In the words of Maya Angelou, "When you know better, you do better."
For black entrepreneurs with no business connections, the road can seem long, and often, impossible. It's time to step up to the plate, from both black entrepreneurial and black consumer standpoints.
Show support and be supported. Love yourself.
Here are nine black-owned brands that are killing it this year.
Naira Shoes, Based in Austin, Texas, Made in Africa, a bespoke custom shoemaker that lets the customer design the shoe. They offer easy returns/exchanges on all boots and ships worldwide. See more at www.ournaira.com.
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BARKEL is a Sudanese-inspired label introducing a contemporary line of unisex, luxury handmade Italian leather footwear. They offer free worldwide shipping. Shop at www.barkal.com.
Agnes Bethel is a husband and wife duo offering exclusive, hand-crafted shoes made in Italy and with Italian leathers. They can be found at www.angnesbethel.com.
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Becki Coakley is a shoe designer whose brand "strives to not only bring to life gorgeous designs, but they also work to uplift, strengthen, and encourage the women who wear their shoes."
Becki Coakley Shoes are handmade in Italy and offers worldwide shipping. See more at www.beckicoakley.com.
Brother Vellies, designed in Brooklyn, is handcrafted sustainably by artisans spanning from Nairobi, Kenya to New York. See more at www.brothervellies.com.
Handcrafted in Italy, Chelsea Paris is created out of inspiration from the designer's African heritage. Her shoes were recently seen on the runways of Bibhu Mohaptra's SS20 collection. See more at www.chelseaparis.com.
Fenty is a brand created by the famous singer, Rihanna, and is taking the fashion world by storm. Not much needed to be said. See more at www.fenty.com.
Feteish offers customized leather sandals. "From colorful, minial straps to cute leather flowers and butterflies, these sandals are sure to be a conversation starter.
Feteish offers worldwide shipping. See more at www.myfeteish.com.
Heron Preston wears many hats. Not only is he a designer and Dj, but he is also an art director and collaborator who sources much of his inspiration from sustainable products and technology. Learn more at www.heronpreston.com.