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5 Fantastic Black-Owned Businesses That You Should Definitely Support

They are worth every penny.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Dorcas Magbadelo is a 28-year-old artist/illustrator from London who sells prints, cards, totes, badges, and many more items that celebrate the beauty and strength of black women.

Magbadelo told BuzzFeed News: "I wanted to create illustrations that represented women that looked like me because I felt I wasn't seeing enough ... When I started getting positive responses to the images I created, I wanted to challenge myself to show a diverse range of black womanhood – the best compliments I receive are when people say they see themselves in my illustrations."

She added: "It's important for young black women to see themselves represented positively. There are so many terrible representations of us in the media as loud, obnoxious, or marred by tragedy, and I just want my work to be as joyful and happy as possible. I think the media capitalises on black pain and there's just so many more beneficial stories to tell, and I try to tell that through my illustrations."

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Oyin Akiniyi is the 32-year-old Londoner who created The Good Hair Club, an environmentally friendly hair product company for black woman. She told BuzzFeed she was inspired to start her business because "my white counterparts can go into any Boots and other big stores and buy haircare, and it's run by people who understand their hair".

She said that when she walked into African-Caribbean hair products shop Pak Cosmetics, "I asked the guy and he just told me to buy the most popular item, not based on my [hair] needs. ... We're not being sold products that are necessarily good for us. For me, I finally accepted that I don't have to accept that experience."

Akiniyi also wants to dispel the idea of what "good hair" is: "Good hair is healthy hair, whether it be dreadlocks, relaxed, wigs, etc. There's [no] definitive narrative of what good hair is. The Good Hair Club is a platform giving people the tools. I created it with women of colour in mind."

Crown Rose UK is a unisex swimwear line founded by 26-year-old Nikky Adebayo and Ify Rose from London. Rose told BuzzFeed the pair love going on holiday and felt their heritage [being British-Nigerian] was not represented in the swim market, so they decided to create Crown Rose UK.

Adebayo said: "We did our first fashion show three years ago and people are really taking to our brand. People have been buying from all over the world.. America to Poland. This makes us feel good."

They are shocked by the amount of growth and support their brand has received. Rose said: "It started off as a drawing – now it's something someone wears on holiday."

Vitae London is a online watch retailer founded by 26-year-old William Adoasi from London. He told BuzzFeed News: "Five years ago my wife visited a charity in South Africa called House of Wells, which impacted our lives forever. We saw that children were missing out on education because of basic things like school uniform. Due to my passion for the watch industry and my passion for the children across Africa I started Vitae London."

Ten per cent of Vitae London's sales go to help a child's education in South Africa. "'Vitae' is Latin for 'life' and I believe what sets us apart is our heart to change lives," Adoasi said. "Aside from [having] very high-quality, elegant products, we focus on showing people they can really impact people's lives."

Timothy Armoo, 21, created Fanbytes, a company that helps brands connect with influencers. The company has worked with high-profile brands such as Go Pro, Adidas, and Disney, and even superstars like Ronaldinho.

The company has only been around for under two years. "I'm pleased to say we've skyrocketed to be the largest video influencer network in the UK," said Armoo.

One of the highest accolades he has received was when Fanbytes was recently described by Forbes as being made up of millennials redefining "how brands market to millennials".

Armoo, who won the Black British Business Award for being the best black entrepreneur in the arts and media industry, hopes his success will encourage young black people to follow suit. "I think the reason why there aren't that many black-owned businesses is due to a lack of representation, and seeing more people do it is helping to reverse that," he said.

UPDATE

This post has been updated after one of the businesses we interviewed asked to be removed.

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