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Celebrating Black History Month with the Faire community

March 1, 2022 | Published by Faire

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Image courtesy of Cloth & Paper

During the month of February, in honor of Black History Month in the U.S. and Canada, we shared the work and stories of some of the talented entrepreneurs from the Black community on Faire. First, we spoke with Ama Schulman, owner of the accessories brand All Very Goods. Then, we talked to Nikki Tyler, owner of stationery and gifts brand, Little Lovelies Studio.

We also welcomed two Black-owned retailers from the Faire community—Kido Chicago and Greer Chicago—on Instagram for a live conversation about their journey as entrepreneurs, the impact that Faire has had on their business, and more.

To close out the month, we asked the owners of five Black-owned businesses on Faire to share the things they love about being business owners, the best advice they’ve ever received, and what consumers can do to support Black-owned businesses year-round. 

Liberated Roots Collection

Kimberly Franks is the owner of Liberated Roots Collection in St. Louis, Missouri. After four years of cultivating impact with a local ethical retail brand, Kimberly was inspired to channel her talents and experience into creating a brand that speaks to a more personal story. Liberated Roots Collection was created to provide a space that helps sustain the work of Black makers and connects shoppers to high-quality goods. ⁠

Faire: What’s your favorite Black-owned business?

Kimberly Franks: Raquita Henderson’s Pinxit Photo. I admire Raquita as a business person because she is a thought leader who always stays authentic to her voice and what she believes. She won’t water down her voice for the sake of profit. I want Liberated Roots Collection to serve as a retail space where makers can fully be themselves.

What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

Owning a business has forced me to recognize the value of my gifts and talents and to be more disciplined about how I allocate my energy. I have definitely become more protective of my own time and well-being since launching this business. Also, I love the intellectual challenge of doing things I never thought I would do or that I used to fear doing, like building a website and designing a social media campaign. 

The best advice you’ve ever been given?

Plan your life, not your career. 

How can people support Black-owned businesses year-round?

Know how to quickly find us. Find out whether there is a Black business directory in your community. Here in St. Louis, we have a couple of directories including For the Culture STL and The St. Louis Black Pages available for referrals to anything from plumbers, accountants, and local boutiques. 

Another good national directory is Shoppe Black. On Instagram and Facebook, you can create a collection to identify and follow Black-owned brands. Marketplaces like Etsy have Black-owned collections, and the same is true of the Faire Marketplace where retailers can source a catalog of Black-owned businesses

Moonly Organics

Kamaria McMillian (aka Mrs. Moonly), is the owner of Moonly Organics, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Kamaria founded Moonly Organics with a bold vision: for every single woman and girl on the planet to have access to organic feminine care. Moonly Organics gets us one step closer to that vision, offering products like organic cotton liners, pads, and tampons. Kamaria also strives to end the stigma that often surrounds feminine hygiene.⁠

Faire: What’s your favorite Black-owned business? 

Kamaria McMillian: Brandifi, a design agency in Atlanta, GA.  

What are you inspired by?

The women that have come before me. Specifically, women like Mary Kenner, who invented the first sanitary pad as we know it. 

What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

I love owning my own business because I now have the freedom to be a creator. Each day I wake up, I look forward to creating new products and content for social media. I love being free to do what makes me happy while serving my purpose of creating healing products for women around the world. 

How can people support Black-owned businesses year-round?

Practicing word of mouth, sharing our businesses with your social circles, and purchasing from Black-owned businesses. It doesn’t take much to support any business and it means so much to the business owner when you do.

Moonshot

Julia Collins is the founder and owner of Moonshot, based in San Francisco, California. Moonshot is on a mission to make sustainable living accessible through the power of food. Their climate-friendly crackers are made with regeneratively grown ingredients sourced directly from family farms and are certified organic, non-GMO, plant-based, kosher, carbon-neutral, in a 100% recycled carton. 

Faire: What’s your favorite Black-owned business? 

Julia Collins: The Lip Bar

What are you inspired by?

My mom

What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

Driving the change I want to see in the world and working alongside my team every step of the way.

The best advice you’ve ever been given?

“You don’t have to be perfect to have a perfect outcome,” -Dena Crowder.

How can people support Black-owned businesses year-round?

Buying their products, following them on social media, hyping their brands up to your friends, and giving their products as gifts.

Cloth & Paper

Ashley Reynolds is the owner of Cloth & Paper, based in Richmond, Virginia. In 2015, Ashley left her corporate job of 9 years and was in search of a new planner that would fit her minimal aesthetic and organizational needs. After not being able to find one that was right for her, she started her own company to make one herself, and Cloth & Paper was born. ⁠

Faire: What’s your favorite Black-owned business? 

Ashley Reynolds: My current favorite Black-owned businesses are Instagram influencers like Tashira Halyard Garçon of @politicsandfshn. She’s been herself from day one and pours into the community that she serves. I love watching her build her personal brand and business. 

The best advice you’ve ever been given?

It’s important to take time to recharge. This is so important for creatives. Your mind has to be free to innovate.

How can people support Black-owned businesses year-round?

Sharing products they genuinely enjoy year-round on social media. Give positive reviews on their websites and Google and engage with their social media content. If you have a skill that is useful to a small business (legal, marketing, financial, design, operations) provide a few hours of your time to a local Black-owned business that you could make an impact on.

Ava’s Pet Palace

Ava Dorsey is 14 years old and the Founder and Chief Pet Officer of Ava’s Pet Palace, based in the Chicago area of the U.S. Her passion and love for animals sparked the idea for her organic and all-natural pet treats which are now sold across all 50 states.

Faire: What’s your favorite Black-owned business? 

Ava Dorsey: Mia’s Treats Delight

What are you inspired by?

My mom is a huge inspiration for me. She motivates and guides me in life and in business!

What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

The best part about being an entrepreneur is being able to be an inspiration to other young black girls and all kids, really. All of the very cool things I’ve been able to do and people I’ve been able to meet, And knowing that I can and will make a difference in the world!

The best advice you’ve ever been given?

Choose something you love and GO FOR IT! Don’t let a bump in the road stop you. If it’s something you’re truly passionate about, it’s worth moving past that bump. And hard work pays off!

How can people support Black-owned businesses year-round?

Shopping from them, spreading the word about them to their families, friends and followers, by looking for products you already buy and trying to find a Black-owned business to buy from instead and to follow and just share, post and spread the word via social media!


Read our other community spotlights from Black History Month on the blog.

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