These Black-Owned Businesses Are Revolutionizing The Standard In Entrepreneurship

By: Jennifer Magdalene

The pandemic has created unprecedented opportunities and support for black entrepreneurs as the number of black-owned businesses skyrocketed during the peak of the health crisis. According to a study by MerchantMaverick, black-owned businesses increased by 40% between February 2020 and August 2021. Despite this welcome development, black entrepreneurs still face significant challenges, such as having weaker relationships with banking institutions and facing bias and racism while getting their ventures started. However, most are still determined to succeed, despite experiencing numerous setbacks.

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about certain black-owned businesses that have become highly successful, due to the ingenuity, creativity, and sheer determination of their owners.  Here are the black-owned businesses that are revolutionizing the standard in entrepreneurship.

Hammer & Nails

Due to the challenges of securing funds for their businesses, some aspiring entrepreneurs have turned to shows such as Shark Tank or Dragons Den in the hopes of getting their venture off the ground. Some black entrepreneurs such as Tyla-Simon Crayton of Sienna Sauce and Raquel Graham of Roq Innovation were able to score deals, but others were not so lucky as they faced flat out rejection from the Sharks and Dragons. Nonetheless, they went on to achieve success, and one of the most notable black entrepreneurs who was able to turn their fortunes around is Michael Elliot of Hammer & Nails.

Elliot appeared on Season 6 of Shark Tank in 2014, telling the Sharks about his idea of opening a nail salon designed for men after he failed to find one himself. Kelvin O’Leary told him that his concept wouldn’t work, and while he got a “no” from the Sharks, other investors saw the potential in his business idea. By the middle of 2017, Hammer & Nails was valued at $100 million, and by the end 2021, the grooming shop has expanded its franchise, with more than 30 locations across the US.

Telfar

Most people who are into designer bags know that branded purses can come with a hefty price, and they can easily cost more than a month’s rent in a major city. But when the Telfar Shopping Bag became the most wanted accessory of 2020 starting at $150 a bag, fashion enthusiasts began to see the appeal of affordable luxury brands, and they marveled at the genius of the brand’s designer, Telfar Clemens.

Clemens, who is originally from Liberia, started his business in 2005, and his iconic bag has been in the market since 2014. But it wasn’t until 2020 when the Shopping Bag finally took off, and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Lil Nas X were even spotted carrying it. Once Oprah declared the bag, nicknamed the “Bushwick Birkin” as one of her favorite things, it instantly sold out on Amazon. Today, Telfar has a flagship store in New York City, and the bag continues to be a coveted item among the style conscious. The designer also recently introduced a live price model which aims to make his products more accessible for people who love fashion.

UnSun Cosmetics

There’s a myth that black skin doesn’t burn, but at least 13% of black women and 9% of black men reported getting at least one sunburn per year. Since exposure to sunlight can cause sun damage and skin cancer, UnSun Cosmetics founder Katonya Breaux, who happens to be singer Frank Ocean’s mother, decided to create a tinted mineral sunscreen that won’t leave a white cast on deeper skin tones. It has now become a favorite product of beauty editors, and has gained Allure’s “Best of Beauty” stamp of approval.

Creating products and services with inclusivity in mind is a surefire recipe for success. These black-owned businesses certainly changed the standard in entrepreneurship, and they’re bound to soar even higher in the coming years.

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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