Browse Tag


3 mins read

Eastside Golf Receives $3.4 Million to Drive Cultural Shift in Golf

Eastside Golf, the lifestyle golf brand founded in 2019, recently closed a $3.4 million seed round led by EP Golf Ventures, a partnership between the PGA of America and Elysian Park Ventures. The investment aims to accelerate Eastside Golf’s growth and redefine the cultural perception of golf.

Founded by Olajuwon Ajanaku and Earl Cooper, Eastside Golf has achieved remarkable success, experiencing a 600% year-over-year growth in the past two years. The company has grown from 2 employees to 16, its revenue reportedly increasing from $100,000 in its first year to $4 million in 2023.

eastside golf
Eastside Golf founders, Earl Cooper (L) and Olajuwon Ajanaku (R)

The brand’s unique apparel line has resonated beyond traditional golf circles, embraced by professionals, celebrities, and athletes.

EP Golf Ventures, recognizing Eastside Golf’s potential, commended the founders for creating a brand that transcends golf’s traditional boundaries. Jay Adya, Managing Partner at Elysian Park Ventures and EP Golf Ventures, expressed confidence in Eastside Golf’s capacity for immense growth.

Seth Waugh, CEO of PGA of America, highlighted the organization’s commitment to evolving golf culture. The partnership with Eastside Golf aligns with PGA of America’s goal to broaden participation in the sport and make it more inclusive. The investment supports Eastside Golf’s mission to create new entry points for diverse audiences.

With the secured funding, Eastside Golf plans to launch new product lines, including wholesale and women’s apparel. The company aims to double the number of pop-up events in major markets, hosting its second-annual Eastside Golf Invitational during New York Fashion Week. The highly anticipated “Spring Forward” collection will debut at the PGA Show in Orlando.

eastside golf

The company’s success extends to celebrity endorsements, including NBA stars Chris Paul and Jayson Tatum, NFL great Victor Cruz, musician DJ Khaled, and former President Barack Obama. Collaborations with global brands like Jordan Brand and strategic partnerships with the NBA, MLB, and Mercedes Benz underscore the brand’s impact.

Deeply committed to social causes, Eastside Golf has donated $150K to support HBCU golf, emphasizing inclusivity and authenticity. The founders envision creating brick-and-mortar locations and expanding internationally, with gratitude for EP Golf Ventures’ support.

With a focus on inclusivity and innovative design, Eastside Golf is poised to lead the way in making golf more accessible and appealing to a diverse audience.

by Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

Black Owned Face Mask Businesses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised its face mask policy and is now urging everyone to wear cloth face coverings in public.

According to their website, “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

This announcement has spurred an increase in businesses that offer face masks. Here are some Black Owned Face Mask businesses that are creating face masks for those in need.

We know we missed some and will continue to update the list!

Black Owned Face Mask Businesses

All Things Ankara

House of Nambili

black owned face mask businesses



Printed Pattern People

Black Owned Face Mask Businesses

Mujo Six

Figaro Apparel

Sue Rock Originals



The Happy Mask Store

black owned mask

The Boxing Kitten

Beautiful Curly Me

Ngozika Okeke

NSAA African Creations 


Frank & Myrhh


Eki’s Famous

Crown Inspired

Akese Stylelines

black owned face mask

Veronica Ariel

Candace Cort Designs

NSMITH Collection

Nuri Designs

Sun Gods

Face Masks by MNM

Shukuru Couture


ISG Solutions Group

black owned mask

Mckenzie Liautaud 

black owned mask



Sirani’s Fashion

black owned face mask

The Peoples Mask

Over The Moon


Jaelen of All Trades


Stay safe out there, fam!


Tony O. Lawson

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Feature image credit: (Gordwin Odhiambo / AFP via Getty Images)

7 mins read

KoshieO: The Black Owned Luxury Brand Representing The Culture

The luxury fashion brand, KoshieO is the brainchild of  Nina Baksmaty. It all started while she was still in college in Missouri and wanted to make some extra money.

Because fashion came as second nature to her, she started a business trading in accessories and shoes that she bought from NYC.

Although Nina only did this to make ends meet, she eventually began to enjoy being involved in the business of fashion. That is when she had the “aha moment” that inspired the creation of KoshieO.

Nina Baksmaty

Tell us more about why You started your business.

As an African immigrant, I wanted to blend both cultures to come up with unique pieces that showcased my African heritage as well as the culture of my new home, America.

A lot of prominent brands have been inspired by the African continent. I believe it is time we rise and tell our own stories through our designs with the same quality of work, if not better.

All of this led to the inspiration of the brand 10 years ago and has also attracted some big names in the industry like the Late Franca Sozzani (editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia).

Can you describe your background in the fashion industry?

 I like to say that I was born into fashion. My mother was an outstanding fashion designer of her time and I remember always being fascinated while watching  her make clothes.

She always told me the story of how she had to go to work at a factory in London while she was pregnant with me so she could afford baby stuff.

As I was growing up I spent a lot of time around her sewing room and was exposed to all her work tools and sewing equipment. 

She eventually got me a hand machine which I used to practice sewing dresses for my dolls, and thus began my journey to fashion.

How would you describe your designs?

My designs can be described as vibrant fabrics put together to create a luxury brand that pays homage to the uniqueness and beauty of Africa.

Black Owned Luxury

Usually, when people think African-Inspired they think wax print, but these prints are a staple of African fabric, so we chose to make them look different by merging them on other quality fabrics like Egyptian cotton and silks to bring our designs to life.

We wanted to create something that could be on the same level as international standards and be in the same space as some high-end brands we grew up with.

I started at the time when this space was yet to be created in the Fashion Industry in America for African brands but I can proudly say that the high-end stores that we are distributing to puts KoshieO in the same space as some of these brands now. 

Black Owned Luxury  

Where do you see the business in 5 years?

We are currently in stores in areas like NYC, Washington. DC, Virginia, L.A., Detroit, Toronto, Chicago, Accra (Ghana) and still working to quickly expand distribution into many more stores both nationally and internationally.

We want our logo (which is the silhouette of a woman carrying goods on her head and a baby on her back) to be iconic and easily recognizable. This logo symbolizes “all women who deftly and successfully combines parenting, housekeeping, and breadwinning.”

I started a foundation (which we are still working on) with the ultimate goal to develop communities by investing in entrepreneurs. Our focus will be mainly here in the USA and Africa. Our motto is to “empower one entrepreneur and change entire communities.” Hoping to achieve all this in the next 5 years. 

What advice do you have for aspiring designers?

I know that innately people know what they want to be. Our creator made us that way but often times we are crippled by fear.

Fear to me is an enemy of progress. I am a black woman that had a dream to own a luxury fashion label that not only catered to female folks but also the male folks as well and I accomplished that. I did it without letting fear stop me.

So my advice to aspiring designers would be that, If you want to get into fashion start writing down goals on what you want to achieve. Fashion is not just about sketching garments and creating designs, there’s also a business and branding aspect to it.

Secondly, exposure to working with designers and brands also helps, this way you will be privy to the whole scope of what the industry entails. You have to also be passionate about what you are doing because while there will be ups and downs your passion for what you are doing will remind you to stick to it.

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.


Black Owned Luxury Brands

Wear Brims

Frances Grey

Tori Soudan

House of Takura


SWAV Eyewear

Linell Ellis

Undra Celeste

4th & Avery



Fe Noel

Armando Cabral

Wales Bonner



Andrea Iyamah

Ozwald Boateng

Made Leather Co.


Monrowe NYC

Christie Brown

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5 mins read

Couples Inc. : Blair and Brandon Created Apparel brand, The Blairisms

Blair Dottin-Haley and Brandon Dottin-Haley are the owners of The Blairisms, a fashion brand that started off offering tee shirts and expanded into other apparel.
Their products, emblazoned with humorous, witty and inspiring phases, have quickly become recognized by the likes of En Vogue and D.L. Hughley.
We reached out to find out more about their journey as partners in life and in business.

SB: How did you both meet? 

Blair: We met online in early 2009 and spent the majority of the year communicating back and forth through different social platforms and instant messenger.

When we met in October, it wasn’t long before we realized that being together wasn’t as much of an option as it was a calling.

Not long after we officially started dating, Brandon (Bae) decided that it was a done deal, Blair agreed, and we were married a year later.

SB: What inspired the creation of The Blairisms?

Brandon: Blair had been churning out these quick life lessons for years. They usually came out during a conversation and he would realize that someone else could benefit from the message. The lesson would then be posted to Facebook and tagged #Blairisms.
Fast forward a few years and while at lunch with a friend, she looks at him and says “you know, if you put the Blairisms on t-shirts, people would buy them?”

A couple weeks later Blair and Bae put together mock ups of what the best 5 #Blairisms would look like on a shirt and began a week of pre-sales to test the market. Hundreds of #Blairisms sold in the first week, which let us know we were on to something.

Once we worked out the kinks and figured out how to get the product out quickly we focused on building our assortment and getting more customers.


SB: Describe your individual personalities and explain how they come together to make the business work.

Brandon: Blair is so New Orleans his grandmother has a street named after her downtown. Bae is the business-savvy operations expert.

Together we’ve tried to create a brand that represents who we are as individuals and what we feel our community needs.

The Blairisms reflects both of our vibrant, unapologetically Black-Queer personalities and passion for celebrating the truth. As any married couple knows, making a relationship work is work.

Making a business thrive in the midst of making the relationship work is a miracle.

SB: What has been the most challenging part of your entrepreneurial journey so far? What is the most gratifying?
Blair: One of the most challenging parts of being an entrepreneur is expecting to see all of our friends and family support our vision and business with their actions and words. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case and it’s been tough to swallow.

Also, similarly to making our marriage work, the challenges we each have with each other show up in our work together.

We don’t surprise each other much when there’s a disagreement on how we should move forward with the business, it just becomes another process of working it out and coming to a peaceful compromise.

The most gratifying part has been sharing the success and experiences of a lifetime with each other.

This has been surreal on so many levels and the business has surpassed our expectations 10 fold so every day This keeps going, we feel more blessed and thankful that we’ve got each other to pinch.


 SB: What advice do you have for couples that are also business partners?

Brandon: Know your boundaries and make sure there’s balance. It can be difficult to stop working when you live with the person you work with so make sure you both understand how the other one works and when they need to take a break.

You have to hold each other accountable and make sure that roles and responsibilities are clear.

Pray for each other, pray with each other and be honest about what you’re feeling. This is a marathon and if you do it right, each day feels like you just won the race of your life.


See more The Blairism gear on their website.

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson (IG @thebusyafrican)

1 min read

Black Owned Clothing Brands You Should Know

If you’re in the market for some new gear, why not support some Black owned clothing brands? From stylish tees to cozy hoodies and everything in between, there are plenty of amazing options out there.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the best Black-owned clothing brands for those looking to add some new pieces to their wardrobe. Whether you’re in the market for casual wear or something a bit more upscale, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

Black Owned Clothing Brands

Undefined Clothing

Black Bourgeois

black owned clothing



black owned clothing

black owned clothing
black owned clothing

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1 min read

Black Owned Dapper Brands You Should Know

Dressing dapper means many things to many people. Depending on who you ask, it could mean anything from wearing a freshly starched button-down to a three piece suit with a top hat.

Thankfully, there are several Black owned dapper brands that offer options for perfecting your personal style.


Black Owned Dapper Brands

WELTHĒ Clothing

Black Owned Dapper Brands

Koshie O


Ruth Nathan’s

Sharp Crisp Clean

Maurice Sedwelldapper

Connaisseur Paris

The Kente Gentleman

Haute Butch

FlameKeepers Hat Club

black owned dapper

William Malcolm Luxe Collection

Harrison Blake Apparel


Eaden Myles


Don Morphy


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5 mins read

This Black Owned Pet Apparel Business Creates Dapper Dogs

According to the American Pet Products Association, estimated pet-related spending totaled $95.7 billion in 2019. Sir Dogwood is a Black owned pet apparel line playing in this booming industry.
We caught up with the Founder, Chaz Olajide. This is what she had to say:
Black Owned Pet Apparel
Chaz Olajide

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that you must be a dog owner. What’s your dog’s name, breed, and age?

You are correct! I have one dog, a 3-year-old miniature schnauzer named Winston Churchill.
Black Owned Pet Apparel

What inspired you to start Sir Dogwood?

I started Sir Dogwood out of a need that I didn’t feel was being addressed in the market for a clean, chic, non-gender-normative modern collection of dog wear and accessories. 
Black Owned Pet Apparel

You offer a curated selection of products. How do you decide what suppliers to partner with?

I look for brands that offer an aesthetic that matches Sir Dogwood’s clean modern style. I also partner with local makers to create exclusive pieces only available on our site.
For instance, we partnered with Chicago-based Peter Gaona of Reformed School to create a line of upcycled African print bowties for dogs this past year.

What is your response to people who look at pet apparel as unnecessary or as a novelty?

Pet apparel is not for everyone, but we cater to those who consider themselves pet parents rather than pet owners.
For them, they’re happy to spoil their dog with something a bit more unique than what one might find at a big box store, like a kitschy hand knit toy or luxe cashmere sweater.
Black Owned Pet Apparel
For those who aren’t into dog wear, we also offer basics like a selection of chic collars with beautiful brass hardware from See Scout Sleep out of Amsterdam. 

SMany of the dog owners that I know, consider their dogs their children. For the non-dog owner, explain the bond that can exist between a canine and its owner.

I’m obviously biased, but dogs are the best: they’re always happy to see you, are expert snugglers and possess unending patience and poise when dressed in a seemingly endless array of clothing and accessories. Well, the latter is true of my pup, anyway.
Black Owned Pet Apparel

Right now you sell clothing, toys, and accessories for dogs only. Do you plan on extending your offering to include other animals?

CO: Yes! I am considering offering clothing, accessories and toys for cats in the near future as well. 

The pet clothing market has a lot more players than I expected. What do you feel separates you from the others?

When I initially showed the website to one of my close friends, her first reaction was to note that it looked as though I curated the dog version of my own wardrobe, which was brilliant to hear because that was very intentional on my part.
I tend to gravitate toward wearing minimal, modern clothing in neutral tones myself, and I choose dog wear and accessories for Sir Dogwood that mirror this aesthetic.

sir dogwood

I also want Sir Dogwood to be an inclusive space for dog owners of color – to that end I am also launching a series that will feature pet parents of color in various creative industries and their relationships with their dogs, which will debut in 2017.

Where do you see your company in 5 years?

In five years I’d love to see Sir Dogwood opening our first brick and mortar in Chicago (hopefully the first of many!).


sir dogwood

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to trust your instincts and to not hesitate to say “no” if something doesn’t feel authentic to your brand.

Tony O. Lawson

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