Browse Tag

hair products

1 min read

Black Owned Bonnet Brands That Aren’t Charging $98

According to NiteCap Founder Sarah Marantz, she came up with the idea for a satin bonnet “after much consideration, conceptualization, brainstorming, and borderline obsessive research.”

black owned satin bonnet brands
NiteCap Founder Sarah Marantz

Fortunately, for Black women everywhere, someone else had the bright idea of creating appropriate sleepwear to keep their hairdos intact. Black Owned satin bonnet brands have existed for ages. Here are a few of our faves for Black girls who considered hair bonnets when sleeping on their hands wasn’t enough…

Black Owned Bonnet Brands

Regal Ivy

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Beautiful Curly Me


ID Noble


Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Purrty Dimples

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Peace Crown’d

Beauty Marked & Co

Natural Hair Shop

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Eboni Curls

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Glow by Daye

FlorBella Boutique

Goodnight Hair Bonnets

Grace Eleyae

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Isoken Enofe

Black Owned Satin Bonnet

Loza Tam

Special thanks to Kami (@frobunni) for helping us compile this list! It takes a village!

-Tony O. Lawson 

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2 mins read

Couples Inc. : Beauty Supply Store Owners, Quintin & Megan Lathan

After all the conversations about how too few Black people are involved in the beauty supply industry, we were glad to learn about Quintin and Megan Lathan. They own Beauty Plus, a beauty supply store in Baltimore.

How did you both meet?

Megan: We met through Quintin’s cousin who was my co-worker at the time.

How do you decide what products to carry in your store?

Quintin: A mixture of customer/professional stylist requests, social media, and different cosmetology industry publications.

It has been said that it can be difficult for non Asian business owners in the beauty supply industry. What has you experience been?

Megan: Once our business was established, we had immediate access to most hair products. The only difficulty we had was with purchasing hair from certain hair companies.

In what ways do you both have similar entrepreneurial traits and in what ways are you different as entrepreneurs?

Quintin: The number one trait we have in common is that we believe in good customer service and drive. We differ on inventory selection and marketing ideas at times. 

What is the most important thing your partner has taught you?

Megan: Quintin has taught me to be more focused and intentional with how I spend my day as it pertains to the business.
Quintin: Megan has taught me patience and how to be steadfast on certain business decisions.

What is the most important thing to remember when you are married to your business partner?

Quintin: To not get into heated arguments about the business so much that it affects the marriage because the marriage is more important than the business. Also to always make time for romance and quality time.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Megan: Don’t wait to start and commit to ownership. 

Contact: Beauty Plus
Address: 2107 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: (410) 685-0955

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4 mins read

The Politics Behind the Black Beauty Store Industry Dominated by Koreans – MPR

Karen Coffey opened Bella Beauty and Hair in January with lots of optimism and a stylist’s eye for hair extensions and other products tailored to Black women. She thought that would be enough to succeed.

Karen Coffey speaks with a customer inside Bella Beauty and Hair, which she opened earlier this year. Evan Frost | MPR News

She didn’t realize the game would be stacked against her before she even opened her door.

Like Black entrepreneurs before her, Coffey quickly discovered that behind the beauty supply storefronts that dot the nation’s urban neighborhoods and suburban shopping plazas sits a multibillion-dollar industry for black hair products that’s run largely by South Koreans and does not cede its power or market share without a fight.

Wigs on display at Bella Beauty and Hair

Korean-Americans cornered the market decades ago by controlling the manufacturing, distribution and retail sale of hair extensions — the moneymaker of the industry. Black owners believe Korean wholesalers shut them out and only supply Korean retailers.

Korean American beauty supply industry leaders at a meeting in the Northeast U.S. – The Korean Times

Coffey says she’s seen that firsthand. Some Korean wholesalers, she said, have denied or ignored her requests for products. Meanwhile, a new Korean-owned store that opened across the street a month before her has some brands she can’t get.

“All of it is run by Koreans,” said Coffey, 32. “A lot of them don’t make it easy for Blacks to get in. I didn’t know it would be this challenging.”

National Federation of Beauty Suppliers (NFBS) Board Members – The Korean Times

Korean wholesalers deny any preferential treatment. Shake-N-Go, which supplies Coffey’s nearby competitors, said it works with retailers based on local competition and other exclusively economic factors, and the choices are “far from being discriminatory.”

Coffey, though, says those statements run contrary to what she and other Black beauty supply owners experience daily.

Coffey’s part of a growing number of Black women here and around the country determined to persevere even if it means bypassing the Korean supply chain. They’re going to extreme lengths, employing innovation and grit, to do so.


“There’s been a really concerted effort to get Black people to enter the retail side of this business,” said Lori Tharps, Temple University journalism professor and co-author of “Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America.”

“There are success stories,” she added. “Somehow black people are finding alternative suppliers and moving past this idea that Koreans are keeping them out of this very lucrative space.”


Read full article by Emma Sapong at MPR News

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5 mins read

Black Owned Businesses in the UK

Our second list of Black owned businesses in the UK is here by popular demand! If you haven’t seen the first list, check it out. Otherwise, enjoy and support these amazing Black owned businesses in the UK!

Black Owned Businesses in the UK

My Duvets offers customized bed linen and pillowcases.

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 5.51.24 PM

Lela and Mosi is an exciting new character brand offering adorable Backpacks & Tees designed with the Lela and Mosi icon – Showcasing the beauty of Black girls and boys.


Savage Curves Boutique strives to provide affordable fierce fashion for the curvy millennial woman.


LoveGift Vegan Cafe offers home-style vegan cuisine with Caribbean influence.


FunkynChunky sells handmade handmade bags, bow ties, bracelets and necklaces from West Africa.


 Michelle Buabin is passionate about creating grand floral designs for occasions and individuals that need luxury floral arrangements.



3D Parties is your one stop shop for inflatables, media services and children’s food machines.


Shear and Shine Grooming is a barbershop that has produced the UK’s first Black-owned grooming brand for Black men.


Xsandy’s Hair & Cosmetics are the only Black owned beauty supply stores in SE London. They offer a wide range of the best and most popular hair care products for natural, relaxed and protected hair at competitive prices.


Pretty Girlz Rock products promote that all little girls are ‘pretty’ inside and out regardless of what they look like.


Cake Junkies UK specializes in feeding your cravings with memorable cakes and sweet delights for all occasions.


Ten&Lee is a niche swimwear brand inspired by the Caribbean offering a range of reversible two in one pieces.


Freddie Onuma of Mintt Photography, offers a wide selection of photography services, from portrait, weddings, christenings, maternity, fashion and product images.


Tan Rosie offers UK’s tastiest Hot Sauces, Jerk Seasoning and Caribbean Recipes.


Looks Like Me is a children’s modelling agency that aims to increase inclusivity and raise the profile of underrepresented black and brown children in the media.


Lazy Lunch is a food delivery service that makes it easy for offices in Birmingham to choose, order and arrange free delivery of nutritionally balanced, tasty food that caters for a variety of diets.



One Stop Dreadlock  is an established natural hair salon based in North London, specialising in new and existing dreadlocks for all hair types.


Yana Cosmetics is a premium make up brand for the ethnic market, which started by specializing in custom blended foundations for black women and has developed a full range of make up and skincare for all skin types.

Yana Johnson of Yana Cosmetics Brockley. © 2008 Ian Stratton 07860 490841

TLC Naturals offers artisan & botanical hair products formulated to Renew, Restore & Rejuvenate your hair & skin back to a state of wellness, health and beauty.


Premae Skincare is an award winning, certified allergen-free beauty company that produces the UK’s 1st allergen certified Vegan Beauty Brand for skincare and makeup that’s perfect for eczema, blemishes & anti-ageing.


Sonayon is a maker of hand-crafted natural toiletries, candles and fashion accessories.


Choco Fruit is a yummy Belgian chocolate covered fruit business. They offer chocolate covered fruit dessert, covered in milk, dark and white chocolate, garnished with an array of fun mouth watering toppings.


Herbals Direct offers all natural herbs and products. Dr. Sebi products in the UK.


Christal Cosmetics offer a top-to-toe specialist service for Black and ethnic skin. Their treatment menu covers all your beauty needs from waxing, manicure, pedicure, express or complete spa services.


Arteh Creative is the brainchild of Arteh Odjidja. He is a photographer and art director that has worked with everyone from Ozwald Boateng to Red Bull. Arteh experiments with fashion photography, portraiture and social documentary.


-Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.

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5 mins read

Annie Turnbo Malone: One of the First Black Women Millionaires in the U.S.

If you haven’t heard of Annie Turnbo Malone before today, you aren’t alone. When we found out about her, we were amazed that despite her amazing achievements, she isn’t a household name. So, who is Annie Turnbo Malone?

Annie Turnbo Malone

Annie Turnbo Malone

Annie Turnbo Malone (August 9, 1869—May 10, 1957) is recorded as one of the U.S.’s first Black female millionaires based on reports of $14 million in assets held in 1920 from her beauty and cosmetic enterprises, headquartered in St. Louis and Chicago.


While Annie was growing up, the popular style among Black women was the “straight hair” look.  Black women were moving from the braided cornrow styles they’d associated with the fields of slavery and began to embrace a look which, for them signified freedom and progression toward equality in America. The beauty industry at the time, had critics who were concerned that the promotion and glamorization of hair-straighteners (and, worse, skin-bleaching creams) would lead to the internalization of white concepts of beauty. This is obviously still an issue to this day. (Think Lil’ Kim)

Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro Advertisement

Annie was mindful that such products had a negative perception attached to them. Perhaps this is why she trademarked her beauty products under the name “Poro” (a West African word for an organization dedicated to enhancing the body spiritually and physically.) There also some elements of the term that indicate beauty.

Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro Advertisement

Annie began to revolutionize hair care methods for all African Americans in the early 1900’s. In 1902, she moved to St. Louis, hired some assistants and began selling her products door-to-door.

Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro products
Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro Pressing Oil

One of her protégés was Sarah Breedlove who would later be known as Madam C.J. Walker. Walker actually worked as a “Poro Agent” for Annie for about one year. Walker is often credited as the originator of the Black beauty and cosmetics business and the direct distribution and sales agent system that Malone developed.

Annie Turnbo Malone
Young C.J. Walker

By 1917, as United States entered World War I, Annie Malone had become so successful that she founded and opened Poro College in St. Louis. It was the first educational institution in the United States dedicated to the study and teaching of Black cosmetology.

Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro Shipping Department

By 1926, the college employed 175 people and franchised outlets in North and South America, Africa, and the Philippines employing some 75,000 women. Malone had become a wealthy woman.

Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro College, St. Louis, MO


Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro College, St. Louis, MO

Despite her wealth, Malone lived conservatively and gave away much of her fortune to help other African Americans. She is one of America’s first major Black philanthropists.

Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro Fleet of vehicles
Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro college delivery truck

She contributed thousands of dollars to educational programs, universities, to the YMCA, and to nearly every Black orphanage in the country. Her $25,000 donation to Howard University was among the largest gifts received by a private donor of African descent. She also served as board president of the St. Louis Colored Orphans Home from 1919 to 1943.

Annie Turnbo Malone
Poro College Graduation Atlanta 1939

Malone died in Chicago on May 10, 1957. By the time of her death, she had lost her national visibility and most of her money to lawsuits and tax debts. Having no children, her estate, valued at $100,000, was left to her nieces and nephews.

Annie Turnbo Malone


6 mins read

5 Black Owned Subscription Box Businesses

The subscription box industry has become extremely popular in the last few years. Many businesses, large and small, are getting in on the action. Some of these are Black Owned Subscription Box Businesses that offer great products and services. Check them out!

Black Owned Subscription Box Businesses

Ujamaa Box founder, Ebony Costain comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so it’s no surprise that she has created her own venture, Ujamaa Box.
This box contains goodies from black businesses across multiple industries e.g. beauty, food, health, fashion and more. The items included in the Ujamaa Box are meant to help the businesses increase brand awareness and encourage repeat purchases once you realize how dope the products are!
I met Ebony at their one year anniversary at MoCADA and I could tell how passionate she is about the issues of Black business ownership and supporting black owned businesses. Ujamaa Box also provides advisory services for aspiring entrepreneurs. Monthly subscriptions are $25.

Dapper Black Box was founded by Aaron J. Barnes and is the only Black-owned subscription box company I know of that focuses on products for strictly for men.

Currently, they offer quality accessories and toiletries in three different boxes, The Jennings Box, The Carver Box, and The Leidesdorff Box.

Each of their boxes will be named after a different black inventor or businessman. (The Douglass is on the way for December) Dapper Black Box says “Our subscribers share our mission to encourage investment into Black businesses.” We definitely support this message. Monthly subscriptions are $28 and the shipping goes for the low, low price of…FREE! If you are thinking of starting an online subscription business, you should find an ebay courier that provides speedy postage at a price you are willing to pay! eBay can be a great place to start marketing subscription packages because you don’t need to pay too much to start selling there!

black owned subscription box

black owned subscription box

Bevel, the brain child of Tristan Walker, is the flagship brand of Walker & Company and a shaving system created with the intention of preventing and addressing the issues of skin irritation like razor bumps.

They offer extensive grooming and shaving tips on their website as well as a directory of “Bevel Approved Barbershops” in 8 major U.S. cities. Your first Bevel shipment includes a Bevel Razor and Bevel Badger Brush plus 3-month supply of priming oil, shave cream, restoring balm and 60 Blades. Once you subscribe, a 3-Month Supply is shipped every 3 months.

The current holiday offer is $59.85 paid in 3 installments of $19.95. In September, Tristan announced that the company had raised $24 million and will soon be available in Target stores in the United States and on

black owned subscription box

black owned subscription box

Curl Kit was created by Heather Cummings to help women find the right products for their natural “hurr”. The kit offers 6-9 samples (and full size products) of natural hair and beauty products.

It also comes with a zine, Curl Life that contains information and tips on all things hair and beauty. Take a look at one of the many “Unboxing videos” available on YouTube where users (some paid) give their reviews.

Definitely do your own research to find out if this is an investment you want to make. Subscriptions plans available are $20/month, $60 per three months or $120 per six months (shipping not included). You can also get 10% off just for liking them on Facebook.

black owned subscription box

black owned subscription box

WeAreOnyx started off as an online platform dedicated to teaching black women how to manage their natural hair. It has now morphed into all things beauty, hair, health and entrepreneurship for black women.

Their subscription box, ONYXBOX, offers four to six hair, makeup and skin products every month. The company founders, Delali Kpodzo & Myriam Bocobza came up with the idea in 2012 after an event involving a hairstylist, flat tire and cancelled hair appointment left Delali no other options but to figure out how to get her hair ready for work on her own.

Check out another “Unboxing video“, and of course do your research. Monthly subscription is $25 and shipping is Free99 aka music to our ears.

black owned subscription box black owned subscription box

So, there you have it! 5 dope businesses that are sure to introduce you to products you will enjoy. If you know of any that I missed, be sure to leave a comment.

Also, if you’re thinking about starting your own subscription business or would like to add a subscription service to your current business, I’ve got something for ya! It’s a book called The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry. That should get you going and steer you in the right direction, newbie or not.

The Busy African