From horticulture to beauty, fashion and lifestyle – these Black business founders are making waves in their respective industries. Check out their stories and how they found inspiration for their captivating brands.
Yinka Alade – Rooted Pots
Yinka Alade is an award-winning Art Director that has done artwork for Disney, Dreamworks, Hasbro, Mattel, Marvel, EA, Activision, and many more. Through his 15+year art career he has worked on properties such as Disney’s Moana, Transformers, Spiderman, Madden NFL Football, Star Wars, The Sims 4, and much more. He created Rooted Pots for the main purpose of bringing some much needed color and flavor to the horticulture space. There is a large and healthy base of black plant moms and dads, but nothing out there that represents them in that space, and Rooted Pots is here to fill that void in a stylish and artistic way. With thousands sold, it’s a sign that the culture approves of Rooted Pots!
Khadidja Toure – Kubra Kay Skincare
As a young child, Khadidja primarily learned about skincare by watching her mother. For as long as she can remember, she would see her mother mixing different natural ingredients in their kitchen. These mixtures were natural skin remedies passed down for generations within her family’s West African culture. Her mother would create all kinds of different products, but almost always with bases of shea butter and cocoa butter. Kubra Kay Skincare was created as a way to combine Khadidja’s deep breadth of product knowledge with the powerhouse natural ingredients that she came across during her travels and within her rich heritage at home. As a brand created for the people and by the people, Khadidja seeks to empower others every day through Kubra Kay’s clean, high-performing products.
Brittani Hunt and Tanisha Carothers – HerSpace Co.
HBCU alums Brittani Hunt and Tanisha Carothers’s idea for HerSpace Co. began to take form almost 10 years ago long before it even had a name. From women’s conferences and retreats at hotels to workshops on college campuses, they found themselves creating + holding space for the modern woman. In 2014, they sat in the Palace of Auburn Hills arena for Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend. They were right in the middle of their own individual life transitions – jobs, engagement, relocation, degree completion, relationships, financial strain, spiritual droughts, mothering and Bar examination preparations. They were tired and discouraged. They then realized what had been calling them since 2008 – creating a space where the modern woman can be and become HerSpace Co. is a lifestyle brand that makes space for the modern woman to be and become. Their planner is a tool for becoming the CEO of your life, built around different layers for dreaming, goal setting and success.
Aysia Hilliard – TrapStix Lip Balms
Aysia Hilliard is a young entrepreneur that has a talent for lip-synching and creating lip balms. At 20 years old, the Howard University student is the founder of a fun brand that blends her love of lip balm with hip hop and pop, creating one of the most talked-about items on TikTok. Going viral during the pandemic catapulted the brands from less than 75 orders in its first two years to over 50,000 lips balms to date! Her lips balms have shipped to over 30 countries. The tubes are larger than traditional chapsticks and more affordable, making them a must-have for the Gen Z crowd. This business-savvy woman used a play on words mixing hip hop and pop artist’s names with all-natural lip balm flavors. Meet Post Melone, Leminem, J.Cola, and Billie Limeish, among others. Aysia is a biology and chemistry major who, along with her studies, is working to create more flavors to add to her popular collection. Her TikTok channel now boasts nearly 100K followers and more than 2 million likes.
Adonis King – Adonis King Collection
Adonis King embodies his brand’s ode to travel and experience different cultures. A fashion designer with an eye for creativity, individuality, and adventure, his bag is always packed for the latest outing. Ever so on-trend, inclusive, and fashion-forward, his offerings have found their way into the wardrobes of Shaun Ross, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, just to name a few. It wasn’t always like this. A brush with a life-threatening illness, myocarditis, left Adonis fighting for his life at age 22.
“I almost lost my life about five years ago. I got really sick and was diagnosed with heart failure. I was watching myself die and doctors telling my mom I wasn’t going to make it. Every day I prayed it would get better. My body was only using 15% of my heart. The only thing I had in the hospital with me was my fashion sketches. I would sketch a garment daily because that’s how much I loved fashion. I was planning on leaving all my designs behind for the world to see.” He miraculously started getting better slowly, learning how to walk and breathe again. His doctors are amazed he was able to pull through to this day.
“I am living proof that anything is possible. If you enjoy doing something and are willing to die for it, there’s nothing that can stop you.”