One of the best ways you can help the Black community during this time civil unrest (you know, in addition to educating yourself about the Black Lives Matter movement, signing petitions and being a conscious ally) is to change your shopping habits. Donations to charitable organizations are great but you should also be supporting Black-owned businesses, especially smaller ones. White-owned businesses historically have much easier access to capital than comparable Black-owned ventures. In fact, according to a study by the Hamilton Project, both Black- and brown-owned companies are three times as likely to be denied loans, while those that end up being approved are subject to higher interest rates and lower loan amounts.
That said, platforms for independent sellers make things incrementally easier for BIPOC entrepreneurs to get their brands off the ground. Etsy in particular is a great place to discover new artists, designers and craftspeople, whether you’re in the market for a new piece of art or are pining for a stunning pair of earrings. Here, 24 Black-owned Etsy shops that are well worth checking out.
This Brooklyn-based studio offers a tight collection of batik style and wax print throw pillows created from African-inspired textiles. There are also one-of-a-kind furniture designs, including headboards, benches, stools and accent pieces, all reupholstered in these same bold prints. If you’re interested in snapping some xNStudio original furnishings, follow the shop on Facebook so you can discover new drops before anyone else.
2. Bespoke Binny
Lamp shades, throw pillows, aprons and oven mitts are the stars of this London-based home goods e-comm shop. If we had to describe founder and artist Natalie Manima’s Ghana-inspired designs in one word, we’d choose “cheerful”. As she explains on her Etsy page: “I created Bespoke Binny because I truly believe ‘home is where the heart is’ and having a home that is a reflection of you is essential to your well-being.”
3. South End Pallet Works
Sean Desiree really wanted a farm table for her house, but she could never find one with the right price. So, she built her own…and another and another and now she’s made quite a business, creating and selling eco-friendly decor on Etsy. Desiree uses only reclaimed wood and non-toxic finishes to make coffee, dining room and farm tables, as well as intricate wall art.
4. Made By Rheal
Made By Rheal’s signature cupped hands catchall, available in a wide variety of colors and materials, offer a gorgeous way to stow rings, keys or other knick-knacks. She also makes mixed-media coasters, cheeky concrete block card holders, geometric dishes (for eating or stowing odds and ends), planters of a variety of sizes and multi-hued throw blankets.
5. Archer Home Designs
Ntebo and Edvardo Archer opened their shop in 2016, starting with handcrafted coffee and dining tables. They have since expanded their business to include smaller home goods like decorative trays, picture frames and mug holders, but it’s the farm-inspired tables that continue to be the top-seller from Archer Home Designs.
6. Card Craft US
Sure, a dedicated birthday Instagram post is nice, but it still doesn’t beat getting a gorgeous card in the mail. Skip the card aisle at CVS and pick up a few of these original creations for that upcoming birthday, graduation, baby shower or to just let that special someone know you’re thinking of them.
7. Frequency of Love
More than one PureWow editor recommended this London shop as an excellent place to pick up gorgeous prints featuring some of Black history’s most important figures including Elizabeth Eckford, Chaka Khan, Malcolm X, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, Outkast, Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama (just to name a few). Artist Zoë Sinclair was inspired by her own ancestry and historic roots to create this “loud and proud” collection of prints. She also has designs featuring African animals and an adult coloring book, so you can create some art of your very own.
8. Lovely Earthlings
Originally from Panama, artist Karina Daniel Parris now lives and works in Louisville, KY. Many of her prints feature either a beachy, vacation vibe inspired by her time living in Miami, or depict gals living their best city life, showing them watering houseplants, enjoying a cup of coffee in bed and biking around in fashion week-approved ensembles. If you’re not in the market for new wall art, Daniel Parris also sells canvas tote bags and greeting cards emblazoned with her favorite creations.
9. Candice Luter
Mirrors and fiber art are Candice Luter’s specialty. Our favorite piece? The Cedar Rapids-based artist’s macramé hanging wall art, which has a super-sleek minimalist vibe, enhanced by a half-circle mirror. Luter also works closely with a local design college, mentoring young artists and helping others figure out the best ways to achieve their design goals.
Painter Dina Dee is all about minimalism, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she only works in black and white. As she explains on her Etsy page, “Minimalism doesn't mean everything black, white and grey. A simple capsule space can be anything you want it to be. So here and there, I'll be working with COLOR & geometric shapes to show how alluring basics can be!” She hand paints each custom order as they come in, they may take a little while to ship but it’s worth the wait, in our opinion, for a gorgeous and totally original canvas.
11. The PairaBirds
Tabitha Brown likes to describe her work as a combination of ‘70s soul funk, noir and minimalism or illustrated snapshots of life. While most of her current work features portraits of women, Brown also has a few abstract designs for sale.
12. Emma Make Studio
Our personal favorite designs from Emma Hall are the animal prints broken down by letter (ideal for a nursery or a child’s playroom), but for those who find themselves drawn to artwork based on color and feeling, Hall’s abstract designs are worth a peruse. She also introduced scarves into the mix, featuring original prints and patterns that perfectly complement her paper creations.
13. The Everyday Print Co
Mezay Ugbo is a Nigerian-Indian artist who specializes in silhouettes in earthy hues. “My illustrations are inspired by my love for fashion, textiles, things we love about ourselves and struggle with as black women but mostly my love/hate relationship with my hair,” says Ugbo.
FASHION AND ACCESSORIES
If statement earrings are your jam, then you should definitely bookmark 1156East. Tashica Taylor has a wide selection of baubles ranging in style from geometric metallics and oversize dangling palm leaves to candy-striped flowers.
15. Omi Woods
Ashley Alexis McFarlane’s accessories are ethically handmade using fair-trade African gold and globally sourced, conflict-free fine metals. Her designs are largely inspired by the jewelry left to her by her grandmother and celebrate her (and other folks’) African heritage. Her necklaces are great for layering, and, in fact, some are sold in stacking packs to take all the guess work out of mixing and matching.
16. Sustainable Maria
Not quite vintage, not quite made from scratch, Maria Ramos’s designs are upcycled from secondhand pieces that she sources from her hometown of Milwaukee. Her selection has a major retro vibe with lots of multi-hued denim and mini dresses. Unlike typical vintage shops, Ramos’s pieces come in a wide range of sizes (0 to 20, for most styles) so you don’t have to stress about falling in love with a gorgeous Mod jumper only to find out it’s not made for your frame. Score!
Oonaloo focuses on clothing for babies and toddlers and, as you might imagine, the offerings are impossibly cute. Founder and designer Melonie, based in London, uses African wax prints to stitch together bright, cheery onsies, dresses, bloomers and rompers. There are also sets of vibrant headbands and rag dolls made from leftover scraps. Keep this shop in mind when the next baby shower invite arrives.
18. Fifteen and Fifteen
In the market for a new handbag? Look no further than Chrystal Haynes’s Fifteen and Fifteen line (she has sleek leather crossbodies, plus belt bags and backpacks). Handmade in Richardson, TX, each of Haynes’s pieces are handstitched with most coming in under $55—the only exception appears to be her traveler backpacks, which retail for $125. Her bags are timeless and will be super easy to incorporate into your existing wardrobe.
19. Lingua Nigra
Alicia Goodwin has been making and designing jewelry since childhood, but it wasn’t until her college years that she realized it was more than just a hobby. She uses brass, gold and silver to craft her nature-inspired accoutrements, along with natural distressing techniques like acid etching. She focuses on earrings in organic shapes, but there are also a few necklaces, bracelets and rings in the mix, too.
20. Gabe Jade Accessories
Many of us will go above and beyond to spoil our nieces and nephews but few individuals are likely to create an entire Etsy shop to appease their young relatives. That’s exactly what lead Ade Ogbomo to found Gabe Jade Accessories after she struggled to find an African print bow tie for her nephew. Skip ahead a few years and she now has a bustling business selling both bow and neck ties, head wraps, scarves and pocket squares. And yes, she offers lots of matching pieces so you and your guy can step out in coordinating style.
21. Plush Armour
One-of-a-kind knits are the name of the game for L.A. based artist Chasten Harmon. Because of rotating supplies, each of her creations are entirely unique, although you can request a custom design inspired by previously purchased pieces. Her knits are both cozy and joyous, which is exactly what we need in the depths of winter.
22. Brown Butter Beauty
Besides having a fantastic name (we love a good alliteration) Brown Butter Beauty offers natural products for hair, body and skincare, all mixed in Brooklyn, NY. There are clay face masks, oils for hair, nails and skin and a lemongrass brown sugar body polish that looks particularly lovely. Best of all, founder Christine Gant says her products are great for all skin and hair types.
23. The Fro Experts
Another natural beauty line, Gianni Alexander’s The Fro Experts focuses entirely on haircare for type three and four hair textures. She handmakes each product, including deep conditioners, hair growth oils, plus aloe vera shampoo and conditioner for kids, from her studio in Decatur, GA. Alexander also posts how-to videos and tips for encouraging hair growth on her brand’s Instagram page, if you want an extra dose of hair inspiration.
Everyone could use a luxurious at-home spa day every now and again, and Aromaology has everything you need to make that happen—soy candles, body butters, body oils and even sage sprays and smudging sticks to rid your home of negative energy. All of Aromaology’s products are made with ingredients that are are ethical, sustainable and cruelty-free ingredients. Plus, customers who leave a review earn a 20 percent discount on their next purchase.