Black History Month brings Black commerce to the fore — and that’s a good thing. But the truth is that anytime is the right time to support Black-owned businesses; particularly, Black women-owned brands, which have historically received less funding and fewer in-store placements than their white male and female counterparts.
That’s a lending and corporate issue, but as consumers, we have power, too. (You’ve likely heard the phrase, “vote with your wallet.”) Patronizing small businesses cultivates community while showing stores and investors that we want more representation in commerce. According to the 2022 US Census Bureau Annual Business Survey, a mere 19.9 percent of businesses in 2020 were Black-owned. The numbers in the home design and decor space are even more abysmal. Inc. magazine reports that just 2 percent of interior designers are Black.
With this in mind, we’ve gathered five of our favorite Black women-owned home decor brands. Valentine’s Day may be over, but it’s never too early to shop for Mother’s Day, graduations, and even Christmas! (I like to be prepared.)
For a Colorful Home: Estelle Colored Glass
Want to make your drinks extra pretty? Check out Estelle Colored Glass, a Black woman-owned brand specializing in elegant glassware that comes in gorgeous colors ranging from rich jewel tones to soft pastels. The cups — which include wine glasses with and without stems, champagne coupes, martini glasses, and more — are hand-blown by artisans in Poland, and available in a variety of sizes and sets (you can even mix and match to build a multicolored set). If you’re more into baking cakes than drinking wine, Estelle also sells extraordinary cake stands. Stephanie Summerson Hall, the brand’s owner, says Estelle is named for her grandmother, who loved buying antiques and collecting colored glassware for Sunday dinners. With Estelle’s gorgeous glasses, you too can channel some old-fashioned hospitality.
For a Bohemian Home: Jungalow
If you appreciate bohemian style, you’ll love Jungalow. Its products — whose dreamy, intricate designs featuring animals, plants, and celestial imagery are based on original drawings by founder Justina Blakeney — include rugs, wallpapers, and home goods like pillows and throws, among other things. The aim, according to Blakeney, is to “inspire you to tap into your own creativity, connect with nature, and help you to bring good vibes home.” In keeping with Jungalow’s bohemian spirit, the shop keeps things earth-friendly wherever possible, incorporating natural, recycled, recyclable, and compostable materials and limiting its use of plastic and styrofoam packaging. Better still, Jungalow’s price points are reasonable; they even have a product line produced in partnership with Target. Grab this vibrantly colored decorative pillow with a tufted embroidered pattern (Buy from Target, $25) to instantly make your couch more inviting, or a planter adorned with a meditative image of the sun (Buy from Target, $20) to bring a touch of boho flair to your greenery.
For a Culturally Savvy Home: BLK MKT Vintage
BLK MKT Vintage is a Brooklyn-based brick and mortar boutique that sells vintage items with roots in Black history. Founded by Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy, their “curated love story” of a shop has everything from books and political memorabilia, to photography and art. Here you’ll find a poster for Miss Black Teenage America alongside African paintings, retro travel pennants, and back issues of Black Family magazine. Stewart and Handy also do interior design and prop styling, putting their historical expertise and array of collectibles to further purpose. On their site, the founders emphasize the significance of “centering Black cultural artifacts via thoughtful curation and varying modes of accessibility.” Their goods — which range from the everyday and ephemeral to the rare and highly valuable — do just that, and bring Black history to life in the present day.
For a Classic-With-a-Twist Home: Harlem Toile
Harlem Toile is a collection of wallpaper, upholstery, dinnerware, and other home goods that reimagine Toile, the prolific French print whose pastoral scenes of 18th century gaiety have long been associated with upper-crust whiteness, In Harlem-based designer Sheila Bridges’ version of the popular pattern, Black figures dance, play basketball, jump rope, and braid their hair. “After searching for many years for the perfect Toile for my own home,” Bridges writes on her website, “I decided that it quite simply didn’t exist.” Thus, she created Harlem Toile as a way to “lampoon some of the stereotypes deeply woven into the African American experience.” Harlem Toile wallpaper — which has been displayed at The Studio Museum In Harlem, The Cooper Hewitt Museum, The Museum of Art and Design in New York City, and the Musée De La Toile De Jouy in France — is the brand’s signature product. Available in ten colors, it imbues the rooms in which it hangs with visual opulence and subversive humor.
For a Sustainable Home: SustainAble Home Goods
Are you passionate about purchasing home goods that are beautiful and sustainable? Based in Georgia and founded by LaToya Tucciarone, SustainAble Home Goods is committed to selling artisanal, environmentally friendly products. Tucciarone, who draws inspiration from the African art and music she grew up with, roots her business in supporting marginalized artisans — because, in her words, “we all have something to offer each other.” (Hear! Hear!) The shop stocks objects from a variety of small brands, partnering with both global and local makers, and gives priority to eco-friendly products made with natural materials. Her reusable glass straws, for example, are meant to reduce single-use plastic (Buy from SustainAble Home Goods, $20). Home decor pieces are earthy and minimalist and include pottery, planters, and wooden kitchen utensils. We especially like the shop’s extensive collection of handwoven baskets, which make chic storage solutions.
Honoring Black History Month
For more diversity in commerce, support Black businesses this month and all year long; and to celebrate women and support the global sisterhood, support Black woman-owned businesses, in particular. Your stylish home will thank you.
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