There is no doubt the last few months have seen a changed Los Angeles. The last two weeks alone have seen a changed nation. If it’s anything we’ve learned as the city heals and marches for a new beginning, it’s that Angeleno’s can pull together to make a difference. Like many notable resources, we’d like to highlight some black-owned businesses that help shape our city, businesses that need your endorsement now and how we can pledge lifelong, city-wide support to heal and grow all the corners of our community.
Azla, Ethiopian Eatery – Feeding the Soul
Azla, the matriarch and pillar for her six children, has joined forces with her youngest daughter, Nesanet, to create Azla, the first Ethiopian restaurant in South Los Angeles. Nesanet holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, a Masters in Education from UCLA, and worked in the education, non-profit, and entertainment industries. Together, Azla’s culinary prowess and traditional wisdom coupled with Nesanet’s extensive studies and work experience greatly influence their ingredient choices and food preparation techniques at their nutrient-based Vegan restaurant and overall lifestyle brand. Azla commits to building community through arts and culture, all while providing space for breaking bread with friends and family.
Justina Balekney, Jungalow – The Joy of Color
The Jungalow’s motto is to ‘help you tap into your own creativity and help bring good vibes home.’ It’s impossible not to feel uplifted by the vibrancy and playful nature that flows through this site. Modern prints, wallpapers, exclusively designed products, and global art rotate to create a colorful world you simply want to be part of. Justina makes no apologies for her love of nature, in fact, when you make a purchase, at least two trees are planted. This amazing team’s passion for recycling and use of sustainable/natural materials is only matched by the numerous philanthropic endeavors they partake in – and their stunning use of color.
TORCH, L.A. – Lighting the Way
Where luxury meets eco-friendly, TORCH provides handcrafted, nontoxic candles and skin products. Founder Claunesha ‘CJay’ Jones, blends stunning scents such as sandalwood, cedar, whiskey, and sweet tobacco to create a series that truly inspires. The ethos of TORCH is about ritual, the belief that our thoughts can be a candlelight to illuminate our way out of any darkness, a path forward. Nothing rings truer right now, “Moving forward is the most dominant thought.”
Logan’s Gardens/Hayground Organic Gardening – Planting the Future
For many of us, planting has become the new norm. Jimmy Williams and his son Logan have given many would-be urban farmers a jumpstart on their edible gardens. Their Silver Lake business started with seedlings growing on the roof of a Hancock Park garage, and flourished to provide thousands of heirloom varietals sold at both the Santa Monica and Hollywood farmers markets. They provide gardening services, lessons, and an abundance of produce to personal chefs and restaurants throughout LA. With a vast waitlist for their family ‘Goose Creek Heirloom’ tomato to the mint derived from Bob Marley’s porch, this Father/Son enterprise truly does sow the seeds for our future.
Carl’s Atelier – Ways of Seeing, the Merging of All Artistic Mediums
Carl Louisville moved his highly revered, eclectic retail gallery from the Arts District to Century City last year. Well known to the local community through his 20+ years in the luxury sector, Carl continues to push all retail boundaries with his passion for art and bespoke brands from all corners of the world. In addition to his own eponymous Private Label Collection, Carl’s Atelier also features Guillermo, a modern take on the guayabera shirt, a project from Los Angeles-based architect Mark Rios and his Rios Clementi Hale Studios.
Offerings – The Beauty of Flora
It takes an ingenue who studied Interior Architecture, who then turned to metal work and adornment as her medium, to turn full-circle and embody her childhood dream of working in nature’s perfect form: florals. Schentell Nunn is the founder of Offerings, where she creates innovative floral designs that bring love and joy into our homes and celebrations. Her LA-based studio offers florals for all events and her namesake NUN brand of jewelry.
Post 21 – Creating a Legacy
Mother-Daughter duo Juana Williams and Blair Paysinger, created Post 21 to provide a comprehensive marketplace where modern design-focused products from Black-owned designers and entrepreneurs can meet on one platform. They share the common goal of discovery, but retain the mantra that many of their artists and vendors deserve to be household names. Their products include beautiful pottery by Black Pepper and candles from Frolic & Sage.
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