Over this weekend I had the pleasure of attending Black Culture Market in my home town of Brixton, and I have to say it was the best experience I've had living in this town, the amount of black creatives showcasing their work and craft, I couldn't contain the enormous grin on my face through out the time I had spent there.
Importance of Black Businesses
Historically, Black entrepreneurship has meant opportunities for equality, equity and a vehicle out of poverty. Throughout the years, Black entrepreneurs have harnessed economic power to strengthen the Black community, create jobs and develop a voice to advocate for well-being of Blacks.
Investing in Black- and minority-owned businesses is not a panacea for the industry’s lagging demographics, but it can certainly help. According to the Brookings Institute, if Black-owned businesses reached parity with non-Black businesses, they would bring in more than $670 billion in revenues and add approximately 1.6 million jobs. This is even more important considering that Black-owned businesses are more likely to hire Black people.
During the time I had spent in the event I got to meet a wide range of creatives from hair and skin products, clothing and even learning products that aim to teach the young on how to speak various languages like Yoruba etc. and I would like to highlight a few of the vendors I got the pleasure of meeting.
Growing up in the UK as a child representation of people who looked like me or my sisters but in 2022 we are seeing a surge of black creators using story books based on parts of the motherland to teach the youth of today. Children's representation in literature and media plays a significant role in child development and growth because it helps children to understand the reality they live in or to discover other cultures, giving them the opportunity to develop empathy and respect for cultural differences.
Birthed out of the founders’ disappointment at not being able to find toys that spoke in his native language for his Children to play with, Cica Toys came to life with a vision to produce toys that cultivate a desire in children to learn a new language through play. We aim is to create educational tools disguised as toys, so every child gets the best of both worlds – fun & knowledge
No reader is too young to start their journey, and A Is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara proves that. In a tiny board book that is meant for small hands and young minds, Nagara provides an alphabetised guide through what makes an activist. Bright, engaging illustrations sit alongside rhymes that have purpose. For parents who want to raise a socially aware, progressive child from day one, this ABC book is the perfect start.
We believe children everywhere should have access to education. We therefore believe it is our duty to play a part in helping access for children all over the world. This is why for every book sold we will donate a percentage of the proceed to the OWMR fund which supports charities that do exactly that, in each respective country.
Crafts & Care
Being a Black creative means paving the way for others to have the ability to speak in spaces that weren't always designed to include voices like us. Being a Black creative means being present and demanding to be seen, always. Black brands make up only 2.5 percent of revenue in the beauty industry. Yet Black consumers are responsible for 11.1 percent of total beauty spending. Black consumers are three times more likely to be dissatisfied than non-Black consumers with their options for hair care, skin care, and makeup.
I am Candice Chenade, the founder and illustrator behind By Candice Chenade.
I started my brand because I struggled to find cards and art prints that really represented me and the people around me. I felt that styles on the market were either dated, overly woke or not a true representation of our community today. I want to diversify the greeting card and paper goods industry by showcasing black and mixed race people in all of their glory. We celebrate Black Excellence often, but we still deserve to be celebrated for the regular things that we do. My mission is to uplift people and make sure people who look like me are represented. Because representation matters.
I Launched my first collection in May 2021 just in time for father's day, after I was inspired by my amazing dad and watching the beautiful relationship blossom between my daughter and her dad. The collection was well received and requests for new designs were coming in fast. So I started creating and putting my designs out there, expanded my product range and By Candice Chenade was born. My illustrations are made black and mixed race people in mind.
Hello there, I'm Danielle founder of Heavens Touch:registered: handmade luxurious products for dry kinky, curly and wavy hair. Heavens Touch came about out of frustration and pursuit for a better wash day experience with my hair. Every wash day was like a battle, my hair was perpetually dry, it lacked definition, it was difficult to manage and I was left feeling disappointed. When I looked into the ingredients of products that I was using at the time I was shocked at what they contained. I began to experiment at home making things that were catered to my hair needs and it became softer, easier to style and retained moisture. I began researching and blending my own products sourcing the highest quality natural ingredients and extracts. From the Amazonian Jungle to Uganda, I sourced natures finest from different corners of the globe to create the best for my hair. At the heart of Heavens Touch is safe, effective, plant-based formulas using the best natural ingredients and scientific knowledge. Using high quality botanical ingredients my award winning products are made free from parabens, petroleum, silicones, mineral oil, PEGs and harsh sulphates.
Using nature’s valuable blend to create hair products and accessories is what Afroani is all about. We believe in naturally sourced, cruelty-free products. Afroani is a UK based e-commerce business that values sustainability, nature and your confidence in your hair. Afroani believes in creating vegan friendly formulas without the use of Sulfates, Parabens, Silicons and artificial colorants to provide you with the best clean hair care experience. Our hair care formulas contain some of the best ingredients that will nourish and hydrate textured hair. Our accessories line has been designed thinking of making hair tools for textured hair fun and different from what was already on the market. We wanted to give you a chic and luxury experience, begin your healthy hair journey with Afroani.
'YOUR HAIR & SKIN'S SUPERFOOD'
It all started at the end of 2018 when I was looking for a way to moisturise my dry skin. I had used other moisturisers, but by the middle of the day I would always have dry marks in the creases of my skin and I would have to moisturise again.
My mother saw how frustrated and embarrassed I was by it, so she had my Aunty bring me some Shea Butter from our home country Nigeria.
Upon using the Shea Butter, I couldn’t believe how my skin felt, plus it stayed moisturised throughout the ENTIRE day. I couldn’t believe the results this butter gave me, so I started doing research into the natural skincare and haircare world.
I found out not only are natural ingredients packed with beneficial nutrients and vitamins which help with skin and hair issues, but they are much better for the environment, compared to synthetic skincare products and are less irritating on the skin and hair.
This led me to the create Motherland Organics where we ethically source natural skincare and haircare ingredients from their places of origin ensuring that they are authentic and of the highest quality and we use these ingredients to help solve haircare and skincare concerns.
Exploding down runways, in stores, online and on Main Street — everywhere you look — style shaped by the African Diaspora is ubiquitous in fashion today for people of all colors, races and creeds. Some key factors drive its popularity, among them increased globalization, the Internet, and the desire of millennials of African descent to feel ownership of and know more about their African ancestry and history.
Kamchi Creations specialises in accessories, gifts and apparel with beautiful, positive images of black and brown people. Providing you with inspiration, representation, diversity and choice every day.
African Chica is the brainchild of Jaye Berkye who has always had a longstanding love for Africa. Hailed from Ghanaian heritage, Jaye was born and raised in the United Kingdom, but wanted to develop a closer connection with her roots. Jaye always had a passion for fashion, a love for African fabrics/clothing and wanted this reflected in her outerwear. With this, African Chica was born. The aim of African Chica is to provide the warmth and vibrancy of African fabrics in easy to wear styles. A great amount of time is taken in trying to find unique fabrics, to create a sense of individuality for the person wearing the brand. For this reason items are not mass produced. Alongside one-off fabric designs there will be limited addition items available. African Chica will always aim to produce more of popular fabric designs if possible.
The website might not be up and running but when I tell you of the quality and craftsmanship of her work, I purchased one of the bags for myself I implore you to check her stock for yourself you are bound to find something that will capture your heart. check out her Instagram and Facebook page.
The Plain Shop is a minimalist lifestyle brand with a focus on simplicity, quality and inclusivity. Starting out in the pandemic, we wanted to create something simple, and through its simplicity, build a community that everyone can be a part of - all encompassed by our slogan and core ethos - "It is what it is." We had such a great reaction to our concept, so we expanded into premium comfort pieces, producing high quality jumpers, hoodies and organic accessories. But due to the simplicity of our brand, we wanted a creative outlet that truly aligned with our community. We had a few ideas and we finally landed on playing cards. We have always used playing cards at different stages in our lives but we had never seen ethnic people on playing cards - we wanted to change that.
Edutainment - material, intended to be both educational and enjoyable. The aim is to in
cooperate education with entertainment for children and adults of all ages to enjoy.
The name SCI-FA means 'Science Facts' and stands for Supplying Creative Ideas – For All and that is exactly what we aim to do as a company.
Our mission is to provide children and adults with a range of educational and entertaining products. These aim to be both fun and act as an opportunity to improve a range of skills through board games, books and other fun mediums for all the family to enjoy. When learning is playful it is a truly memorable kind of learning SCI-FA’s first innovative creation is the entertaining board game Paa Halzuwn. A mathematical spiral game that everyone will love, it’s an opportunity to improve your maths skills while having fun, all at the same time.
Pronounced Ooo-Chay. A fitting, popular Nigerian name of Igbo origin and translating as ‘will’ or ‘intention’ – UCHE is also a name very close to our hearts. Chosen as a tribute to our brother Uchechukwu who was taken from us too soon. Remembered for the positive impact he had on his community at just 20 years old, as a testament to his slogan ‘Challenging Behaviours Changing Lives’ we support initiatives providing opportunities for young people and preventing youth violence across the U.K. May his legacy live on.
In the end I can only recommend you guys to attend for the next Black Culture Market, the beauty of it is that the entry is free and filled with hard working good people, and if you're a small black owned business they allow you to set up your own stall for the next time. Hopefully I'll see you guys there!