During Shop Black Week, BSU Historian Sanyia Julien was working her shift at Shake Shack in Brooklyn when a girl walked into the store selling sweatsuits for $120.
Although the price “broke her heart a little bit,” the sophomore English major felt it was important to support a Black-owned business rather than a big corporation.
“That $120 can go such a long way for her. I know Polo is definitely going to get business, thousands of people each day shop there and I could have been the one person who bought something from her that day,” Julien said. “It felt really good, ‘like wow, this is a black business,’ and the material–– money well spent, that fabric is popping.'”
BSU thanked those who supported Black businesses during “Shop Black Week," a nationwide movement, which lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 27, in a #SupportBlackBusinesses Instagram post. During the week, people are encouraged to buy goods from Black-owned businesses.
“It’s very important to remember [that] buying Black doesn’t begin and end with ‘Shop Black Week,’” BSU said in the post. “Our dollar counts and we should invest in our community!”
Although “Shop Black Week” has been mentioned on news outlets such as Yahoo Finance and The Buffalo News, the first time BSU Historians Taylor Lewis and Julien heard of Shop Black Week was when they stumbled upon it last week.
“We always have to do research for the posts that we make every day since we’re the historians, so I was just researching things I could post about for the day and I saw 'Shop Black Week.' I was like, ‘oh this is perfect because Black Friday is coming up this week,’” the sophomore political science major said. “I read up on it and I was like, ‘oh this is actually a wonderful thing,’ they were talking about how they had really high projections for a lot of revenue coming in.”
According to New Jersey Urban News and BlackNews.com, early projections indicated over $400 million would be spent during Shop Black Week. Julien says Shop Black Week is the “first step to so much more” and was “sad” she found this movement so late. She says the goal should be to publicize the movement “much more.”
“I definitely think with the political climate and everything that’s going on, the election, the BLM movement; I think this is something that you know is very positive for black people,” Julien said. “We definitely need to find a way to push it out there; I want this to be like on TV, I want this to be on ABCNews. I want to turn on the news and hear, ‘Don’t forget, guys! Shop Black Week is coming up!”
The Spectrum compiled a list of Black-owned college businesses, selected by BSU, in support of “Shop Black Week” and Black businesses.
Joelle’s Beauty Bakery
When doing people’s makeup, Joelle Wright says she makes sure people leave feeling “beautiful, comfortable and confident.” The junior biology major from Syracuse University says there have been times she was afraid to speak up when her makeup was done incorrectly and makes sure to give her customers a “better” experience. When giving her clients a makeover, Wright allows her clients to examine their makeup look throughout the process to ensure they receive the best results possible.
“I know I’m a beginner so I always make sure my clients are telling me anything that they want,” Wright said. “Throughout the process I normally ask them if there’s any changes they want, I say they can go to the mirror and look at it, sometimes when you get your makeup done, you don’t get to see the full look until it’s done.”
Wright has been doing people’s makeup for over a year, but officially turned her passion into a business on Oct. 3, after her friends convinced her to start charging for her services. She likes doing “all kinds of makeup” but mostly enjoys doing “fun looks” like the Halloween themed makeup look featured on her Instagram because it’s “cool to get in touch” with her creative side.
Prices start as low as $25 with an extra $5 fee for the optional purchase of false lashes. While she brings her own makeup kit to application sessions, she asks clients to bring their own foundation. Also, to prevent the spread of germs amid the pandemic, she cleans her makeup brushes.
Visit @joelles_beautybakery and message her to book your appointment.
Kayla Rose, a freshman biology major from Howard University, turned her dog’s Instagram into one for her business and, on Oct. 1, showcased her Kozy Streetwear line of hoodies.
Prices can range from $60-$75, depending on the design. Customers have the option to choose from her two collections: Classic. and Kreeeepy Szn ‘20, and coming soon will also offer collections called 4. and Winter Sol$stice. From the Classic. collection, colors range from Full Moon Black, Alpha Grey, Blood Shot Red and Night Sky Navy.
In addition to Full Moon Black and Blood Shot Red, the Kreeeepy Szn collection also offers the colors Mercury’s Maroon and Atomic Orange.
“‘Kozy’ itself is providing a comfortability, not in the sense you stop working on yourself or whatever you are working towards, but comfortable in the sense people may not understand the route you are taking or what your goal is, but if you know what you’re doing and you’re ‘kozy’ within yourself then that’s what matters,” Rose said.
Rose says she wants customers to know that she doesn't promote animal cruelty and stand by discrmination of any shape or form in sourcing materials for her brands.
“Even if it’s pleather, I still don’t–– I don’t know, I just don’t like how that looks,” Rose said. “Kozy [also] doesn’t stand by discrimination, whether it be racism or colorism, I really try to connect with my P4ck and relate to [one another]. Even if I have nothing in common with the girl sitting next to me, we have the same hoodie on, we belong to a like-minded community.”
Visit the @thekozystreet Instagram and tap the website in its bio to claim your own Kozy Streetwear.
Deandra Clarke describes herself as a “hustler” who began baking and making chocolate-dipped treats at 16.
At first, she would sell them at her high school and her mother’s party venue. Then she converted her hustle into a full-blown business in 2016. The psychology major prides herself on her chocolate dipped strawberries, calling them her “specialty.”
“I always find myself going on Instagram and looking at [baking videos] and I can just be scrolling for hours looking at chocolate covered strawberries,” Clarke said.
Clarke also sells cake-pops, cupcakes, chocolate covered pretzel sticks and to order, all you need to do is use the order form on her Instagram.
A box of six ‘basic’ chocolate covered strawberries is $15, and 12 is $25, which she says is “better than Edible Arrangements.” For a box of six ‘glam’ chocolate or themed covered strawberries, the asking price is $20, and for 12, $35. The strawberries can be dipped in milk or white chocolate and drizzled in chocolate icing, per your request, as well as toppings like edible glitter, sprinkles, marble design and lettering. Her cake pops sell for $2.50 each, cupcakes are $2.25 each and chocolate covered pretzels and marshmallows start at $20 for a dozen. Rice krispie treats start at $25.
To make an order, visit her instagram @dees_delights_.
There are countless makeup brands to choose from: MAC, NARS, Lancome, as well as brands that don’t hurt the wallet such as Maybelline and Covergirl.
Fatou Diop, a junior business major, sets her Prinses Cosmetics lip line apart from the rest by “thinking outside the box,” with her LED light lip gloss applicator.
Diop established her business in April 2019 and sells lip care products such as lip oils ($4) curated with a mixture of lavender, carrot seed and camellia oil. As well as lemon sugar lip scrubs ($4) which are infused with lemon juice with shreds of lemon to be used as an exfoliant before the oil.
“I pick the oils that are the most moisturizing and natural so that people with allergies can also use them,” Diop said. “I pick oils that cater to all needs and, as far as colors, like if I were to go into a store what color would I look for and then I mix them together and make sure the consistency is smooth and make sure it isn’t too sticky or runny–– it’s all about trial and error.”
Her lip glosses are offered in a variety of shades, including many nudes, pinks, browns. Prices start as low as$10. She has three shades of lip liner: black, brown and a dark mauve ($5).
Potential customers, or Prinseses, can shop her website www.prinsescosmetics.com, or through her Instagram, @prinsescosmetics.
Claws by Zee
Zariah Tulloch, a freshman business administration major, began her nail business in October of 2019. Her “favorite part” when doing nails is shaping, but she is most known for her “freestyle” designs.
“The design that people come to me for the most is freestyle...I just do whatever comes to my head,” Tulloch said. “It can be a Chinese [character], it can be ombre, glitter, marble, it could be anything –– diamonds! I love diamonds too.”
Tulloch can do an acrylic freestyle set from short to extra-long starting at $65 and a classic ombre set starting at $70, as well as her ‘Ice Me Out,’ which are nails “full of bling,” for $140. Clients can check her Instagram, @clawzbyzee, to see her portfolio of different nail lengths, colors and designs. As well as her bio to see the rest of her options.
Tulloch wants “everything” for herself when thinking about the future and says she plans to become a celebrity nail stylist. She says she wants to open her own salon and eventually open multiple salons around the world.
Alexandra Moyen is the senior features editor of The Spectrum.