Why queue at big box stores or order from Amazon when you can support local and diverse businesses this holiday season?
Black-owned businesses make some of the Columbus area’s most creative gifts and treats.
In fact, you’ll have the opportunity to shop at some of them at Zora’s House’s annual Women of Color Owned (WoCO) Holiday Market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 11 at Gravity in Franklinton.
“I was seeing all these different craft fairs and markets,” said Zora’s House founder and CEO LC Johnson, 33, of Weinland Park. “Some of them had some diversity, but a lot of them weren’t incredibly diverse. We specifically wanted to highlight women of color and non-gendered people of color and give them space to present. what they were doing. “
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In recent years, Zora’s House Markets (also held in the summer) have generated tens of thousands of dollars in income for local women of color. Read on to learn about some of the vendors who will be attending the event, as well as other black-owned businesses in the Columbus area.
Westerville brothers Talan and Taron Taylor have become a hit in manufacturer markets with their line of beard balms, beard oils, mustache wax and soaps. Branding may be a play on the snake oil salesmen, or the “barkers” of yesteryear, but there is nothing devious about their inventory.
The products are designed to prevent dryness, itching and frizz while stimulating hair growth and shine. The items include natural ingredients and pleasant scents like citrus and seeds, flax and lime, and pine and leaves.
While some of the family argue too much to work together, the Taylors said the navigation was pretty smooth for them.
“We have this strong bond,” Taron said. “We are not just brothers, we are friends.”
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Mmelo Boutique Confections, 1900 Polaris Pkwy., Polaris
At Mmelo, the sweets and pastries are almost too good to eat. Owner Michelle Allen is passionate about creating unique and flavorful desserts that anyone can enjoy, including those looking for vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free options. We recommend you try the decadent tea cakes.
Whimsical Black Girl, Pop-Up Columbus Fashion Alliance, 4039 The Strand East, Easton Town Center
Beyond selling beautiful handcrafted jewelry and original artwork, Whimsical Black Girl is dedicated to centering black women through the creative process and community building. Owned by Spencer Stultz, the store is participating in a pop-up in downtown Easton until Christmas.
The pop-up is hosted by the Columbus Fashion Alliance and includes four other local brands. The fashion collective is also dedicated to supporting members of the black community; he recently partnered with My Brother’s Keeper on a summer internship program for black teens interested in fashion.
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Tonē Bekka, 400 W. Rich St., Franklinton
If you must travel, you might as well do it in style with handmade leather travel bags and accessories from Columbus College of Art & Design graduate Jovanna Robinson. She creates colorful and durable tote bags, duffel bags, laptop bags, wallets and more. She has pouches and cosmetic bags accented with African prints from Ankara – from the mainland – and others adorned with calf hair.
When she’s not shopping at the leather goods store or creating her products, she gives sewing lessons to children in her workshop. She not only wants to make her mark in the fashion world, but to thrive in the generation while she’s there.
Fashion retail:CCAD graduate Jovanna Robinson gets creative with Tonē Bekka leather travel bags
Salai Kamara is passionate about sharing the beauty of African culture through her brand, The African Accent. Born in Sierra Leone, Kamara offers everything from gorgeous pearl earrings and hand-woven throws to clutch bags and whipped shea butter.
The African accent will be a featured vendor at Zora’s House WoCO (Women of Color Owned) Holiday Market.
Make me happy, 106, rue E. Moler, village of Merion
People who are gluten-free can still satisfy their sweet tooth with Bake Me Happy, which has locations in Merion Village and Dublin (North Market Bridge Park, 6750 Longshore Dr.). Along with offering heavenly goodies like Oatmeal Creme Clouds, the beloved bakery has become a community hub, championing small businesses and minority-owned businesses.
Co-owner Letha Pugh is a local ambassador for Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women initiative, which will invest $ 10 billion to support black women across the country. Bake Me Happy also recently hosted a discussion with Rep. Joyce Beatty on the challenges of small businesses.
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Cheryl Williams named 86 & Norman after the year she was born and the street where she grew up with her family. To say that she is passionate about helping women with their personal style is an understatement. The bold prints on her fanny packs, wallets and flowerpots are sure to grab attention.
86 & Norman will be a featured vendor at Zora’s House WoCO (Women of Color Owned) Holiday Market.
Royal beauty, regalbeautyco.com
Sisters Dasha Tate and Deanna Jones caused a stir when they opened one of the very few black-owned hair and beauty stores on East Main Street in Olde Towne East in February 2019. However, like many small businesses during the pandemic, they were forced to pivot to online-only sales.
But that hasn’t diminished the passion of women for providing natural hair care products to the community.
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Deez Cookies, deezcookies.com
It’s all in the name; Deez Cookies is one of the fanciest companies around. Founded by Khadija Adams, the store offers at least one monthly themed cookie set. For example, last month the #HispanicHeritageMonth Box shed light on Afro-Latinx stories and showcased flavors from Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
This month’s thank you box includes sweet potato pies, cranberry and orange cookies and more.
Deez Cookies will be a featured vendor at Zora’s House WoCO (Women of Color Owned) Holiday Market.
Splendor Revival at the Little Light Collective, 3041 Indianola Ave.
The Little Light Collective is perhaps the most charming store in town. The majority-owned, female-owned cooperative offers vintage items from several vendors, including Splendor Revival.
Curator Katya Philmore puts love and passion into everything she makes, including kaftans, jewelry, and even perfume!
“We believe that every woman has a royal goddess within her,” says Philmore in his manifesto. “We’ve learned that grace and glamor aren’t that complicated, and that there is magic in the little details.”
ethompson @ dispatch