Black Lives Matter in Black Spending, Too! SPECIAL EDITION

It’s Black History Month and well before February arrived small Black businesses were struggling to stay open. Black employees were already having the hardest time finding employment, and unemployment insurance has not been a lifesaver when people’s livelihoods depend on it. Although for me, and many of my friends and colleagues, it’s Black history 365 days a year, and so I make it a point to support small Black businesses all year long I wanted to share with my Village some of the ways I’ve been able to survive and thrive during this quarantine with my favorite Top 5 Health & Wealth Wellness Businesses. Read on…

Asha Tarry, Life Coach
  1. 1. Starting with one of my favorite skin care products from 2020, @BrownGirlJane’s luxury CBD body butter has come along with me into the new year for a comfortable and relaxing ride, especially on those days when I’ve put my fingers to the test with typing and texting. @BrownGirlJane was created by Black women for people who place a high priority on taking care of their physical and mental wellbeing with CBD-based products. With just a few moderate drops on my hands, wrists, and shoulders at night, a girl sleeps like a newborn baby.

2. Keeping my allergies at bay and optimizing my overall health has been a priority this year. Recently, I found my favorite new go-to sea moss with Transform Factory on On my 1st go round I ordered the Dragon Fruit flavor which has been quite a refreshing taste compared to the original sea moss I’m used to. This SBB (small Black business) is based in Florida and ships your securely packaged 8 oz or 16 oz glass jar in an ice packed package with special instructions on the boxing to inform receivers to open and refrigerate as soon as possible. I was extremely impressed with this company’s quality, but also the packaging. They give you ingredients and calorie intake on the label along with special instructions on making smoothies and other goodies at home. Sea moss has so many health benefits, and in a pandemic I want as much natural preventative care in my regimen as possible. They even gave me a 20% discount for New Years and a 15% “Birthday CEO discount” when I placed my next order for the month. Ok, you got me. I’m now a loyal fan!

3. Next on my list of go-to wellness goodies is the paraben-free, wood wicker black candles that I use throughout my home. They’re from a small Black-owned brand in Atlanta titled, @blacklightcandles. Last December, when I began looking for a few new Black businesses to support, I sought candle companies. I researched a popular influencer’s line on Instagram, but honestly it was way too expensive for something that’s going to burn out in about a month or so, and I just couldn’t justify the cost of a purchase like that. As I continued looking online, I found an indie brand whose prices were right on target with my budget–$14.99(8 oz). I even received a couple of samples of their scented wax and a discount off my purchase. Do you see a trend here? So, without much to do this month to continue the work of investing in Black businesses, I placed my latest re-up with them to carry me into the spring. And to add a cherry on top my order shipped the same day I placed it. Talk about expedient customer service—another reason I continue to come back!

This year for the 1st time during this pandemic I celebrated my birthday indoors. Though I couldn’t get on a plane and go somewhere outstanding like Paris and Morocco as I did last year, I was still certain to take some time to myself to enjoy even the small things, such as coloring my nails. I know that may not seem special to most people, but that, along with a few other in-home treats, coloring my nails is a special thing I do for myself every now and then. As with everything else, I wanted my polish to come from a small Black-owned company and through a longer search than I thought, I located a vegan nail polish line with a heartwarming story, @lapierrecosmetics. My 1st color of choice- “night lights and tail pipes” which resembles a deep sea blue—my power color! Although, the polish said vegan it had the quality (and the scent, quite frankly) of any non-vegan brand. The blue was virulent and applied beautifully with just 2 coats. I bought a couple more bottles and will be using various shades throughout the year. Thank you, La Pierre!

5. Finally, I’ve really been trying to do things differently this year with my health. And one area of my health care regimen that I started placing more emphasis on last year was my skin care. You see, I’m not one of those women that invests in lots of skincare products. My routine is very simple and consists mostly of a foam wash, rose water toner and lots of drinking water. This year however, I committed myself to prioritizing other areas of my wellbeing I tend to ignore, such as my face care. After watching esthetician Tanya Thomas (@tanyathomasskinclinic) on IG for about a year and seeing another person I admire online w/ an amazing health regime get her facial maintenance with Tanya I knew one day I’d set some time aside for myself. Well, 3 weeks ago I finally did. And true to form, as I arrived at a quaint office on Madison Avenue, walked in to meet Miss Tanya herself with whom I consulted, within 5 minutes we realized we knew each other. Small world! She gave me a wonderful microdermabrasion, mask and steam and guess what—you guessed it, a discount! It pays to know the boss (or so they say, lol).

I was so honored and grateful and not expecting that. I know my list has covered a lot of discounts, but they all came as a surprise. I believe in paying Black people full price for their services and becoming a repeat customer when I receive good service. As a SBB myself, I know what it’s like to think people would expect a discount when you’re servicing the community—and let me tell ya, it’s not a good feeling to come across and have to inform people of the mistake they make in assuming a discount should be expected. I think I may have to write a blog about that one day! But, from one small business owner to so many others, we understand how hard we work to provide top-notch care to our clientele. And we deserve to be treated with regard and respect, including paying us what we charge. So, please continue to seek, support and ask your friends where to help you put some consistent dollars in the pockets of Black business owners.

This pandemic has made it harder for these businesses to continue to live healthy, sustainable lives. As much as BLM resounded through the air last summer, please remember Black lives when you stop to make a purchase for anything you prioritize in your wellness care. I hope you enjoyed this list so far. I could’ve gone on, but maybe next time.

As always, tell a friend to tell a friend about this blog and invite them to subscribe.

Until next time,

*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*

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