

Eyewear Love Affair

Eyewear Love Affair is an Oakland-based boutique that takes pride in curating a collection of edgy optical frames that are not only stylish but also high-quality and durable.

Kimeze

black owned eyewear

Kimeze is a London-based unisex eyewear brand established in 2021. Their collection features fashion-forward acetate and metal frames handcrafted in small batches, and they are committed to using sustainable materials in their packaging.

Anwuli Eyewear

black owned eyewear

Anwuli, pronounced Ann-woo-lee, is a name of Igbo origin which means ‘Joy.’ Anwuli Eyewear is on a mission to bring joy to the wearer through its unique and inspired eyewear designs.

HYVE-Life

HYVE-Life offers a diverse range of styles including vacation sunglasses, everyday sunglasses, blue light blockers, clear lenses, and more. Their name, an acronym for “Helping Your Vision Evolve”, reflects their commitment to helping customers improve their vision.

Liberated Eyewear

Liberated Eyewear celebrates individuality through its edgy, modern, and eclectic eyewear. They offer a variety of styles for both men and women, including cat-eye frames, aviator frames, and wayfarer frames.

Savoir Faire

Savoir Faire’d lightly tinted lenses offer a touch of privacy while remaining stylish indoors and out. Almost all of them can be worn indoors as well without feeling like a 90’s rap video.

Bohten

Designed in Ghana, Bôhten produces handmade frames sourced from sustainable materials in Africa.

Dani Joh Eyewear

Black owned eyewear

Dani Joh Eyewear offers statement shades at affordable prices, combining chic design with 100% UV protection.

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3 mins read

Black-Owned Handbag Brands You Should Know

When it comes to accessorizing, a handbag is a must-have for any fashion-savvy person. From high-end designer labels to trendy streetwear brands, the options for handbags are endless.

In this article, we’ll be highlighting some Black-owned handbag brands that offer a wide range of styles, from classic and timeless to trendy and bold.

Black-Owned Handbag Brands

Ree Projects

Black-Owned Handbag

Ree Projects, an Amsterdam-based luxury brand founded by designer Desiree Kleinen, is quietly synonymous with its distinctive yet understated line of luxury bags. Created with the vision to empower women through thoughtful design, each design is rooted in the concept of functional elegance.

Yvonne Koné

Copenhagen-based designer Yvonne Koné presents a collection of key wardrobe staples that are both timeless and understated. With an architectural approach to form, materials and texture, her designs strike a balance between practicality and playful use of color, inspired by her African heritage.

Homage Year

Black-Owned Handbag

Every piece, accessory, and object created by Homage is infused with sociopolitical intention. Each creation serves as a tribute to the brand’s people, culture, and environment, and is a recognition of the brand’s place within these elements.

Peryton

Black-Owned Handbag

Peryton is a leather goods brand that caters to those who desire unique, high-quality pieces. Instead of following trends or seasonal fads, their goal is to craft something exceptional and long-lasting. They focus on creating products that are both beautiful and durable, for customers who appreciate the value of timeless designs

Anima Iris

Black-Owned Handbag

The Anima Iris collection features handcrafted pieces made by seasoned professionals in Dakar, Senegal. The artisans, who possess centuries-old African craftsmanship, add a unique touch of quality and attention to detail to create limited edition pieces.

N’Damus London

N’Damus London is an independent luxury British accessories brand epitomizing precision craftsmanship and style, synonymous with the creation of durable, high quality leather goods with classic and distinctive designs for men and women.

Petit Kouraj

Petit Kouraj creates unique, standalone pieces of wearable art that blend knitwear, sculpture, and cultural identity. The name “Petit Kouraj” is derived from the Haitian Creole phrase meaning “little courage”.

Agnes Baddoo

Black-Owned Handbag

Agnes Baddoo is a luxury lifestyle brand specializing in leather goods that are committed to consistently providing well-crafted investment pieces to a global discerning customer.

Amany Z

Black-Owned Handbag

Amany Z designs unique handbags that are both functional and sustainable. Their bags stand out for their quirkiness and practicality, offering a minimal and eco-friendly option as compared to traditional luxury accessories.

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4 mins read

New Year, New Brands: Black-Owned Brands To Start Your 2023 Right

Black-Owned Brands To Start Your 2023 Right

The Glamatory

Black-Owned Brands To Start Your 2023 Right

The Glamatory is a vegan makeup line founded by Mimi J – well-known for her work as a professional makeup artist and beauty influencer.

Her mission is to provide products that enhance a woman’s natural beauty and confidence, no matter her skin color, making The Glammatory the perfect Black-owned brand to shop from if loving yourself more is one of your #2023goals.

 Frances Grey

Frances Grey was founded by Debbie Lorenzo, a Jamaican-American born and raised in Queens, New York. Her great-grandmother, Frances Grey, was a seamstress whose history and dedication inspired Debbie’s pursuit of millinery and the creation of her own custom, luxury hat brand.

If you want to upgrade your wardrobe with aesthetic, sophisticated pieces, then shop Frances Grey. 

Silver & Riley

Black-Owned Brands To Start Your 2023 Right

Silver & Riley is a women-led luxury bag brand created by Lola Banjo. She takes pride in producing high-quality travel and fashion accessories in the same factories, with the same premium materials, as other high-fashion labels, and sells them at a fraction of the cost.

Shop smart, shop Black, and elevate your travel this year when you utilize Silver & Riley products.

Nurilens

In 2020, Dr. Juliette Nelson created Nurilens, an environmentally friendly eyewear brand. The company specializes in hand-crafted wood frames with polarized, high-index lenses that include blue light and UV protection. Nurilens empowers you to protect your eyes and the environment, all while looking chic.

Best Life Organics

Shadora Martin created Best Life Organics along her personal journey into elevated self-love. She started making natural, non-toxic, cruelty-free body-care products in her own home and continues to handcraft each of the products she shares with the world today. Best Life Organics allows you to support a small, Black-owned business and support yourself at the same time. 

Mercia Moore 

Black-Owned Brands To Start Your 2023 Right

Art and culture collide at the Mercia Moore artisan studio. Merica, the founder, and creator behind the brand shares her studio creations through the shop and lends her skill via her active social media. Find African-inspired jewelry and homeware, and take up a new artistic hobby with your own Mercia Moore silicone molds.

Dressed in Joy

Black-Owned Brands To Start Your 2023 Right

Be bold, and step out in statement-making style this year when you wear Dressed in Joy apparel. The founder, Mikaela Pabon, wanted to create an apparel brand that makes customers feel like they’re adorned in the personification of joy. The brand focuses on athleisure, inspiring comfortable confidence.

Instead of “new year, new you”, these Black-owned brands aim to elevate the unique qualities you already have.

With this list, we empower you to adorn yourself with culture, history, and joy and carry yourself with confidence and excellence everywhere you go. 

Submit a brand for an upcoming list

1 min read

ZAAF Founder Abai Schulze on Building a Global Lifestyle Brand

Abai Schulze is the Founder and Creative Director of the ZAAF Collection, an internationally recognized premium lifestyle brand made entirely in Africa.

Abai Schulze

ZAAF is developing long-term growth opportunities across Africa, partnering with skilled artisans to develop high-end designer products.

ZAAF’s creativity has been recognized in various ways ranging from appearing on runways at New York Fashion Week to being featured in Elle and Vogue, to receiving the UNESCO Tremplin Prize for Entrepreneurship.

ZAAF products are now being carried in boutiques in France, Nairobi, Ethiopia, and the USA.

Abai Schulze

In this interview, Abai shares:

  • The creative inspiration behind her product designs.
  • The challenges associated with operating a business on multiple continents.
  • Her strategy for building a team of 20 employees.
  • He thoughts on the increased appreciation for products made in Africa.
  • What entrepreneurial skill she would love to master in 24hrs.
  • Sourcing materials from multiple African countries.
  • Advice for new and aspiring designers.

Tony O. Lawson

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3 mins read

Black-Owned Jewelry Brands to Add To Your Collection in 2022

As anyone who loves fashion knows, jewelry is the perfect way to add a little personality to any outfit. Whether you prefer dainty or bold statement pieces, there is a jewelry brand that suits your style.

These Black-owned jewelry brands are a great way to add some unique and stylish pieces to your collection. Whether you’re looking for something flashy or understated, there’s a brand with precisely what you need.

So go ahead and add one (or all!) of these fantastic brands to your list, and enjoy the added confidence and beauty that their jewelry provides.

Black-Owned Jewelry Brands

Afro Deco

Handmade pieces by British jewelry designer and visual artist Natasha Lisa. Operating under the name Afro Deco, Natasha channels the stylistic influences of Art Deco and the vibrant patterns of African fabric in her diverse range of afrofuturist-themed Lucite designs.

 

YAM

Yam is a made to order, handmade jewelry brand based in Queens, NY. The brand is dedicated to creating new, yet nostalgic pieces through up-cycled materials and vintage silhouettes. Designs incorporate classic and industrial hardware elements, complimented with cheeky and charming nature motifs and pearl accents.

Jooel

Black owned jewelry brands

Jooel was born out of a desire to curate timeless luxury jewelry pieces for every wardrobe. With a careful blend of trendy and classic pieces, Jooel offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a bling queen or prefer understated lux, Jooel has something for you.

Leliamae

black owned jewelry

Leliamae is a New York-based, woman-run jewelry brand that strives to balance integrity and unique style. The artist behind the brand, Lelia, sources quality gold materials that are ethically produced and made to elevate your everyday collection.

HOME by Areeayl

black owned jewelry brands

Each Beads Byaree piece is created with a focus on quality and attention to detail. The results are beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces that are sure to make a statement. Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or a treat for yourself, Beads Byaree has something for everyone.

Third Crown

The husband-and-wife team behind Third Crown aims to celebrate the merging of two forces coming together to form something new – a powerful pair. They fuse their love of geometric shapes with the details found in their architectural surroundings to create their collection of men’s and women’s jewelry.

ALMASIKA

black owned jewelry brands

ALMASIKA makes fine jewelry that tells stories across generations and cultures. The sculptural designs are handcrafted using precious metals and shimmering gems. Pieces include the debut ‘Le Cauri Endiamante’ collection – inspired by the rich history and symbolism of cowrie shells – as well as newer styles from the ‘Sagesse’ range, which explores ancient motifs associated with traditional wisdom.

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7 mins read

From Living in a Shelter after Hurricane Katrina to Launching a Successful Bow Tie Company

Oakland, CA based designer, Rashima Sonson is the owner of SONSON®, a bow tie brand that offers unique bow ties made of African wax print fabric, lamb leather, pearls, and Swarovski stones.

sonson
Rashima Sonson

In 2005, her life drastically changed from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. After being displaced to Philadelphia and living in a shelter, Rashima had to start her life from the bottom. She continued to push forward with her goal of creating her fashion brand.

Now, she is shifting the gears on the traditional bow tie by adding a bit of lagniappe to its style and showing customers that women can wear bow ties too!

We caught up with her to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey.

What inspired you to start SONSON?

SONSON® was inspired by a big sister of 7 brothers—which happens to be me! In 2013, I had a difficult time finding a father to be a gift for one of my brothers who was expecting his first son.

I wanted to give him a meaningful classic and useful gift. Something commemorative, something he could teach his son, something they can bond/build a relationship with, and something his son could pass down.

Sadly, I could not find the perfect gift online or via brick& mortar, so I decided to put my fashion design degree to work—I created a men’s accessory brand to positively support the psychological and sociological experiences in a male’s life.

SONSON® embodies everything that is important to me—family, fashion and building lasting relationships. The fact that SONSON® is my last name was a divine sign! And I have not looked back!

What has been the most fulfilling and the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?

The most fulfilling thing about being an entrepreneur is getting up every day to grow a business with a mission that I am passionate about. When that passion is fused and embedded in a product that you are familiar, it makes the entrepreneurial journey worthwhile!

The most challenging part about being an entrepreneur is the risks and uncertainties! For example, I might invest in marketing (financial risk), but the uncertainty of the ROI from a marketing ad/campaign is a challenge.

I may or may not get the ROI that I forecasted. However, this is all part of being an entrepreneur—you have to take the good with the bad and keep pushing!!!

How do you select your unique designs and materials?

The designs and materials are selected by a mix of art and science. The art is based on my own personal attraction to beautiful fabrics, prints, as well as cultural inspirations.

You may see a collection celebrating Black History Month with items adorned in cowrie shells, black onyx, to vibrant African wax fabric. Or designs celebrating Chinese New Year with gold foil on the fabric!

The science is based on the internal voice of customer research. From conducting customer intention surveys from over 100 pop-up/vendor events (i.e. Wedding Fairs, Holiday Pop-Ups, etc.)  throughout the Bay Area as well as automated post purchase surveys.

The selection of my designs and materials were based on research conducted over a span of 4 years.

sonson

Where do you see the business in 5 years?

In the next 5 years, I see SONSON® thriving, opening a showroom, partnering with major e-commerce, corporate brands, and private organizations! In 5 years, I see the business as the go-to brand for commemorative dapper gifts.

sonson

From new dads being gifted one of our classic items in celebration of his first son, young men wearing our ties during their draft pick to the NFL, NBA or MLB,  to an artist wearing one of our pieces when accepting their first Grammy! This is where I see the business in 5 years.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

The best and most relevant advice I can provide to aspiring entrepreneurs are:

  1. Know yourself and your craft—be authentic
  2. Know (research) and cater to your target audience/industry—be their advocate
  3. If you don’t quit, you will win—never give up on yourself or your dream
  4. The best and most valuable investment you will make in your life is investing in yourself, but make sure you have a clear plan on how /when you will get an ROI on your investment—remember you are building a brand/business (YOU)
  5. Surround yourself with people who help build you up and support your goals. Life is too short to be surrounded by negative people or people that are not interested in seeing you grow mentally, professionally and spiritually.
  6. Always pay it forward! (i.e. time, resources, etc..)
  7. Last but not least, the answer is out there you just have to be mentally present to listen for it.  How many times have we missed out on an opportunity or blessing because we weren’t present to listen and then take action? The most successful entrepreneurs that I have watched and read about, listened and took action (strategically)! Seize the moment!

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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1 min read

Black Owned Luxury Brands To Support Instead of GUCCI and Prada

Years after the Gucci and Prada debacle, apologies have been made as well as attempts to win back consumer trust. No matter the motive behind these gestures, the fact remains that there are too many Black owned luxury brands that offer great products for us to keep supporting the same brands religiously.

That being said, here is a list of Black owned luxury brands that you can use to replace the usual suspects.

#NEVERFORGET

Black Owned Luxury Brands

Wear Brims

Frances Grey

Tori Soudan

House of Takura

MIITRA

SWAV Eyewear

Linell Ellis

Undra Celeste

4th & Avery

 

Lemlem

Fe Noel

Armando Cabral

Wales Bonner

ZAAF

Mifland

Andrea Iyamah

Ozwald Boateng

Made Leather Co.

Hanifa

Monrowe NYC

Christie Brown

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1 min read

Black Owned Jewelry Businesses That Should Be on Your Radar

Adorn yourself with empowerment! In the vibrant world of fashion, Black owned jewelry businesses are flourishing with creativity and cultural richness.

From delicate, hand-crafted pieces to bold, statement-making designs, these brands offer a unique perspective on the art of adornment. Whether you seek timeless elegance or fashion-forward flair, get ready to discover a treasure trove of trinkets that tell a story and celebrate individuality.

Black Owned Jewelry Businesses

Lorraine West Jewelry

Sewit Sium Jewelry

Egbo Collections

Black Owned Jewelry

Johnny Nelson

black owned jewelry

Yenae

Afrohemien Jewelry

Adele Dejak

Black Owned Jewelry

Sheryl Jones Diamond and Gemstone Jewelry

Lunaversoul

Anita Quansah London

Valerie Madison

Tracey Beale

ADORN 42.20

Moijey Fine Diamonds

Nirvana Wild

Black Owned Jewelry

Mock & Co 

 

Saint Jewels

Lingua Nigra

Black Owned Jewelry

Limba Gal

Jam + Rico

Black Owned Jewelry

Omi Woods

black owned jewelry

 

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4 mins read

Black Owned New Jersey Businesses You Should Know

Here’s our list of Black Owned New Jersey Businesses. Check them out, support, and let us know and let us know which ones missed!

Black Owned New Jersey

Mo’Pweeze Bakery offers delectable treats like cupcakes, cakes, breads, cookies and pies that are just as indulgent as regular bakery items.

Bailey Li interiors is an interior designer with the ability to transform spaces into stunning environments.

Bella Nail Lounge and Beauty Bar is a stylish salon for manicures & pedicures, plus facials, waxing & eyelash extensions.

8 to 8 Barber Shop is a rapidly growing, forward thinking, hair therapy salon offering personalized hair & massage services to men, women, and children.

Blending pure Americana staples with the strong cultural cues of Indian cuisine, BURGER WALLA is a new twist on the BURGER joint.

Sugar Fetish Cakery is a custom cake design studio specializing in wedding cakes, specialty cakes, cupcakes, cookies, dessert tables and more.

Mac’n! by Mari specializes in making traditional french macarons with flavor & style.

Soul Xpressiion is a non-profit organization designed to educate students in the areas of fine and performing arts, stage management, stage production development, and how to utilize their gifts to inspire others.

DNT Dynamite Design describes the work of Daveia Odoi who offers professional illustration and graphic design services to various businesses, organizations, and individuals in need of high quality visuals.

 

Gideon’s Needle is a Bespoke Lifestyle brand. We custom design clothing based on your body shape and type.

Ikuzi Dolls are beautiful black dolls that come in different shades of brown, hair textures and hairstyles.

The Newark Times is the premier online multimedia and news site dedicated to sharing the narratives and perspectives of the great city of Newark NJ.

Butter + Nectar premium satin pillowcases that protect your curls and promote healthy hair and skin. Prevent the loss of natural hair oils, reduce breakage, split ends and tangles, and minimize frizz.

NoiaBrittany is a homemade, raw, organic, cruelty-free skin care line. Noia, for short, celebrates all skin types and improves skin care naturally.

Mr. Tod’s is a niche bakery specializing in pies and other baked goods made from scratch using all-natural ingredients.

Prime Surgicare specializes in minimally-invasive bariatric surgery for rapid, sustainable weight loss.

Tara Dowdell Group is a marketing and strategic consulting firm driven by a passion for helping socially conscious businesses, brands, and organizations grow.

Bro-Ritos Food Truck is a food truck that specializes in…burritos.

But-A-Cake specializes in making Butter Cakes, a delicious treat made with simple ingredients that result in a fusion of pound cake and vanilla angel food cake.

Black Swan Espresso is Newark’s first Specialty Coffee and Tea Shop. They specialize in using the highest quality international coffee beans in all their roasts.

Blueberry Cafe’ Juice Bar & Grille prepares Organic Cold Pressed Juices and Smoothies  along with Vegan Wraps and Soups that help people on their quest for good food and a good life.

Yamean Studios Films is a full service cinematography studio specializing in cinematic style wedding films.

She Imagined Sweets creates Mini Cheesecakes for birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, anniversaries, networking events.

Stellar Smile Center offers in office and take home whitening. They also have options for whitening for those with sensitive teeth.

Built in 1903, Akwaaba Buttonwood Manor is a colonial-style inn with modern amenities located in America’s oldest seaside resort, Cape May.

 

-Tony O. Lawson

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6 mins read

Expedition Subsahara: Empowering Girls To Rise From Poverty

Expedition Subsahara is on a mission to translate beautiful home décor and jewelry into education for girls in poverty. They are doing this by working with artisans in Senegal and Uganda to produce amazing handcrafted goods. We spoke with Rosebell Komugisha, one of the two founders. This is what she had to say:

SB: What inspired the creation of your Expedition Subsahara?

ES: We know some of the obstacles to development in the rural areas in Sub-saharan Africa, having always been action oriented, we wanted to take responsibility by doing something for the women in the underdeveloped communities back home.

Expedition Subsahara
Founders: Safietou Seck and Rosebell Komugisha

We focused on women specifically because United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) studies have shown that women will invest their income in the development of their families and communities, but men tend to use their income to indulge in selfish vices. Literally, when you educate a girl, you educate a village.

On the U.S. side, we were sensing a need for people to connect, embrace, and understand cultures beyond their own. By introducing African goods into the American market, we would be able to share our rich Sub-Saharan culture with people in the United States while elevating women back home.


SB: What makes Expedition Subsahara a “conscious” business?

ES: Our goal is to add value to our societies and not to exploit the environment or consumers and producers for the sake of profit. The intention is to foster social change through education, to provide economic emancipation to women with few opportunities in the case of Sub-Saharan Africa.

In the U.S., our purpose is to expose Americans to unique forms of home decor and link African and American cultures.

All of our goods are handmade by local Sub-saharan artisans. We have noticed that handmade African baskets and clothing are now being mass-produced in China and have been solicited by those wholesalers.

Our response is always no, we are not here to maximize profit, but to elevate each stakeholder, the producer, consumer, environment, and the communities where we intend to build the trade schools.

SB: Why is conscious economics or conscious consumerism important to you?

ES: It is important that we move away from the market model that pushes profit for the sake of profit without trying to build people or the environment. It dehumanizes producers and consumers, keeps people trapped in cycles of poverty and encourages the over consumption.

But it doesn’t just end there for us, we are very much aware that African markets are saturated with western goods that are mass-produced in China.

Through conscious consumerism, we have an avenue to hand some selling power back to African artisans by creating a space in the western market.


SB: What have been the most interesting and challenging parts of running your business?

ES: The most interesting part about running our business is witnessing African products being wholeheartedly embraced in the western world.

The challenge is remembering to keep the vision of our company woven in all of work even with the demand of the smaller daily task.

SB: What are some pros and some cons of using artisans to produce your products?

ES: Sub-sahran artisans are very dedicated, patient, and take great pride in their work. They also want to maintain business partnership, so they make sure to always deliver well made products. The only disadvantage is the very high cost of shipping from Africa to the united States.

SB: Where do you see your company in 5 years?

ES: We’ll be running or first trade school in Senegal and equipping women with the skills necessary for them to be economically independent and build their communities.

We will also have systems in place to track the impact of our graduates on their local communities. Lastly, in addition to our online store, we have a brick and mortar location.

SB: What advice do you have for those who want to work with artisans that reside abroad?

ES: Be fair to the artists that you are purchasing your products from and keep in mind that for many of them, this is their main source of income.

Find a great shipping company, international shipping costs can be obnoxious. Partner with local organizations whose goal is to develop the community. Any time they are already working with local artisans, this give you a reliable and fair source for your goods.

Find out more about Expedition Subsahara by visiting their website here.

-Tony O. Lawson


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