Shining a light on Black-owned small business

Black-owned businesses are self-sufficient, community-oriented and beyond driven. Everything they do stems from the lessons they have learned through their heritage and the passion behind their dreams. When you shop Black-owned you are not only supporting these businesses, you are supporting the community around them and inspiring others to do the same. For Black History Month we are featuring some inspiring stories of Black-owned businesses while also stressing the importance of supporting and shopping Black-owned businesses today and every day. #shopblackowned

Falani Spivey

Byrd’s Nest Box, MD

Growing up, Falani spent a lot of time on her grandparents’ farm where she fell in love with farm fresh produce and eating healthy. With support and encouragement from her father, she started a garden plot in the community garden of her neighborhood.

During the pandemic, Falani decided to sell her produce but wanted to do even more. So. she created Byrd’s Nest Box with her seasonal produce, salad bags, baked goods, compound herb butters and cheeses. Along with her boxes, she offers “Sunday School,” a place where anyone can come and learn to grow produce from seed to crop.

“I am not the only young, Black person doing this, there is a whole world of younger, Black farmers trying to reclaim sustainability.”

Apryl Sims

Apryl’s Life in a Bottle, LA

Apryl’s Life in a Bottle is a raw, cold-pressed, unpasteurized, fresh juice line that was born out of the need and desire to help a personal friend. When Apryl’s friend developed cancer, she wanted to do something that could help. She began with an apple, beet and carrot cold pressed juice with the sole purpose of building her friend’s body back up. Now, she has a line of fresh juices and gives back to her community as a whole.

With hiring previously incarcerated people and giving healthy and nutritious options to food insecure areas, Apryl has dedicated herself to creating good and putting good back into this world. “We care & we share,” is not just a motto, it’s a way of life.

“I would encourage people to stay open, particularly to people that are different than themselves, and to keep an open mind and accept people for who they are because all of us are different, unique and necessary.”

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Allison Dunn

Hibiscus Brew Café, NYC

Originally from Jamaica, Allison wanted to introduce people to healthier ways of eating while creating a space that truly sparked joy from the moment you walked in. At Hibiscus Brew Café, smoothies are a favourite, but the real star of the show is her Sorrel – a concentrated version of hibiscus tea that is a popular holiday drink in Jamaica.

For Allison, starting a business with little experience about the industry and during a pandemic was only possible through the help of her network and community. She hopes to share her own experiences to help inspire others to start their own businesses.

“We need more representation and more people to support us so we can grow our business and help our communities.”

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Heather White

Trill Fit, Boston & NYC

Heather began her business when the gym she had just signed up for showed zero representation. The only black people she saw were the ones cleaning the floor. With the mission to decolonize and desegregate the wellness industry, Trill Fit is a safe haven for people of all walks, all religions and all ethnicities.

Starting with their location in Boston, Heather used the pandemic to pivot into a strong digital platform that reaches people all over the world. Now anyone can work out through their Boston studio, online, or in their soon-to-open New York studio. Additionally, starting in February, the communities that empower Trill Fit will be able to invest. You can learn more about that here.

“It’s real stakes, real people, real community, real hearts in it. We actually care about this, we actually want to save people’s lives, we actually want to see people live longer.”

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Michael Simpson

Writings From Michael, LA

Language is not only about how we speak to one another, it’s how we understand each other. When Michael started writing his first poetry book, he wanted to share his language with the world. The writings on the page evolved into wearable designs centered around short, impactful and empowering messages.

Writings from Michael became a clothing brand that specializes in custom pieces and the stories behind them. Beyond the storytelling he puts on vintage clothing, Michael shares his understanding of being a business owner, how he works and positive messages through WFM Radio – In Between Pieces, both a podcast and YouTube series.

“I’ve been finding a voice through clothing. It’s a way to embody what you are. It’s cool when you have a message on you that’s a one-on-one piece about who the person is.”

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