Amidst a global pandemic that has rocked the world, we are also finding ourselves in what seems to be deja vu of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. All eyes are on America as people in all 50 states organize marches, sign petitions and put up signs (NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!) On June 2, Instagram went dark as users vowed to suspend posting their everyday content, instead, opting to share a black box with the hashtag, #blackouttuesday. Launched by music recording industry executives, Briana Agyemang and Jamila Thomas, Black Out Tuesday was born with the idea that it would challenge an industry that has profited hand over fist from Black people and our culture. It quickly began to spread to all facets of world commerce, including the beauty and wellness industry. Big name brands like, Sunday Riley and Cocokind, put their money where their people are, pledging big bucks to the NAACP, The Loveland Foundation, and a host of other Black organizations.
The non people of color of the Instagram clean beauty community have been especially vocal about the injustices against Black people, and creatively thinking of other ways to check their privilege and support their friends and followers. There’s been an overwhelmingly positive information dump of Black businesses to support shared across stories and posts all over the ‘gram. As I too continue to read and share, I’ve rounded up 5 Black Wellness Businesses You Can Support Now.
Real Raw Shea – Launched in 2019 by Ghanian-American partners, Aisha Suraz and Alfred Glover, RRS sources their ingredients with a cooperative of 1,000 Ghanian women. Their shea butter, sold from 3.4 ounces to 55 pounds, is raw and unscented, making it the perfect base for your own DIY essential oil concoctions. Real Raw Shea is a staple in my house at all times. Pro tip: Use a leftover (or new!) tin can to fill with RRS and make a handy mini travel balm.
Sidebarre – This high-intensity, low-impact class is a workout that always has my muscles burning for more! Black, technically trained ballet dancers, Jillian, Maya and Alexis, alternate teaching these heart-pumping sessions to my favorite hip-hop vibes in the Washington, D.C. area. Not in the DMV? Their Three Sixty program will keep you updated via newsletter with online classes and other health-conscious content to keep you well from top to (pointed) toe.
Absolute Joi – This clean skincare line for all types and tones, was founded by Dr. Anne. When she and her daughters realized that many products in the market didn’t address their melanin-rich skin concerns, such as hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, Dr. Anne decided to address it herself. Absolute Joi includes single and multi-step solutions derived from natural ingredients. With their recyclable packing, there’s not much more you could ask for in a skincare company.
Vinyl and Vinyasa – “Give up hope? Nah, namastay advocating for my people!” Nigerian-American, Mary Mbaba, hosts and teaches an all levels flow the first Saturday of every month at Songbyrd in Adams Morgan. With a DJ spinning Nipsey Hussle on the basement stage, this is not your Bethesda moms’ yoga class. Bring your own mat and arrive a bit early to grab some space!
Nola Skinsentials – Nola Skinsential’s owner/founder, Jane, was tired of overpriced brands with no attention to melanin skin. When she said to herself in 2017, “If I want something the right way, I have to do it myself,” she created her company. Their product line covers all genders, and has some of the most chic packaging I’ve seen as of late! Not sure of your skin type and where to start? Take their skin quiz for some guidance.
As we all navigate the revolution happening right now, supporting Black companies and businesses is crucial. We are your neighbors, we are your friends, we are you family and we are here to stay. I’d love to hear more about other Black businesses you can support now. Drop your favorites in the comments!