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Whether it’s buying clothing from a woman-owned small business instead of from a major department store or hitting up the local farmers market rather than the grocery store chain, we have the ability to make a positive impact with our purchasing decisions. In an effort to create a more equitable world, making a commitment to support Black-owned businesses is a powerful way to strengthen economically marginalized communities and fight systemic racial inequality. From neighborhood bookstores and coffee shops to beauty brands and retail stores, California’s Black-owned businesses need our support—not just now, but always. So, leverage your purchasing power to help make a difference.
Los Angeles is known for offering endless opportunities and being a city for dreamers. Many Black entrepreneurs have pursued their ambitions and found success in and around L.A. by starting unique dessert shops, skincare lines, art galleries, and much more. While this list is by no means exhaustive, here are a few Southern California Black-owned businesses where you can feel good about spending your money.
Combining minimalist aesthetics with creative silhouettes, JADE Swim is a sustainable swimwear brand founded by former fashion editor and stylist Brittany Kozerski. Successfully creating high-quality swimwear that can also double as layering pieces, the Black female business owner made a collection that brings attention to the body with unique design details. Kozerski specifically tailored the swimwear to be multifunctional—you can wear these pieces to the beach or during a night out in the city—and to flatter various body types. JADE Swim’s one-pieces and bikinis are also made of Italian fabric that retains its shape and provides UV protection. This local Black-owned business has reinvented swimwear by adding edge to classic shapes.
Lesley Thornton is the person behind KLUR. The Black-owned business in Los Angeles creates plant-based, cruelty-free, and sustainable skincare products. With the vision of cultivating a brand that reflects the values of ethical and inclusive beauty, Thornton documented the effects of different formulations on various types of skin—research that set the foundation for the esthetician’s own skincare line. Since then, the Black female business owner has created a community based on commonalities in the human experience by applying the principles of sustainability within her collection.
KLUR hopes to teach people to experience luxury through simple, all-natural products. The botanically based line and multi-purpose self-care products include skin supplements, serum concentrates, moisture cleansers, and body oils.
Bloom & Plume Coffee not only focuses on serving customers excellent coffee and delicious food, but also aims to uplift their spirits through aesthetics. Cofounder Maurice Harris opened the cafe next to his floral studio, incorporating vibrant hues and intimately designing every detail of the space to improve the customer experience. Harris’ vision was to add color (literally) to the white male-dominated coffee industry.
Adorned with vivid blooms, greenery, and artwork, Bloom & Plume Coffee provides an aesthetically pleasant and friendly atmosphere where people can gather and eat. Indulge in the scrumptious almond butter banana toast or have a sip of the Thai iced tea infused with mango coconut cream. Supporting a Black business has never been tastier!
Uncle Eddie’s Vegan Cookies provides a heavenly dessert experience in L.A. The Black-owned family business in Los Angeles first started as a traditional bakery, but out of a desire to craft cruelty-free desserts, it transitioned to becoming a solely vegan bakery. Now, Uncle Eddie’s whips up various cookies—including oatmeal chocolate chip, trail mix, peanut butter, and molasses—and supports sustainable agriculture by using organic and fair-trade ingredients. The bakery truly creates its vegan cookies out of a sense of love and respect for all creatures and even uses environmentally friendly packaging for all of its desserts.
BYCHARI expresses style and personality through modern jewelry. Established by designer Chari Cuthbert in 2012, the line’s sustainable pieces are handmade in Los Angeles for women who appreciate simplicity but desire elegance. Chari has redefined minimal style with her jewelry line—the collection consists of quality investment pieces ranging from everyday accessories to more luxurious custom pieces. Many celebrities have worn the Black-owned company’s products, including Kate Hudson, Rose Huntington-Whiteley, Aimee Song, and Chiara Ferragni.
With fine jewelry waiting to be worn with confidence, BYCHARI’s products include the signature shark tooth pieces, needle and thread earrings, diamond ear cuffs, and classic initial necklaces. Thanks to BYCHARI’s delicate and versatile pieces, you can easily mix and match the jewelry and look effortlessly elegant.
Lucy’s Boudoir is a lingerie boutique founded by Crystal Rogers. The Black female business owner established the store to help women find their true bra size and feel a renewed sense of self-confidence. With over a decade of expertise in the fashion industry, Rogers stocks her boutique with large selections of bras for different body types and needs: bridal, nursing, mastectomy, sport, swim, and more. Carrying the essentials for every stage of a woman's life, Lucy’s Boudoir is recognized as the best place to go for a bra fitting in Long Beach.
Malik Books, Gifts & Calendars was established to give customers an African-American experience. Owner Malik Muhammad felt there was a lack of knowledge about African-American history and culture, so he opened a community-based bookstore that specializes in books, gifts, and calendars full of cultural diversity, positive self-reflection, and self-awareness. There is a clear message that persists throughout this beloved bookstore—giving a voice to the voiceless. Choose from more than 12 million titles to further your learning while supporting a minority-owned business.
Shades of Afrika is a mind, body, and spirit shop offering African-American books and artwork that showcases African heritage and culture. You’ll also find everything from affordable haircare products and handmade jewelry to essential oils and incense. The retail store and cultural center also hosts a variety of social and educational events, lectures, and study groups to empower and educate the community. Inspiring creativity and self-awareness, this Black-owned company is a place where people come together to teach, learn, give, and receive. Visit the storefront in Long Beach or Corona to experience this unique locale for yourself.
Fusing the creamy texture of ice cream with the lightness of a sorbet, Happy Ice serves up vegan-friendly and nut-free water ice (similar to Italian ice). Made using a secret Philadelphia recipe, this dessert with a creative Los Angeles twist was concocted by Lemeir Mitchell, who wants to put a smile on everyone’s face with her vibrant, fruity frozen treats. Treat yourself to flavors like Pineapple Potion, Lucky Lemon, Blueberry Blast, Cherry Bomb, and The World Famous Rainbow Rocket. Or, choose up to three different flavors and create your own signature cup.
Founded in 2015 by veteran actor Terrell Tilford, Band of Vices is an art gallery serving as a platform for emerging, mid-career, and established visual artists. One of the most relevant and well-curated independent art galleries in South Los Angeles, Band of Vices is an impressive competitor in the gallery-heavy West Adams Art District and is a member of the newly formed Gallery Association Los Angeles (GALA). The Black-owned business showcases works of rising artists such as Yoyo Lander, Shantell Martin, and Grace Lynne Haynes. In addition to displaying artworks, the gallery space is used for pop-ups, photoshoots, film shoots, and celebrations.
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