Written by: Alisha Netis
Becoming your own boss seems to be a trend, especially within the Black community.
There was once a time not long ago when Black parents advocated for their children to get a “good government job” — a job to pay their dues in order to live a fraction of the “American dream.” However, if there’s anything these past two years have taught us, it’s that having our livelihoods depend on someone else’s ability to supply us with an income is not it.
We deserve, probably more than any other group, to become our own bosses and embrace it within our families and our communities. For so long our history has been dictated through stereotypes and the confines of what society tells us is meant for Black people. This new age of social media we’re living in has blessed us with the opportunity to become whoever and whatever we want. We are truly the creators of our own narratives, now more than ever.
With that being said, there are a few trailblazing Black women paving the way and setting a new standard in history for our future Black queens to step into. Here’s my Top Five Black Women Entrepreneurs making monumental strides in business. Let me be clear there is nothing small or slight about their businesses. These women are proving Black women in business are not only needed in our economy, but they are also essential.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty
Rihanna is the owner and creator of the Fenty empire — but you knew that. Unlike most of the women I will list here, Rihanna did not build her empire from humble beginnings. We all know her as a superstar pop and R&B artist. What we did not know was that she is also an excellent designer and business woman. Beginning with Fenty Beauty to Savage X Fenty and most recently Fenty Skin, all of Rihanna’s brands have skyrocketed in the market since release and continue to grow.
It wasn’t long ago when Black female musicians were being cheated out of their own money and endorsements, forced to go broke. Rihanna made it possible for female musicians to have their influence taken seriously. While setting the example for our musicians to ensure their business deals are soundly made so they collect every coin earned. Hold up, that’s not all. Let’s not forget this queen has invented a new way to experience fashion shows all while coining it after her family name — generational wealth is an understatement. Way to make HERstory, Riri; we appreciate your contributions.
Beatrice Dixon is a name we all need to make a household. Her line The Honey Pot Company is nothing short of a gift to all womankind. Y’all, we needed a plant-based feminine wash from the ancestors in the worst way. Dixon pulled up to the assignment task in hand and ancestral recipe on go!
It’s safe to say we love a Black HERstory moment, and this one seems written in stone. From Dixon’s amazing recipe, she then expanded her business to include wipes, tampons, pads, and mommy-to-be products. Now her products are being sold in TAR-GET! Target is nationwide — this is a win for all of us. One word: invest, like right now. I have a feeling this train is moving fast and I want to be on it.
When I began doing this piece on Black female entrepreneurs, Quiana Watson’s face was the first to pop into my head. Her entire social presence screams Black excellence and Black entrepreneurial success. From real estate agent to one of the highest-earning agents in the Atlanta market and brokerage owner, Watson is more than just a face to look out for; she’s a person of interest, someone to follow and take note from.
Watson is making Black HERstory through the doors she continues to open for Black women in a truly white cis-gender male-dominated field. On top of managing her own real estate brokerage she also has an educational source for real estate agents (@agentstoolsforsuccess), a podcast (@RantsandGems), a lifestyle blog (@quianawatson), a YouTube channel, investment property, and she’s also on a reality TV show (Ladies Who List: Atlanta)! Talk about writing your own narrative or better yet, acting in it, because clearly it’s working for this goddess.
BODY by Raven Tracy is a body positivity clothing line that has made huge strides in the fashion community and beyond. Tracy has an amazing story behind her clothing line and very real, very humble beginnings. Coming from Buffalo, New York, and making it as a model known for her curves, Tracy truly capitalized on what she already had to celebrate: women of all shapes and sizes. I love this for us!
If “be yourself” had a spokesperson for success it would be Raven Tracy. Rather than allowing a false narrative about Black women and our natural curves, dating back to the 1800s, to control her narrative in the fashion world, Tracy created BODY, literally rewriting HERstory while turning a profit.
Let’s talk Black mental health. This amazing beam of light Naj Austin has built her empire around just that. Only in the past five years have we all started to discuss the importance of Black mental health within our communities, our home, and more recently within television and film. It’s so important that we don’t rely on the disruptors of our mental health to also try and be our saviors.
Austin’s Ethel’s Club is a self-help blog, a space for Black people to heal Black people and provide journaling prompts. She has also created a new way to connect with Somewhere Good, a social space for us to grow through our shared experiences and opposite perspectives. I feel all of the light and HERstory being made through this beautiful human. The ancestors are proud.
More to Come
There are so many more Black female entrepreneurs to list who are avidly making HERstory. What I want all of you (us!) to take from this if you don’t take anything else is that we have to follow our dreams. Create the change you want to see in the world, starting now from wherever you are, because we need more HERstory moments. We deserve more success and more little girls looking up and seeing themselves when they do. Let’s make male-dominated spaces more inclusive, less daunting, less intimidating. It’s our time and the future is female.
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