If you haven’t already heard, today is “Blackout Day 2020.” This effort was created as a day of solidarity in America when Black people (as well as other minorities and their allies) will exercise their economic spending power abstaining from spending any money. Moreover, if money is to be spent today, it will be at black-owned businesses only. Seeing that Black people spend $1.2 trillion annually in the U.S. (reference), this movement of economic solidarity is an effort to further highlight and fight against racial injustice.
Now, more than ever, independent companies need our care and support. Not only because of the pandemic and subsequent recession, but also because they are the backbone of our country. In any city or community, small businesses create an indescribable fabric essential to us all. Plus, a recent study shows black-owned businesses have been hit hardest by the Coronavirus. I’ve put together a handful of black-owned businesses to consider should you make any purchases today and in the future.
Semicolon: Chicago’s only Black woman-owned bookstore and gallery space.
Fe Noel: a Brooklyn-based womenswear brand with beautiful looks inspired by world travels.
The Silver Room: Since 1997, this boutique has been a go-to for stylish Chicagoans.
Hope for Flowers: Brainchild of the inimitable Tracy Reese, the brand uses high-quality, ethically-sourced materials with one-of-a-kind patterns and prints.
Greer: A Chicago-based store offering the loveliest paper and home goods.
Brother Vellies: Founded in 2013, this shoe and accessory company maintains traditional African design practices and techniques to create stunning pieces.
Sir & Madame: Created by a Chicago husband and wife team, this shop creates men’s and women’s elevated casualwear.
Estelle Colored Glass: Luxury hand blown cake stands and stemware.
RSVP Gallery: A Chicago boutique unlike any other. Created by Virgil Abloh and Don C, this Bucktown boutique has been in existence since 2009 and sells limited-edition Jordans and Yeezys alongside lust-worthy accessories by Lanvin and Dior alike.
COCOCOZY: Colette (aka Coco) is an amazing interior designer and textile maker. Be on the lookout for her rugs later this year!
Lola Ade: Handcrafted jewelry using specially curated materials and inspired by the vibrant hues found in Nigeria and around the world.
lemlem: Created by Liya Kebede, this brand is an artisan-driven collection of women’s, men’s, children’s and home goods made entirely in Africa.
Recycled Modern +: A Chicago-based vintage, upcycled, and handcrafted home decor shop in Chicago.
Learn more about Blackout Day 2020 here!