When fashion designer Aurora James, founder of the sustainable accessories brand Brother Vellies, started the 15 Percent Pledge, she also started a movement. The pledge urges big-name retailers (think Target, Walmart, Sephora, Whole Foods) to commit to having at least 15 percent of their products come from Black-owned businesses. But you don’t have to be a major corporate player to embrace the tenets of the pledge in your own life. On a much smaller scale, you can support Black-owned businesses by making conscious choices to include their products in the most important space out there: your home.
“Supporting Black-owned businesses and designers can help to encourage young and aspiring Black designers to join the industry and help to diversify perspectives and voices represented,” says Shelby Girard, Havenly’s VP of Creative & Design, noting that Black designers and businesses have historically been underrepresented in the design industry. We recently spoke with Shelby about what Black-owned brands are on her radar. Get to know these inspiring, creative design forces, then incorporate their products into your everyday spaces.
Miami-based multidisciplinary artist and textile designer Élan Byrd offers work that embraces the intrigue of imperfection, focusing heavily on raffia and natural fibers. Her namesake brand is all about beautifying your walls through wall hangings, collage art, original art, and prints. Most pieces share a soothing palette of warm, tonal neutrals, and Byrd is a master of incorporating fun, 1980s-inspired geometric shapes into her work. Although her originals tend to sell out fast (it’s easy to see why!), she has affordable, inspirational prints available on her website exploring themes of balance, strength, courage, gratitude, and self care.
Linoto specializes in Italian and Belgian linen sheets made right here in the United States (they also offer other products like sleepwear, towels, table linens, and masks). Their artisan-quality products let the beauty of linen speak for itself. Founder Jason Egeve is seriously passionate about linen, too. He created the brand in 2007 with an emphasis on meticulous workmanship. Each item is marked with cloth, cut with tailor shears, measured and sewn to the same exacting standards as a designer dress. Plus, the company is committed to eco-friendly processes, like using natural laundry soap to wash all linens and shipping items in plastic-free, recycled packaging.
Lolly Lolly Ceramics
Lalese Stamps is the creative force behind fun and funky ceramics brand Lolly Lolly Ceramics, a nod to her nickname in high school. Her stoneware mugs are objets d’art that often feature whimsical handles (we’re partial to this one). The coveted tableware is often sold out due to the handmade, artisan nature of her products and creative process, but follow along on Instagram to stay up to date on restock alerts.
Romanek Design Studio
Live in Los Angeles? You’re lucky enough to be in the orbit of designer Brigette Romanek, whose namesake firm offers residential design with the most stunning results — and always with a hint of whimsy. If you’re not in Los Angeles (or can’t afford the firm’s decidedly upscale services) don’t worry: the design studio’s moodboard is an inspiring way to channel your own creativity.
We’ll never stop touting the power of paint. And Clare — a direct-to-consumer paint brand — puts the power in your own hands with a highly curated, chic collection of paint shades designed to complement a range of styles and spaces (Shelby says she’s got Clare’s “No Filter” shade on her kitchen cabinets). Clare founder and interior designer Nicole Gibbons started the company when she wanted a more convenient way to shop for paint, all while taking the guesswork out of selecting colors. Mission accomplished.
Sometimes, home design is less about a product and more about making things happen. That’s where Sweeten comes in, a service connecting homeowners with general contractors. Their curated list of contractors puts the experts in your hands (and there’s no fee, either). Founded by architect Jean Brownhill, Sweeten has created a platform and process that allows for smoother, more transparent renovations. So go ahead, renovate with complete confidence.