Black Businesses & Creators Guide

Welcome back! It has been a year, well over a year, since my last post. In good old pandemic fashion, 2021 was not an easy year for me. Creatively, I was, as The Youths™ say, “Down bad.” With one new collection in the shop to show for the entire year, it is easy to see from the other side that surviving was the goal. We are back with a new look and to celebrate, I’m spending this month highlighting the Black businesses and creators that have kept me sustained and inspired. You can bookmark, Pin, or print (#ElderMilennial) this post and check in with me on Instagram throughout the month as I continue to showcase these amazing individuals below for creating and making amazing things.

Two candles sitting on white wool woven blanket
Kismet + Charisma

My podcast other-half, Charisma, keeps herself booked and busy but her candles are the only candles we should be talking about during Black History Month. She sells out QUICKLY and each of these hand-poured, soy candles are sure to keep you in your hygge feels all winter long.

Image of hand holding a red heart bookholder to keep their book open while reading in bed
Heretics Shop

With their resin jewelry, book memorabilia, accessories, and more, Heretics has something for everyone. Did I mention that they also do commissions? Not only is Jade dedicated to their craft, but they have also done an amazing job of curating an e-commerce store that gives you the feeling of walking into your favorite small, town gift shop.

Book cover featuring the words Who Will You Be and an illustrated mother holding her baby while kneeling in a field of flowers with butterflies flying around them
Andrea Pippins

Honestly, I could host an entire blog post dedicated to my love and admiration of illustrator and author, Andrea Pippins. Her work has inspired me for years and her journey as an artist is awe-inspiring. I highly recommend purchasing any of her published books to add a piece of that bright, happiness that her work illustrates into your life.

Photo of red velvet cheesecake in front of bakery sign that says Val's
Val’s Cheesecakes

1. Watch Jonathan Morris’s Self Employed on Magnolia Network. 2. Come back very inspired by Val’s story, hungry, and craving cheesecake. Cheesecake is a love language and Val has taken his mother’s legacy and created a cheesecake empire right in the heart of Dallas. This post is also a plea that Val’s can start delivering nationwide, expeditiously.

Several different pairs of different styled earrings in hues of reds, pinks, and blues
Shop After Another

Alyissa is a MAKER-maker. She makes jewelry, art, greeting cards, pins, patches, and so much more. Alyissa’s work is colorful, bold, bright, and empowering. She makes products that radiate joy and embody positivity. I cannot say enough about how talented she is and how you should be supporting her for all of your 60s and 70s revival needs.

Woman wearing brightly colored abstract athleisure during a styled shoot

Simisienna is one of three sister brands that have a HOLD on me. As we are still #pandemicliving, athleisure is a top clothing choice for me. I don’t want to wear hard pants. Simisienna makes beautiful options for those who are looking for something stable for their next workout or whoever else wants to elevate their #WFH lifestyles.

Woven black calabash bowl on table in front of giant monster leaf

Afrohemien is everything. This craftily curated shop of handmade jewelry, cultural goods, and vintage finds is my favorite e-commerce find of the pandemic. I could easily have an Instagram feed of the amazing work Lakesha is doing to create this shop. Her eye for details is immaculate and everything highlights the beauty in Black and African culture.

Blue satin bomber jacket with the words Moonies Club on it with a Sailor Moon wand

This is an obvious outlier for my style choices. I am a woven blanket, chai latte person, but, this jacket is everything. Honestly highlighting an anime-influenced streetwear company is all-encompassing on the Black joy scales. For bonus points, enjoy the Sailor Moon Fan Club podcast, a Sailor Moon fan podcast hosted by a Black woman.

A pink print with the worlds "Being you was always enough." handlettered in red
Eso Tolson

Eso’s lettering embodies every feeling of Black joy for me. He has effortlessly created some of my favorite pieces. I have shamelessly highlighted him before on this site. I cannot say enough kind words about his bold block or fluid lettering style that makes you feel each phrase in your chest. 10/10 Must-buy.

Woman leaning against post outside showcasing her leopard print roller skates
Moonlight Roller

One of my favorite pandemic trends has been the resurgance of roller skating. Growing up in Atlanta in the 90s and early 00s meant that roller skating rinks were a welcomed weekend destination. Insert Moonlight Roller, a black-founded roller skating brand based out of Tennessee. These stylish skates with their signature crescent moon will help you stand out aamong your local skate gang.

Five bags of coffee surrounding a cup of coffee with coffee beans and coffee grounds styled beside them
Black Brew Bros.

I am heavily invested in Black people roasting coffee. I discovered this gem out and about at my local farmers market. You can smell the beans before walking to the booth which is nothing but a good sign of coffee worth trying. With a variety of different roasts of their Grade AAA Arabica coffee beans, there are plenty of options to choose from. I can’t wait to gift these beans to all of my fellow coffee-loving friends.

Many childrens book on white bookshelves
Brave + Kind Bookshop

This bookshop was also a pandemic find of mine. Located in my hometown, Brave + Kind is a bookshop that carefully curates books for littles and some books for grown-ups too. As a parenting person, it is so much easier to browse the wide variety of children’s literature when someone has done the work of putting together an artful selection to choose from.


Black-Hosted Podcasts

One of the things I’ve learned in my six years of being a podcast producer is that there are some real gems out there, despite podcasting having a ROUGH 2022 thus far. The best way to help support podcasts is to share them, rate them, and consistently talk about them if you love them. Remember how you found out about Serial for the first time? Now do that with some of these podcast gems.

  • Black Moms Chat Podcast – Black Moms Chat hosted by Schnelle Acevedo and Adanna Dill, two NYC moms with six kids between them. Schnelle and Adanna are friends and parenting lifestyle bloggers/influencers. This podcast will discuss Black motherhood and interview guests on topics that will inspire, encourage, and support their community.
  • hey, girl – hey, girl. is a podcast that unites the voices of phenomenal women near and far. Created with sisterhood and storytelling in mind, author Alex Elle sits down with people who inspire her. From friends to family members and strangers, the hey, girl. guests give us a peek into their stories through candid and intimate conversations.
  • Brown Ambition Podcast – Brown Ambition is all about everything we can to make a better life for ourselves. We talk about everything from dealing with office bullies to caring if someone comments about your resting bitch face to raising money for a business when you have no idea what you’re doing, and even what to do when you’re making more money than bae.
  • Essah’s Way – Essah’s Way encourages people to embrace their journey by sharing a bit of their amazing story.
  • Revisionist History – Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time.
  • The Creative Block – If you’re curious about the world around you and longing to tap into your creative side, then kick-it with us at The Creative Block — the dopest spot for exploring experiences, brands, and culture. Join experience designers (and friends) Danielle, Jeremy, and Treasure as they debate about how to apply their love for human-centered design in the most unconventional way.
  • Your First Million – Your First Million takes you on a journey to find out how the world’s most successful people finessed their first million…dollars, customers, or downloads. This weekly podcast features Arlan having real, in-depth conversations about topics they normally reserve for friends and family. Is there a trick to becoming a millionaire? What is the common thread that makes someone successful? Tune in and take notes, as Arlan works towards making her first (personal) million!

I’ll do my best to highlight Black creators and businesses on Instagram stories throughout the month in this Celebrating Black Joy series. This is just a small snippet of everything I want to share but let me know of your favorite Black businesses, creators, artists, and technologists in the comments below I can follow along.

Angelica Yarde
Angelica Yarde

My name is Angel Yarde. I am a designer, front-end developer, and speaker. I am the editor and designer of Studio 404 whic was founded in December 2006. In January 2014, I launched Studio 404 Paper, a paper shop which includes type-focused greeting cards, note cards, and prints. I currently reside in Celebration, Florida where I co-own a branding strategy studio, Sevenality, with my husband.

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