The 14 Black-women owned brands that are featured in Sweet July’s store and online are model examples of the excellence coming out of the nation’s fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs.
When it comes to being part of this community of like-minded businesses, Johanna Howard of Johanna Howard Home is inspired—and also grateful to express her individuality. “What’s really cool is the breadth of talent, inspiration and creativity,” says Howard. “That’s what I get really excited about, because it shows what we’re capable of doing.”
Get to know these brands below!
Founded by Christina Funke Tegbe, 54 Thrones is a clean beauty brand with handcrafted products that celebrate the richness, diversity and cultures of the African continent. Inspired by her own Nigerian heritage, Christina’s mission is to create skincare products that honor the natural resources and beauty rituals of Africa.
“I love cheering for us. I love feeling proud of others, and I love helping us whenever I can. I love seeing new entrepreneurs with grit, passion and determination. And most of all, I love helping find opportunities or making them for other Black-owned business owners.”
– Christina Funke Tegbe
Chari Cuthbert launched BYCHARI in 2012 for women who appreciate simplicity but demand luxury. Each of her custom pieces, ranging from essential, everyday jewelry to her more luxury fine and signature custom pieces, is handmade sustainably in Los Angeles.
Candice Luter Art + Home
Influenced by her travels to Europe, fiber artist and interior designer Candice Luter blends mid-century modern, art deco, and minimalist styles to create her custom wood and fiber pieces. Her collection, which started off as a hobby in 2014 using remnant scraps of wood and fabric from her home studio, is now a business producing both commercial art and unique home accents.
“It is important to me to be able to take elements from Black history as well as my own unique history of being bi-racial, and to incorporate them in the details of my work through texture, design, and soul.”
– Candice Luter
Candice Cox is the self-taught jewelry designer behind the Oakland-based company CandidArt. Established in 2011, CandidArt produces artisanal jewelry, home décor and kids lifestyle pieces all influenced by the modern African diaspora and cosmic geometry.
“I showcase Black culture by designing with imagery that is reflective of the African diaspora. We also use quilting in our designs as a way of storytelling, which is a tradition that dates back to Africa”
– Candice Cox
Cloth and Paper
Ashley Reynolds founded Cloth and Paper after failed attempts to find a new planner that suited her needs. With the mantra that “there is luxury in simplicity,” Cloth and Paper offers leather planners, paper planner inserts, foiled dividers and exclusive stationery items with sleek minimal designs and luxe finishings.
Gwell (which is Welsh for better), is a plant-based snack brand with all natural and organic ingredients, and no dairy, soy, gluten, artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or fillers. GWell’s founder, Fawziyya Sugai, is also on a mission to improve food equity by partnering with local organizations to expand access to wellness education and foster more equitable access to food.
“One thing that’s important to me as we speak about wellness is appreciating the history behind wellness practices. Black culture has a long history of storytelling. By sharing my story and the stories that inspired the wellness ingredients we use, we continue this tradition.”
– Fawziyya Sugai
Ashleigh Evans, mother of four, former food blogger and cocktail lover, founded InBooze in 2018 to give people an easier way to enjoy drinks at home. Her cocktail kits, with ingredients sourced mainly from Michigan, infuse simple fruits, spices and herbs for a complete cocktail.
“I love that I can find out so many amazing new companies through Sweet July. I love that I can be a part of a community of such badass people—they are truly all people to look up to.”
– Ashleigh Evans
Johanna Howard Home
Inspired by her travels and by her Swedish roots, Johanna Howard prides herself on collaborating with other artisans to create one-of-a-kind, handmade products for the home. The results, she says, is a “marriage of cultures and creativity.”
Founded by Ashley Alexis McFarlane, Omi Woods is a jewelry company featuring contemporary heirlooms that celebrate the African diaspora. The pieces are individually and ethically handmade with fair trade African gold and globally sourced recycled and conflict-free fine metals.
“I love being inspired by our creativity and beauty. I also love the freedom and independence that comes with owning my own Black-oriented brand as a woman. I get to be authentic, create works, and share stories that I genuinely feel connected to. It’s a blessing.”
– Ashley Alexis McFarlane
People of Color Beauty
Growing up, Jacqueline Carrington never saw images of nail polish colors reflected on brown skin tones, and she wanted her 3-year-old daughter, Monroe, to have a different experience. So she created People Of Color Beauty, a nail polish brand designed to complement the various shades of brown skin.
“Being part of a community of other Black-owned businesses feels like being at home with family. There’s just something special about being part of a community that shares similar values in uplifting, celebrating, and creating opportunities for each other. I value all the lessons learned from other’s experiences, the outpouring of support, and the genuine desire to see each other succeed.”
– Jacqueline Carrington
Rose and Co.
Created by 14 year-old maker Rose Powell, Rose + Co. creates hand-poured candles using a vegan blend of coconut and soy wax. With fun candle names like Boss Life and 100% That Girl, the brand celebrates women empowerment. And a portion of the sales from Rose + Co candles goes to supporting education for girls.
“Our brand is all about celebrating diversity and what makes each of us special. Whether that’s quoting Lizzo or making our newest candle: Black Girl Magic. I want to represent Black culture in a way that everyone is invited to the party.”
– Rose Powell
Founded by Nafy Flatley, Teranga (which means hospitality in Wolof, the Senegalese national language) is a food and beverage company that uses the baobab superfood and other ingredients and spices as the base for its prepared meals, snacks, drinks, shots and popsicles.
“The main goals of Teranga are to create good, by offering healthy, nutritious food and drinks, and create opportunity for the people of our local community and suppliers here and in Africa.”
– Nafy Flatley
Ashley L. Fouyolle, a multidisciplinary designer, started her company UNWRP in a small bedroom of her Brooklyn apartment in 2017. UNWRP is a one-stop-shop for gifting needs, including wrapping paper, fabric wraps, greeting cards, and home goods, all designed in collaboration with talented artists around the globe.
Yo Mommy Mommy
Yo Mommy Mommy was founded to make shopping for children a breeze. The company’s mission is to create “affordable and effortlessly cool clothes” for every occasion.