Here at CANDESCENT, we are celebrating all women, all month, all year because we believe that’s the way women should be celebrated. So, as a follow up to our ‘Why Women of Colour Are Choosing Entrepreneurship’ article, we’ve decided to draw our attention to the female & black-owned businesses taking over 2021.
1. Freddie Harrel – RadSwan
If there’s anyone who we just had to mention, it’s Freddie Harrel because she’s not just a business owner – she has built her own empire from the ground up. How did this start? Simply because she had been fed up of the trends which simply didn’t count black women in. Her first business venture, Big Hair No Care specialises in handmade wigs designed to mimic the pattern of natural black hair including the very misunderstood ‘4c hair’. Of course, it was a success and just like that, RadSwan was born. RadSwan is a lifestyle, a community, a sisterhood where black women can feel comfortable in their skin.
2. Maïna Cissé – The Underargument
We are living for the play on words! Underargument/Undergarment, get it? Maïna aims to empower women through her designs, standing up to body-shaming, conformism and stereotypes. Styles range from ‘Success has no gender’ (high-waist briefs) to ‘Work in Progress’ (triangle bras). And when we thought it couldn’t get better, The Underargument uses only premium grade fabrics and trims. All women are included and welcome at The Underargument; age, race, body-shape, it doesn’t matter, because there’s absolutely nothing like sisterhood.
3. Bianca Estelle – Bea Skincare
As if being a successful Harley Street-trained Skin Specialist wasn’t enough! Despite being the Clinical Director at Bea Skin Clinic and Vitamin Injections London, Bianca has extended her empire to at-home skin care products. Whilst we would all love to book a complete skin-make-over at Harley Street, we know how costly a treatment or two could be; so, it was pretty surprising to see just how affordable Bea Skincare products were. For around £30-40 per item, you could expect a 100% natural, cruelty free daily skincare regimen made from biodegradable ingredients. It sounds almost too good to be true!
4. Kelesi and Jaymie – AFF AND JAM
What’s better than a successful businesswoman? Two successful businesswomen, of course! Kelesi and Jaymie teamed up to infuse African tradition with the Caribbean and have made beautiful pieces of clothing doing so. From the ‘Yard Cardi’ to the ‘Abena Tote’, every piece at AFF AND JAM is printed and painted by hand as well made using locally sourced fabrics. There is something for everyone at AFF AND JAM; whether you like heavy prints, or you’re a plain-Jane, whether you are going to work or a special occasion; the designs are truly one of a kind.
5. Alisha Lestrade – Thimble and Doll
Everything about Thimble and Doll inspires us! From tackling lack of representation with 11 shades of soft-bodied dolls to stitching each and every doll by hand. We know how important normalising diversity is for children especially – dolls are a major influence in many young kids’ childhood. From the colour, to the hairstyling to the clothes, it is important each and every young girl is represented through these dolls to encourage confidence, self-love and reverse the effects of whitewashing within the toy industry.
6. Beatrice Dixon – The Honey Pot Company
The Honey Pot company offers all-natural products for feminine hygiene. It came about simply because of a bad case of bacterial vaginosis! With a bunch of natural ingredients, Beatrice created a formula which relieved the symptoms such as uncomfort and itching. And, she was kind enough to share her secret with the rest of us ladies (one in three women will get bacterial vaginosis). Now, there are a range of products available such as menstrual cups, 100% organic sanitary pads and ‘taboo’ merchandise on sale at The Honey Pot Company. Thank you Beatrice!
7. Victoria Fazio – Propa Beauty
It’s no secret that the beauty industry hasn’t always catered for darker skin shades, with some brands still failing to do so. Victoria Fazio isn’t waiting for these premium brands and the whole makeup industry to catch up and realise that their shades of lipstick are not desirable for black women; instead, she’s creating her own! This brand encourages confidence, beauty inside out, and is committed to using only paraben-free, vegan formula. We know where we will be buying our next lippy!
These are only a very small fraction of the black women practising Black Girl Magic with their creativity. Yes, running a successful business is great, but there’s absolutely nothing like empowering women, inspiring the youth, standing up to harmful stereotypes and out-of-date norms and simply embracing change for the better. Here’s to #BlackGirlMagic.
Who are your favourite female and black-owned businesses? Let us know over on our social media! @WeAreCandescent
Photo Credit: © Samantha Sophia