Nordstrom pop-ups give Black-owned businesses a boost

This Black History Month, the retailer shines the spotlight on eight Brooklyn-based companies.

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Nordstrom is using Black History Month to give Black-owned businesses a boost.

For the second year in a row, the Seattle-based retailer announced the launch of an in-store marketplace at its New York-based flagship featuring Black-owned businesses. This year, Nordstrom partnered with Black-Owned Brooklyn, an online publication that highlights Black-owned businesses in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Black-Owned Brooklyn x Nordstrom (Connie Zhou)

“We’re proud to spotlight eight phenomenal Black brands at Nordstrom NYC’s Center Stage,” Cynthia Gordy Giwa, Black-Owned Brooklyn co-creator said in a press release. “Nordstrom’s commitment to equity and inclusion is commendable, and the pop-up market is an incredible opportunity for these businesses to showcase their talents to a new audience.”

The businesses include:

The lifestyle brand Chen Burkett New York offers trend-forward clothing with vibrant colors and a Caribbean flair.

Heavy Metals NYC, an accessories store with items handcrafted by Brooklyn-based sculptor Shanel Odum that incorporates gunmetal, sterling silver, and studded ammo.

Photo: Heavy Metals

The luxury nail lacquer business Breukelen Polished prides itself in offering the community healthy beauty options.  

Savant Studios, founded by designer Michael Graham, offers stylish pieces including hoodies, sweaters, pants, and a handbag selection.

Modish Decor Pillows, offers throw pillows in a variety of patterns, textures, and colors,

The lifestyle brand Sarep + Rose offers a line of leather bags, footwear, and decorative home storage baskets.

The hibiscus-spiced beverage brand Brooklyn Brewed Sorrel. The beverage is based on a family recipe steeped in Caribbean heritage.

Askanya Chocolates, all-natural chocolate with Haitian cacao and cane sugar.

Nordstrom is just the latest large company to offer pop-up opportunities. American Express, on Small Business Saturday, offered a number of pop-ups for Black-owned businesses. Their effort was an extension of their ByBlack partnership with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

Collaborations like these are invaluable for Black-owned businesses that don’t have the resources to market and expand and in a world that still doesn’t treat Black businesses equitably.

For example, banks are still more likely to deny Black business owners loans. Black business owners receive about $30,000 less in loan amounts than their white-owned counterparts. And online lenders approve Black business loans far less frequently (67% of the time) than white businesses loans (82%).

Without the inherent advantages that come with starting a business, pop-ups become an important part of the potential long-term success and economic sustainability for Black-owned businesses.

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