9 Black Owned Etsy Art And Jewelry Shops for Ethical Empowerment
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We know that #BlackLivesMatter and besides being a vocal advocate one of the best ways to support the movement is by supporting Black owned businesses.
Putting our money where our mouth is.
Hold on just a sec, how can shopping be considered social activism?!
Black-owned businesses have it tough. They generally have restricted access to capital and are more likely to be denied when applying for loans. In America, Black people may be almost twice as likely to start a business but experience higher failure rates and much smaller revenues.
Simply put, when you support a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) entrepreneur, you’re supporting a world that is more just. You’re helping to elevate artisans that might not otherwise have equal opportunities to succeed.
And we happen to think that Etsy is one of the best platforms for doing so. Not only does Etsy provide an equal footing for small businesses to get their start, but they provide an ethical footing, too. As one of the most ethical online stores, Etsy offsets all carbon emissions produced from shipping!
And you can order from absolutely anywhere in the world. Though, shopping domestically is still preferred from an environmental standpoint.
So, we’ve found our favorite Black owned Etsy art and jewelry shops. We weren’t just looking at any art or jewelry shop (there are many, trust us). We wanted to find those that align (as much as possible) with our values of what it means to be a sustainable brand. Like our criteria for ethical and sustainable jewelry, for example – see the bottom of the article for a breakdown.
Get your eyeballs ready for some of the most aesthetically pleasing social justice you’ve ever seen. Here are our 9 favorite Black owned Etsy art and jewelry shops.
Black Owned Etsy Art Stores
1. MIND THE CORK
About Mind the Cork’s Ethical Art
Combining craftsmanship and innovation with sustainable design, Mind the Cork creates unique and eco-friendly contemporary art products out of (big shocker here) cork!
Cork is one of our repeat eco-fenders as far as sustainable fabrics are concerned. Cork is renewable and can be harvested without cutting down the whole tree. The process of shaving the bark actually extends the life of the tree by promoting regeneration, a process that also makes them one of the most CO2 consumptive trees around.
This means that cork forests can continue to maintain wildlife diversity and capture and store carbon dioxide. Cork is also biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable.
Mind the Cork turns this material into all sorts of unique items. The planters and sculptures are totally unique and are a great way to incorporate a touch of nature into an urban space. Vegan cork leather wallets and card holders, while not exactly “art” use a variety of colors to add an artistic flair to something we use every day.
About Mind the Cork
Jenny Espirito Santo is the self-proclaimed “founder, designer, and green fingered cork aficionada” behind Mind the Cork. She and her business have been featured in publications like The Guardian, House Beautiful, and the Financial Times. For good reason, it seems.
Not only is she one of our favorite sustainable Black owned Etsy art stores, but she’s also an advocate of Black Lives Matter. She recently joined other small businesses to raise money to achieve justice for Stephen Lawrence, who was killed in a racist attack.
Available: Mind the Cork (UK based)
2. MADE BY RHEAL
About Made by Rheal’s Ethical Art
Here’s something a little different, a boho art range from Made by Rheal.
Between wall art, vessels, altar objects, concrete hands, glass, coasters, and blankets, Made by Real covers the home decor art scene in minimalist style.
The materials used by Made by Rheal are just as diverse as the art. Natural, unpigmented concrete isn’t the most sustainable material, but it’s used alongside other better-for-Earth materials like 100% cotton and American-made glass.
Some pieces are even made using a “foraged find”, meaning they’re created from materials already in existence. Be on the lookout as these one-of-a-kind pieces get snapped up quick.
About Made by Rheal
When you order something from Made by Rheal, you’re supporting a Black Queer artisan. Hailing from Oakland, California, Rheal has been producing some of Etsy’s most stunning and unique art for years—and there are thousands of the highest reviews to show for it.
Everything is made in the USA, too, designed with longevity in mind. Made by Rheal is in the business of crafting beautifully practical items that will bring joy to your home for years to come.
Available: Made by Rheal (USA based)
3. FREQUENCY OF LOVE
About Frequency of Love’s Ethical Art
Frequency of Love creates prints of substance. They serve as a homage to Black hope, heritage and leadership and feature a Black icon over a backdrop of African fabrics.
“A colourful celebration of iconic, inspirational people” is about as apt a description of this empowering art as any.
Empowerment aside, the messages embedded in these prints are about as ethical as we can get. Many of the figures featured in the artwork paved the way not just for social justice movements of today, but environmental ones as well.
And being sustainable and ethical can also be about remembering (and respecting) people like Elizabeth Eckford, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and even Michele Obama who have played a role in protecting our planet and our people.
About Frequency of Love
According to this brand’s website, “We tend to become like those we admire.” For Frequency of Love founder Zoe, she wanted to create prints featuring icons and heroines that allow us all to have role models to motivate and inspire us.
We happen to think her “Modern African Art” does just that.
Available: Frequency of Love (UK based)
4. LOVELY EARTHLINGS
About Lovely Earthlings’ Ethical Art
This shop may have started with a few greeting cards, but now Lovely Earthlings has expanded to a collection of beautiful art prints and tote bags, too.
The prints are all about women and inclusivity, each one highlighting different hairstyles, body shapes, and skin colors. These are often displayed side by side to challenge misguided beauty expectations and confront the underrepresentation of women who don’t adhere to cookie-cutter standards of perfection. We happen to think that that’s extremely important (and admittedly rare) in the world of art—making this one of our favorite ethical Black owned Etsy art shops.
With bold colors and 2D renderings reminiscent of the iconic vintage fashion prints of the 1920s and 30s, these prints are not only a classy way to dress up your shelves or walls, but a positive one to remind you that ALL bodies are beautiful and everybody matters.
About Lovely Earthlings
Karina Daniel Parris is the brilliant artist behind Lovely Earthlings. After breaking a finger, she was forced to leave a waitressing job to pursue her longtime artistic passion.
Considering she’s sold over 4,000 pieces of art on Etsy since 2011 (and garnered over 20,000 “Favorite Shop” ratings), it seems that broken finger was a blessing for us all.
Available: Lovely Earthlings (USA based)
Black Owned Etsy Jewelry Stores
5. STUDIO LA TOUCHE
About Studio La Touche’s Ethical Jewelry
Studio La Touche sells a range of earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and cufflinks. Everything is handmade and oh-so-chic. With the unique and contemporary designs this was one of the most eclectic Black owned Etsy jewelry stores we could find.
Studio La Touche keeps things sustainable with eco-friendly materials. Like repurposed maps, brass, sustainably sourced wood and raw gemstones.
Brass is an extremely workable material, and has been used in tools and jewelry since the days of Ancient Rome. More important, however, Studio La Touche, chooses to use brass for its durability and the fact that it’s abundant – 90% of it comes from recycled sources.
The benefits of brass continue…because brass is relatively cheap (especially when it’s salvaged), this affordable black owned Etsy shop is able to keep prices low without sacrificing quality.
About Studio La Touche
Studio La Touche is a one-woman endeavor out of Oakland, California. Founder Linda La Touche discovered a “need to bead” while trying to find the perfect pair of earrings to match her senior prom dress. Just four years later, that same dress was upcycled into Studio La Touche’s first pair of earrings.
As you can see, since the beginning this shop has been all about “repurposing everyday objects into beautiful adornments […] with a hope of invoking joy, laughter, and a deeper level of appreciation for the creative ability that is always within one’s reach.”
Don’t take our word for her impressive jewelry selection—6000 sales and a 5-star rating, clearly we’re not the only ones excited about supporting Studio La Touche.
Available: Studio La Touche (USA based)
6. OMI WOODS
About Omi Woods’ Ethical Jewelry
Everyday wear to wedding wear, Omi Woods’ jewelry range includes stunning earrings, necklaces, pendants, and cufflinks.
Celebrating a connection to African diaspora, you’ll find multi-cultural designs and collections like the Nigeria crest and gold-shaped cowrie shells. Each one tells a lost story of Black history.
Once you get beyond the beauty in Omi Woods’ pieces, you’ll be as equally impressed by their ethical and sustainable sourcing practices. They use repurposed fair trade African gold. They work directly with small-scale artisanal mines and ensure fair wages and safe working environments.
All of their other metals (sterling silver, gold vermeil) are also ethically sourced and conflict-free. Everything is designed with longevity in mind, and each piece is intended to be passed down from generation to generation.
About Omi Woods
Omi Woods was inspired by founder Ashley Alexis McFarlane’s Jamaican-Ashanti-Maroon heritage. The Yoruba word omi translates to ‘water’ and connects to the word Jamaica, which means ‘land of wood and water.’
This deep connection to the land and heritage is evident in Omi Woods’ work and the fact that the brand is adored by customers around the globe. It’s not surprising that Omi Woods is considered one of the best high end Black owned Etsy jewelry shops having been featured in many of the biggest publications like Vogue, Essence and Ebony.
Ashley honors her heritage in more ways than one. When her grandmother “transitioned into the realm of the ancestors”, she passed down heirloom pieces of jewelry to Ashley and inspired her to begin her business. In honor of her legacy, a portion of all sales are donated to a different yearly non-profit, like AllOneBlood and 8 Billion Trees.
Available: Omi Woods (Canada based)
About Adorness’ Ethical Jewelry
Adorness doesn’t just make ethical jewelry; they make ethical “joyerie”.
Afro-Caribbean style combined with ethical and responsible materials will have anyone feeling like they’re sitting on a Haitian beach sipping cremas. Adorness uses bright colors and unique designs in their boucles (rings) and parure collier (necklaces).
Cultural celebration aside, Adorness is also one of the most sustainable Black owned Etsy jewelry stores with their use of upcycled leather and recycled African fabric prints. They also use sustainable (and mostly recycled) brass.
Vanessa, owner of Adorness, wanted to incorporate her Afro-Caribbean origins and love for geometric shapes into jewelry that was made with passion by her own two hands. And she’s done exactly that.
Adorness is now adorned round the world by ladies who “dare to bring a touch of originality to their style.”
Etsy itself recently listed this shop as one of their favorite “Black Owned Etsy Shops”.
Available: Adorness (France based)
8. BRAVE CHICK
About Brave Chick’s Ethical Jewelry
All jewelry from Brave Chick inspires exactly that: bravery for the women who wear it. Each necklace, bracelet, ring, earring, ear cuff, or piece of hair jewelry has been meticulously handcrafted to ensure that whoever’s wearing it feels strong, confident, and courageous.
We imagine it would be hard not to feel stunning while sporting a pair of their gorgeous natural sea shell earrings.
The materials of this ethical Black owned Etsy shop are stunning and simple, too, consisting largely of all-metal designs, sometimes combined with natural materials like feathers, pearls, and seashells.
About Brave Chick
African American artist Lejoi Reese’s desire to belong inspired her to create beautiful meaningful jewelry.
She left her 15-year career as the Design Director of a textile company to teach art to children and achieve her goal to empower women. Hence Brave Chick was designed to “embrace and uplift the authentic spirit of every woman” and do so by developing a line of jewelry that inspires confidence.
Lejoi writes, “We envision a world where every woman is safe, treasured and celebrated.”
Going further, Brave Chick donates 10% of all proceeds to nonprofit organizations. Their main non-profit partner is NO MORE, which fights against domestic violence and abuse (which statistics suggest Black women are more likely to become victims of), as well as GrassROOTS Community Foundation, Friends and Helpers, Single Mom Planet’s, and even more.
Available: Brave Chick (USA based)
9. NB Designs
About NB Designs’ Ethical Jewelry
As hands-down one of the most unique Black owned Etsy stores, the necklaces and earrings from NB Designs have a one-of-a-kind artistic flair.
Choose from categories like science, hedgehog, pugs and paws, jewelry for writers, and bandage designs.. Erlenmeyer flask earrings, anyone? Because who says science isn’t fierce and feminine?
Let’s shatter those career stereotypes!
NB Designs goes beyond just creative and quirky jewelry, but makes sustainable and ethical jewelry, too. Everything is made from PMC, a precious metal clay made from reclaimed silver. The brand realizes how dirty the jewelry industry is, which is why they prioritize reclaimed metals that last a lifetime (or several) and aren’t associated with destructive mining practices.
And for those who believe metal isn’t complete with some sparkle to it, they top many of their pieces off using fair trade or lab grown gems.
About NB Designs
NB Designs is a one-woman operation. Self-taught artist and self-described science nerd Natasha Bouey is the namesake behind it all.
The California-based owner considers her “pieces to be more art / fine silver sculpture than jewelry.” With ultra fine (scientifically accurate!) details etched into the delicate silver pendants, we definitely agree—and so do thousands of fans who support her talent.
Available: NB Designs (USA based)
HOW WE CHOSE THESE ETHICAL BLACK OWNED ETSY ART AND JEWELRY STORES
We mentioned it earlier but now let’s take a deeper dive into how we applied our ethical and sustainable jewelry guide to pick the brands for this topic.
There were a few main categories that captured our artistic gaze:
The first thing we do with any brand is check to see what materials are being used. For art, we looked for anything that was made from naturally sourced materials (namely, paper, cotton and cork). When it comes to jewelry, we’re big fans of repurposed or conflict-free metals (although repurposed leather and other adornment materials get a thumbs up from us too).
It’s important for us to mention that it was somewhat difficult to find a lot of brands who used sustainable materials, which speaks not to the disinterest in sustainability but instead the inequalities in business. When Black owned brands are not on a level playing field from the get go due to the disadvantages they face, they’re less likely to be able to afford more sustainable (read: expensive) materials. This makes our support for these types of business that much more important.
Ethical supply chain and transparency:
Transparency is always important when it comes to choosing brands who end up on our website. The more they know about their products and processes, the better.
When jewelry brands are able to trace their metal sourcing to fair trade artisan mines or artists are able to trace their materials to sustainable forestry, we’re big fans.
Given that most of these brands had a sole designer and creator, that means they really know their stuff, at least on the manufacturing side of things. The supply side can get a little more convoluted so we were happy to see any sourcing info provided.
Cultural representation and inclusivity:
If brands weren’t prioritizing sustainability at this point, we checked to make sure that ethics were a big part of their mission instead. Nearly all of these brands incorporated Black heritage into their products, which makes supporting these brands a two-fold way to uplift the Black community .
The world is in dire need of inspiration right now, so it was great to see Black icons make it into some of the artwork or brands who designed their jewelry to serve as inspiration for bravery and confidence for their wearers.
Community and charitable giving:
We love uplifting brands that uplift others, Black-owned or not. A handful of brands on this list were very generous in their give back initiatives, even being small as some of them are, which we found super inspiring.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ETHICAL BLACK OWNED ETSY ART AND JEWELRY SHOPS
While this article’s topic is a slight departure from our usuals like recycled clothing and ethical pajamas, inclusion and social justice are important aspects of sustainability, and both are topics that we all need to keep front of mind.
On that note, check out our list of the best sustainable living and social justice books, two issues that are inextricably connected.
And remember, each time you buy something, you’re making a decision (conscious or not) for the type of world we end up living in. We hope this article demonstrates that it’s easy to choose a world that is more socially just (and benefit from beautiful jewelry or artwork in the process!).
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”
Each seemingly small purchase from a Black owned Etsy shop can cumulatively end up having a real impact, not just on that individual maker, but on the Black community as a whole. We hope this list inspired you to make your purchase a purposeful one.
Now, this list is by no means exhaustive. The best way to discover talent is by continuing the conversation. So, let us know if you’ve been supporting any Black owned jewelry or art shops that we should include.
Or if you’re a Black small business owner yourself. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn so that we can do our part to amplify Black voices.