From fashion to beauty, there’s always a wealth of independent brands that offer more than the high street can – unique design, stunning craftsmanship and tailored customer service are often de rigueur. We love to help small brands get noticed, which is why we have a Small Brand Spotlight, and it’s really important to shout extra loud about brands and companies that are black-owned (as explained by the Black Pound Day initiative), so we’ve scouted out the best black-owned lifestyle brands out there.
From candles and art to soft furnishings, ceramics and more, whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or something to brighten up your own home, consider this list your starting point for all things homeware, especially if you want to support black-owned lifestyle brands and businesses.
Black-owned lifestyle brands to have on your radar
Lifestyle brand Nina Bombina was born out of the first Covid lockdown and began with a range of cards featuring Black and brown characters, as they are often underrepresented in the greetings card industry. Once the cards were taken on board by Moonpig and Funky Pigeon, Nina started designing prints and making custom graphic portraits and polymer clay earrings, too.
Read our interview with Nina here.
Aysha Bell Wellness
Aysha Bell is the founder of a new one-stop destination for all things meditation, as well as a qualified yoga instructor, breath-work expert and all-round wellness guru. She started the brand after experiencing the ‘life-changing power of meditation’.
With the ambition of bringing meditation into people’s homes, Aysha has curated luxury meditation boxes, which include hand-blended tea, hand-poured candles, kits to support energy cleansing, relaxation, journaling and healing crystal sets. All products are sustainably sourced from carefully chosen suppliers throughout the world.
Young Mary’s was founded by Lola Jemibewon, a Nigerian-American woman who lives in the UK. Young Mary’s gets its name from Lola’s grandmother, who raised her. Lola wanted a way to share her love for Africa, so combined her hobby of candle making and storytelling with a business.
The word LÁAYO originates from Titilayo, which translates to ‘everlasting joy’. The brand, founded by Victoria Bola-Okerinde, specialises in unique prints and homeware. Its vision is to provide functional and unique designs to encourage joyful living. Victoria draws inspiration from her dual experience of British and African culture.
Founded by cousins Jessica and Michael, Alero is a small brand selling eco-friendly wax melts and candles that smell divine. The products are vegan, cruelty-free, and phthalate-free. All Alero packaging is recyclable or biodegradable and 100% plastic-free. Plus, every purchase includes a biodegradable bee paper enriched with native British wildflower seeds to support bees and other pollinators.
Naked Clay Ceramics
Carla Sealey started Naked Ceramics in 2017. The Bedfordshire-based brand creates minimal style ceramic tableware, including stoneware mugs, plates and vases. Carla hopes the ‘tactile connection’ of the clay ‘brings an opportunity to pause, breathe and savour a small moment in the hustle and bustle of life.’
House of Lilah
Entrepreneur Chantal M’Biki carefully pairs scents and tastes to bring you an immersive sensory experience through her candle and loose leaf tea sets. Together, the three sets aim to unlock the three steps to creativity: mindfulness, freedom and curiosity.
Natalie Manima makes a range of handmade homeware and gift items, from pillows and lampshapes to oven gloves and table runners, all from beautifully bright West African cloth. Bespoke Binny also runs lampshade making classes (currently virtually).
Dorcas draws on her Nigerian heritage and ‘obsession with black women’ for her illustrations that work their way onto prints, enamel pins, cards, notebooks, tote bags
This Atlanta-based small lifestyle brand (which ships internationally) is the brainchild of Kashmir Thompson and counts Issa Rae and Spike Lee as fans. Her pop culture-inspired illustrations adorn mugs, coasters, posters, tote bags, pillows, T-shirts and now face masks, too.
Mind the Cork
Jenny Espirito Santo uses sustainable cork and innovative design to craft her beautiful range of homeware and lifestyle products including planters, card holders and decorative figurines all in her signature, minimalistic yet bold style.
The Everyday Print Co.
Often drawing on the beauty of the natural female form, Nigerian-Indian artist Mezay Ugbo creates stunning illustrations in an earthy palette. Based in India, The Everyday Print Co. ships posters internationally at an affordable price.
Grain & Knot
Beginning originally with spoon carving, Sophie now crafts beautiful, one-of-a-kind wooden items ranging vases, brushes and more, allowing the natural beauty of the wood to speak for itself.
Our Lovely Goods
A family-run business based in Scotland, Our Lovely Goods handcraft natural wax candles, home mists, botanical skincare and work with talented artisans in Nigeria to curate their collection of homewares.
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Alongside ceramic trinket dishes in warm earthy tones, founder Bonnisa Moore also handcrafts jewellery and greeting cards in her home of Buckinghamshire. She makes her items either to order or in limited batches of no more than five at a time to reduce the amount of wasted materials.
Vibrant handmade bags, clutches and fabric wall hangings feature Tihara’s embroidery skills while the bright notebooks, pins, greeting cards and prints feature her illustrations and typography, but all are inspired by her Caribbean heritage with a London twist.
Drawing on a wealth of influences – their African roots, British upbringing, aromatherapy and the Nigerian tradition of making beautifying oils, soaps and lotions from nuts, tree bark and plants – Abi and Liha create a range of natural candles, oils and soaps. Their candles are made using clean burning sustainable coconut wax, cotton wicks and recyclable and reusable containers.
La Basketry work with female Senegalese artisans to create unique woven products for the home – basket, bowls, fans, place mats and more. They also sell basket making kits and run workshops where you can learn the traditional art of basket weaving.
London’s only boutique dedicated to cacti and succulents, Prick also sell their wares online. From large statement-making cacti to small windowsill-sized guys, brand founder Gynelle Leon sources a selection of the most unusual and exotic plants from across the UK and Europe, as well as designing a range of small terracotta plant pots to perfectly house their green friends.
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