8 Black, LGBTQ+ owned businesses you need to know now
These companies deserve our support year round!
According to the 2019 Annual Business Survey, approximately 18.3% of all U.S. businesses are minority-owned. While we tout Black-owned businesses, it’s imperative to support double minority-owned businesses. We’re talking about Black-owned, queer businesses.
According to a National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce report, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs make up less than 1% of small businesses. There are potentially more, however, there is a valid fear and reluctance to disclose sexual orientation in fear of backlash or even harm. There are less than 1,000 certified LGBTQ+-owned businesses and according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 15% of these businesses were founded nearly two decades ago.
However, new queer, Black entrepreneurs are popping up with companies. theGrio has created a list of eight Black-owned queer businesses that you can support.
A Tribe Called Queer
A Tribe Called Queer is a multidisciplinary brand that features gender-neutral, size-inclusive, LGBTQ+ positive clothing. They also have a podcast, a blog, as well as virtual events. Sabine Maxine Lopez is the founder of the company and has done partnerships with retailers like Macy’s.
Feelmore Adult Gallery
Feelmore Adult Gallery boasts that they will “deliver orgasms immediately,” and we believe them with their array of sex toys. This sex shop and community space is founded by Nenna Joiner and based in Oakland, Calif. Joiner gives back by hosting events for the community, as well as pop-ups like the Bumble February Love Pop Up Shop, which allowed five women-owned businesses the opportunity to present their stories and their products.
Kris Harring Designs
Kris Harring is a Brooklyn-based designer and researcher focused on genderless fashion design. Harring designed a custom Trans is Beautiful jumpsuit for actress Sarah Ramirez for the True Colors Benefit Concert in New York City. You can shop the LGBTQ Pride Collection, featuring inclusive hats, sweaters, t-shirts, and tank tops. If you are interested in up to the date information around gender in fashion, health, beauty and society, sign up for Harring’s newsletter — Generation Genderless.
Cocoa and Breezy
Twin designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson are the creative force behind Coco and Breezy Eyewear. Founded in 2009, they are known for their stylish frames and even designing the “third-eye” sunglasses for the late Prince. In addition to sunglasses and optical, they also sell merch.
The next time you are in Washington, D.C. or Silver Springs, Maryland stop by Loyalty Bookstore. Founded by Hannah Oliver Depp, she’s focused on bringing high-quality diverse books and events to the community. Their website explains, “Our intersectional community is important to our staff, therefore those are the books you’ll find centered in our store, in our programming, and in our promotions. We work to create an inclusive, welcoming environment and provide books and goods for the home.”
These two bookstores center Black, PoC, and queer voices, however, if you aren’t in the Mid-Atlantic you can shop and support the bookstore online.
Brownie Points For You
If you are looking for cheeky prints, items for your home, or T-shirts that will make others look twice, then check out Brownie Points For You, created by artist Rinny Perkins. With Black colloquialisms like the ‘Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes’ print or need-to-be-said statements like ‘Pay Black Women For Their Labor Instead Of Using Them For Diversity Clout’ plastered on coffee mugs, these items make great statement gifts.
“Not for you—for everyone,” is the slogan of Telfar, an NYC-based clothing and accessory line founded by Queens-based fashion designer Telfar Clemons. He’s most well known for his Telfar bag affectionately dubbed the Bushwick Birkin. The largest bag costs $257.00 and the small bag is $150.00, bringing on-trend fashion to a wider market. When online scalpers tried to re-sell his bag for three times the price, he outsmarted them by creating the Telfar Bag Security Program, which pre-sells bags in every colorway.
Makoma The Brand
Meaning “my heart,” Makoma The Brand isn’t just a clothing company–it’s a lifestyle. Blending the African diaspora with classic silhouettes, you get unique designs ethically created with high-quality craftsmanship. The brand hosts monthly pop-up shops, but if they aren’t close to you, then shop the site from the comforts of your own home.
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