February is not just the month of the Super Bowl, Chinese New Year and Valentines Day! Each year, Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February to honor all African Americans who have faced adversity within American society. The annual celebration stems from Carter G. Woodson’s “Negro History Week,” and has since evolved into a beautiful commemoration of African Americans past and present.
This year’s celebration of Black History Month is more important than ever, after tragic losses within the community through the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. That being said, this month, be sure to honor and support African American entrepreneurs by shopping small. Here are some of our favorite businesses owned by African American women. You’ll be sure to love them as much as we do!
Butter and Lye
Butter and Lye were founded by Monique Garraud Kofsky in 2020 and is based out of Brooklyn, New York. The company sells high quality and natural soap products that are perfect for bath time. The goal of Butter and Lye is to reduce their carbon footprint, so with that in mind everything they do is 100% environmentally friendly: from ingredients to the packaging, it comes in. Their soap products also have some amazing benefits like anti-aging, moisturizing and exfoliating.
Ladies, it’s almost bikini season- you’re not gonna wanna miss out on the minimal swimsuits designed by Brittany Kozerski, the founder of Jade Swim. These bathing suits are HOT! No really, you probably have seen your favorite Instagram influencers rocking them while posed up on a beach. But really, the ribbed material on these swimsuits are oh so flattering, you’ll need to get your hands on a pair for the summer!
Brother Vellies was founded in 2013 by Aurora James, and has been thriving ever since! James’ goal was to incorporate African design practices and techniques while also creating artisanal jobs around the world. Her background in art and fashion have served her well clearly, as the shoes she designs are so cute.
Oma the Label
Neumi Anekhe founded OMA the label in 2018. The young entrepreneur was working as a fashion stylist at the time, and wanted to challenge the “homogenous industry standards” while also creating timeless and affordable jewelry for women. She also wanted to diversify the market and build a brand that wanted to represent people of color. OMA goes beyond jewelry and sells staple fashion pieces as well.
Nothing completes a woman’s outfit of the day like a spritz of their favorite perfume. Maya Njie was born in Sweeden, but moved to London as a teenager, where she studied art and photography. She began to experiment with the element of smell in her photos (sounds crazy but she was on to something), by incorporating mediums in her photographs that are often associated with their scent (i.e. flowers). She went on to self teach herself the art of perfumery and founded her fragrance company in 2016. Something about this story is so elegant!
Must-Try Tropical Scented Shower Products
We’re almost at the halfway point of the month of April, and to be totally honest, we couldn’t be more excited for summer! Seriously, what’s not to love about long days spent at the beach, family cookouts and lounging around the pool with a cocktail?! The correct answer is: nothing! While we certainly love to dress the part (sun dresses, glasses and hats, yes please!) smelling the part is equally as important.
We all know that 2020/21 have been the years of self-care. Luckily, this has given us the chance to try out so many amazing products. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite self-care products that smell like paradise! Let’s get started
Nivea White Peach and Jasmine Body Wash
We’re just gonna come right out and say it: peach is one of the ultimate scents and flavors of the summer! There really is nothing more refreshing than biting into a fresh peach on a warm day, or sipping on some ice cold peach iced tea. If you’re looking to smell as fruity and fresh as a peach this summer, we highly recommend this body wash from Nivea! It smells so delicious, and the scent lasts all day long! The best part is that it leaves your skin feeling oh so soft and hydrated!
Dove Crushed Almond & Mango Butter Exfoliating Body Polish
If you’re anything like us, you take shaving very seriously, especially during the summer. While there is nothing wrong with embracing your body’s hair, we prefer to keep ourselves clean and landscaped *down there,* especially during bikini season! To get a close and smooth shave, it is essential to exfoliate and get rid of any dead skin cells.
This exfoliating body polish from Dove has been a holy grail product lately, because not only does it make your skin so smooth, but it lathers up just as well as soap! The cherry on top, of course, is the mango scent! We’ve been pairing this with the Nivea body wash as part of our everyday shower routine, and have been getting so many compliments! This one gets five stars from us!
Sol De Janeiro Creams
Of course, no shower or self-care routine is ever complete without using a fire moisturizer! While we do love to get jiggy with everyday moisturizers from the drug store, it’s worth it to splurge sometimes! One of our all-time favorites is Sol De Janeiro’s beloved Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. It’s not only super hydrating but even has skin-tightening powers. Yes, you read that right!
We did some more research on some of Brazilian Bum Bums other products, and thought it would be worthwhile to share their Coco Cabana Cream. We think that the name says it all for this one! The cream is made with coconut oil, acai oil and cupacu butter, and the fragrance notes are all-star: coconut cream and warm vanilla!
Replica Beach Walk
Looking to smell beachy all year round? Replica Beach Walk is gonna be your new go-to! The fresh smelling perfume is described by Sephora as “salt air, the perfume of sunscreen, the glow of sunkissed skin…Replica Beach Walk women’s fragrance evokes the memory of endless summer days” While this perfume does have a higher price point some less expensive tropical scents that are still delicious are Caribbean Water by ALT, Island Vanilla by Pacifica and Coconut Passion by Victoria’s Secret!
Best YouTube Workout Programs
Happy April, y’all! Spring has officially sprung and before we know it, summer will finally be upon us! Not sure about you guys, but we cannot wait to be somewhere on a beach, cocktail in hand, and not a worry in the world!
However, as women, we know that confidence can be a huge issue during this season, which is why lately, we’ve been making sure to take care of ourselves as best we can so we can feel sexy and bathing suit ready! While we firmly believe that every body is a bikini body, we have been loving online workout videos to prepare ourselves for the long awaited days of lounging in the sun that are just right around the corner!
Here are some of our favorites!
Let’s face it, not everyone has a wallet big enough to pay for monthly workout memberships like Nike, and Peloton (they are still great though!), which is why we love YouTube workout because they are quick, fun, and still get the job done!
Lilly Sabri is the founder of Lean With Lilly, as well as a licensed physiotherapist, pilates instructor and influencer. Of her program, Sabri said, “Over the years, I’ve educated and empowered hundreds of thousands of people around the world to live a healthier lifestyle in a way that encourages increased body confidence regardless of shape, size and fitness level.”
On her channel, Sabri has hundreds of videos, short and long, that target different areas of the body. If you’re a beginner, she even has modifications to make things a little easier.
You may remember Chloe Ting’s program from the OG quarantine era in 2020, but the fitness influencer is still at it, a year later with plenty of workout videos and challenges, available for free on YouTube! The Certified Personal Trainer’s expertise certainly appears to be in her impressive physical ability, but she also is a fantastic cook, and her website has plenty of healthy recipes that supplement her challenges immaculately!
Fun fact: before her internet fame, Ting was a statistician, and received a masters in Philosophy!
Let’s be real, not all of us can rock with a “HIIT” workout, but what most of us can rock with, is a dance workout! MadFit is a YouTube channel run by 25 year-old Canadian, Maddie Lymburner. Her dance based workout videos have lead her to achieve an immense following on YouTube, and has even earned her the title of Canada’s #1 YouTube creator in 2020. Yup, the videos are just that good!
Some of Maddie’s “dance party workouts” include amazing mixes from the 90s, hits from TikTok, and even classic Disney tunes. We can’t get enough of these, seriously! If you’re not in the mood to bust a move, Maddie also has an array of apartment friendly/low impact videos, and even yoga!
Sometimes, workouts that solely rely on using your own bodyweight just aren’t gonna cut it! We love using small weights during our workouts, but sometimes it’s hard to navigate what moves will target what muscles, and how many reps we should be doing to really get the most out of what we are doing! That’s why we love watching Caroline Girvan on YouTube, because not only is she totally qualified (just look at this girl…she’s shredded), but she has plenty of videos that use weights, and target different areas of the body like arms and legs.
Pro tip: throw one of her videos on after cardio as a finisher! It can be a killer, but it hurts so good!
Must-Shop Asian-American Owned Brands
If you haven’t seen headlines already, many Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have been the victims of hate crimes in recent months. These are heartbreaking acts, and should be condemned. We like to keep it light over here at Miss Domesticated, so we won’t get too into it, but we still feel it important to talk about in some form. As a way to show support for the “AAPI” community, we’re going to be highlighting some awesome Asian-American/Pacific Islander owned brands.
Let’s Get Into It!
Skincare: SUPEREGG founded by Erica Choi
You know that we could talk about our favorite skincare for days, which is why we are ecstatic to talk about SUPEREGG, an Asian-American-owned skincare line founded by Erica Choi. Before Choi founded her brand, she was a licensed esthetician and even worked as the VP of Digital Design for Barney’s New York. Super impressive. With her knowledge and heritage in mind, she created the SUPEREGG line, which is totally vegan.
High End Fashion: Vera Wang
Okay, but who else was not aware that fashion icon Vera Wang is 71 years old?! Vera Wang is most widely known for her iconic and gorgeous wedding dresses. However, before she became the queen of the wedding industry, her resume includes editing at Vogue, and working for Ralph Lauren. She’s designed wedding dresses for an impressive list of celebs, like Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, and Victoria Beckham. However, you don’t have to be an A-list bride to be seen flaunting her gorgeous designs! She even has a line at Kohl’s, which is full of affordable and beautiful options for everyday wear.
Sustainable Fashion: SVNR
Sustainability, especially in the world of fashion is a huge topic right now. If you like to wear trendy products that are also environmentally friendly, Christina Tung’s “SVNR” (pronounced like souvenir) line is what you need. Tung founded SVNR is Brooklyn, New York in 2018. Their jewelry is especially unique, as it is made from upcycled, natural materials. Yes, please! Besides jewelry, they sell everything from gorgeous silk dresses to home décor.
Kitchenware: Wok Shop
If you’ve ever been to Chinatown in San Francisco, then you may have popped into The Wok Shop, a family owned store that has been selling woks for decades. Though the pandemic may not permit you to check out the store in person, they have a website where you can buy genuine Asian kitchenware like woks (obviously), sake sets, and rice cookers. DIY hibachi night just got a whole lot more exciting!
Shoes: Yuul Yie
If you’re anything like us, you have a shoe collection that just can’t stop growing! A pair of Yuul Yie shoes might just have to be your newest addition! Founded by Sunyuul Yie, this brand is easily one of the most trendy in the game right now. The brand launched in 2010, and has become known around the world for unique heel structures, mary-janes and gorgeous pump style heels. You can find Yuul Yie shoes on the Nordstrom website, among plenty of others.
What’s your favorite Asian-American owned brand?