Browse Tag

children

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Afrinanny Connects Black Children With The Right Childcare Providers

Afrinanny is an online marketplace where families of Black children can locate childcare providers with culturally relevant experience.

We caught up with founder, Dr. Irene Okoronkwo-Obika to find out more about her business and future plans.

Afrinanny
Dr. Irene Okoronkwo-Obika

 

What inspired you to start your business?

I was inspired because I was searching for caregivers online and did not have a pleasurable experience with locating providers who would understand the unique needs of my children. I figured that families of Black children need a streamlined way to access providers. Our kids need to be the priority, not the afterthought.

Why is it important that Black families locate childcare providers with culturally relevant experience?

From birth, the odds are stacked against Black children. It is important for them to have a community around that uplifts and instills cultural pride and identity.

Afrinanny
African American kids smiling.

What is the most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur? What is the most challenging?

The most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur is solving the problems of my community. The most challenging thing is balancing family life and business. It is important to have a healthy mix.

What do you feel would help take your business to the next level?

I feel that community support via word of mouth will help our brand grow.

Where would you like to see your brand 5 years from now?

I would like to see the bigger brands in our space partnering with us to get a wider reach to our customers.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I suggest to all aspiring entrepreneurs to prioritize family, health, and business. It is very important to remain spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy on this journey.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Brands for Children and Baby Items

Here is a list of Black owned brands that sell items for children and babies. Some even have products for parents and teens. Check them out, support them, and let us know which others should be added!

Black Owned Brands for Children and Babies

Step Stitches

CooperRose Baby

Royal Babies & Tots

Pooters Diapers

Black Owned Brands for Children

Fun Science Kit

Gabby Bows

The Fresh Dolls

Black Owned Brands for Children

Brave + Kind Bookshop

Kinara Park Kids

Black Owned Brands for Children

Swimma

Black Owned Brands for Children

Dionne Gooding 

Black Owned Brands for Children

Beautiful Curly Me

Black Owned Brands for Children

HBCU Pride & Joy Boutique

Breukelyn Threads

Cozy N Cute Kids Boutique

Muffin Sisters

Ade + Ayo

 

Puzzle Huddle

Chez Bébé 

Kaba Baby

Neon Kisses

 

-Tony O. Lawson

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Mompreneur plans to launch Detroit’s first Co-Working Play Space for Families

Once it launches this summer, Social Tykes will be Detroit’s first co-working play space for mothers and families.

The 1,700-square-foot space will offer open play time for a daily or monthly fee for children ages 0-6. It also has co-working-style seating for parents, movement classes for parents and kids and a two- to five-hour drop-in care program.

Social Tykes aims to create community amongst parents, offering conversations, training and resources to help dismantle the loneliness of parenting navigation.

Social Tykes

We caught up with  Social Tykes founder, Raven Fisher to find out more

What inspired you to start the business?

My boys for sure. Really, kids in general. Seeing them happy, building relationships, meeting new friends, growing together.  It warms my heart! I lost my mom young, and thanks to her she helped me build relationships with some of the friends I still have to this day!  I’m hoping that Social Tykes is this space where others can connect, and potentially make life long friends!

Social Tykes
Social Tykes founder, Raven Fisher

What type of training and resources do you plan on offering?

We will have sessions in first aid, CPR, birthing classes, Postpartum care (for mommy and baby), postpartum depression / mental health, etc.

Artist rendering

Where do you see the business in 5 years?

Potentially opening up a full-on daycare, in addition to the play space. The response to the drop in care has been amazing, and I want to be able to give our customers what they need/want. After a couple of years in business, I’m hoping to learn more about becoming a franchise, and expanding to other cities!

Artist rendering

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t give up on what you’re called to do! I had a time where I was 8 months pregnant, seconds away from throwing the towel in due to hearing “no”, or “you can’t” too many times. God will not put you through anything you cannot handle, and it’s always worth following his plan.

The brand plans to host a community open house and release the official open date June 2020.

 

-Tony O. Lawson

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Couples, Inc. : Keewa and Doug own Kidswear Brand, Kido Chicago

Kido Chicago is a Chicago based clothing line for babies and toddlers. The brand features a number of colorful, positive images and messages on onesies, t-shirts and more.

We spoke to husband and wife founders, Keewa Nurullah and Doug Freitag to find out how they balance business and family.

kido chicago
Kido Chicago founders, Keewa Nurullah and Doug Freitag

How did you both meet?

Keewa: A mutual friend invited me to a barbecue Doug was hosting at his house.

What inspired you to start Kido Chicago?

Keewa: When my son was about 7 months old, I simply got tired of all the trucks, dinosaurs, and lil’ slugger styles for boys.

I had a few ideas for some onesies, and Doug encouraged me to develop them and see about getting them printed.

 

I really wanted to see children of color reflected on apparel the way we’ve started to see change in children’s books.

What decision was made or action taken that was a “game changer” for your business?

Doug: Hosting events for families. It’s one thing to sell a product on the internet, but if you can connect your product to a lifestyle and create a community, that’s success.

Keewa: Getting our storefront. We’ve met so many new families just strolling into the shop that may have never found us in the vast online marketplace.

It lets us connect to our customers in a personal way, and it keeps them invested in our success.

kido chicago

Describe your individual personalities and how you fuse them to make the business work?

Doug: I’m a visual artist, so I focus on the design and creation of the garments. Keewa is very connected to the families and what they are into.

We have to listen to each other and prioritize one or the other, depending on the design.

What advice do you have for other couples who are in business together or thinking about it?

Doug: Give each other the space to make mistakes. Every person has a different process, so let your mate have room to succeed or fail in individual decisions before you insert your advice sometimes.

kido chicago

Keewa: Go for it! Do all the research and preparation you can. Then, ask the experts in your life for even more advice and help.

kido chicago

Also, be sure that you have a viable business model before you put the strain and stress onto your relationship.

If you’re working together towards something great, it can breathe new life into your relationship!

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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This 9yr Old Kidpreneur Has Built a Bath Bomb Business

Lani Boo Bath is a business that uses natural ingredients to make Bath Bomb ‘s. What’s different about this particular business is that the entrepreneur that created it is only 9 years old!

You know we had to find out more about Jelani Jones of Fredericksburg, Virginia. We chatted with her and her mother, Crystal to learn more.

Jelani and some of her products (Photo Credit: Terri Baskin)

SB: Why did you decide to make bath bombs?

Jelani: One day I went to a class at Ms. Christi’s (who is now my mentor) shop. I enjoyed making bath bombs so much that I actually started a business making them. Her class was something that I looked forward to doing for a while .

SB: How did you know Jelani had what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Crystal (Mom): Jelani is not afraid to put herself out there. She is very confident and savvy with her money. Since she was a toddler, she’s always asserted herself and has always had her own way of doing things.

Her asserting herself was frustrating for me because it felt like defiance.

My friend telling me that she was displaying characteristics of a leader helped me to be more flexible in the way I parented her…. and less frustrated I still tell myself “give her options”.

 

SB: What is the most fun part of making your products?

 Jelani: I love being able to feel the texture of the bath bomb mix. And I like to mix all the ingredients together . It’s so satisfying ! And the soaps,I like putting all the oils and butter into the crockpot and feeling the moisture!

SB: How do balance school and your business?

 Jelani: Now I’m on summer break . But when I’m not on summer break I pick days to tend to my business and make bath bombs . I  also do all my homework in study hall .

SB: In what ways are you nurturing Jelani’s interest in entrepreneurship? 

Crystal (Mom): My husband and I try to keep Lani around good people.

We also support her and let her know that she can do whatever she wants if she puts the time and effort into it (as we tell all our kids).

She has good friends that she loves who are also entrepreneurs.

Jelani and the fam (Photo Credit: Terri Baskin)

Lani is in a program called ShEO founded by DeShawn Robinson-Chew. Its a coaching program for girls her age up to 18.

They learn about business plans, developing goals for their business, profit/loss, and they have monthly masterminds and individual coaching sessions.

Photo Credit: Terri Baskin

I also keep her connected with her mentor Christi Carter of Emerald Bee Bath. Christi is amazing and helps her w the crafting, wholesale product and business side of things.

Our own friends have gone above and beyond in supporting Lani also….. We stress the fact that it takes a village.

Lastly, Lani sees that my husband and I are passionate about our own businesses. I think children feed off of passion. She’s sat w her dad in court and she has helped me at my office as well.

We model it a love for what we do and flexibility that comes with entrepreneurship.

 
SB: How do you like to relax when you aren’t working on business or schoolwork?
 
Jelani: I’m so glad you asked that! Sometimes I have self care Sundays where I enjoy some of my bath bombs  and put  green tea in my bath. I know what you’re thinking what’s next  sugar and honey?!

I also love to hang out with my best friends Kyndal and Destinee who also have businesses named D’s Tees and Kindles Kandles. Or I’ll play outside with my next door neighbor. I also like going shopping for new cute clothes.

Lots of times I’ll go to sleep for a long time because after I get all my orders ready I get tired. Sometimes I watch television.

My favorite shows are Sister Sister, Moesha, Everybody Hates Chris, all shows Disney channel, and A Different World. I enjoy all of those things.

SB: Are there any  other  products you would like to learn how to make?
 
Jelani: I would love to make moisturizing body butters that will be healthier on peoples skin than store bought lotion . I’d also like to make exfoliating sugar scrubs that get the dead skin off of your body still without chemicals being put on your body.

For more details about Lani Boo Bath, visit  www.etsy.com/shop/LaniBooBath 

 

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson aka @thebusyafrican

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Mother Creates Swimming Cap for Black Hairstyles

Nomvuyo Treffers is the creator of Swimma, a brand of swimming caps designed specifically for hairstyles like dreadlocks, braids, Afros as well as weaves.

The best business ideas solve a problem. Nomvuyo’s problem was that whenever she got in the pool with her two daughters that love to swim, it took forever for her dreadlocks to dry.

She couldn’t find any locally made products and the ones she did find were overseas and expensive.

She decided to create her own. “I started thinking how can it be that in a country like South Africa, with the demographics that we have, that we don’t have a product like this for Black people,” she says.

As with many businesses, finding the right manufacturer is not always easy. Nomvuyo went through ten manufacturers before finding the right one.

She now plans to expand into several other African countries, including Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? Do not be afraid of taking calculated risks.

“When you think of an idea, don’t wait and think – act on it,” she says.

“Whatever gap you see, you should take it and take a chance because that’s what entrepreneurship is about.  Sometimes you have to go with your gut, but obviously market research is critical.”

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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Businesses and Organizations Owned by Black Children

We love discovering new businesses, especially those owned by brilliant Black children! Some of these kids are barely of driving age and are already OG’s in the business game.

Congrats to them and kudos to the parents and other adults that are providing them with guidance and support.

Businesses and Organizations Owned by Black Children

 

Gabrielle Goodwin is thePresident and CEO of GaBBY Bows, a hair accessory business that adds a unique twist to the classic barrette.

Essynce Moore  is the owner of a clothing line branded Essynce Couture, LLC.

Black Children

Marley Dias is the creator of the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. She was inspired to create the campaign because of the lack of diversity in the books she was reading at school.

Black Children

Zandra Azariah Cunningham is the founder of the beauty brand,  Zandra Beauty.

Cory Nieves, also known as “Mr. Cory” is the founder and CEO of an all-natural cookie company called Mr. Cory’s Cookies.

Black Children

Angels and Tomboys is a beauty and bodycare company for ‘tween’ and teen girls created by siblings, Madison Star and Mallory Iyana.

Maya Penn is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, animator, artist, and the CEO of her eco-friendly fashion company Maya’s Ideas.

Black Children

Mikaila Ulmer is the founder and CEO of the natural beverage brand, BeeSweet Lemonade.

Moziah “Mo” Bridges is the CEO of the handmade bow tie compay, Mo’s Bows.

Kierra Perkins is the founder of the candle company, Kandles by Kierra.

Christopher J. Suggs started Kinston Teens as an effort to amplify the voices of all of the youth and to create civic engagement and community service opportunities for his peers in his home city of Kinston, NC.

Yummy Brothers is a gourmet catering company that specializes in Yummy Cookies, Yummy Beverages, Yummy Cookie Platters, and Yummy Dog Treats.

Fréres Branchiaux Candle Company is a handmade body, candle, and home fragrance goods company created by brothers Collin, Ryan, and Austin Gill.

 

Tony O. Lawson


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The Brown Crayon Project: The First Organic Skin & Hair Care products for Children of Color

Many of the chemicals that come in contact with our skin can be absorbed into our bloodstream. That being said, it’s important for us to be aware of what’s in the skin products we use on ourselves and our loved ones.

A notable line of products to get into is offered by The Brown Crayon Project. They offer the first certified-organic, all natural line of skin & hair care products intentionally designed for babies, toddlers and children of color.

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We recently caught up with the founder, Selma Idris to learn more about her and her business. This is what she had to say:

SB: What inspired you to create The Brown Crayon Project?

SI: My boys. When I couldn’t find the products I needed and wanted to care for my boys in the way I wanted to, I decided to make them.

Brown Crayon Project

SB: What did you have to learn and what did you already know about creating a quality skin and hair care brand?

SI: My background is in identity development for new products and companies. I have helped clients plan, launch and extend their products and services. The experience has been invaluable but I know my role was a very small component of what it takes to create and sustain a quality product, company and brand. I knew what I didn’t know, which was a lot.

the-brown-crayon-project-collection-2016SB: Your brand is made with babies of color in mind. Are there certain skin and hair care needs specific to Black babies?  What ingredients do you incorporate to ensure the best results?

SI: Yes, my children’s hair looks, feels and needs different than the regimens, products, formula textures, colors and smells previously available to me in mass market products.

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Our formulas are based on recipes that have been in my culture for centuries. We refined them replacing ingredients such as animal fats with plant based fats (example: lamb fats to avocado oil) and tested them on my children and children in our community.

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We believe healthy skin grows healthy hair, so we nurture the scalp and skin with super-nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera leaf juice that help heal skin but keep locks moisturized all day long.

We are continuously researching and developing new products to fill the void in products available to our children, always sourcing and testing to find the combinations that work best for us.

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SB: Sometimes the difference between success and failure can be finding the right production partner to help you grow. How did you find yours and how did you know they were the right one?

SI: Finding the right partner was a long and frustrating process of trial and error. I believe the right partner should be excited about your work, invested in your vision and demonstrate their own track record of success, professionalism, corporate and social accountability. My partner met and exceeded my needs and has earned my trust.

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SB: You are the mother of two young boys. I would bet an unreasonable amount of money that they keep you on your toes on a daily basis. In your opinion, what is the most important skill to master as a mother and entrepreneur?

SI: For me it’s been staying conscious and aware of how I am feeling and performing, when I am at my best and when it’s time to retreat and ask for help. Neither my boys nor my business accept “No” for an answer, so I’ve had to rely on both my personal and professional communities for support. But first I had to be aware of when and how I needed it.

Brown Crayon Project

SB: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

SI: Make time to be alone and think. Write, meditate, nap…disappear to wherever you can best hear yourself. Give yourself an opportunity to develop and work through your own ideas and learn your process.

For more information about The Brown Crayon Project, check out their website.

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson