This tumultuous year has shone a light on the unacceptable fact that black business owners face disproportionate hurdles – and we’ve taken action. Ex So Solid crew member, Swiss, launched Black Pound Day, a solution-based movement that encourages us all to spend money with Black-owned businesses in the UK, one day every month, it’s happening this Saturday 3 October. According to Black Pound Day, “if we spend just £10 a week on Black businesses, we can inject £1.9bn into the Black community”.
The BeyGood foundation (that’s Beyonce’s) donated $1 million dollars (£750,000) to support Black-owned businesses in the U.S, (as if we didn’t love her enough, already). Then there’s Blaqbase, an app founded by entrepreneur Benedicta Banga which provides a catalogue of independent businesses run by Black women that offers a catalogue of high end shopping opportunities. HEART EYES.
We are stronger together.
Together we can and will make a difference.
We defy you not to fall in love with this ‘slow’ fashion label from Ngoni Chikwenengere. These timeless, statement pieces are utterly flattering, transcending trends We Are Kin delivers pieces you’ll want to wear time and time again, year after year.
The collections are responsibly manufactured, Ngoni works with end of line and sustainable fabrics, makes-to-order to avoid waste and produces everything locally in Bow, East London. “We’re focused on creating an understated sense of sartorial refinement, aided by strong silhouettes, clean lines and statement pieces that will elevate any closet,” says Ngoni.
As well as closet-essentials, each season We Are Kin launches an initiative, raising awareness of wider female-centric causes. “Last season we raised awareness for breast cancer, after a personal scare. As women we need to be aware of our bodies and the key changes,” says Ngoni. Check out the online store to get your mitts on beautiful strappy-backed dresses, a head-turningly good linen suit and sassy, figure celebrating swimsuits. Stay tuned for the a/w collection available online soon.
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HNY! We are back from our much needed Xmas break. 2019 was the year I learned how to juggle running a business while caring for my son. I have had to slow down cut opening hours and be working behind the scenes instead of in store. Thank you to all of our wonderful loyal customers for sticking with us and understanding without one complaint. I have really missed engaging with you all and the plant community we are so happy to be a part of. So 2020 I will be running more fun events and workshops so we can continue to grow our knowledge, our collections and our community. Big thank you to @theplanter_ for including me in their great photography series comprised of plant lovers. REPOST @theplanter_ This is Gynelle, founder of @prickldn. We had such a lovely time hanging out in her shop. She really is a pretty amazing person, with an exacting eye, and a killer combination of warmth, generosity and drive. Her story started with a private collection of weird and wonderful cacti. When she found it tough to source the things she wanted, she decided to open the kind of shop she wished existed: PRICK, London’s first ever cactus and succulent boutique. Today her book (with the same name) has sold thousands of copies all over the world, and she doesn’t regret her decision one bit. • • • • • #prick #cactusshop #cactus #succulents #cacti #cactuslove #prickldn #houseplants #prickdalston #indoorplants #plantgang #houseplantsofinstagram #plant #prickshop #plantsmakepeoplehappy #indoorjungle #plants #plantportrait #plantaddict #plantsofinstagram #instaplant #cactusgram #plantgoals #plantstrong #cactusofinstagram #botanicalwomen #cactus #succulents #cacti
Gynelle Leon, plant expert (forensic science MSC, photographer, mother, business owner) became interested in cacti after a visit to Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh back in 2011. She ditched her job, travelled the world to study plants and became part of the cactus and succulent society. So, if you want to know a thing or two about these prickly, living ‘pieces of art’ – she’s your gal. A visit to her Kingsland Road boutique is a must.
Excitingly, Gynelle has just bought a new ‘community’ event space where she’s planning to hold a series of botanical themed workshops, talks, panel discussions, lectures, book clubs and coffee mornings, “I feel like, especially after COVID, we need a space to create, share and just be together. I can’t wait to share more!”
All details to be announced soon, await updates here and in the meantime pop down to Dalston to peruse Prick’s fine offerings. Your home will be a happier place for it.
With huge redevelopment happening across Peckham, a lot of the trusted Afro hair salons and black beauty shops were under threat. Together with Southwark Council and architecture company Something & Sons, Monique Tomlinson has created Peckham Palms, a co-working space which houses 20 professional hair and beauty stylists, barbers, nail technicians and massage therapists, all under one roof. All hair stylists and beauticians work as sole traders who are free to set their own prices, rent chairs or entire salon spaces.
There’s a bar and food served at the venue and a buzzing collaborative vibe. Stay tuned for upcoming events.
Open Tuesday – Sunday, pop by at 1-14 Bournemouth Close, Peckham Rye. Or find out more about the stylists and book your appointment here.
Based in Elephant and Castle, is Ricki, founder and owner of luxury candle line Selfmade Candle. “A few years ago, I worked as a global events manager, often travelling from location to location and missing home. In my mini suitcase one of my staple items I’d carry around was my candle. Something to make me smell and experience home. There’s something about smelling scents that are familiar to you and remind you of positive experiences, that can keep you going even in the darkest times.”
Selfmade Candle was born. The stylish branding, continually evolving product lines, core sustainability values and chic website keep the clients coming back for more. After George Floyd’s murder, Ricki launched the limited edition Conscious candle and £5 from every purchase is donated to the Black Minds Matter UK Charity. “I feel proud to know something that I am making with my hands is helping to both support this movement and keep people’s spirits up.”
The Spiced Girls candle making kits are online now a perfect gift for family, friends and you.
Sincerely Nude was founded by London based Michelle Asare in 2018. “I noticed that I could never find any nude clothing close to my skin tone whenever I went shopping or even browsing online which was frustrating. I’ve always loved fashion and it felt dear to my heart to be part of the change I wanted to see in the world. From a discussion to fruition!”
Sincerely Nude is sexy, inclusive, empowering, “We believe in representing all women, we’re breaking stereotypes on shade at a time.” The figure flaunting body-con dresses start from £39, there are crop tops, skirts, shorts and leggings in sizes Xs-2XL, the product shots and Instagram feed are utterly uplifting.
*Checks online store.
East London based Mary-Ann Msengi is 20-years-old. Amidst the global pandemic she launched her online womenswear business, Farai which means happiness, from the Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe – and the bold, colourful pieces are just that.
In week two of launching the business, Kylie Jenner posted a picture of herself wearing the iconic Gaia dress (£89) and let’s just say, Mary-Ann hasn’t stopped since – making dresses, being interviewed by Vogue, making BBC news.
Mary-Ann’s goal? “To redefine womenswear with an adventurous spirit and a commitment to superior quality.” The small but perfectly formed pieces celebrate the female body.
“Our collections incorporate unique prints and cuts made from high quality material whilst still being practical and wearable.” Get your hands on the Gaia, itty-bitty-thong bikinis, £25; and a stunning printed long-sleeve body-con dress, £75. Designed in London, shipped worldwide.
Oh, how we love a (mega) success story.
Lola Betiku – better known by the moniker Labet – is a self-taught Nigerian-British visual artist born and based in Hackney. Drawing influence from her rich Nigerian heritage, Labet’s stunning, colourful pieces explore themes within feminine identity and cultural pride.
Passionate about current affairs, fashion, literature, music and travel, Labet uses each avenue as a stimulus to create positive cultural representations with her paintings and illustrations, that are hugely inspired by the Fauvism and Expressionism movements. “I’m also inspired by the works of a Faith Ringold… through the lockdown period I’ve had more time to explore her work through her many years as an artist and activist; I love how she uses bold colour, textures and patterns to draw in attention to the meaningful messages behind her work.”
Stay tuned for Labet’s new series of work that’s due to be exhibited early next year in London, centred around the everyday ‘single black female’ experience.
Patience MacNeary and her husband Zak from South London both had dreams of starting something of their own some day with ideas ranging from community support initiatives through to app development. On 12th of June this year (2020), they launched their online wine company, Moscato Life, while still working their full-time jobs (in events and sales).
Having drunk and enjoyed Moscato all over the world they were frustrated when they couldn’t get it back in the UK, where it’s considered more of a dessert wine. “Moscato is a great balance of being sweet and light which makes it so refreshing and easy to drink and why we believe it fits for so many moments beyond just being a dessert wine,” says Patience.
Despite launching the business in lockdown, online alcohol sales soared. For anyone who hasn’t drunk Mosacto, where to start? “Our best seller so far is Astoria’s Fashion Victim Moscato Rose. Bartenura and Alasia’s Moscato d’Asti are close behind.”
Keep posted on social media for upcoming events and tastings when restrictions on group gatherings change; and in the meantime, start your own Moscato Life and order a bottle (or three) today.
Header image credit: Sincerely Nude