“Can you recommend Black Businesses in Oakland to support?” was the request someone had on the Next Door app in the Montclair area. However it was the responses that they received that motivated us to create a Black Unicorn list.
The responses they received were the names of just handful of businesses and with the exception of one insurance broker, they were either in the food, beauty or fashion industry. Those three industries do have a higher concentration of African Americans, so they become the default when looking for a Black business to support.
There are African Americans in all types of business endeavors. But in many cases they are the ONLY Black person in their entire Bay Area in their industry, so that is why we call them Unicorns. We profiled Black Unicorns who are the ONLY Black person in their industry in the US earlier here.
Check out these six diverse businesses.
The interior design field is an industry that thrives on utilizing colors of every kind. Yet the vast majority of the players in the industry are lily white. The tiny fraction of Black interior design firms are located on the east coast and a few in Los Angeles.
This is why Kelly Finley the owner of Joy Street Design an interior design firm in Oakland is a Unicorn.
Kelly and her design team provide full service residential interior design from conception to installation. She also founded a nonprofit that provides interior design to shelters and homes of first responders.
As a member of the Black Artist Design Guild, Kelly, alongside with other black professionals, is working to change systemic racism in the interior design industry.
Esscents of Flowers offers local shop & delivery services, wedding floral design services and event floral design services. Owner Ariana Marbly’s carefully crafted deliveries and handwritten notes spread love and empowerment to every recipient. Ariana’s East Oakland roots inspire her to create beauty and community through her business.
One of recent promotional events was the yellow rose campaign, Ariana hand delivered over 700 yellow roses to her Oakland community to help promote healing and empowerment within the Black community.
Owner Marcus Simpkins, owns the Solano County Black-owned bee farm Bruthas Honey. His honey supplies local restaurants and stores throughout the Bay Area. Bruthas honey items range from honey, soaps and candles. In addition to purchases through their website, they can be found in North Bay farmers markets.
It is truly a special site to see a brother who is a beekeeper and manufactures his own products. Bruthas Honey is truly a special local company.
4 All About the Dogue
Lena Swann, founder/owner, and her dog salon/spa has survived local market economics and the pandemic as the only dog groomer in Emeryville. And the ONLY Black owned dog spa in the Bay Area.
The salon/spa offers a variety of grooming services including facials, hair dyeing, and pawdi-cures.
Who says adults can’t have toys? Feelmore Adult Gallery is a sex shop specializing in products to make your time under the sheets fun and satisfying. Owner Nenna Joiner has built the company from the ground up in an industry that is stigmatized in the business world.
Feelmore’s tagline “It’s More Than Just Sex” implies that the company stands for empowerment and energy that goes way beyond the bedroom.
6 Willilams Appliaces- Williams-Appliances.com
Don’t let the “Sanford and Son” appearance of the building cause you to hesitate doing business with this company. It is a place where you can get killer deals on refurbished home appliances. So while the outside might not be fancy, the merchandise top of the line.
They sell all the top brands of washers, stoves and refrigerators. And they provide repair services for any appliance that you purchase from them. Their skilled technicians have a total of over 75 years of experience.
To discover other Black Unicorns in the Bay Area, click here.