As you know, CHICmom celebrates women all year ‘round (‘cause we’re dope!), but we wanted to make a special post to officially pay homage in observance of Women’s History Month (hey, it’s never too late for us to be celebrated, right?!). It’s a wonderful time to honor brave, bold and fearless women from all across the globe who have influenced history! While there are so many invaluable and irreplaceable women to mention, I would like to commemorate a handful of minority women who have not made history…yet!
So, first we salute YOU, mama!
Each of you play a different role in this world as you continuously progress and prove your strength in and out of the home. More importantly, you do so while defeating the odds in a society that still believes we’re unequal to our male counterparts.
Yes, we’ve made significant strides to prove our worth, but sickening inequalities remain prevalent from the obvious gender pay gap to physical oppression and everything in between. For instance, studies show that while there has been an increase, African-American female executives in the US still earn a significant amount less than Caucasian male execs – 63 cents for every dollar! Even more striking, women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria!
There is much more work to do.
In honor of women’s history, we must go beyond simply commemorating the legacies of historical figures and actually invest in women’s empowerment and gender equality. And we must do so far beyond the month of March.
I elect that we actively find ways to support minority women as often as possible, in any way possible, and today I urge you to support minority, women-owned businesses.
Below, I have highlighted 10 businesses birthed by phenomenal female entrepreneurs. These women and their successful businesses – though not known across the globe – definitely deserve an honorable mention! And with a little TLC – some recognition and patronage from wonderful people like you – who knows? Someday these women and their companies may truly flourish and make history, too! Whenever possible, find a minority, women-owned business to support before you support the bigger companies.
1. Indulge your sweet tooth at Sweet Potato Sensations!
Owned by Cassandra Thomas (and her hubby, Jeffery), this bakery/café located in Artist Village in the historic Old Redford neighborhood of Detroit, MI, is definitely making history. For starters, they have been around since 1976 and have since been featured on The Chew and Food Network (amongst others), and even received a visit from former first lady and presidential nominee Hilary Clinton! Starting out with their inventive sweet potato cookie, they now serve a plethora of deserts and meals such as their infamous chicken and Belgian sweet potato waffles. Their homemade sweets can also be found at the Detroit Whole Foods and at Eastern Market every Saturday.
View their mouth-watering menu at www.sweetpotatosensations.com and follow @sweetpotatosensations on Instagram.
2. Enjoy more than caffeinated beverages at Motor City Java and Tea House!
Also located in Artist Village – where you won’t see a neighborhood Starbucks in sight – this café is like a “for us, by us” Starbucks, but it offers so much more than wifi, beverages and bites. Owned by Alicia George, this Java house has been around since October of 2010 and serves as a place for organizations to convene, for individuals to host workshops and meetings, for professionals to conduct business, and for creatives to display their art. Motor City Java and Tea House is all about serving the community. Interestingly enough, it was actually built with physical pieces of the neighborhood surrounding it. Hardwood floors, tiles, furniture and more were salvaged from abandoned homes around the community and repurposed within the café. It’s full circle!
Website: Justjava.house; IG: @justjavahouse
3. Fine tune your business with Visionaire V!
Visionaire V, or Verinique Strickland as her mama named her *wink*, is known as “The Business Therapist.” She is dedicated to helping businesses flourish and specializes in marketing, branding and social media. Clients can choose from in-person or over-the-phone meetings to discuss ways in which she can help elevate your business. V also offers a 30-day power branding program to successfully jumpstart your brand and even teach you how to make social media work for YOU. As another means to produce high-level results, she also hosts The Art of Self Yoga Class. Held monthly, she describes these classes as “designed to clear, activate and balance the mind body and soul” in order to achieve total alignment and increase productivity.
Explore www.visionairev.com or follow her on Instagram @visionairev for more information and business inspiration.
4. Engage your senses with the sophisticated scents of Front and Scenter!
This online company is more than a cute name. Founded by Arielle Martin in 2017, Front and Scenter provides quality coconut-soy wax candles, handmade and hand poured with no harmful additives. They are infused with essential oils and topped with 100% environmentally-friendly cotton wicks. Arielle also offers linen and body sprays (alcohol free), and body oils and scrubs made with natural almond and jojoba oils and fragrances. Products can be made to order with scents for both women and men, and they even offer custom orders for your business or event with custom labels to promote your brand.
Orders can be placed at www.frontandscenter.com; IG: @frontandscenter
5. Make a confident splash this summer with Drip Swimwear!
Through her online boutique, owner Cayla Renee challenges traditional beauty standards and promotes confidence that comes in all different shapes and sizes. Cayla is a fashion designer who had a desire to reinvent the way we idealize the “perfect body.” She designed Drip Swimwear which features unique, one-piece bathing suits with a wrap style that can be worn in numerous ways to compliment any body type. It is a brilliantly-designed master piece of a swimsuit, which has been featured in publications such as British Vogue and Glamour UK!
Website: www.Dripswimwear.co; IG: @dripswimwear
6. Experience nontraditional soul food at Detroit Vegan Soul!
Co-owners Erika Boyd and Kirsten Ussery have managed to market soul food with a vegan spin, and I’m excited about it! Tasty comfort food done healthy? Count me in. The restaurant has two locations, one located in the Rosedale Park neighborhood of Detroit and the second sits in West Village on Detroit’s east side. In addition to preparing yummy, clean meals, they also conduct webinars on various healthy lifestyle topics. They even promote a clean environment – the organic produce used at DVS is locally sourced, and all of the food waste is then used for composting to help fertilize the very farms from which the produce originates. They take reservations, they cater…and they’re also hiring!
Learn more at www.detroitvegansoul.com or follow on Instagram: @detvegansoul
7. Be inspired to live naturally, with Liv Naturally LLC!
Owner Olivia Blackmon believes in the art of living naturally through spirituality, self-awareness, clean and healthy eating and lifestyle choices, a deep understanding of and connection with mother earth and more. She produces social media content to encourage and educate her social media followers (totaling over 10 thousand on Instagram alone) on the subject matter. In June 2014, she created her business (and later rebranded) selling all-natural candles, body scrubs, bath salts, sage and handmade jewelry. Even her custom jewelry pieces feature various crystals from the earth that possess and promote different spiritual properties. Each piece of jewelry she creates is unique. Olivia proclaims, “I love creating jewelry because it relaxes me and brings me to a state of peacefulness. I love that I can picture something and make it come to life, and I also love making others happy with my one-of-a-kind pieces.”
For more information, visit www.livnaturally4.com and follow her on Instagram: @liv.indigo
8. Toast to black excellence at the House of Pure Vin!
The House of Pure Vin wine shop is owned by Regina Gaines, Terry Mullins and Andrea Dunbar who believe that wine is the perfect accessory for any event. Located in downtown Detroit, Pure Vin sells an abundance of wine and champagne – with over 50% of the wine in their collection made right here in Michigan. For true wine lovers, they offer two exclusive memberships that grant monthly bottles of wine, in-store discounts on Pure Vin beverages and accessories, complimentary private tastings for you and guests, access to private events and more! They’re actually hosting a Wine and Conversations event from 6-8 pm today that is open to the public...and free! I especially love wine, conversation and things that are free so I’ll be in the building tonight!
Website: HouseofPureVin.com; IG: @houseofpurevin
9. You are royalty; it’s only right that you wear Black and GOAL’D!
Founded by Howard University alum Erin Winters, Black and GOAL’D does more than produce clothing. It produces the notion to wear our blackness proudly and to chase after our dreams. This empowerment lifestyle brand and movement focuses on motivating blacks to set and achieve their personal goals, and their Instagram page places a spotlight on individuals doing just that. What’s more, a percentage of the company’s sales go right back into the community that supports it through scholarships, partnerships with other black businesses, and personal service.
Buy your Black and GOAL’D gear at www.blackandgoald.com and follow on Instagram: @black_and_goald
10. Take pride in and learn of your powerful heritage through Pride and Power!
Pride and Power is an organization that seeks to promote, celebrate and highlight black-owned businesses. Founders Kayla Perrin, Marcus Hester and Verinique Strickland recognized the lack of access and resources that black business owners experience and wanted to help remedy the situation. They place the social spotlight on black businesses in hopes of raising awareness, and helping them generate more press and revenue. They also produce content to educate, motivate and uplift blacks as well as provoke much-needed dialogue on various topics concerning the black community.
Join the conversation by following on Instagram @pridenpower
As we close out the month of March, let us not lose the drive to promote women excellence every day and in every way possible. More importantly, I hope and pray that as a collective, we understand that our duties go beyond observing Women’s History Month. We should feel compelled to act. We should each be inspired to individually take charge and do our part to support, uplift and empower our sisters. Here’s to all the brave, bold, and fearless women we know and love.
Brittany Marie Banks is a proud mother, entrepreneur, freelance writer and editor, and a member of our CHICmom organization. Brittany Marie absolutely adores being mommy to her four-year-old baby girl, Isabella Marie. She joined CHICmom in hopes of finding a sisterhood for both herself and her daughter, and recently joined our board of directors as communications chair. With a true love of storytelling, Brittany Marie “Creates Beautiful Illustrations with Words” through her business, Amor, Bri Marie LLC. From comprehensive coaching to immaculate edits, she crafts professional and creative literary content to seamlessly convey your brand, story, skills and ideals. Visit www.amorbrimarie.com to learn more.