What to Know
- With the Black History Month coming to an end in a few days and the beginning of Women's History Month around the corner, it is the perfect time to support local black female-owned businesses.
- A recent article from the U.S. Census reveals that "the number of U.S. Black-owned businesses grew from 2017 to 2019 in all sectors of the U.S. economy."
- Take a look at nine successful black women-owned businesses across the tri-state area who are changing the game with their companies.
With the Black History Month coming to an end in a few days and the beginning of Women's History Month around the corner, it is the perfect time to support local black female-owned businesses.
A recent article from the U.S. Census reveals that "the number of U.S. Black-owned businesses grew from 2017 to 2019 in all sectors of the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS)."
Just last year, the Harvard Business Review reported that 17% of Black women in the U.S. are in the process of starting or running new businesses compared to 10% of white women and 15% of white men.
Take a look at nine successful black women-owned businesses across the tri-state area who are changing the game with their companies.
Founded by professional dancer Krista Martins, Wukkout!® is a soca-based dance fitness class backed by nationally accredited trained instructors. Regardless of body type, age or culture, all are welcome to sweat it out in this Caribbean Carnival-like experience. Wukkout combines Martins’ dance experience with her passion for her culture — creating this program that even those who hate working out can enjoy.
“I like to say that we really like to get people out of their heads and into their bodies,” Martins said. Based in New York City and online.
For 27 years, Magic Hands owner Marieme Wade has made it her goal to help her clients achieve, grow and maintain healthy, beautiful hair. Although best known for her "goddess braids,” Wade also specializes in dreadlocks, box braids, flat twists, Senegalese twists, cornrows, twist outs, braid outs, two stranded twist updos and hair and scalp treatments. Wade is also a Sisterlock consultant.
“Sisterlocks is the technique where it maintains the hair and hair is locked into small pieces of hair and it's a permanent style,” Wade said.
Based in Yonkers' Ridge Hill.
Ever since 1999, Second Chance Services life purpose coach, Edna White has committed herself to guiding clients through overcoming their struggles by sharing her own personal experience, both successes and failures, to help others. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, White wishes to help others navigate through their personal battles and emotions.
“Second Chance Services aspires to empower, educate and support women of color and their families by addressing social, cultural, traditional, economic and environmental factors that impact the quality of life,” White said.
Based in Long Island’s Riverhead.
Beginning in 2009, Megan Johnson, also known as Megan J., has been a professional makeup artist specializing in bridal makeovers and production. She has worked on sets with major celebrities and brands such as Angela Simmons, Teyana Taylor, Adidas and Viacom’s MTV and MTV2. Through her career, she has created her own style that seeks to not only enhance, but compliment her clients' natural beauty.
“A lot of my brides tend to be also business women — black business women," said Johnson.
Based in Union.
Founded by Carla Friday, Simple Shoppe Candle Co. not only specializes in hand poured candles, but also creates custom wedding decor and candle favors. Simple Shoppe Candle Co. uses locally sourced American grown soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks and premium fragrance oils infused with natural essential oils.
Based in Westfield.
Owner, CEO and Director of One Step Ahead Learning Center, Marlene Mack strives to provide top-notch child care that incorporates children’s complete developmental and educational greatness.
“We also put special emphasis on the performing arts in the early childhood education program,” Mack said. Teaching music, song and dance, the performing arts based faculty for the young offers vocal coaches to designers and has even received national attention from America's Got Talent, CBS, Channel 2, Buzzfeed and Inside Edition for their “mega-shows" and viral mannequin challenge.
Based in East Orange.
Founder, CEO and brew master Alisa Bowens-Mercado developed Rhythm Brewing Co. in 2017 after noticing the lack of craft lagers on the market. Though typically a white male dominated industry, Rhythm Brewing Co. is both the first black and black female beer brewery in the state’s history. Mercado is currently working towards becoming the first nationally distributed black woman owned beer brand in the U.S.
“We are on a superb mission in the beer industry to produce the finest quality beers that will inspire people to find their rhythm in life," Mercado said. “We’re excited about the purpose which is tapping into an untapped demographic and allowing our brand to create cultural and economic change.”
Based in New Haven.
Since 2008, Kori Doss of Kori Andrea Photography has been specializing in maternity, baby, children and family portraits as well as headshots and boudoir. Her passion for photography fills each session with mercy, grace, trust, and understanding.
"How I hope that I differ from those around me is that I really try to make it more so about growing with families and making our connection go a little farther than the pictures," Doss said.
Based in Newtown.
Delores S. Williams, is the co-founder and co-owner of independent bookstore, People Get Ready, LLC. Williams also serves as a literary agent working on behalf of authors for books including athletes, entertainers and other public figures.
"My mission overall is to do work that supports the community and is not just transactional — it is about positive impact specifically to uplift and support folks of the African Diaspora," Williams said.
Based in New Haven.