7 Black Women Building Incredible Brands and Why We Admire Them

by Ariel C. Williams

With social media readily available at our fingertips, it’s easy to become inundated with blogs, personalities, and mediocre side hustlers seeking attention. While most of us use our social media accounts to connect with old friends and like their recent photos, these trailblazers have used theirs to build and diversify irresistible brands that we can’t get enough of. From running successful boutique services to creating viral content that we crave, we’re highlighting seven Black women brand builders to watch and learn from this year.

Arsha Jones

Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the past few months, surely you’ve heard of Tees in the Trap, a popular T-shirt line created with Black women in mind. Every catchphrase you can think of is decked out in a cool font on a tee, but the cool part about this company is how they handle controversy. We recently had a sit down with founder Arsha Jones on protecting your brand at all costs, especially when someone—in Jones’ case, it was Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes—blatantly tries to steal your ideas for capital gain. To learn how to turn your idea into a profitable brand as well as litigate affairs, read the full interview here.

Tatiana Ward

Tatiana Ward is a true testament of using what you have to get to where you want to be. While using her YouTube channel to connect with her audience and share personal stories, Ward religiously uploaded impressive makeup tutorials that eventually got her hired as singer Brandy’s makeup artist. Her story spread like wildfire and since then, she’s beautified celebrity clients, such as Sevyn Streeter and Nicki Minaj to name a few. Ward is on a mission to diversify her brand and offers #BeautyandtheBeat, a boutique makeup class. She also released a music single called “Slay to the Gawds” that’s available on iTunes.

Issa Rae

This hilariously brilliant and awkward girl used YouTube as a vehicle to share her popular web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, a show chronicling an honest portrayal of a young women of color facing the challenges of dating and working. Since the show’s debut, Issa Rae has been one of a few creatives to prove that YouTube is a legitimate vehicle for producing quality media content. She founded her own production company, Issa Rae Productions, which produces a number of other web series and projects. And she teamed up with business partner Deniese Davis, to create Color Creative TV, a production initiative that gives women, minority, and LGBTQ writers a chance at fame by producing their first pilot.

Luvvie Ajayi

A true veteran in the game, Luvvie Ajayi is probably your favorite blogger’s favorite blogger! Her blog Awesomely Luvvie is a pop culture obsessed humor blog, featuring everything from Scandal recaps to commentary on current events. While jokes run freely in her online community, the blogger knows the importance of owning intellectual property and gives brand building and technical tips on her newer blog Awesomely Techie. She’s also the founder of The Red Pump Project, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.

Demetria L. D’Oyley

One of the greatest lessons that Demetria has taught us is that, “Life is not a dress rehearsal”. Another lesson is to always be true to yourself, whether one person or millions are watching— as they did while she starred on Bravo TV’s Blood, Sweat & Heels. The Don’t Waste Your Pretty author does an impeccable job of keeping in touch with her audience through her blog, A Belle in Brooklyn, as well as her popular Ask Belle column, which gives her the chance to offer free dating advice. The recently married entrepreneur also totes a column on The Root in addition to her expertise as a certified life coach. In her interview with The Every Girl, Demetria gives details about her admirable career path. She’s managed to accomplish so much, all while being dressed to the nines.

Myleik Teele

This energetic boss lady founded curlBOX—an affordable, exclusive, and effortless way to explore new natural hair care products—and jumps at every opportunity to provide her customers with the best service possible. Myleik is one of our favorites because she’s built a strong personal and professional brand online. With her popular podcast and hashtag #MyleikTaughtMe, Myleik shares tips on how to build a profitable empire. Everything about her (and curlBOX) is intoxicating and shows any aspiring brand builder how to excel with class.

Angela Benton

Angela Benton is the founder and CEO of NewMe, a social experience that’s helped entrepreneurs raise nearly $17 million in venture capital funding. This powerhouse is a technology expert, public speaker, media personality, and entrepreneur, but what really makes her brand unique is her background. The Chicago native had her first child at 16. Despite the responsibilities of motherhood, she graduated high school three years early and before graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications in 2004. In 2007, Angela launched BlackWeb 2.0 and continues to passionately make strides redefining what successful entrepreneurs look like in the digital/technology arena. Learn more about Angela’s story on her new website.

Ariel C. Williams is a creative writer and author of The Girl Talk Chronicles: Advice on How to Manage Love, Lust & Situations. She’s on social media as @ArielSaysNow.

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