Our Top 5 Black Owned Businesses in the UK
This Black History Month we wanted to focus our attention on black owned businesses in the UK, particularly ones that we believe possess a strong marketing strategy. We will highlight brands that have a strong USP, provide a quality service and use forward-thinking marketing tactics.
The month of October is not only for learning about key black historical figures, but also celebrating black culture and achievements made by black people in this current day who are making positive contributions to society.
Top 5 Black Owned Businesses (with impressive marketing strategy):
Owned by best friends Michael and Toks, SOUL CAP is a specialist swimming brand that makes swimming caps for voluminous hair. “Swimming was never really seen as a black person’s sport” in their childhood-(SC). So, they learnt to swim together in their adult years.
One day they noticed a woman with afro hair struggling to put on her swimming cap. This triggered the pair of friends to find a solution to this inconvenience, which lead to the launch of their brand.
Their marketing strategy focusses around promoting inclusivity in the swimming world. They have formed a partnership with Team GB’s marathon swimmer- Alice Dearing (the first black female swimmer to represent Team GB at the Olympics) and have launched a social media campaign with Alice using the hashtag #BlackGirlsDontSwim. The aim is to raise awareness in the fight against ethnic and gender stereotypes in the world of swimming. Alongside this, video stories capture the shared experiences of swimmers online.
Find SOUL CAP’s website here.
London-based therapist of Ghanaian descent, Natalie Manima was exposed to bright African colours and prints as a child. This inspired her to start creating her own homeware accessories. Natalie started out sewing as a hobby after work then started selling her products on Etsy in 2013 before going full-time with her brand.
Achievement: Natalie’s work was stocked in the British Library for a West Africa exhibition. Bespoke Binny was a hit and Natalie’s products had to be restocked multiple times. Natalie saw further success when the Black Lives Matter Movement started. Bespoke Binny had been on Jamii for years (a directory of Black-owned businesses), during the BLM Movement her brand was discovered on this site by many. People started to promote her brand on
social media posts, resulting in Natalie gaining an extra 12,000 Instagram followers and the equivalent of six months’ worth of sales received in just two weeks.
Find Bespoke Binny’s website here.
Human Rights Lawyer turned Beauty Brand owner, Roshanne Dorsett gave up her emotionally draining and demanding job to start-up her dream business. After encountering countless allergic reactions to some of the well-known branded skincare, Roshanne was motivated to create her own natural skincare products.
Achievement: The Clean Greens product won the Women’s Health beauty award for best facial oil of 2020 and Sweet Orange got shortlisted for best lip product by Sunday Times Style beauty awards. The Glowcery has been recognised by the likes of Vogue, This Morning, Elle and Women’s Health to name a few.
Find The Glowcery’s website here.
Tihara Smith made her breakthrough with her craft with her graduate “Windrush collection” which was selected for display at Graduate Fashion Week. The collection was made in reference to her grandfather who is part of the Windrush generation.
Tihara has gone on to launch her own online shop called “Tihara Smith”. Her fashion, accessories, and lifestyle brand are inspired by her heritage- the Caribbean with a London twist. Tihara hand crafts each piece using interesting textiles, bright colours, tropical flora and fauna.
Achievement: Tihara Smith’s brand was made winner of the Seven Dial’s retail incubator initiative, Start Up. This saw her brand’s vibrant stock take over 37 Neal Street in London.
Find Tihara Smith’s website here.
Matugga Rum is founded by business owners Paul and Jacine Rutasikwa. They spotted a gap in the market for craft rum inspired by African influences. They relocated from London to Scotland to study distilling at Heriot- Watt, then scored an industrial unit in Livingston to create their own product. The business partners like to refer to their brand as “Scottish craft, African soil”.
Achievement: Matugga has received many industry awards since developing their first batch in November 2018. Most recently they won the Scottish EDGE Awards, the pair also won at the WES (Women’s Enterprise Scotland) awards in the start-up category.
Find Matugga Rum’s website here.
The team here at GottaBe! hope you have been enjoying discovering some of the black-owned businesses we have shared with you on our socials as well as in this blog! Embracing and supporting work from those of different cultures is important and can also be a warming experience.