Over the last two years, Black-owned health and wellness businesses have seemingly grown in visibility and popularity. Many of those businesses started off as a solution to a problem commonly faced by underserved communities—like a beauty line that provides better sun protection for more diverse skin tones, or a resource for Black women seeking more accessible mental health care.
These health and wellness businesses are just part of a larger growing industry of Black-owned businesses, which have historically been stifled due to the deep-rooted, systemic challenges in the U.S. Despite their recent growth, there's still a long way to go: A 2022 report by the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization, only 2.3% of businesses with more than one employee in America were Black-owned.
The lack of Black-owned businesses only exacerbates the racial wealth gap seen in the U.S. According to the most recent data, it would take 228 years for Black families to build wealth equal to that of white families.
The Path to 15|55—an initiative by CapEQ, an impact investment and advisory firm—is looking to close that wealth gap by growing Black businesses, creating new jobs, and adding to the overall U.S. economy. Research provided by the firm shows that Black business owners are 12 times wealthier than their peers who do not own businesses.
But it's not just about profits, either; growing Black-owned businesses—and supporting ones that exist and new ones that pop up—also helps to normalize Black ownership of all kinds of businesses, from yoga studios to telehealth apps to skincare lines.
Here, we've gathered 11 Black-owned health and wellness businesses and brands to back this year, to support underserved communities and their continued growth.
This all-natural marketplace is a one-stop-shop for beauty products made by over 136 Black women artisans. BLK + GRN offers anything and everything wellness-related—from makeup and skincare, to dietary supplements and menstrual care products.
Yogi and Public Health Professor, Kristian Edwards, DPH, launched the site to curate an intersectional space for Black women artisans to "share their stories and their products with the very people they created them for."
Washington, DC–based entrepreneur Philip Garner launched his garden of products—Garner's Garden—in 2012 with the aim of making an affordable and natural skincare line.
What began with skin quickly expanded into much more, including organic armpit wash , eczema wash, and oral care products. Using only natural components like organic neem oil, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil, the line has grown in popularity – especially because there is a dedicated line of kid and baby-safe products too.
Transparent & Black is a wellness collective that's "creating spaces for Black people to heal from intergenerational trauma." Its aim is to help people of African descent recover from the effects of racial trauma and to make space in the wellness industry for this kind of healing practice.
The organization is the first wellness studio for Black people that uses swimming, herbalists, therapists, and other healers to offer trauma-based healing programs and services. Its first physical location is in Brooklyn, New York, but online courses extend digital access to therapists and other healing professionals.
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Poppy Seed Health
After experiencing pregnancy loss, Simmone Taitt went through stages of grief and self-advocacy for her own medical treatment. Frustrated by her own care, she set out to learn more about birthing and to create a tool that would ease the pain and isolation she experienced.
Taitt launched the Poppy Seed Health app as a tech-based support system for people navigating the entire life cycle of birth experiences—particularly pregnancy, postpartum, and loss. The app allows users to connect with doulas, midwives, nurses, and loss support advocates for individualized text-based support. The subscription-based service can be purchased monthly, quarterly, or gifted.
Camille Verovic, DO, is a marketing professional-turned-dermatologist who established Girl + Hair when she couldn't find products designed to grow and maintain her natural hair while it was braided.
Dr. Verovic's products mainly focus on maximizing protective styles, like braids with extensions or sew-in weaves, by preventing breakage and damage. Free of silicone, parabens, phthalate, and sulfates, products like her Scalp Detox Shampoo and Daily Hair Balm use natural ingredients like castor oil and apple cider vinegar to beautify and cleanse naturally textured hair.
Eleven by Venus Williams
Yes, the SPF beauty line is by that Venus Williams. And it makes sense that the tennis star would know a thing or two about sun protection for melanated skin—but these sweat-resistant products are for anyone looking for protection and hydration without a pesky white cast.
Nestled within Williams' larger tennis gear line, these power-packed products—like the Ace the Day Face Lotion and Game Day Perfect Form Lip Balm—are getting positive reviews from athletes and beach bums alike.
Dianne Austin knows how hard it is to find wigs that match natural hairstyles. Austin struggled to find a wig that matched her tightly coiled hair after losing her hair following chemotherapy for breast cancer in 2015. Together with her sister, Pamela Shaddock, who has traction alopecia, the duo founded Coils to Locs, which provides highly textured wigs through cancer centers, hospitals, and medical hair loss salons.
Therapy for Black Girls
Therapy for Black Girls promotes the mental health of Black women in many ways. Its online portal helps Black girls and women find identity-appropriate mental health support via telehealth or in-person.
The online space also has a podcast with more than 260 episodes focused on various mental health and personal development topics, and there's a subscription-based community for Black Women to support one another, hold each other accountable, and engage in mental health-related events and seminars.
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This online learning platform provides the info and tools to support sexual health and safe exploration. Co-created by two Black women, Afrosexology is a sexual liberation space that offers courses, workshops, and workbooks to help women reclaim their bodies—especially after sexual trauma —and take pleasure in their sensuality. With sex education being both taboo and limited in so many communities, this online forum allows privacy and discretion for anyone, anywhere, at any age, and from any background.
The Band-Aids brand has become synonymous with skin bandages, but for an awfully long time their "nudes" did not match Black skin tones. Insert Rashid Mahdi and Intisar Bashir from Cleveland. The African-American Muslim couple launched Browndages in 2018 to offer a solution with their variety of skin-toned bandages. After going on SharkTank in June 2020 and landing a deal with Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Lori Greiner, the brand is on the fast track to becoming a household name.
After 19 years working as an engineer in corporate America, Ivy Lawson decided it was time for a change, so the Bostonian moved with her sons to Jamaica to become a bee farmer. Eventually, Lawson brought back a bit of what she loved from the Caribbean, and opened Everything Honey in 2018 on Boston's North End—the first business in the area owned by a person of color.
Unfortunately, the pandemic shuttered the brick-and-mortar location, but the Ivyees online shop is still thriving with an even wider selection of health and wellness products, including bee pollen by the bottle, as well as honey and peppermint toothpaste and honey lip balm tint.
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