It’s February guys, so that means it’s Black History Month- but you knew that though.
As an ode to Black History and Black people, I decided to honor 5 black businesses that I’ve had positive experiences with during this lovely-
yet so short month.
Founded in 2018 by licensed esthetician Mckenzie Whitfield, RoseBudBeautea is a Queens, NY based skincare brand. Mckenzie found her passion for esthetics after noticing how hard it was for her to find natural and affordable skincare products. These services are not catered solely to men and women, because according to Mckenzie “no matter what sex you are we all want nourishing skin.”
In addition to offering skincare services such as eye treatments, facials, and body wraps, RoseBudBeauta also has line of soaps, hydrating sprays, and body scrubs.
I had the pleasure of receiving a deep cleaning facial earlier this month, and safe to say my skin still feels amaaaazing. Before my facial, Mckenzie observed my skin and told me what type of skin I had, as well as recommended the best products for my skin type. During the facial, she also explained each step of the facial to me and told me which products she was using on my skin at the moment. To top it off McKenzie is also extremely friendly! Still don’t believe me? Check out the results from my facial below:
2. We Aim Higher
Founded in 2018 by Symone Stokes and Crystal Figueroa and based in the Bronx, NY, We Aim Higher is a non-profit organization that hosts many different events including but not limited to coat drives, school supplies drives, and prom giveaways. According to the website, We Aim Higher’s mission is “…to provide the necessary tools the community is in need of. Assisting and helping the members of the community in any way. To be a beacon of light and hope in the Bronx. Bring opportunity and success in each individual. Giving back to the community, bring joy into families. No matter the risk We Aim Higher will provide the community with the resources to RISE above.”
I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering at a block party We Aim Higher was a part over the summer, and let me just say the whole team is full of genuinely amazing people. Being that We Aim Higher is big on health and wellness (they even have a health and wellness blog on their website) they offered a free Zumba class hosted by the Health and Wellness Coordinator, and tug of war during the block party. Also, a trivia game that came with a prize was available at the table, which the kids really seemed to enjoy.
We Aim Higher has a lot in store for 2020, so be sure to follow their social media to stay updated! After all, there’s no better feeling than putting a smile on someone’s face. 🙂
3. Quanny Eats
Founded in 2018 and based in New York City, Quanny Eats is an online food blog, focusing on different restaurants within the 5 boroughs, Long Island, and even Jamaica. The inspiration came when he was 18 and began curating a list of food spots he wanted to try, which he began rating out of 5 stars. The “About” tab on the Quanny Eats website states “The goal of what I’m doing is just to let people into my food adventures while giving them new places to try out.” Each review begins with an overall rating of the location, gives the address, and even how to get there via public transportation. A more in-depth review of the restaurant is given as well, discussing overall food quality, the quality of service, the ambiance of the location, and pricing. Pictures of the locations and menus are also attached, with a short recommendation on what to order.
Aside from food reviews, in 2020 Quanny Eats introduced Everybody Eats: The Homeless Initiative, an initiative created to tackle food insecurity within the homeless community in the 5 boroughs. Beginning this past January and once a month until December 2020, food bags containing water, sandwiches, napkins, and more will be brought to the homeless community within each borough.
*also, if you like cool merch, that’s available for purchase too, I made sure a purchased a piece for myself!*
4. TIER NYC
Tier NYC is a New York City-based clothing brand founded in 2014 by Nigeria Ealey, Esaie Jean Simon, and Victor James. According to the official website, the brand’s overall goal is “Expressing art, design and culture through the lens of garment construction.“, with the tagline “Art Never Dies“. This past summer, Tier NYC collaborated with 3 Adidas stores in New York City, providing a customization experience. Customers were able to create their own Tier x Adidas designs using New York City- related motifs. From coverage in Essense Magazine to pieces being seen on Chris Paul, Rick Ross, and Carmelo Anthony- it’s safe to say Tier gets its fair share of buzz. Outside of clothing, this year Tier NYC will be hosting it’s third annual Artreprenuer Festival– a networking event that showcases different brands from different industries. Panels, workshops, and performances are also a part of the festival’s itinerary.
I had the pleasure of purchasing a hat from this company, and I was very impressed with the overall process. Despite ordering in the middle of a huge sitewide sale, 2 days after I received an email saying that my order was shipped. I’d definitely recommend this brand to my fellow readers.
5. Signed, A.J.
Signed, A.J. is a New York City-based blog, an online shop offering merch and branding material, and pretty soon- a podcast. The brand’s “About” tab, states that “…Created and chiefly operated by Ms. Ayanna J, Signed, Ayanna J. is a lifestyle and media blog and podcast that appeals specifically to the millennial audience…Signed, Ayanna J. is a platform for other up and coming creatives to promote themselves or brands, whether it be through music, arts, beauty/cosmetics, and more…” Signed, A.J. addresses issues that are prevalent in our age groups like dating, mental health, and life in college; introduces entrepreneurs and musicians alike; and also shares playlists created by the founder Ayana via Apple Music. I’ve been subscribed to Signed, A.J. since 2018 and I can honestly say that I feel seen reading every post. As a young, black, women writer, I’m glad that there are other young, black, women writers giving us exactly what we need.
In the “Shop” selection, there’s the option receive graphic design and other branding/ marketing services. From logos to business card designs, and even the option to get highlight covers for your Instagram page, Signed, A.J. has many different tools to help with anyone’s branding needs. I had the opportunity to utilize these services (new logo, who dis?), and not only am I satisfied with my new logo, but I also appreciate the quick responses and professionalism exhibited by Ayanna.