Love the One You're With: 8 Black-Owned Services Nurturing Self-Love

Love the One You're With: 8 Black-Owned Services Nurturing Self-Love

Illustration for article titled Love the One You're With: 8 Black-Owned Services Nurturing Self-Love
Photo: fizkes (Shutterstock)

Self-love and care aren’t just about slapping on a face mask and getting in the bath anymore (but don’t get it twisted, they absolutely fall under that umbrella). Given how incredibly rocky 2020 was and the not-so-steady start this year has been, it’s hard to even fathom actively carving out time for just ourselves to be present and take care of our mind and body.

We’re already celebrating Black History Month, but as we get closer to Valentine’s Day, our annual celebration of love, we’ve got to remember to love ourselves just as much, if not more than anyone else. Even alone, we can and should nurture practices that help create as many moments of joy and self-love as possible. To that end, there are tons of beautiful products created and curated by Black-owned businesses that are geared towards self-care—but sometimes just having the thing isn’t enough. Since we’re currently stuck inside all the time, it can be hard to find experiences that will nurture not just our bodies, but our minds, as well. While virtual events are happening daily, here are some that focus on the idea of creating moments for yourself, while also connecting you to others.

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Black Girls Breathing

Black Girls Breathing

Breathwork is an amazing tool that not many know about or have access to. A much more intense mediation practice that focuses on active breathing and mindfulness exercises, breathwork targets the central nervous system and how our bodies respond to trauma and triggers. Black Girls Breathing (BGB) creates a safe space (both virtually and in-person) for Black women to nurture and acknowledge their spiritual and emotional health. BGB has two types of offerings: an individual meditation that is available via download and a monthly virtual meditation circle exclusively for Black women with emphasis on journaling, breathwork and collective meditation.


Instagram: @blackgirlsbreathing

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Decolonizing Fitness

Decolonizing Fitness

In an effort to create a safe environment for Black people to exercise, Ilya (he/they) founded Decolonizing Fitness, with a mission to ensure that no person, regardless of gender, is discriminated against for their weight, skill level, or disability. Currently, Decolonizing Fitness’ programs are running virtually and are offered on a sliding scale, with workouts available for a small subscription price through Patreon and on the website. Ilya also offers small e-books with affirmations aimed at queer and trans individuals, informational booklets about pain management and databases of small businesses with conscious missions to support.


Instagram: @decolonizing_fitness

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Entrepreneurs Color Too

Entrepreneurs Color Too

I remember a few years back when the first “adult” coloring books came out and were full of beautifully drawn florals around cuss words. They were pretty cathartic if you were a fan of art and swearing, but they weren’t necessarily for everyone. But I’ll be damned if Entrepreneurs Color Too, adult coloring books inspired by powerful Black women, hasn’t changed the coloring game for me (and are even more meditative and cathartic). Entrepreneurs Color Too is the first series of adult coloring books featuring Black women and has a selection of books to choose from, including 24 Shades of Business, Me and My (a book about mothers and daughters) and Exhale, specifically designed for mental health and self-care. Entrepreneurs Color Too has also created an app (available for download in the App Store and Google Play) as well as journals, digital downloads and colored pencils.


Instagram: @entrepreneurscolortoo

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Inner Workout

Inner Workout

Inner Workout, an online platform providing mental and physical exercises, is the ultimate gym for your brain and body. The programs center around koshas, a central concept to all yoga practices, which are the five central layers of being: physical, energetic, mental and emotional, wisdom and bliss. These aspects are at the core of everything that Inner Workout practices and believes in. The first step in the process is to take their self-care assessment, which asks 75 questions regarding your own response to the five layers of well-being. This assessment is optional but is great for getting a better understanding of your own mind and body before going into one of Inner Workout’s classes and progressing with your own practice. There is a free hour-long class and additional virtual workshops that occur twice a month.


Instagram: @innerworkout

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McBride Sisters Collection

McBride Sisters Collection

Wine specifically tailored to the beautiful, magical Black person within? Sign me up. The McBride Sisters Collection is the largest Black-owned winery and company in the United States. Their products exude “old-world elegance with new-world finesse.” Their two largest collections, Black Girl Magic and She Can are diverse in their flavors and aesthetics. Black Girl Magic consists of three wines: Merlot, Rosé and Riesling and can be purchased as a set or in individual bottles. This collection also has a sparkling Brut for those who prefer things a bit more bubbly. The She Can collection is a play on words, consisting of a variety of wines in some of the most aesthetically pleasing patterns and colors I’ve ever seen. And if that isn’t enough, the McBride Sisters are hosting a virtual wine tasting of the Black Girl Magic collection which you can learn more about on their website. 

Instagram: @mcbridesisters

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Motherland Cooking Xperience

Motherland Cooking Xperience

We’ve been at home and inside for too long, and if you’re like me, the idea of ordering take-out (again) might seem a bit depressing. Many Black chefs and restaurants have suffered during the pandemic and one way some have found relief is by offering virtual cooking classes for a small fee. The Motherland Cooking Xperience was founded with the mission of teaching people the joy of African cooking and culture through classes, live music and storytelling. The platform had to shift from being an in-person program to a virtual class but has been incredibly successful, offering a few ways to take these classes: The first is a “private” lesson that hosts up to 8 people of your choice––so you could grab a group of friends and enjoy the class together. The second option is a class with people who’ve signed up from around the world for that specific time, giving you the chance to meet new people and maybe even feel a bit of pre-COVID normalcy!


Instagram: @xperienceafricancooking

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Orange Moon Wellness

Orange Moon Wellness

Michelle Mitchum founded Orange Moon Wellness, a platform that provides nutrition therapy appointments and healthcare assistance. Both programs aim to help people understand and have access to comprehensive healthcare education and services. Self-care means many things to many different people, but honoring your body and keeping it healthy and safe, especially as we fight our way through this global pandemic is incredibly important. Michelle has spaces for free conversations and consultations about your mental and physical health that are available prior to signing up for the regular services.


Instagram: @theorangemoon

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Star Magic

Star Magic

Star Magic is a small Black-owned business specializing in creating affirmation candles. Each candle has a different affirmation such as “I am beautiful, “I am worthy,” or “I am tranquil” associated with it and comes in different shapes, scents and sizes, each with their specific intention carefully curated within. In addition to the candles, Star Magic sells bath soaks and other stress-relieving products with all-natural ingredients. One of the more luxurious gifts you can amaze yourself with is a large candle customized for specific affirmations to guide and nurture your specific self-care goals.


Instagram: @starmagicbyashli

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Honorable Mention: LoveCrafts

Honorable Mention: LoveCrafts

Every medium of art has meditative qualities, but I’ve found that art that has an emphasis on making things with your hands and creating a tangible product is the most effective in clearing my head. Though LoveCrafts, a UK-based textile company specializing in teaching crafting techniques such as knitting, needlepoint and sewing, is not a Black-owned business, they’ve created a Black History Month project line honoring 12 Black change-makers—and let me tell you, these activities look not only meditative but incredibly joyous. Each product has a range of textiles and mediums with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for a perfect afternoon inside. The first project you’ll find is a punch-needle Angela Davis portrait that has beautiful colors and a very simple pattern. From there, you can sew your own Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, crochet Michelle Obama and Oprah, embroider Laverne Cox and many more.


Instagram: @lovecraftscom

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DISCUSSION