March 2020

Dreaming Big. Winning Big.

Celebrating African American-owned businesses and the stories behind their inspired products.
Black History Month is a perfect time to reflect on what it means to dream big and work hard to achieve success. This month’s newsletter focuses on businesses owned by African Americans who inspire us with their personal stories and the pursuit of their passions.

By The Numbers

Black-owned businesses, by the numbers:

  • Currently there are about 2.6 million businesses owned by African Americans in the United States.
  • African American small business owners are happier and younger and more likely to be female-owned than average.
  • The number of businesses owned by black women grew at 3 times the rate (167%) of businesses owned by total women (58%) between 2007 and 2018.
  • 47% of African American small business owners run their business by themselves.
  • “Desire to pursue my own passion” and “Ready to be my own boss” are the top reasons why African Americans decided to start a business.
  • Supporting black-owned businesses helps strengthen local communities by recirculating spending power.

Product Highlights

Odin Leather Goods Kelly Card Wallet
This classic 3-pocket wallet design features a small card pocket on the front and back, which holds 2 cards each. One larger pocket in the middle will hold more cards and/or cash. Perfect size and shape for carrying in your front-pocket. Handmade in Texas.



The Story: Odin Leather Goods started in 2012 on the corner of Odin and Rachelle’s dining room table. What started as an experiment to create a simple laptop sleeve turned into several iterations that were well-received by friends and family. Soon others were asking Odin for custom wallets, belts, bags, and more. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sonson® Dapper Starter Kit
A classy gift set comprised of one black silk freestyle bow tie; one large black, pre-tied bow tie; one white pocket square with black border; a set of signature cufflinks; and a lapel pin of the month. Adding a classic look to any wardrobe for office, school, formal event–you name it.

The Story: Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, founder Rashima Sonson was forced to live in a shelter in Philadelphia where she started over, working hard to achieve her goal of creating a fashion brand. She used her talents to create matching father-and-son bow ties for her brother, eventually growing her brand nationally to include African wax print fabric, lamb leather, pearls and Swarovski® stones.

Black Lion Leather Bifold Wallet
This classic, handmade bifold wallet features 5 compartments with 4 slots for up to 8 credit cards, plus a long compartment for cash. Handmade in California, each wallet is crafted with full-grain, vegetable-tanned bridle leather.

The Story: Black Lion Leather was conceived to inspire Black travelers with products that honor their cultural heritage and connect them to their African origins–a unique vision in the market. With a philosophy of Carry your Culture™, Black Lion accessories are handcrafted with a sense of cultural pride and care.

Beard Roots Pocket Beard Comb
This double-sided beard comb is designed for various beard hair lengths and effectively detangles and trains beard hair with an anti-static quality to reduce stress on beard hair.
The slim, pocket-sized design carries easily, and helps evenly distribute beard balm and beard oil for a clean, healthy look. Handcrafted with 100% sandalwood.

The Story: Not satisfied with what was available on the market, the founders of Beard Roots looked to create premium, all-natural beard care products that delivered consistent results for a bigger, better, bolder beard. Beard Roots believes that good hygiene and appearance translate into a good mood and positive energy.

Hella Cocktail Five Flavor Bitters Set
Five unique small-batch flavors in one convenient set. Each formula is created with a particular spirit in mind–the flavors are delicious, versatile and crafted for both the professional bartender and adventurous hobbyist.
The Story: A classic case of “we thought we could do better.” Always the ones to shake things up with new cocktail recipes, three buddies started by making cocktail bitters in a Mason jar in their tiny Brooklyn apartment. Today, Hella Cocktail Co. stands for Bold Flavor, Real Ingredients and Hospitality. It’s a brand that believes less is more and that all Hella products have an opinion.

Data Sources

Sources: Guidant Financial; Entrepreneurship;; American Express State of Women Owned Business Report, 2018


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