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12 Black-Owned Brands To Support #BuyBlack on Black Friday

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Guys! After two years of hosting my annual Shop LoveBrownSugar holiday pop-up shops in NYC, I decided to officially launch an online shop! Shop LoveBrownSugar is now live and in full effect, and the shop currently hosts 12 black-owned brands that I’ve partnered with this holiday season for amazing gift offerings. Here are the brands and a little about why you’ll love supporting them, just like I do:

12 Black-Owned Brands To Support on Black Friday

1. Pardon My Fro

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One of my absolute favorite illustrators, Dana Bly of Pardon My Fro partnered up with me for Shop LoveBrownSugar to do custom journals, custom holiday cards, a BabyBrownSugar calendar, BabyBrownSugar Coloring Book and so much more. PMF is AWESOME.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from Pardon My Fro

2. LIT Brooklyn

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I discovered LIT Brooklyn on the ‘gram and instantly fell in love with the packaging. Then I met with the owner Denequa in Brooklyn and fell head over heels for her scented candles. I mean, such a dope company. And the candles are travel size!

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from LIT Brooklyn

3. Ginger + Liz

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I’ve known the ladies behind Ginger + Liz for years now, and it was love at first sight with their nail lacquers. They’re vegan, toxic-free and vibrant. I use these on myself and on Cadence during special occasions.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from Ginger + Liz

4. The Lip Bar

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I remember when The Lip Bar first launched! I thought it was such an innovative concept, empowering women to feel beautiful and challenge beauty standards with vibrant, poppy bright lip colors. Since then they have expanded to include liquid matte lipsticks, glosses and so much more.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugar Buy direct from The Lip Bar

5. 84 Gem

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Kimone of 84 Gem was a vendor at my last two pop-up shops and her jewels are always a big hit. Handmade by her in her studio, Kimone is self-taught but you would never know. Her jewels are absolutely beautiful and one of a kind.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from 84 Gem

6. Belle Butters

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Y’all. Belle Butters makes so many amazing skincare products I love. But when I took a whiff of this butter owner Tasha custom created for Shop LoveBrownSugar’s first pop-up shop in 2014, I knew this was a winner. It smells like heaven in a jar. And so do most of her products. Definitely a beauty brand to watch!

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from Belle Butters

7. Beauty by Africa Miranda

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When I first met Africa Miranda, we were fast friends. I watched her reality show when she was living in Atlanta and thought to myself “Omg! Love her!” (as if I really knew her, y’all do it too #dontjudge). Anyway, when I met her she totally lived up to my expectations and since then I’ve been consistently inspired by her and her drive. So when she told me she was creating a Facial Elixir based on her travels to Rio, Brazil I knew I needed some and you needed some too.

Shop Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from Beauty by Africa Miranda

8. Balm & Co

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I’ve been following influencer, author & fellow mompreneur Alex Elle for years now. I remember when she was documenting her natural hair journey. And then when she released her first book of poetry. And then when she got married and shared her beautiful wedding photos on social. Safe to say, I’m a FAN. So when I saw she was releasing a line of skincare products, I was all in.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from Balm & Co

9. S Dot Beauty

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Last year, S Dot Beauty was a vendor at our Shop LoveBrownSugar holiday pop-up and while I ws there she gifted me a set of her baby products to try out on Cadence. When I tell you I use her products RELIGIOUSLY as part of Cadence’s bedtime routine! They’re infused with lavender and chamomile and all things amazing. And she makes products for women, men and the whole family.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from S Dot Beauty

10. CLEANSE by Lauren Napier

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As someone who travels often, I’m always looking for options to make my life easier. I’m a travel wipe addict. I use them to remove makeup, to freshen up my skin on long haul flights and everything in between. These aren’t just wipes. They are made with the best & safest ingredients. For the conscious beauty aficionado.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from Lauren Napier

11. Happy Hair

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When I first got a copy of Happy Hair™, I thought it was SUCH an incredible campaign. Teaching young girls to love and accept their hair in various shapes and forms is so important to building confidence. So I’m beyond proud to be carrying this book in our shop.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from Happy Hair

12. Cee Cee’s Closet

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I’m a big fan of head wraps. As a mompreneur, it can get tough having your hair in tip-top shape every single day, so headwraps are my save for bad hair days. They’re also super cute & allow you to express yourself with different colors and patterns.

Shop Exclusive Items on Shop LoveBrownSugarBuy direct from Cee Cee’s Closet

 

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Hey NYC loves! If you’re in the city on Black Friday, stop by the Harlem’s Fashion Row pop-up shop taking place at Solomon & Kuff (3pm-9pm) to shop some of the Shop LoveBrownSugar brands! I’ll have a space there – can’t wait to see you! RSVP HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/harlemss-fashion-row-black-friday-pop-up-shop-tickets-29327081089

Other 2016 #BuyBlack Gift Guides I Love 

In Her Shoes “75 Black Women-Owned Brands To Shop”

Fashion Bomb Daily “25 Black-Owned Business To Shop This Black Friday”

Essence “#BuyBlack: 15 Holiday Beauty Products Made For Us and By Us”

LBS Mompreneur Diaries (Working Mom Edition): Alicia Thompson

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I’m excited to partner with Capital One on the second post in our “Working Mom” edition of LBS Mompreneur Diaries, featuring women of color who are killing it at work and at home. Capital One is consistently recognized for its exceptional workplace culture and for supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives across the entire organization. That’s why I was so excited to work with them to offer this series, because they get it. They’ve been ranked on Fortune’s “100 Best Places to Work” and Working Mother Magazine’s “100 Best Companies” to name a few.

Hopefully you read and loved our interview with working mom Kenya Paul. Our second featured working mom is Alicia Thompson, Manager of Supplier Diversity at Capital One. We talked about her role as a working mom to two beautiful children, what she hopes to teach them about diversity and inclusion, and advice that every mom should consider when picking a place to work.

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LBS Chic: Transition Your Look For Fall

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I love everything about summer style so once fall creeps up, I get a serious case of FOMO. Transitioning back to neutral and dark tones, heavier fabrics, and structured silhouettes takes me longer than average because I absolutely love the flowy silhouettes and bright colors of summer.

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If you’re anything like me, you may need some tips on bringing the fun & free flow of summer into your fall wardrobe. I partnered up with TheOutfit.com and JCPenney to show you guys how to transition your look for fall with 3 easy tips.

Photos by Keyaira Boone

Check out the full story with my tips, more pictures of my look and “Where To Buy” information here: The Outfit

This post is sponsored by JCPenney in partnership with TheOutfit.com. All opinions expressed here are my own and not those of the company.

LBS Chic: 4 Tips For Living Your Best Color Full Life

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This post about the Color Full Lives podcast is sponsored by State Farm®. All opinions expressed here are my own.

As you all know, I am incredibly passionate about women of color looking good AND feeling good. I’ve also made it one of my personal missions to help positively change the perceptions of women of color in the media, so I am really happy to team up with State Farm to talk about the Color Full Lives podcast series.

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LBS Mompreneur Diaries (Working Mom Edition): Kenya Paul

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For those of you who have been following the LBS Mompreneur Diaries series here on LoveBrownSugar, you know I’ve been using it as a platform to share my personal tips and tricks for success balancing work and life as a full-time mompreneur. There are so many working moms out there, many of whom function as intrapreneurs, managing teams and taking on important management roles within an organization on top of managing small teams right at home! It requires the same balance and support to have a successful corporate career as it does when you run your own business.

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So I am proud to partner with Capital One for the very first “Working Mom” edition of Mompreneur Diaries to chat with some women of color who are killing it at work and at home. Capital One is consistently recognized for its exceptional workplace culture and for supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives across the entire organization. That’s why I was so excited to work with them to offer this series, because they get it. They’ve been ranked on Fortune’s “100 Best Places to Work” and Working Mother Magazine’s “100 Best Companies” to name a few.

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LBS Mompreneur Diaries: #SmallButPowerful Moves That Make History

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I’ve dedicated much of my career as a digital influencer to smashing stereotypes and showing the world that women of color are powerful, productive and pretty while doing it. I’ve created platforms that inspire women of color to be great, allow them to know that they’re not alone and that challenge stereotypes. My most dedicated “follower” of all the thousands of you who follow me daily is actually my little princess Cadence. She’s not only seeing what I do online but she seems me in action each day as I work hard to provide for her and balance the responsibilities of motherhood and entrepreneurship.

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It is SO important for me to set an example for her but also to encourage her to live out her dreams, defy stereotypes, set new records and excel in everything she loves. So I am really honored to have partnered with Tide Pods on their #SmallButPowerful campaign featuring record-breaking powerhouse Simone Biles. As the most decorated American gymnast of all time and being a young black female, she has truly inspired so many young women who may have never thought they could do the impossible. Her dedication, hard work and perseverance are just the characteristics I hope to instill in Cadence. Check out Simone’s commercial with Tide here.

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On the same evening that Simone Biles and the Final Five took gold at the Olympics, Cadence and I had the opportunity to meet and take a class with Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes. Dominique partnered with Tide Pods in support of Simone Biles, to showcase the evolution of power. They were featured in the Tide Pods’ Evolution of Power commercial, showcasing the amazing transformations of history-making gymnasts over the years and comparing that to Tide’s progression from a powder detergent to now being available in its small but powerful liquid pod form.

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Dominique is the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in gymnastics! I remember growing up and watching Dominique on TV and being so proud that she looked like me. So it was a really proud moment getting to introduce her to Cadence and getting to chat with her, as she’s also a new mom. Her daughter is just a month younger than Cady! I’m excited for Cadence because she had the opportunity to watch another young, black woman make history in gymnastics, the way I did with Dominique. After seeing gymnasts like Simone Biles excel at the Olympics, I decided to enroll Cadence in a toddler gymnastics class just to see if she would enjoy it. Turns out, she loves it! Check it out here:

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LBS Chic: What I Wore On My EuroTrip

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Earlier this month, I went on an 8-day excursion to Italy and Greece. Ever since I studied abroad during my Junior year in college, Italy has been one of my absolute favorite countries. Though I studied in France, Italy left such an incredible impression on me. I’ve always wanted to go back. This year I had that opportunity. I also had the chance to finally visit Greece! My only regret during my study abroad semester is that I didn’t take a trip there, so when my friend Gabi invited me to Santorini for her 30th birthday – I was all in. Here’s what I wore and loved on my Eurotrip. I chose pieces that fit my shape and made me feel like a goddess:

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5 Things I Learned at She Knows Now Summit

 

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Sometimes all you have to do is walk into a room and you just know that the space is going to be life-changing! That’s how I felt when I stepped foot out of the elevator and into Tiffany Hardin’s summit for aspirational, multi-faceted millennial women. The inaugural She Knows Now Summit took place on September 10th at LMHQ and I was lucky enough to be in attendance along with about 100 other women.

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This one-day intensive summit was filled with dynamic and inspirational panels, interactive workshops, brilliant mentors, and so many opportunities to network with other aspirational women. We heard from women who are leaders in their industries from companies like RocNation, Trill Yoga, The Jam Stand, and Harlem Runs.

If you didn’t get the chance to join us for the She Knows Now Summit, I’ve got you covered with the 5 things I learned there:

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LBS Opinion: You Can’t Air Quote Away Appropriation Marc Jacobs

 

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Racism does not merely present itself in cases of blatant hatred. It is the airline employee who assumes you’re not in first class, the coworker who’s compelled to tell you how “well you speak”, and the fashion designer who refuses to acknowledge your culture within his vision.

Recently Marc Jacobs sent models down the runway sporting faux-locks in shades of pastel. Models included the “it-girl” models of the moment but very few women of color. When asked by New York Magazine’s “The Cut” how he was inspired by the Rastafarian culture from which locks originate, he replied that he was not. Some media outlets cited his inspiration as a return to “raver culture”. Where did these ravers get their initial inspiration from? They neglected to say.

Read more about the reception to Jacob’s spring presentation below:

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LBS Kickin’ It: Harlem’s Fashion Row Spring 2017 Runway Show & Style Awards

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This season Harlem’s Fashion Row once again celebrated designers, innovators, and stars of color at their Runway show and awards ceremony. Throngs of fashion industry spiders flocked to Chelsea Piers to attend the celebration which was supported by Motions, Latina Magazine, Ebony Magazine and more. As Harlem’s Fashion Row founder Brandice Daniels reminded attendees designers of color make up less than 1% of the brands found in major department stores making institutions committed to highlighting these unsung talents crucial.

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Legendary record producer, philanthropist, and designer Swizz Beatz was presented with this year’s icon 360 award. His speech was straightforward and compelling. He confessed that when he was told about the award he instructed his assistant to clear everything on his busy New York Fashion Week schedule so that he could attend the ceremony. “Sometimes when people call we say I’m busy but when Tom Ford calls I’m not busy. So I had to make sure that I answered your call the same way that I answer Tom Ford’s call”.

During his speech he also highlighted acclaimed stylists  like Ty Hunter and Wouri Vice who were also in attendance thanking them for their contributions to the fashion community.

Read more about this wonderful event below.

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