Black women around the world are creating businesses at break-neck speed. Black Girl Magic can’t be contained. Here are eight glittering entrepreneurs leading the way.
Yaa Mensah created Marhaw Bags out of a desire to design high quality handbags for the African sophisticate with discerning tastes. Her designs are “steeped in culture and African symbolism.” Adinkra symbols, distinctive Kente Patterns, and genuine Ethiopian leather are remixed to express Africa’s rich cultural heritage and artisanship. Marhaw designs are made in Africa, by African hands using ethically sourced materials; it operates in various parts of Africa and ships worldwide.
Tea lovers get lots of love in this ambient Washington DC based teahouse established by fifth-generation Jamaican-American herbalist. Dr. Sunyatta Amens uses her holistic knowledge about herbs passed on to her by her grandmother to nourish minds, bodies and spirits. She serves up beverages with health, healing, and quirky names. If you’re ever in Washington DC check out Calabash Teahouse.
West Africa is rife with delicious, natural, and healthy fruits like coconuts and mangoes. Ghanaian-American, Stacy Enyame, creator of Snacks of Africa has made it her mission to explore snacks from across the continent, bringing us along for the adventure, starting with her delicious vegan, gluten-free toasted coconut chips which she small-batch produces in Harlem, NYC.
57 Chocolate is a revolutionary artisanal chocolate brand that’s reviving Ghana’s 1957 “can do spirit” by producing luxurious cocoa confections from bean to bar, using the countries natural cocoa resources. This sweet venture was pioneered in Accra, Ghana, by pan-African sisters Kimberly and Priscilla Addison.
Stationery lovers everywhere know how fulfilling it is to write on pretty, quality, paper products, but finding beautiful stationery with an African creativity is hard to find. Not anymore, thanks to Nneka and Nwanyinma! Together this duo created NwaNne a Nigerian-based stationery company that designs beautiful paper products incorporating African aesthetic into every day life.
In South Africa, Numvuyo Treffers decided to do something about her daily struggles with ill-fitting swim caps which discouraged her daughter from swimming. She created Swimma Caps, large, waterproof, silicone swim caps for braided, weaved, locked, and generally big-haired naturals. Finally, black women everywhere can rejoice, the struggle is almost over!
Finding nude under garments for darker skin tones was frustrating until Sierra Leonean, Sadia Sisay, decided to do something about it. Being U, her line of skin-toned lingerie, based in the UK, tackles body image and color diversity by fashioning bras, panties, and undergarments that run the gamut of sizes and skin tones from A to H cup; beige to dark coffee brown.
Thandos was born out of necessity. Girls on the go know how difficult it is to go about business in heels all day, so power couple Taffi and JG Ayodele designed bold, ankara-print foldable flats “to offer women comfort and convenience in one portable, stylish product.” Thandos is based in Nigeria, but thankfully they ship to the U.S. as well.