Normani reminds consumers to shop Black-owned brands this Black Business Month
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August is Black Business Month, and Normani, designer Marissa Wilson, and more are reminding shoppers why they should support Black-owned businesses. Leading up to the month’s official kickoff, the “Wild Side” singer joined the annual Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour with H&M.
The collaborative tour spotlighted Black-women-owned businesses through pop-up shops hosted across the country. Normani, who reportedly tries to seek out and highlight Black-owned companies, commented on the unfortunate reality of being a Black female business owner.
“Black women have been leading the numbers when it comes to starting a business,” said Normani, per WWD. However, “annual sales for Black women business owners are five times smaller than all women-owned businesses due to lack of support and awareness.”
Since its inception in 2016, Buy From a Black Woman has strived to solve this problem. Teaming up with H&M for the third year, BFABW creates opportunities for Black women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and grow through workshops, grants, stipends and accelerator programs. BFABW’s founder, Nikki Porcher, told WWD the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour with H&M offers “a powerful message of inclusion and diversity, which helps break down barriers in the long run.”
“This organization empowers, educates, and inspires Black women business owners and the people who support them,” Normani told WWD.
Though BFABW supports Black businesses in all sectors, it especially helps those in the fashion and beauty industries. According to McKinsey studies, Black consumers continue to hold significant economic power with growing spending predicted in the fashion and beauty sectors. However, Black-owned beauty and fashion brands remain underrepresented in the mainstream market.
“The challenge as a Black woman in the fashion industry is that we are so often the muse, the source of inspiration, but you don’t see us placed in positions of thought leadership or being the voice of fashion brands,” said Marrisa Wilson, founder and creative director of her eponymous label, per WWD.
“Access to capital, distribution, talent, etc., all come from networks, and unfortunately, many Black entrepreneurs historically haven’t had access to those networks,” added Chaz Giles, the founder of the skincare brand Revea.
Like BFABW, the 15 Percent Pledge is a nonprofit organization encouraging major retailers and corporations to create” sustainable and supportive ecosystems for Black-owned businesses to succeed.” Founded by Brother Vellies founder and creative director Aurora James, this month, the organization is partnering with Nordstrom to create the Buy Black Market, a series of in-store pop-up shops at Nordstrom locations across the country featuring Black-owned brands. Consumers will be able to shop a rotating selection of Black-owned brands in person during the following dates:
Though Black Business Month is commemorated in August, it is intended to help consumers understand the importance of supporting Black-led businesses all year.
“Community support not only shows others in the industry that you may be deserving of their support, too,” Wilson told WWD. “But it also tells us that what we are doing is being seen and appreciated and gives us the hope needed to keep pushing forward.”