February 5th, 2021
February is Black History and there are so many ways to celebrate! Educate yourself on Black history, amplify Black voices, and recognize your privilege. You can do this in many ways, for example, by supporting black-owned small businesses. Not only has the pandemic been difficult for these businesses, but with the reckoning in 2020, it is becoming more clear that people of color deserve support. Below are a number of locations where you can support local, black-owned businesses in Baltimore, not too far from your home here at Spinnaker Bay.
Pandora’s Box Boutique
Pandora’s Box Boutique was opened sixteen years ago to provide a unique selection of the latest trends, jewelry, gifts, home decor, and personal accessories. The founder and owner of the boutique, Monesha Phillips, creates and selects items that have a strong message and represents everyone. Their brands support local designers, jewellery makers and artisans, and promote social change, individuality, support for women and overall happiness. Check out Pandora’s Box Boutique in Federal Hill. Support local artists and independent designers while purchasing items at affordable price points.
Doll House Boutique
The Doll House Boutique (DHB) consists of up and coming designers in Baltimore, DC, NY, and LA, since 2003. They’ve been committed to providing fashion that ranges from couture to simple and stylish staples and providing local designers with a platform to showcase their collections. DHB is owned by Natalie Karyl, an American fashion designer and celebrity stylist. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Baltimore Sun, VIBE Magazine and on celebrities such as Teyana Taylor and Ariel Winters. DHB believes “every woman is a doll and deserves to be treated as such” which is why you should check out their accessories, hats, outerwear, tops, bottoms, dresses, and jumpsuits. Located in the heart of Mount Vernon, make your purchase at this award winning boutique today!
Knits, Soy, and Metal Candle Company
Meet Letta, the founder and owner of Knits, Soy, and Metal Candle Company (KSM Company), who began this company with an obsession with Walking Dead. She set out to start developing a set of skills that would be helpful in a post-apocalyptic world like in the Walking Dead. Letta’s vision was to create a company where people could get together and share their passion for creating and this translated into a soy candle business. KSM sells soy candles, fragrances, skin care products, home goods, apparel, textile, books, jewellery, alongside virtual candle making workshops. Find a shared obsession with the Walking Dead, or simply with candles and candle making, through KSM.
Drama MaMa Bookshop
Alisa Brock, founder of Drama MaMa Bookshop, recalls her love for writing, journaling, and reading work by Black women. Brock used it to unbottle her trauma and help her manifest her dreams. After going through a personal tragedy, she turned her grief into a business, Drama MaMa Bookshop. Drama MaMa Bookshop believes in the written word, whether its purpose is to pass down information or keep yourself organized. They provide journals, notepads, a Journal club, and virtual workshops. Choose Drama MaMa Bookshop to explore the pages of the past or create the pages of tomorrow with any of their products!
Midnite Confection Cupcakes
Midnite Confection Cupcakes was created by Sandra and Aaron who were inspired by their personal lives to create this small business. Sandra’s parents were both wonderful cooks which rooted her passion for the culinary arts. Aaron grew up around lots of desserts as a kid, which brought about his passion for baking. Both of them worked together with their marketing and culinary arts experience to deliver and cater cupcakes and cookies. Midnite Confections has everything you need for your midnight sweet tooth cravings!
Crust by Mack
Amanda Mack started Crust by Mack as a pop-up bakery 3 years ago. Her profits helped raise over $6,000 for local organizations and charities. Now located in Whitehall Mill in Hampden, this family-run business has raised funds for over a half dozen minority owned brands in Baltimore and beyond. Crust by Mack started a long-term partnership with the Black Yield Institute to help raise funds for Cherry Hill’s first Black-owned, community-led grocery store. The bakery sells pastries like cookies, biscuits, cakes brownies and of course, their signature crusts. Donate to the local community by buying baked items from Crust by Mack!
Berries by Quicha
Berries by Quicha is a local gourmet bakery that specializes in selling customized chocolate strawberries. The owner promises to have their food ready for any occasion. Berries by Quicha have been made for President Obama, Michael Bloomberg, Beyoncé, Pandora, Under Armour, Amazon, Johns Hopkins Hospital/University and Nordstrom. Be in the midst of these famous individuals by purchasing customized chocolate strawberries.
Eddie and Sylvia Brown represent the Magdalena Restaurant in Downtown, Baltimore. The Brown’s discuss growing up in the segregated South and about their extensive philanthropy. Magadalena features classic dishes of France and England with the spirit of Baltimore. They also have an award-winning wine list and revered whiskey collection. Enjoy a sophisticated meal at the Magdalena!
Serenity Wine Cafe
Nneka Bilal, who worked at Pizza Hut for 23 years, used her knowledge of the service industry to create new concepts. This concept intersects between thin-crust pizza and pizza cooked on a stone-bottom oven. In addition to pizza, Serenity Wine Cafe serves sandwiches, appetizers, salads, and self-serve wine. Their self-serve wine system is new and will offer 1, 3, or 6 ounce pours of wine from 16 different bottles. Catch some sangria, wine, or beer with some food at Serenity Wine Cafe!
Jinji Chocolate has all of your chocolate needs. Jinji Fraser and her father Guy founded this small business in 2012. Their ingredients are always obtained naturally and the chocolate itself is handcrafted, and free from dairy, gluten and all refined sugars. Jinji Chocolate is located on Belvedere Square Market and includes pralines, barks, fudges, truffles and many more novelty creations and is also available in local grocers and restaurants. Try their dark, milk, and white chocolates today!
Off the Rox Wine
Jeryl Cole and Tyrekia Jackson are experienced in management and customer service and have used it in their small business. Off the Rox is a wine and beer boutique located in the Highlandtown neighborhood. They offer local artisanal snacks such as cheeses, French baguettes, crackers, meats, and chocolates. Go by Off the Rox on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons to enjoy a wine or beer tasting or go any other day of your choice!
CAnE Collective is a Black-owned company based out of Baltimore. Clinton Jackson Alexander, Aaron Joseph and Ezra Allen came together to put the C, A and E in CAnE Collective. They felt that something had been missing from the spirits industry—in particular, from their favorite spirit, rum. Combining their decades of experience in the bar and hospitality industries, they created mixers for craft cocktails. CAnE Collective was created out of our collective appreciation for rum. They have now developed into a consulting agency focused on helping spirit companies develop spirit marketing opportunities in the Washington Metropolitan area. Support this small business in any way you can!
Spread some love, not only on Valentine’s Day, but all month. Don’t just celebrate this February––continue to celebrate Black Lives and support black-owned small businesses as we continue our fight towards a more equitable future!