August is Black Business Month. Although DC is home to many black-owned attractions, we have compiled a list of ten recently opened products ranging from CBD-infused balm to home decoration from Africa.
Chaos Candle Company was founded by Sophia Elizabeth Carter in January 2020 and provides attractive scents and fascinating stories: each candle is inspired by different myths of different cultures (from Greece to Africa) . Its latest series, Timeless Tales, caters to people who don’t like complex smells. All candles are hand-made with cocoa and apricot wax, and are equipped with a wooden tube wick, which can melt quickly and reduce carbon deposits. Carter also plans to design two Halloween scents based on the mythology of Medusa and Hellhound.
Founded in the fall of 2020, Co-pothecary is a CBD-infused balm company founded by married couple Candice Pantor and Courtney Roberson. It started as a project of Pantor’s graduate marketing course. The idea for the product came from Roberson’s attempt to use CBD and natural oils to treat her sciatica that worsened during the pandemic. Co-pothecary currently offers five fragrances, including lavender and mint. Each style is made with organic and all-natural ingredients. Its essential oil comes from a female company in the United States, and CBD comes from a family company in Oregon. A cedar wood-scented balm is about to mark the transition from summer to autumn.
Elevated Tea is a CBD tea company founded by Opare Densua, who hopes to alleviate her growing anxiety and depression during the pandemic. Densua’s blended teas are made with organic, non-GMO and vegan ingredients, and are packaged in a plant-based compostable source from Asia, India and the United States. Her company offers six blended teas, each containing 15 mg of CBD. Caffeinated teas include Ascend, a Japanese sencha that contains coconut and pineapple, Bliss, a white tea with several fruits added, and Revive, which has the lowest caffeine content. Other teas are caffeine-free and come in various flavors.
Gemocracy is a jewelry and accessories brand created by former Alexander resident and now Baltimore transfer EnJouli McGoogan. Each pair of earrings is handmade by McGoogan using polymer clay. She also worked with friends to sell Kitenge cloth cut products imported from Tanzania. Gemocracy was launched in October 2020 and also provides household items such as tablecloths, placemats, tablecloths and aprons, as well as backpacks, laptop bags, cosmetic bags, wallets and masks. McGoogan often attends local pop-up stores or markets, where you can find her latest inventory. To find where she will appear next, check the community tab on her website.
KOA was founded in July 2020 by Shalini Gardner, a business student at the University of Maryland. It is a high-end apparel company that caters to women’s essentials. Out of Gardner’s own desire for more durable and durable basic clothing, the company provides sportswear, sweatpants, vests, hoodies and jogging pants. In the process of creating KOA, Gardner hopes to create a physically positive space for BIPOC women so that they can feel their own power.
Mutani’s Pocket is a shopping platform that promotes East African culture by helping small artists in the region sell their items in the United States. The website was established in August 2020, when the founder Simone Smillie was chatting with a friend who showed her several popular items he brought back from a trip in Africa. Smillie then contacted artists from different East African countries to sell their products on DMV. Currently, the store offers accessories and home decoration products such as baskets, aprons and pillowcases. Smillie collaborates with each artist to design personal products, bringing American flair to African trends.
A pandemic idea of the barista duo and the married couple Ashley May and Brian Raupp, Others Coffee opened on September 29 (National Coffee Day) last year. The company currently has two products: a light roast with coffee beans imported from Peru and a medium roast with Rwanda coffee beans. The coffee bean storage box designed by the couple has a scannable QR code, which can help customers learn more about where their coffee comes from. Sometimes the detailed information is as specific as the farmer who grows the coffee beans.
Patreat’s Boutique was originally Patrice Peterson’s pandemic response mechanism. Her hobby of soap making has developed into a shop selling handmade soaps, scrub sugar, body oils and bath salts. Her soaps are made with natural ingredients and essential oils from online operators and local markets. They have a variety of fragrances, including lemongrass, mango papaya, eucalyptus and turmeric.
Patrick’s boutique can be found here, and Peterson also does a local pop-up store, which she announced on her Instagram.
After suspending his catering business due to the pandemic, chef Branden Givand began to focus on his bottled Mambo sauce full-time. Sauce City was established in March 2020 and sells two iterative versions of Givand’s sauce: regular 3 pieces and limited edition “don’t cough” super spicy 3 pieces. The website also offers two bloody mary mixtures, which are recipes made by Givand’s wife with mambo sauce. Givand’s sauce is made with locally sourced ingredients, including pineapple, havana, jalapeno and tomatoes. Givand hopes to revive his restaurant company Pelota more fully this year. He also hopes to open a bar.
Anna Cobb, a DC native who now lives in Laurel, founded VeganQueenCuisine in January 2020 while studying at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Initially, this was a catering company designed to serve her university campus in the food desert. Soon after the pandemic hit, Cobb had to make a transition, and now VeganQueenCuisine sells a vegan pure natural energy drink called Rejuvenation. There are currently two flavors: pineapple and apple. The main ingredient of this drink is guayusa, which comes from farmers in Ecuador.
Melissa Santoyo joined the Washingtonian in July 2021. She is a junior in journalism and art at Northwestern University.
Post time: Aug-31-2021