As our holiday season and the year of 2020 comes close to an end (THANK GOD. Let's go 2021!) a lot of focus has been put on locally owned businesses that need our support and this is no different! While you're out finishing your holiday shopping, here's are some local, black-owned businesses to check out!

Thanks to Discover Kalamazoo, I discovered (no pun intended) a list of black-owned businesses right here in Kalamazoo. Upon further research I found an entire Facebook group, Black Wall Street Kalamazoo, that highlights businesses owned by people of color. I would love to include every single one, because I know there are some I missed, but here are a few of the businesses that caught my eye.

1. Eunique Kisses 

This story caught my eye this morning and began my search of black-owned businesses in the area. Eunique Kisses was started by Tasia Richardson, a criminal justice major at WMU. Her business was inspired by the fact that she couldn't find a lip gloss that would stay on all day and keep her lips moisturized. Thus, Eunique Kisses, named after her middle name, was born. You can read more about her journey here.

2. Aunt Nay's Cookies and Treats  

Clearly, hot chocolate bombs aren't really a thing in Florida where the temperature is around 85 or 90 all year long because I had never heard of them before I came to Michigan. And I feel cheated! In a recent Facebook post from Aunt Nay's, otherwise known as Toya Williams, she said,

What makes Aunt Nay's HCB stand out? #1 MADE WITH ❤️...#2 Aunt Nay's HCB are "top shelf" GOURMET, infused with different unique flavors. #3 They're HUGE with something special inside each one! We take pride in both BEAUTIFUL and TASTY TREATS! Warming your Soul one cup at a time.
Well that just sounds delightful.

Cookie's Five Star Grill is owned by Christine McKinney who said, in a past interview with Mlive.com, that she believed her love for cooking was hereditary, passed down from her Mother and Grandmother. Cookie's is named after Christine's mother who had the nickname of Cookie. Their menu includes burger, loaded fries, wings and so much more.

Kalamagonia is a clothing brand company that was started in late 2018 by Michael Beyene who always had a love for graphic tees. At least that's according to his website. I've spotted his designs in a few different shops downtown but you can also browse his selection online on his website or Facebook page.

5. Enhanced by Nae   

Enhanced by Nae is all about beauty, cosmetic and personal care. Judging by the Facebook page, I'm going to go ahead and say that the main focus is on luscious lashes. You can find more information on the Facebook page or the website which is linked above.

 

 

Highlighted by Discover Kalamazoo, The Perfect Pucker was started by Valencia Scott who, like so many of us, suffered from dry skin on her lips. She created her own exfoliant which worked well so she went even further - talking with experts, adding essential oils until she perfected her brand. The Perfect Pucker has now expanded to products for men and women including lotions, lip balms, beard oil and more.

 Luxe Boudoir sits in downtown Kalamazoo offering medium to high end lingerie. It's owned by mother/daughter duo Yolanda Harris and Pam Coffey. Their mission? To assist every woman in awakening her inner goddess. And I love that.

 

8. Mamaleelu Cold Brew

 

 

 

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Last, but certainly not least, is Mamaleelu's Cold Brew Coffee. Mamaleelu's was started by Maliesha Pullano when she found herself without a job and with three children to support. Not many people I know would have the courage to start a new venture while in that position but Maliesha did. And she did it well. Since 2014, when the company began, she's won awards, been featured in a number of publications and continues to expand her product line.
The last two owners were also featured in another article I did about women-owned businesses in Kalamazoo. Check that out below.
As you finish off your Holiday shopping (or start like me...whoops) remember to try to shop local. They need our support more than ever.
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