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  • Writer's pictureChardá Bell, IBCLC, CBE, CD

Black Owned Brands & Businesses for Baby, Child and Maternity Products! Part I



I've been on a mission to find more Black owned baby and maternity products this year.


Proudly Co. is serving us well, thanks Dwayne and Gabi. However, what about also supporting our smaller Black owned businesses like TinkyPoo, which is a Black owned diaper and wipe brand.





I also like to support Black children's book authors. I am very thorough when it comes to picking them too. It can't just have a picture of a little Black child on the front and then open it up to the back and the author is white. We not doing that using us as diversity clout thing for the kids y'all.


When you support a Black-owned business, you can help advance the Black community economically which helps us in the fight against financial inequities. It also helps continue to create new career pathways, entrepreneurship and opportunities for Black folks who are often times dismissed from the thought of being placed in a high level position within non Black owned companies. We can also help close the gap within Black and gendered wage disparities at a higher level and even the playing field for representation within the marketing world. I don't know about you but I'm tired of only seeing white moms and babies on maternity ads and Black women only on formula ads when we know that's not how the world really looks.


We all deserve to win, and when you help other well deserving like minded Black folks down for the cause, we are also helping ourselves. No crabs in a barrel syndrome here, we are only about uplifting the community at Melanin Milk SD, hence the name!




So, I searched the internet for you to have a few good Black owned baby, child and maternity product lines in one place. If you'd like to add to this list please contact me I'd love to hear from you! charda@melaninmilksd.com


Skip ahead to what you're here for:




Clothing

Stina & Mae is named after TWO badass mother Black females, the owners grandmother and great-grandmother! This Black female fashion journalist and mother named Mishell, took her family legacy and created a very vogue-ish style baby product line that I'm so in love with and would have another baby just to buy their stuff lol. I love the sophistication of this line for parents who are looking for less bright and more neutral. Babies can be posh too! They do have bright things too like their strikingly gorgeous rainbow blanket, probably the best rainbow baby blanket I've ever seen. The teething blankets are also my favorite here. They also sell reusable nursing pads and I'm a huge fan of that! https://www.stinaandmae.com - available on their site, Target and Nordstrom


The Rooted is like one of my super favorite Black owned brands right now both for their values and style. The Rooted Baby Co. was founded by Black mother, Alfreda Abena mother. Her reason for creating this line was to share her roots and love for Ghana with her son (Noah Kofi) and the littlest members of our villages. This brand offers bibs, bows, swaddles and more—all handcrafted with authentic African print fabrics and inspired by the motherland in which we come from. Their tagline is "Rooted in Love. Rooted in Culture." According to their website, a! Akwaaba means "Welcome" in the Akan language of Ghana, West Africa. So not only will you find nice things but you will also be immersed in the West African culture by becoming educated on Ghana's rich heritage and be able to pass it on your pride and knowledge to the next generation from their family to yours. Please be sure to read the about us section of their website to learn more about Ghana and it's beautiful culture.. https://rootedbabyco.com


Afro Unicorn - is owned and founded by April Showers, it is a Black women owned and operated children's clothing line that sells the most adorable unicorn with an afro that you will ever see. The fact that this unicorn has an afro brings so much joy to my heart in showing that our little Black kids need to see themselves everywhere. They may not identify with that little straight hared unicorn that the book, shirt or backpack represents the image of whiteness, but this little afro babyyyyy, that can be everything for a little Black girl. I know it is everything to me, so much so that when I saw it finally get a deal with Target stores, I was geeked and was trying to figure out who to buy something for, we have all boys except we have one teenage girl. The boys didn't want to wear the unicorn so I went ahead and got the largest shirt I could for myself haha! Don't judge or shame me, my inner child was screaming for it and my adult pocketbook said buy it, very affordable! Side note, I first saw this line at my mother in laws birthday party a few years ago, a Black woman was wearing it and said the lady was this new clothing designer and she was local, so I saw it before it became big. I'm so beyond happy for this lady and wish her all the success! https://afrounicorns.com You can also purchase on Amazon, Walmart, JCPenny, direct on her site and more! FYI - She is also the First Black-Woman-Owned Brand To Be Licensed In Major Retail Store. Three snaps for this woman, give her the flowers she deserves!


Ade + Ayo is a Black owned brand that has clothing made most mainstream more notably seen at Target during Black History Month 2023. https://adeandayo.com

This company was started by Temidayo, a Nigerian Canadian Black mother now living in the United States. She decided to design and curate a collection of beautifully crated items that make African aesthetic practical for our little ones while making things modern and affordable for our families. Temidayo brings warmth, vibrance and joy of African cultures with this brand, it exudes Black excellence. There is a little bit of everything here from clothing to toys, accessories and crib bedding. Ade + Ayo” combines the Yoruba (Nigerian language) words for “crown” and “joy,” reflecting the pride and happiness children bring to their parents’ lives. I loveeee it.


Yinibini Baby clothing and accessories are made with environmentally friendly organic cotton fabrics and non-toxic inks. Soft, breathable organic cotton products for children, from newborn to 4 years old. This line is super cute and they have a fantastic website. I love the name, it's so fun to say! Soyini is the Afro-Latina owner of this shop and the illustrations on the items are her original work. They are based in D.C. https://www.yinibinibaby.com


Shenelle Fuller is a Black mom who created Miles and Milan, a playful, fuss free and timeless baby, kid and family clothing line that mixes minimalistic fashion with thoughtful aesthetic. The brand is named after her niece and nephew. Miles and Milan is a brand that provides the basics in an effortless and current way. I love that this brand can grow with your child and even you can partake in a little matching session as she has adult clothing as well. This brand is definitely continuing to be on the rise and has been featured in over 10 major publications like Goop, TechCrunch and Oprah. https://milesandmilan.com


KaAns Designs is a parenthood lifestyle brand that is super fun and affordable. They like many on this list, have also been featured in many major publications like Buzzfeed, Huff Post and Oprah. Mama, Ashley and Dad, Kenny and their little gang of inspirations Aiden, Noah and Kensley created a brand that is inspired by the daily adventures of their family, namely their 3 children. Kaans creates tees and accessories for the whole family that speak parenting truths. The brand mission statement is “Get In The Picture” with a purpose to create products that encourage families to capture the big and little moments that mean the most. “I lost my mom as a young adult, and although we were super close, when she died, I didn’t have any pictures of us together. You know how it is- she never wanted to be in the photo because of her outfit, weight or her make up wasn’t done. Kids don't care about any of that, they just want you, and that love deserves to be captured. I love this brand and everything they stand for, my favorite item right now is their Mama Bag.


Little MuffinCakes believes that representation matters from birth. Their mission is to provide high-quality merchandise that reflects the diversity and beauty in children in order to offer more inclusive products. I love their blankets and burp cloths. You can purchase online and in some stores like Buy Buy Baby. https://littlemuffincakes.com


If you are looking for some super cute kicks that are also podiatry friendly, for your newly walking babe look no further. Tippy Tot Shoes is the upper echelon for high quality designer toddler shoes. They offer an extensive collection of classic, vintage and retro designs. They are Black owned. For babies 3 months old to 2 years old. https://tippytotshoes.com


Royal Nation is a Black owned clothing line for kids, finally something for the big kids! I was ecstatic to find this shop and discover some pretty dope clothes suitable for older siblings not just the babes. Each piece of clothing is based on an epic saga that includes diverse characters. Each item is also gender neutral and super high quality. Check out their website for more backstory on the prints. It's giving very young Jaden and Willow Smith vibes and I'n here for it. https://royalnation.com


Minibrook Co. is no small business, being that the owner is Nina Westbrook, wife of NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook, but she is definitely worth mentioning as she is a force to be reckoned with in this baby product industry. She is the founder and CEO of The Little Ark, an Oklahoma based children's boutique. Black mother to 3 children, she is a busy mom-preneur that created the amazingly stylish Minibrook Co. They have modern gender neutral muted hue clothing with a splash of tie-dye, definitely my vibe. Not to mention this mama has a focus on mental health, as she is also a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist (LFMT). What can't this supermom do?! If you are looking for a new clothing line for your baby's fashions check them out https://minibrook.co


The HBCU Kid was founded by Joy Matthews, CEO. Joy is a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and a proud graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. During her matriculation at UAPB, she also became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The HBCU Kid brand identity is inspired by her son Bryson, former Little Mr. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 2013-14. The apparel is designed not only to promote, educate, and inform others about Historically Black Colleges and Universities, it is meant to be used as a symbol of pride for those who consider themselves HBCU Kids.

“Where Education is acquired, where Heritage is embraced, and where Legacy is kept alive.” – Joy Matthews, CEO


Seviin is a brand created out of celebration of her miracle babies and in uplifted in positivity and joy around the number 7 and what that means to the founder Alayna.

Who for years dealt with the possibility of not being able to have kids, endometriosis, thyroid disease, pre-term labor, and high risk pregnancies all at the age of 24, which led her to dedicating this shop to them because they have been her reason for everything. At 29 weeks she was bedridden with her first son. After countless hours spent searching for baby clothes, she couldn’t help but realize that children’s garments are filled with slogans, sayings, prints, patterns and everything else in between. The simple, neutral, and high quality clothes couldn’t be found as easily; from there SEVIIN was born. Seviin is an affordable, comfortable and stylishly modern brand for babies and children. You can't tell me the Black maternal health crisis ain't real! I'm so sad this mother went through this but I'm happy to see how beautifully her life has evolved after reproductive struggles. https://seviinchildrensapparel.com



Cloth Diapers

Shine Cloth - This is my favorite Black owned cloth diaper brand. There are a few more I will add to this list but this one takes the cake for me. Created by Deja for "her sunshine" her son Jay. A Black young mom and student, she made this brand because she said cloth diapering literally changed her life. It was the more economical option versus disposable diapers which can break the bank for many folks let's be honest, babies go through a lot of them in the early months. This mama took her own struggle and turned it into someone else's joy and I absolutely love that. She said she couldn't keep choosing between eating or diapers, a choice no one should ever have to make but we do. She also had a baby who was sensitive to many of the additives in disposable diapers, which is common. She decides to do some research of her own to find a solution which was to create her own cloth diapers. Deja is such an inspiration and I support everything she stands for. Her cloth diaper line has a flair for the Black and Proud, Social Justice, and Black Pop Culture. Shine Cloth Diapers is proudly Black Sewn and Black Owned. https://shinecloth.com


CooperRose Baby is a Black owned brand that sells eco swanky style cloth diapers, baby carriers, nursing pads and more. The prints are beautiful! They believe in small batch manufacturing and local craftsmanship to maintain their value. The founder, a Black mother, expressed that she felt the Black community was unaware of the new age alternatives to wasteful diapers and other baby products. So she created CooperRose as a means of providing resources and products to parents who may not otherwise be aware of their options. https://cooperrosebaby.com


For more info on other Black owned cloth diapers check out this valuable resource for 17 more shops: https://www.clothcuties.com/blogs/cloth-diapering-simplified/seventeen-black-owned-cloth-diapering-businesses-to-support

Disposable Diapers

I didn't forget about the disposable diaper folks, we have options too! Besides the amazing Proudly Co. https://www.proudly.com creating these very cute and afro centric diapers for us. Proudly was launched in 2022. Their diaper prints are obviously strikingly gorgeous and we know this right, but...


There are smaller brands I'd like to introduce you to because I support small business whenever I can.


I have been in touch with this Black woman owned business via social media, they are based in Florida owned by Kierra Mitchner, it's called Ello Puppet. During two of the most nationally covered crises in our nation, the unfortunate horrific murder of George Floyd and the Coronavirus outbreak global pandemic. She bore witness to the world seemingly in chaos between social outcries, displaced families, socio-economic disparities, and lack of product availability and realized there was something that needed to be done on her part. So she created an affordable and health conscious diaper line to impact families of color in a positive way by giving them access to high quality products for their babies when product became hard to find. https://www.ellopuppet.com She has so kindly offered to send some samples to my breastfeeding clinic and I really love her hustle and work ethic.

TinkyPoo is founded by Nadiyah Spencer, this Black and woman-owned diaper brand uses bold prints and inclusive art that showcases Black, Brown and Asian American and Pacific Islander babies. With its powerful prints, TinkyPoo teaches that diversity and inclusion should be the standard from a very young age. These diapers are also made from plant-based and sustainable materials, are breathable and include a wetness indicator. The designs are super adorable and reflective of Black and Brown communities everywhere. If plant based disposable diapers are your thing you should definitely check them out! https://tinkypoo.com




Skincare, Wellness, and Lactation

Proudly Co. for the win again - They offer clean and functional baby care product specifically formulated to nourish all shades of melanated skin. The goal? To uplift, inspire and empower communities of color, as well as give back to underserved communities. www.proudly.com


For recent birth givers, this one is for you...we ever so often to check in on the mom when the baby is born. I've been a postpartum doula, birth doula and now lactation consultant. In every one of my roles, whenever I visited or saw a new parent, mom or dad, I always ask first "But how are you doing?" then I ask about the baby. You see most of the time, baby is fine and mom is overlooked and dad too. After giving birth there is a lot of change that continues to take place with our body. This is not to be ignored and your body needs to be pampered. That's why I love these boxes by Fourth Phase, and yes, they are Black owned. They also make a lactation support box called a Mlyk box which is cute. This is an afterbirth box made for all birthing people whether you had a belly or vaginal birth. All their products in the boxes contain items that are Certified organic, phthalate fee, non-toxic, cruelty free and substainablly sourced. This is a must have on your registry and a must get for a new parent! https://www.fourthphasebox.com


Milky Mama was created by Black mom and registered nurse and lactation consultant, Krystal Nicole Duhaney who struggled with her own milk supply after returning to work. As a nurse and a baker, she decided to create her own lactation cookie recipe. They now also offer lactation brownies, teas, smoothies and more.


Matrescene - Oh la la! If you are looking for a fancy postpartum pampering item this is it! This brand exudes excellence, sophistication and sexy. They are focused on mothering the mother products. I'm into all things wellness and motherhood so this is definitely my jam and hopefully yours too. Created by a Black woman, Raquel Roxanne Nowak. https://www.matrescenceskin.com




Books

Brave and Kind Books - is an independent Black owned children's book store - Located in Decatur, GA, I will be going to check this place out when I visit next month! I have heard many great things about it and their website is fire. They ship nationwide. https://www.braveandkindbooks.com


Best Black Children's Books - www.bestblackchildrensbooks.com has an amazing selection of Black kids literature. We follow each other on TikTok and I'm always obsessed with the new books she posts. A definite must check for the Black children or students in your life!


Kido is a cute little Black owned children's store located in Chicago's South Loop. I love that it was built by community members Keewa and Doug, who are artist and amazing parents just like us who know the struggles of juggling parenthood and business. https://kidochicago.com Their focus is on diversity and inclusion for children of color, children with different abilities and non-traditional family units. I love this!


Just Like Me Box - do you love a good subscription box? This is for you! A black family owned subscription box for featuring a variety of Black children's books. They built this company on the foundation of exposing children of color to literature, characters, authors and stories that are reflective of them. Picture books are among the first representations of the broader world that we see and they are introduced at a critical time. The truth is EVERYBODY should read Black children’s literature. And this company allows the opportunity to do just that!


Sweet Blackberry is founded and operated by none other than the amazingly gracious Karyn Parsons, known to bless our television screens once upon a time with her girly girl persona of Hilary Banks from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air lovingly forever etched in our minds. This woman went on to do great things after TV land, like becoming a mom and then starting this cool foundation and online book shop. They offer visits for schools, provide at home acitivities and books to celebrate our ancestral accomplishments in school, something that just isn't being done. This quite frankly pulls on my heart strings because I fought for 4 years as a Board of Education elected official to get them to celebrate Black history in our schools and incorporate it into the curriculum. Black children need to feel proud of our history and white children need to learn about our history. This is the way we will begin to see systemic changes within our racist structural systems is by starting with the children. https://www.sweetblackberry.org




Toys & Dolls

The Brown Toy Box is the STE(A)M activity kit you didn't know you needed in your life and it's Black owned. Created by Terri-Nichelle Bradley, this company is unapologetic in striving for excellence in delivering quality, affirming, and accessible products featuring Black children from across the globe. They make play culturally representative, accessible, and fun by creative high-quality products that are data –driven, child-centered and developed based on accredited urban education pedagogy. They create opportunities to engage parents in a respectful, empowering, and fun way that encourages them to act as advocates for STEAM education for their children. They are based in Atlanta, GA. https://browntoybox.com


Healthy Roots Dolls is a Black female owned doll line for children that has dolls that reflect representation of little Black girls. I love this so much because as a child I never resonated with the American Girl dolls which were only white at that time. I purchased one of these dolls for the children who come to my clinic. Now, even though I'm 37, I have a doll that I can identify with and also the children who come into my space will have a doll that looks like them too. I hope that she makes boy dolls in the future! https://healthyrootsdolls.com


Fresh Dolls was created by Dr. Lisa is a Black mom and professor who turned a side hustle and review of an updated research study into an empire that created a mission to spreading Black joy. She now creates dolls for multicultural children that inspire dreams, promote intelligence and build self-esteem.  One of the goals of this company is to support families in raising beautiful, confident children with unlimited possibilities.  You can find Fresh Dolls many places now and has been featured in over a dozen major publications including Oprah magazine. https://freshdolls.com


Naturalistas is like Barbie but better, they are Black, Bold and Beautiful! Deedee Wright-Ward is the founder of Purpose Toys and Creator of Naturalistas, which is a sleek line of contemporary natural-hair fashiondolls, created to uplift and celebrate children with coily, curly and naturally textured hair. They encourage kids to "Be Proud of Your Crown." I love that tag line and I am obsessed with the realistic bundles of hair on these dolls.


HarperIman Dolls is another Black doll line that is absolutely adorable and so simply beautiful. My auntie Carolyn used to make dolls for us when we were little, my cousins and I, this line very much reminds me of it so the nostalgia is really hittin' hard. *Cue the happy tears* The coolest thing about this product line is that is created by a mother and daughter who believe there is a severe lack of representation in dolls. Cynthia Watkins and Kathryn Burnett built this business in 2017, and offer handmade, linen keepsake dolls which are all unique, and reflect diversity in both skin tone and hair texture. https://harperiman.bigcartel.com

They also have animals now too if you have a son who is not into female dolls but would still love to have one.


Pretty Please Teethers is a Black owned brand of teething toys that are as safe and stylish as they are socially responsible. This line is for modern parents who care about being environmentally friendly. They make everything from teething flashcards, to bibs, pacifiers, traditions teething toys, stacking toys and so much more for your developing little one. I love the color scheme, it's giving Coachella or desert weekend vibes. https://www.prettypleaseteethers.com




Baby Gear & Furniture


Angelique Warner founded GoGoVie Premium Baby Carrier https://www.gogovie.com GoGoVie is the only hybrid sling and buckled soft structured carrier (SSC) featuring reclined, semi-reclined, and upright positions; it's not as unstructured as a wrap or sling and not as rigid as a backpack. GoGoVie was created for proper breastfeeding positioning. I love that 5 of the 7 CompleteCarry positions offer a hands-free breastfeeding solution; what we call a Nurse ‘N GoR feature.


Happy Mango is a Black owned baby, child and maternity store based in Atlanta, GA. I will be taking a trip there end of this month and fully intend to visit! Owned and operated by Phnewfula Frederikse, a Black woman and mother who saw a need in her community and went for it, thank you! https://shophappymango.com


If you are into high end luxury, RHOA and victorian style furniture for your little one this one is for you. https://www.tinytoesandtiaras.com Tiny Toes and Tiaras makes some pretty royal legit furniture for babies. This company was established in 2011 by Shaye Damus, and in recent years, the brand has presented their collections at both New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. The brand believes in quality styles and innovative designs. Their furniture prices are not for the weak honey, but they do guarantee durability. They deserve their worth and if you have it and want to spend it, go ahead and hand it over to these folks. You will find furniture, clothing and accessories fit for any little queen or king.


Three Honey Bees Co. is a Black owned baby carrier brand. I noticed their website is down but their IG is still up and it says they are undergoing some changes for Spring of 2023. Follow them here for more info.


Lastly, Cotier is a lifestyle brand focused on parents. Created by Black husband and wife business duo, Marx & Amber Succés, I see a budding power couple on the rise here! They have designed for us imaginative party, stationery and gift products that are uniquely designed to spark meaningful connection, provide ridiculous fun, and lessen the stress that comes with hosting. I'm looking at you baby shower planners!




We all need to thrive, not just survive, so I'm sharing these brands and more whenever and however I can!


This was just part I, I'm still scouring the internet, my village and mom groups to find the latest and greatest out there for y'all so stay tuned and following for more.


If you have any you'd like to share please contact me via socials or at charda@melaninmilksd.com or leave a comment below!











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