Almost half of small Black-owned businesses in the United States have shut down because of COVID-19, a report from the New York Fed found. Forbes reported that from February to April, 41% of Black-owned small businesses have closed, compared to 17% of white-owned small businesses.
The Daily Texan has compiled a list of seven Black student-owned businesses that offer services such as hair styling and photography, and sell a range of products from lip gloss to T-shirts.
Advertising junior Amaya Lacy makes highlight reels for lower profile athletes looking to get recruited by professional teams. She started making mock highlight reels of NBA players in 2017 and turned her hobby into a business with ATeamTapes in June 2019.
“I try to give (the athletes) a good product so that they're able to not only promote my business but promote themselves,” Lacy said.
Akins Baptiste Photography
Economics junior Akins Baptiste started taking pictures of his friends in his junior year of high school, and now takes senior pictures and creative portraits.
“As I started taking pictures of my friends and (saw) their reactions — how happy they would be when their pictures came out well — I was like, ‘I want to do this,’” Baptiste said.
For Emmanuel Williams, a textiles and apparel senior, it was basketball shoes that inspired him to enter the fashion industry. Now he runs ANOMALY APPAREL, a business that specializes in clothing alterations, and will soon offer T-shirts and other products.
“I've come to find out my mom, who passed away, had a passion for fashion as well,” Williams said. “She's really my main driver.”
Check out ANOMALY on Twitter: @ANOMALYAPPAREL_.
Public relations junior Tah’Jenae Merchant is starting a soul food catering and meal prep business called Auntie’s Elbows this fall. She also plans to gather donations to help feed people experiencing homelessness.
“(Auntie’s Elbows is) a place of comfort away from your home where you don't have the people who normally comfort you,” Merchant said.
Customers can soon order food through her Twitter: @QveenShavon.
Psychology sophomore Favour Unegbu has been doing hair since seventh grade and now does protective hairstyles such as braids and cornrows out of her West Campus apartment. She started her business, Favourd Hair, the fall semester of her freshman year.
“I love seeing the reaction that it brings out of people,” Unegbu said. “They start feeling themselves, and I love that feeling, so I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I should do that for other people.’”
Clients can reach out to her on Twitter: @Flavourishx.
Sociology sophomore Shelby Davis runs the online accessory store MJLUXE Boutique. The boutique was launched in July and sells necklaces, handbags and lip gloss from mjluxe.myshopify.com.
“When I would buy (accessories and beauty products), they were always expensive and … by white-owned businesses, and I was thinking, ‘When are we going to have Black-owned businesses that sell the same things that are affordable?’” Davis said. “So I decided I should be the one to do that.”
Supply chain management junior Joyce Kabwe sells hand-embroidered shirts through her business @shopmunia on Instagram. Kabwe said she wants to highlight the beauty of African culture with Munia.
“The goal is to create ready-to-wear clothing and work with artisans in the Congo — where my family's from — (to) help boost their economy through an ethical, sustainable supply chain,” Kabwe said.