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howard alumni


22 Howard University Alumni Owned Businesses (Pt2)

We’re extremely proud and excited to present our second list of Howard University Alumni Owned Businesses! Be amazed. Be inspired. Support them.  Also be sure to check out our first list here!


Howard University Alumni Owned Businesses

ANU is a Toronto-based producer of premium Shea butter products focused on naturally nourishing your skin. Founder: Kedar Waterman

Howard University Alumni Owned

DUAFE Designs offers hand-crafted, wearable art that empowers the mind, body, and spirit. Founder: Ayodele Kinchen

Howard University Alumni Owned


Non Profit HR is the country’s only human resources firm that works exclusively with the nonprofit sector with a focus in HR consulting, talent acquisition, executive search & HR. President & CEO: Lisa Brown Morton


III Eye Digital partners with businesses and organizations to help them maximize their strategic online presence. Founder: Maya A. Gilliam

Ellen Bee Productions provides professional wedding cinematography in the Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. Owner: Lavon Surratt

The Brown Services Group is a financial services firm that was founded with the goal of assisting their clients in every aspect of their financial lives. CEO: Jonathan Brown

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CanDid Art is a jewelry company for the fearless fashion enthusiast. They use a variety of metal and chains to create body chains, hand chains and earrings. Owner: Candice Cox


NewME is a startup accelerator  focused on helping entrepreneurs identify strengths from their non-traditional backgrounds and leveraging them in business. Founder & CEO: Angela Benton


Base Butter is an all natural, multipurpose beauty product formulated for use on your lips, body, or hair. Founder: She’neil Johnson


MentorMe is a smart, intuitive mentorship platform that uses the power of the cloud to unlock potential inside organizations, companies and communities. Founder: Brit Fitzpatrick

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Shazzy Fitness is an easy to learn cardio exercise DVD series that fuses modern hip-hop dance with faith-based contemporary music, including Gospel Hip-Hop & Christian Rock. Founder and CEO: Kristy McCarley

Howard University Alumni Owned

FLO Brands is a lifestyle company created by Marcus Johnson, a Billboard Top 10, NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz musician and entrepreneur. FLO Brands’ products include FLO CD series, FLO Wine, FLO Fest and more.


Corporate Alley Cat provides tools, strategies and experts to help professionals of color manage workplace challenges. This includes free blog, paid membership community, coaching, live events and training. Founder: Deborah Owens

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Sir and Madame offers casual & vintage-inspired clothing, accessories & shoes for women, men & kids. Co-founder: Autumn Merritt


Suited Lifestyle was designed to create a network of young professionals and like-minded individuals who want to excel and achieve in various walks of life. Founders: Luke Anthony Lawal Jr. & James Trey Poindexter III


YouHeardThatNew.Com is a hip hop focused blog that provides a colorful inside look to the music business and its inner workings. Owner: Nile Ivey

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The Vanity Group is composed of resourceful, creative and well-connected lifestyle management advisers who are experienced in Bespoke Event Producing, Luxury Concierge Services, and Talent Relations. Founder: Karleen Roy


Lifestyle Equities is a strategic growth consultancy focusing on business expansion through content development, niche branding, strategic partnerships, and commercial real estate solutions. Founder: Jay Norris

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Popcorn Queens is a line of gourmet caramel popcorn created by a mother-daughter team who handcraft their gourmet caramel popcorn with the finest ingredients and lots of love. Owners: April & Bonnie Wardlaw

products-sizes1LegendaryMV is a Martha’s Vineyard inspired apparel company that offers a full collection of comfortable clothing. Founders: Jon and James


Tutu’s Storybooks is a children’s bookshop with a mission to bring diverse books to community. They offer the newest high quality children’s Africana books and more. Owner: Maimunah Marah

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Emanus LLC provides patenting, innovation, commercialization, and licensing services to small and medium size enterprises, universities, start-ups, and government agencies. Founder: Wil Jacques

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To submit info for any other HU and/or HBCU owned businesses, hit us up at info@shoppeblack.US or submit via our website.


-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson




Howard University Alumni Owned Businesses

Howard University has produced some of the best and brightest minds in the world. Some well known Howard University alumni are Thurgood Marshall, Chadwick Boseman, Toni Morrison, Debbie Allen, and many more.

However, there are other talented Howard University Alumni who are entrepreneurs excelling in their respective fields. Here are just a few:

Howard University Alumni Owned Businesses

The Spice Suite (Washington, D.C.) is an interactive spice bar that features house made infused cooking oils and spice blends.  Founder: Angel Anderson

Meet the Owner of DC’s Top Spice Shop Whose Store Also Serves as a Hub for Local Black Businesses to Thrive

Volt Energy (Washington, D.C.) is one of the largest minority-owned solar energy development firms that builds, operates, and maintains state-of-the-art solar energy systems for commercial, industrial, government, and educational institutions. Founders: Gilbert G Campbell III and Antonio Francis


The Envision Firm (Virginia) is a luxury lifestyle management & event planning company.  Founder: Raven White


Greenlight Design Studios is a full service Design company with over 15 years of experience. They provide Graphic and Web Design services, as well as Brand Identity packages. Founder: Jamal “Hug” Pope.


Integrated Design & Construction (Connecticut) is a full-service architecture, construction management administration and sustainable design firm, which specializes in high performance buildings.  Founder: Thaddeus Stewart

Howard University Alumni

Justice of the Pies (Chicago) is a bakery that specializes in sweet and savory pies. The bakery’s mission is to implement job training and skill development for those who have faced significant difficulties and barriers in gaining employment. Founder: Maya-Camille Broussard


HillPoint Preparatory School (New Jersey) is a daycare and pre-school that uses intentional, structured play to encourage critical thinking, independence and respect for cultural and social diversity. Founder: Jennifer Henry


The Flower Guy Bron (Virginia) provides bespoke design and styling experiences for events of all types in the Richmond, Hampton Roads, Charlottesville, and Northern Virginia areas. Founder: Bron Hansboro


Lisnr (Cincinnati)is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. Founder: Rodney Williams


Victor Group (Los Angeles) is a multi-service branding agency that makes people and their brands fascinating. They help clients build their branding campaigns from the ground up.  Founder: Victoria Reese 

Howard University Alumni

Tracy Chambers Vintage (New York) carries carefully curated vintage and contemporary clothing for today’s women. Classic. Timeless. Style. Inspiration. Founder: Helen Nurse


Nelson Publishing & Marketing (Michigan) is a full-service press that publishes books with strong positive messages. They have printed 74 books which are distributed throughout the United States, Canada, and on the web. Founder: Lori Nelson Lee


ACE Media Corp (New York) is a Broadcast Media Sales, Branding & Entertainment firm. The company provides marketing for clients, from grassroots to high-tech campaigns. They have recently added talent acquisition to their offering. Founder: Andrea Holmes Thompkins

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HGC Apparel (Washington DC) is a Black veteran-owned clothing brand founded by a 90’s kid who’s passionate about the uplifting and expansion of the Black community. Founder: Marcia Smith

Marcia Smith founded HGC Apparel in 2011 with one goal in mind; to  celebrate black culture and desig

Tony O. Lawson

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Needed: Howard Alumni Feedback for a Survey on HBCU Retention

As everyone may or may not know, we the founders of ShoppeBlack, are both Howard Alum. In fact, we’re also members of the same incoming class (HU c/o 2000). Oftentimes, we discuss so much that goes on at Howard and how the institution made such a huge impact on our lives. As graduates of HBCUs, we oftentimes feel very heartfelt sentiment about our days on the yard but don’t always give back in the ways that we should. Maybe we’re still scorned by those long registration lines or attitudinal employer in the A-building. Whatever the reason, that shouldn’t stop us from ensuring that our institutions have the capacity to lead 21st century education and provide the opportunity for to prepare thousands of young minds to serve as our world’s next leaders.

That said, we’d like to invite you to participate in a study being conducted by a dear friend, fellow HBCU alumnus, Sakinah Rahman. The survey is a continuation of her research started during her time as an MBA student at UPENN’s Wharton School of Business in 2013 examining the academic niche and student retention strategies employed at select colleges and universities.

Thanks for your feedback and please share! Our voices, after all, do make a difference.

-Shantrelle + Tony




A university has no greater ambassador than its alumni. This study is to hear what attracted and helped retain Howard alumni as undergraduates understanding that the attraction as well as retention policies employed inform Howard’s value proposition. I chose the survey method of study to interject the voice of alumni into the conversation surrounding student retention strategies and academic brand.

Who better to communicate to prospective families, donors, and legislatures the value of a Howard education than the woman or man the University trained. The survey questions regarding the Howard college experience is:

  • to gain insight into the University’s graduation rates (current four-year rate is 42%*)
  • promote a profile of HBCUs and HBCU students different from media and policy reports
  • provide the quantitative and qualitative data to compare to the strategies utilized at other institutions in development of a best practice case study

With a new President and the University’s upcoming sesquicentennial anniversary in 2017, this is an exciting time to examine Howard’s value proposition. I want to make your voice heard!

The goal is 100 responses. I’d also love if you’d share the survey link on Facebook, Twitter, and email to your friends, sorority sisters, frat brothers and acquaintances not connected to social media!

*Source: US News & World Report. Howard’s six-year graduation rate is 60%, on par with the U.S. national average.

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About Sakinah Rahman: 

With 17 years of public finance experience, including ten years of commercial and investment banking experience and most recently as a nonprofit executive, Sakinah recently created S3 Rock Research, LLC, a market research firm specializing in survey design and analysis for data-based strategies. Ms. Rahman authored Spelman College: A Case Study of Student Retention Strategies, which was published in Opportunities and Challenges at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 2014. For the past two years, Sakinah has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

Sakinah earned a B.S. in Finance from Morgan State University and a M.B.A from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Questions or more feedback? Contact Sakinah directly at

Morgan State Student Government Association ca. 1990s.
Sakinah and fellow Morgan State Student Government Association members ca. 1990s.