Fall in Love this February & Buy Black

An incredible list of black and brown owned product and service providers that I love and think you might love as well. Yes, it is Black History Month and buying from Black owned companies is great way to support communities big and small, but don’t stop with February, feel free to Buy Black all year long.

It’s February yall, finally our month. Black History Month that is. So, I wanted to give you a short list of a few great people, products and services you will fall in love with too!

  1. Get The Bag, LLC. Get The Bag a membership community offering members access to finance-focused information to help more WOC get the money we need to launch new ventures and grow business.

If you are a WOC who currently has a business, is trying to power-up her side hustle to go full time, or looking for additional capital to start or launch something, then you will want to tap into Get the Bag (GTB)! Through a curated and updated funding guide, active IG, newsletters and blog, GTB showers you a wealth of information about grants, how to access venture capital, accessible investment opportunities, building generational wealth, and the importance of a healthy body and mind to be the mega girl boss you already are!

Get the Bag, founder and Chief Rainmaker, Gloria Ware is a seasoned business banking and finance pro with a really solid understanding of the venture capital, grant and loan landscape for startups, small business, social enterprises and non-profits. Get The Bag does an amazing job of cataloging in a free Funding Guide resources for black women from the non-profits, service providers, government agencies and others supporting us. There are brief descriptions, deadlines, and contact info for these opportunities targeted at supporting women of color! That’s what’s up!

Actually, Get The Bag really meets you where you’re at. Gloria, hand curates a fabulous quarter bonus gift box full of amazing goodies like self-care items, chocolates and tasty goodies, coffee or teas, reading materials to nourish your soul and several other things which will help you keep grinding.

2. Olivia V.G. Clarke, “Black Girl, White School: Thriving, Surviving, and No You Can’t Touch My Hair

It’s so inspiring to see people living into their purpose and finding ways to use their voice to make an impact. Olivia Clarke is a great example of a young woman on a mission and I’m so excited for her! Speaker, Diversity and Inclusion Advocate Olivia V.G. Clarke collects, edits and chronicles selections from writers, poets and leaders about the challenges and opportunities of young black girls who. navigate predominantly white institutions (PWI). The poems, anecdotes, and entries found in this book offer support and guidance for Black girls in PWI’s and are written by Black girls and women who are current or past attendees of PWI’s.

As you can imagine — there are few subjects out of bounds — hair, friendship, dating, motivation, information, racism, self-esteem — are all discussed and relevant for young girls to women alike.

There are plenty of important takeaways from this book. But the biggest is that it shouldn’t be this hard for students of color who seek a new and better learning environment. It is completely awesome that Olivia V.G. Clarke and her peers have taken the initiative to band together and support each other to and through PWI’s. At this point in life and the world, it would be amazing that these aren’t the stories and experiences young black girls and women continue to face, but facts are facts and books like Olivia’s offer important insights to help women and girls of color know you are not alone.

3. Courtney Bowden, Founder of Black Market MultiMedia, Think Like a Thought Leader podcast and much more. This is a dynamic woman with a brand and strategic approach that is getting results for black and brown entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and change makers who want to sharpen their competitive edge and execute on their greatness. So, what does that mean, and why would you contact Courtney?

As the Founder of Black Market MultiMedia, Courtney has been strategizing with brands and entrepreneurs to help them shape and share their narratives. Courtney launched Black Market MultiMedia to help POC change the way we are view ourselves and the way we do business. And I have to say, I admire the way Courtney does business. She has a fabulous podcast called, “Think Like Thought Leader,” you can access free of cost on YouTube. However, if you’re reading this list, you’re in the buying mood, so I recommend you become a patron of Black Market MultiMedia through Patreon.

BMM offers supporter’s access at different levels with access to exclusive podcasts, shout outs, monthly digests, and I’m sure some other goodies as well. What I really appreciate about Courtney and her brand is her transparency in mission.

Black Market MultiMedia is a brand dedicated to creating programming that amplifies the voices of Black Thought leaders, elevates the consciousness, stirs the souls, moves the masses and builds GENERATIONAL wealth and the legacies of Black people through entrepreneurship.

Basically, Courtney is an amazing individual doing fabulous work and if you are looking to buy Black this month, learning her tricks and tips will be worth your time and capital.

4. Puzzle Huddle. Children’s jigsaw puzzles designed to affirm and inspire children from diverse backgrounds with inspirational images.

Although I have not had the opportunity to meet the founders of Puzzle Huddle, Matthew and Marnel, I am a big puzzle fan. Like a lot of people, I needed to find something to do with my hands and the kids with the onset of the pandemic.

The challenge: finding puzzles with interesting and engaging scenes that will be appealing to myself and my daughter. Now, a few years ago, I met a couple of recent college grads who felt the same about scenes that would be interesting for millennials. Like Matthew and Marnel, they developed a puzzle line with scenes that were visually engaging for millennials, like avocado toast, Ughs and pumpkin spice lattes or something.

Like these two millennials, this husband and wife team didn’t like the selection of puzzles featuring children of color and those differently-abled. They noted, like many parents that children of color or differently-abled were rarely visualized as the main character or hero, so Matthew and Marnel set out to challenge how we are visualized by taking control of how we are visualized in puzzles.

Founder, CMO @ EPiC Creative + Design, Culturally-informed Storyteller, Startup Evangelist, Community Builder. Dr. Mom.

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