• Faith Costa

8 Black Women Owned Businesses & Babes You Should Support

For my first "official" blog post back in action I wanted to do a non-sponsored list of black women owned businesses that you should support. As a white privileged woman I vowed to use my platform to amplify and support black businesses, artists and voices. In this first list I've created, I personally know(love), have purchased from, and/or have worked with each and will be providing my own honest testimonials for some that I use regularly. This list of shops, blogs and services are truly great. Even if money is tight right now, please check out their social medias or share this list with a friend. I'm positive almost everyone can find something they're looking for.

3 Businesses I Use Regularly


Dressing Room 8: Owned by Natasha Nurse

Dressing Room 8 is an online platform where women can learn how to dress with confidence, think with clarity, and live with purpose through blog content and coaching services.

"Every Woman is Capable of Feeling Beautiful, Intelligent and Fulfilled"

Fashion Blog

The blog posts do not focus solely on the superficial aspects of fashion but with an eye towards how to use clothes to feel good. I also publish my interviews with CEOs, business owners, and designers in the plus size fashion industry so you can get a glimpse into the inspiration for these businesses and the amazing people behind them.

Coaching

I’ve been a coach all my life and love listening to people’s stories. However, I never considered it as a career until my friends and their friends started telling me that they’d pay for my time and advice. I have a genuine belief that we are all capable of great things and can feel fulfilled in our lives; sometimes, it just takes a little bit of guidance to recognize it.

You can learn more about my coaching philosophy on this page. Please also check out testimonials from my past and current clients here.

~ Natasha"


My testimony: I have personally worked with Natasha and used Dressing Room 8 as a coaching service consistently for nearly 4 years. I would not be where I am today without the guidance, help, resources, information and support Dressing Room 8 offers. My career, my art, my mental well being has benefited greatly from investing in Dressing Room 8. I highly suggest if you need any type guidance in your career, passions, self care, accountability in any realm, or even book recommendations, you should head to their website for more information. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss any of her inspirational and information filled posts!

Ador T Photography: Owned by Ador Tolbert

AdorTPhotography is a plus size model turned photographer based out of the South Jersey Area. She loves creating beautiful images and would love to share her knowledge with other models in the tristate area.

While focusing on natural light plus size fashion photography, Adors' work knows no bounds. Constantly learning and growing, AdorTPhotography is quickly becoming every model and bloggers dream partner. Several packages are available for extremely reasonable prices for very high quality work. Dozens of clients already swear by her work and show it by re-booking regularly.


My testimony: AdorTPhotography has become one of my "In House" photographers since the beginning of 2020. We have shot together over 10 times and each time I am more and more impressed with the results. Ador is always professional, polite, on time, and makes sure the model is comfortable. I have seen her work first hand with people who where not models and were nervous for their first shoot and they told me how comfortable, beautiful and great she makes them feel. I think that is so important to know when booking a photographer. Especially in the fashion industry, supporting women photographers is desperately important. Once you work with her you will want to continue. Her turnaround time on edits is fast and her photos will never disappoint you. If you are in the NJ/tristate area and are a blogger, or are looking to build your portfolio, test shoot, have family photos taken, need photos for your brand or promo, need to capture a celebration, AdorTPhotography is for you!

Global Mindset and Shop GML: Owned by "Toney"

Global Mindset is a Philadelphia based editorial and ready to wear fashion designer whose work is inspired by desires of international travel. Shop GML is the accessory shop making editorial statement pieces accessible and affordable for everyone. Recently due to the current worlds circumstances ShopGML Mask was created, which currently make 100% filtered cotton mask over 100 patterns including sports college and pro kid characters African prints and more. Patrons can even experience a private virtual shopping trip.

“The world is bigger than where you are.” Antoinette “Toney” chimes often when asked about her big bold fabric rosette accessories often adorned with a passport. The Philadelphia native, is inspired by desires of international travel and bold street-style from Lagos to Paris to Carnival. With the infusion of a destination’s landmark, pop or traditional cultures, textiles and embellishments all handcrafted by Toney. Each piece has a personal story or memory.

“My favorite pieces are those made with Ankara fabric. They bring to life my love for my ancestry and set a vivid base for creating what feels one step closer to tangible travel.”

Whether presenting Global Mindset accessories to the world stage or a short trip the market, they often encourage dialogue with on lookers and her Instagram following. By wearing the accessories then superimposing her images with coinciding landmark scenes from that destination in turn inspires others who have joined in on her “Visual Vacations”. Toney having traveled to several countries as a teen brought home more than souvenirs but a 20 year yearning to take flight once more."


My Testimony: Global Mindset has shown again and again how innovative, inspiring and beautiful fashion can be. Global Mindset holds the standard so high for other indie designers to meet. All of her pieces are handmade with love, care and attention. The details never seize to amaze me. I own several GML pieces and I cherish each piece. I have bags, earrings, necklaces... I have a face mask for me and everyone in my family. My wardrobe is never dull with these statement pieces. Toney herself is genuine, kind, hardworking and deserves far more credit than she gets. If you need a little color, personality or inspiration in your daily life, shop at Global Mindset.

3 Philadelphia Plus Size Fashion Businesses


Tru Diva: Owned by Veronica L.

TRU DIVA is Curvy, Conscious Clothing for the Fashion Forward Woman. TRU DIVA DESIGNS by VERONICA L. is a plus- sized womenswear collection inspired by the beauty of "Real Curves". With a myriad of fashion for the plus sized woman, TRU DIVA is the-epitome of on trend sophistication, style, and confidence.

Accentuating a woman’s contours, and creating flattering lines is only part of the designer’s recipe, her decidedly contemporary designs are characterized by an exquisite attention to detail, impeccable construction and use of rich luxurious fabrics.“My main inspiration was, going to department stores and boutiques, finding ill fitting, lack luster garments.  They weren’t sexy and, the fabrics didn’t flatter the curvy form. When women wear TruDiva, I want them to feel confident, and sophisticated.”


Empowered with an innate talent of fashion design, Veronica Lipscomb is making her dream a reality. With encouragement from friends, she began to design her own clothes and became a stylist catering to a plus-size clientele.


Many women would approach her about where she purchased her clothing. Once it was discovered she was the designer, they would request the same outfit for themselves. Through TRU DIVA, Veronica offers an alternative style to a limited market of fashion conscious clothing for plus size women.


Curve Conscious: Owned by Adrienne Ray

At Curve Conscious we offer trendy and stylish apparel, shoes and accessories for women sizes 12 to 28.  Because every item in our store is hand selected, we're able to offer the best brands and styles in contemporary plus-size fashion at a fraction of the retail price! Stop by our Philadelphia store where you can: 1. Buy gently used or never worn items in your style and size at reasonable prices. 2. Sell us your items that are in great condition, in season and on trend with current styles. We'll even give you cash on the spot! 3. Swap items you want to sell with new items you find in the store when you use our store credit option.

Curve Conscious owner Adrienne Ray knows what it takes to be different and stand out in a crowd. So, after being frustrated  for years with local consignment, resale and thrift shops for their lack of plus-size clothing options, Adrienne decided it was time to give what curvy women all across Philadelphia have been waiting for - a place to buy contemporary and trendy plus-size apparel at a fraction of retail price.


From there she set out to create a store where women, sizes 12-28, could buy, sell and swap apparel, shoes and accessories. It's such a hit for everyone else, so why not for plus-size resale? Today, that store is   located in the Brewerytown neighborhood of Philadelphia on historic Girard Avenue. Come see us soon!  


​Curve Conscious' mission: to provide an exclusive space where plus-size women can feel safe and comfortable, while they shop and sell gently used items in great condition. Because  every body is beautiful and everybody deserves stylish and affordable clothes. ​​


Isha Brand LLC: Owned by Sue Isham

Isha Brand is an apparel brand focused on creative, fun and inspiring designs made for all of the bold and sassy kings and queens out there. Tees currently available in sizes S-3XL, you'll rock these threads in any style!

While currently revamping, you'll want to stay tuned for their newest designs dropping soon! The Isha Brand store is open for business and has some great designs in stock! Tees, tanks, hats and mugs! You'll want it all!

Blogs To Follow


A Sassy Classy Sophisticated Women: by Nina Monique


A Sassy Classy Sophisticated Woman is a platform dedicated to celebrating women by acknowledging those who are business owners, women who own a business while managing being a mother, women in fashion and media, women who are out in the world striving to help others and making the changes they want to see in the world, women climbing the corporate ladder, women who are mentors, women who survived abusive relationships, women who were victims of sex trafficking, women who are activist, women in politics, women in the prison system, women advocating for mental health and etc. The goal for A Sassy Classy Sophisticated Woman is to become a positive, informative, support blog/haven where women can read encouraging stories that will provide them with inspiration, encouragement and strength to overcome life’s daily challenges, obstacles and setbacks while reading about fashion trends as well. It’s important you always remain positive and know at all times you deserve the best out of life. Never settle or give up on your dreams or yourself. Always remember part of life’s journey is to Grow. Live. Laugh. Love. Uplift. Inspire.


It’s important you always remain positive and know at all times you deserve the best out of life. Never settle or give up on your dreams or yourself. Always remember part of life’s journey is to Grow. Live. Laugh. Love. Uplift. Inspire.”

XOXO, Nina Monique


Big City, Curvy GIrl, Thin Wallet: by Marlena Matute


"I'm a plus size Afro-Latina of Panamanian descent trying to make a living in my beloved New York City.

I’ve been following many plus size fashion bloggers since 2010 and I noticed that there was one voice missing in the plus size fashion blogger-sphere, one that dealt with the need for quality affordable fashion–mine.

Affordability and accessibility are important to me as I continuously work on getting my family out of poverty. In my short life I have been homeless twice (from age 6 to 16 and then for six months just two days after I received my Masters Degree in 2014), and I know how difficult it is to dress a plus size body when most pieces are out of reach due to limited sizes and high prices. It’s hard enough to make ends meet without having every purchase being a financial investment however, I have managed to create my own style even with a very small (and strict) budget and want to share what I’ve learned with anyone shares this struggle.

So I welcome you to my blog! Big City, Curvy Girl, Thin Wallet serves as an outlet to discuss body positivity, showcase affordable fashion, and my continuing my body positive journey in hopes that it may inspire others to step out and do the same. "

Are you ready to start shopping?! I hope you've found a new brand or business that you can't wait to support, within this list!


I would love to continue featuring lists such as these. If you or someone you know owns a business or service that you think should be featured, please email me at contact@faithcosta.com.


xx

Faith