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black owned vs black targeted

why it matters

i know this may be a touchy subject, but as we enter our sixth month on this journey in building our capsule wardrobes together, we must discuss…

in the last few years, with the burgeoning of new black business

many led by black women

many of us girls, guys, and non-binary folk have started to examine where our precious dollars are spent

never will i make judgments on where any of you spend the dollars you acquire

what i will do is educate and inform

for those who would like to spend their dollars with primarily black businesses

we must do our research


because far too many companies are claiming to be black owned

when in fact

they are black targeted

i am not going to give you a list and “expose” these bad actors

it’s just not my ministry

however, i do want you to keep an eye out for perpetrators

simply stated

it all comes down to capital

and who the majority of the profits go to

when i became a business owner myself in 2021, my view on what black ownership shifted

i always assumed black owned meant small business where all of your goods are made and distributed by the owners

however, there are several types

some, the traditional type, where goods are homemade or local factory made and distributed directly

others, owned by one party, but made and distributed by another party

and lastly, the growing reseller market who purchase product wholesale, and distribute in a boutique

foolishly, i thought too narrowly

quite disrespectful, in fact, to business owners who operate in the two non-traditional models

if the majority of the profits are acquired by a black business owner


in fact

it is black-owned and should be supported as such

one of the most important aspects of this

that i have discovered

is that black-owned does not necessarily mean your product must service only

or even primarily

the global majority, non mainstream customers

you don't even need to target those customers in marketing or advertising

your profit, however, should

whether personally, within your community, or institutionally

serve the black community

that being said

what is the difference between black-owned and black-targeted?

well a black targeted business is any business without black ownership

or any business where the profits, whether personally, within community, or institutionally

DO NOT serve the global majority, the non-white community

many larger businesses are jumping on the wave of “black owned” or “black founded” bandwagon

some are “collaborating” with black owned businesses to attract customers

others are purchasing and reselling products made by black owned businesses

so when you look at where your dollars are spent

if you want to support black business

we must find out firstly where profits are actually going prior to purchase

if you can, buy directly and not thru a third party

that is really important

if you can

avoid mass distributors

order directly from the company

as you know, mass distributors, purchase at a discount from companies so they can make a profit

while charging you the same


they charge the customer a premium (a higher price)

so the original business receives the full retail price for the product

all in all

not a win win for the business or the customer


there are the truly dubious businesses

black targeted businesses, but who will NOT confess that they are not black owned unless asked

and often

they will claim they are

until they are called out or exposed

unfortunately, you have to research on your own and dig a bit to uncover the truth

let’s take coach for example

i’m a huge fan of this leatherware brand and always have been

when coach mens came under some controversy

perhaps not enough

for their collection commemorating jean-michel basquiat

they straddled a very fine line

fortunately, they paid for very very positive press which helped them tremendously

coach is urban targeted, perhaps not black targeted but…

the marketing, the celebrities chosen in marketing, definitely targets black and brown communities

basquiat’s art is directly in contrast to a brand like coach

being a primarily white owned and operated brand

and a luxury corporation at that

although the pieces are quite beautiful

are they truly commemorating this afro-caribbean artist?

or are they riding the wave of “black-owned” brands by making black targeted product?

far too many questions

or guess

who sadly thought that telfar was such a little known brand

that they could knockoff their signature design

creating this black targeted style

directly targeting customers that wanted a telfar bag

but unable to obtain one

sadly, it failed


customers would rather not have a telfar bag at all than to purchase a telfar knock-off from guess

these are black targeted brands that are feeling a bit of the heat from a more educated consumer

which you now are

further, you should be aware of grey areas

and there are a few

if the brand is partially black-owned/operated

is this better than black targeted?

in my opinion they are

you may disagree

so it is really up to you to show discernment and purchase according to your comfort level

if profit is going into the hands of a black owner or operator

even if partial

then it does benefit us

even partially

more than a full non-black business that benefit our communities far less

so that's something

it does mean something

fenty is one of those grey area brands

yes, savage x fenty and fenty beauty

brands that i love and adore

i am a such a huge fan of these brands

even abandoning many mainstream intimate and beauty brands for fenty, as many of you have

but is fenty black owned or black targeted?

fenty is black targeted and partially black owned

how so?

like you, i believed that fenty was owned by rihanna, as the brand bares her name



all fenty brands are owned by lvmh – louis vuitton moet hennesy

rihanna does own many of the patents and trademarks of fenty beauty and savage x fenty

therefore she does receive a hefty amount of your coins when you purchase your goods

although, the majority are going to… lvmh

does this mean we abandon fenty for victoria’s secret and morphe?

for me, the answer would be… absolutely not

rihanna is receiving a portion of those coins and her intellectual property is embedded in the brand

is that enough for you?

perhaps or perhaps not

i’m far to invested


i can’t give them up now

that's a choice for you to make

another grey area

as you may recall, a few years back, two black owned hair care brands came under fire

when it was announced that they were both selling to mainstream companies

they were going from black-owned to non-black owned for a hefty profit

carol’s daughter’s owner lisa price sold her company to l’oreal

she remains a lead executive at the company she founded, but is not the owner

this, however, has always been the goal of this brand

it is the goal of many brands

lisa didn’t want to run carol's daughter all of her life

she wanted to move onto supporting others to build their brands

that was her plan

that was her goal

shea moisture is another

shea moisture was acquired by unilever, a mega-brand

it was a huge deal

let me tell you

this company was a darling of many naturalistas

and they, meaning i, was UPSET

that was until i found out where the riches from the sale were being invested

the newly founded “new voices fund” for entrepreneurs invested into brands like

honey pot co (black-owned plant based feminine hygiene products), a fantastic brand i use personally

mcbride sisters collection (black-owned wine), so delish

naturall club (black-owned haircare), another brand i use personally

and the biggest investment, Essence Magazine, now 100% black owned

most importantly ESSENCE FESTIVAL

was it worth it?

that’s debatable

but from that sale, created and supported multiple black-owned businesses

and created generational wealth from the previous owners of shea moisture

we don’t always agree with business moves

i certainly don’t

however disclosure is extremely important

both of these companies never hid these sales to l’oreal and unilever

and that matters

other companies are very black and white

companies heavily coveted by fashionistas like fashionnova and shein are not black owned

not hiding it one bit

they are almost exclusively black targeted

so what do we do?

find black-owned boutiques maybe?

there are many alternatives

some are resellers, some are manufacturers

all black owned and so so cute

here are a few

lilly’s kloset -

sorella boutique -

nichole lynel -

girl next door -