February 5th, 2021
February marks the annual observance of Black History Month, or African-American History Month.
After the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Gerald Ford dedicated the month of February to Black History Month in 1976. He declared that all Americans must “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
This February, it is especially important to support local businesses, as many have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, here’s where you can support local, Black-owned businesses in Baltimore.
Promoting Black Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
Spruce up your wardrobe and life with these unique pieces and finds.
Pandora’s Box Boutique
Pandora’s Box Boutique retails the latest one-of-a-kind finds, including but not limited to: bags, accessories, kitchenware, home decor, home fragrance, and stationary. The boutique is known for its eclectic collection, with bright colors, fun patterns, and unique textures. Shopping at Pandora’s Box is also an experience, since it will also make you feel connected and united with our local Baltimore community.
Monesha Phillips founded Pandora’s Box sixteen years ago, due to her passion for urban fashion, accessories, and style. Since Phillips picks all of her pieces by hand, each item has messages of “realness, humor, whimsy, and charm.” Read her sentimental and insightful note on Pandora’s Box here.
Drama Mama Bookshop
Looking to get organized, journal, or doodle? Drama Mama Bookshop retails cute, handmade notebooks. Drama Mama offers notepads, wooden/hardcover journals, build-your-own wooden bullet journal kits, books, and accessories. We recommend their “customize your own” option, where you can design and personalize your journal.
Drama Mama Bookshop was established several years ago by Alisa L. Brock. Her entrepenuriship was sparked by her love for rhetoric and text. By journaling throughout her life, Brock has overcome various struggles, tribulations, and traumas. Therefore, Drama Mama Bookshop was established to create safe spaces, encourage positivity, and spark creativity for those who might need a social support system or outlet.
The Doll House Boutique
Located in Mt. Vernon, The Doll House Boutique is a local, specialty shop retailing luxurious fashion pieces. All apparel and accessories are durable, amazing quality, and promote sustainability. That’s right, some items are recycled and repurposed to decrease Baltimore’s carbon footprint.
Fashion designer and stylist Natalie Karyl opened The Doll House Boutique in 2004. Since then, her brand, Ragdolls Couture, has not only picked up, but has also been featured in the Baltimore Sun and VIBE Magazine. Karyl has also styled famous celebrities, such as Teyana Taylor and Ariel Winters.
Trust us, The Doll House is a must-shop!
KSM Candle Co.
Knit, Soy, & Metal (KSM) is a candle-making company and shop, specializing in organic soy candles, incense, smudging sticks, and room sprays. KSM also offers jewelry, accessories, books, home decor, and spiritual must-haves, such as crystals and meditation necessities.
KSM was founded by the charismatic and radiant Letta. Having years of experience as a Marketing Director, Letta desired to turn her real-estate experience into her own business. She, too, wanted to share the joy of creating.
Don’t Dessert These Eateries
For your sweet tooth.
This isn’t your average cupcake-shop. Midnite Confections is an award-winning bakery, specializing in cupcakes and cookies. View their After Hours, StrangeLoves, and Temptations menus here. We recommend their Apple Crostata, Cherry Bomb, Coffee & Cream, Brownie Brulee, and Tiramisu cupcakes.
Midnite Confections is owned by a mother and son duo, Aaron and Sandra, who both share a love for cooking.
Crust by Mack
Crust by Mack is a bakery specializing in mouthwatering biscuits, pastries, and cookies. View their handmade “crusts” here, where you can also place orders for pick-up.
Amanda Mack opened Crust by Mack as a pop-up shop in 2018 and her pastries and treats would always quickly sell out. Therefore, she located to Whitehall Mill and brought her husband, Jarrod, and other family members into the business. Today, the family raises awareness for food access and entrepreneurial equality. Crust by Mack has also raised funds for various local businesses and the Maryland Food Bank.
Berries by Quicha
Berries by Quicha sells delectable, delicious, and rich hand-dipped chocolate strawberries. In other words, they’re a perfect Valentine’s, or Galentine’s, gift. Boxes and platters are customizable, and you may pick from a wide variety of flavors, such as: Strawberry Shortcake, Tequila Berry, Cheesecake Stuffed, Sundae, Red Velvet, and more.
After cooking for years for her three sons, LaQuicha Brown decided to open Berries by Quicha. In her own words, LaQuicha Brown wanted to “create things outside of the box.” Brown has also crafted chocolate-covered strawberries for President Obama, Beyonce, Michael Bloomberg, and Johns Hopkins Hospital & University. So, sweeten up your day with Berries by Quicha.
Pure Chocolate by Jinji
Pure Chocolate by Jinji specializes in sweet treats and delightful eats. The marketplace offers hazelnut spreads, truffles, fudge, chocolate-covered coffee beans, and their infamous liquid dark chocolate. Jinji sells the best chocolate for a Valentine or Galentine.
Jinji Fraser, along with her father Guy, founded Pure Chocolate by Jinji in 2012. For years, they have specialized in handcrafted chocolate, with ethically-sourced ingredients.
Appreciate Local Restaurants
Feeling hungry? Then check these eateries out, or get food to-go!
Magalena is a delightful, fine-dining restaurant currently offering takeout within the Ivy Hotel, inspired by French cuisine and Baltimore culture.
Eddie and Sylvia Brown have been married for 58 years. After experiencing segregation within the South, Eddie and Sylvia aspire to bring awareness to systemic racism, economic inequity, and various forms of injustice. Please read more from a recent interview here; they are truly an amazing and astounding duo.
Serenity Wine Bar
Locust Point’s Serenity Wine Bar and Cafe is the perfect place for a red, white, and/or rosé. Operating in a self-serve manner, Serenity Wine Bar allows patrons to sample a 1, 3, or 6 oz. pour of wine.. Besides their expansive collection of wine, Serenity also serves a wide variety of finger foods, apps, and delicious desserts.
After working at Pizza Hut for 23 years, Nneka Bilal opened her self-serving wine bar and business. Bilal was inspired by a self-serving wine bar in D.C., and is excited to craft pizzas, pastas, and serve over 16 delicious bottles of wine.
Stop and Smell the Rosé
Want to uplift your spirits?
Off the Rox
Off the Rox is a wine and beer shop, known for its craft beers and internationally-sourced reds, whites, and rosés. All drinks may be purchased online for pick-up.
Jeryl Cole founded Off the Rox, after garnering years of beverage experience within the Baltimore community. Cole has created an astounding drink selection for everyone’s tastes. Tyrekia Jackson, who has a Bachelor’s in Information Management, is the Operations Manager.
The new business is an amazing social hub and spirits shop!
CAnE Collective serves handcrafted cocktails, from the comfort of your home. Packaged in an aesthetically simple and modern bottle, you can order a Southside, Tiki Punch, and/or Passion Fruit Margarita for $20. They’re delicious.
Furthermore, CAnE Collective is a Black-owned company based out of Baltimore. Clinton Jackson Alexander, Aaron Joseph and Ezra Allen came together to put the C, A and E in CAnE Collective. They felt that something had been missing from the spirits industry—in particular, from their favorite spirit, rum. Combining their decades of experience in the bar and hospitality industries, they created mixers for craft cocktails.
Remember to support local, Black-owned businesses throughout Black History Month, the rest of 2021 and beyond.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.