Meet the Founder and Entrepreneurs from the She Did That. Holiday Bazaar

Nekeifa Sylvester

Brooklyn-based Renae Bluitt has long championed Black women entrepreneurs. Her first venture, the blog In Her Shoes, gave Black female business owners exposure and accurate representation in news and media while sharing their experiences to inspire others. Channeling the same passion, Bluitt created the She Did That.documentary and podcast (available on all podcast-streaming platforms). Both projects explore the journeys of Black female entrepreneurs as they turn their dreams into reality.

“Black women are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in the country,” Bluitt says. “Since 2007, the number of businesses owned by Black women has grown by 164 percent, but there is still so much work to be done. Despite our hustle, Black women are being overlooked when it comes to access to capital. The goal of my work is to shine a really bright light on Black women entrepreneurs so the excuse of ‘I don't know where to find them’ will no longer be acceptable. We’re here. And we aren’t going anywhere.”

Courtesy, Renae Bluitt

Bluitt’s She Did That. Holiday Bazaar again spotlights Black women entrepreneurs, giving them—especially those without a brick-and-mortar business—the chance to directly connect with hundreds of consumers. Vendors at the pop-up market offer handcrafted jewelry, beauty and skin care, homewares, candles, clothing and luxury CBD products. Each business is owned and operated by Black women across all age groups—the youngest of them just 8 years old.

This year’s holiday market took place at Shell’s Loft in Red Hook, Brooklyn, on December 4. We’ve highlighted seven participants below; read on to learn what drives the women behind the brands.

Courtesy, BCakeNY

BCakeNY

702 Washington Ave., Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

This custom cake studio, which specializes in desserts for all occasions, features the creations of founder Miriam Milord.

What inspires you to create your products? What impact do you hope they have on the community?

MM: Joy inspires me. The joy that we see in our clients when they see their visions come to life. I love bringing joy and smiles to our community. It’s simple but so needed.

What is your favorite part about being a Black female entrepreneur? What excites you and keeps you motivated daily?

MM: Proving to myself and showing other women and the next generation who would like to grow a business that it’s possible and that there are women that look like them who are achieving their goals and paving the way.

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays in NYC?

MM: It’s the festive atmosphere that wraps up family celebrations and the sweeping feeling of gratitude.

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Courtesy, Call Me Sparkle

Call Me Sparkle

Call Me Sparkle, an accessory brand for girls who love to shine, is headed by 8-year-old Summer “Sparkle” Gittens.

What inspires you to create your products? What impact do you hope they have on the community?

SG: My customers, the little girls who send me videos of their unboxing. Their excitement and smiles. Different colors, shapes and textures inspire me when creating the actual product. I want the Sparkle girls who see me to be confident in themselves and in what they do. I also want them to feel that they are a part of building this business with me because they are.

What is your favorite part about being a Black female entrepreneur? What excites you and keeps you motivated daily?

SG: My favorite part is doing this with my family and friends! My family helps me ship packages, and my friends help me model the bags. What excites me is when people see me and tell me that I’m doing a great job or that I inspire them. That really makes me feel good. My family motivates me and the future plans I have for the business.

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays in NYC?

SG: My favorite thing about the holidays in NYC is my family and I going to visit the tree lighting. We also stop to do a little shopping and check out all the holiday lights at the stores. We get hot chocolate to keep warm. For dinner we either go to Burger & Lobster or Dallas BBQ. On the way home, my mom always gets us doughnuts from my favorite doughnut shop, Dough. We’ve been doing this since I was little.

Courtesy, Noirebud

Noirebud

Noirebud is a luxury CBD lifestyle product line that prides itself on integrity and simplicity. It’s run by Carolyn Gray.

What inspires you to create your products? What impact do you hope they have on the community?

CG: The Noirebud products are my way of helping others find a way to find ease in everyday life, despite the ebbs and flows of life’s complexities. My intent is for my products to reach every crevice of the Black community to help folks live life with a bit more ease.

What is your favorite part about being a Black female entrepreneur? What excites you and keeps you motivated daily?

CG: My favorite part of being a Black woman is the magic we’re born with and the ancestral protection we have when we focus on helping each other. I love collaborating with other POC entrepreneurs and holding each other accountable. What keeps me motivated is continuously having ideas about product, content or other ideas for growth and seeing them manifest.

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays in NYC?

CG: The glow that the City has during this season. It’s something you have to experience in person. I think it’s the mixture of people visiting from all over the globe and seeing people who live here slow down a little bit to celebrate and take in the sights. Imagine a large beast running and surviving for months and it finally slows down, and you see its chest expanding and deflating trying to catch its breath, and you see its heartbeat and its glowing. It’s a little weird, but that’s how I see it. The beast of the City slows down, and its heart seems a bit warmer.

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Courtesy, Brunchnista

Brunchnista

Brunchnista is Michelle Sprott’s lifestyle brand for brunch enthusiasts.

What inspires you to create your products? What impact do you hope they have on the community?

MS: Everything I create is meant to bring people joy. I think sometimes we wait for the big moment, vacation or birthday to be excited. Brunchnista believes that those moments should exist in your brunches, friendships and fashion. Brunchnista has cutlery sets, brunch boxes, conversation starts and virtual brunch kits, intended to elevate and bring joy to your everyday life.

What is your favorite part about being a Black female entrepreneur? What excites you and keeps you motivated daily?

MS: My favorite part is the support you get from the most random places and the opportunities that seemingly appear out of nowhere. When I think I’ve exhausted all possibilities and knocked on all the doors, a new opportunity arrives. It’s both inspiring and scary, but I know from experience that it will eventually come.

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays in NYC?

MS: I was born and raised in NYC, so I’m biased, but I love how the City transforms into a magical place. From city blocks to department stores, subways and bodegas, everyone celebrates the holidays. NYC is a cultural melting pot, and the holiday season in NYC is a lesson in diversity you didn’t know you needed.

Lit Brooklyn

Denequa Williams-Clarke founded Lit Brooklyn, an affordable luxury fragrance and candle company.

What inspires you to create your products? What impact do you hope they have on the community?

DWC: Black women and our health are priorities to me. My mission has always been to create a luxury wellness brand that is safe, clean and free of toxins and parabens. I hope to cause people to be much more cautious of the products that they bring into their homes.

What is your favorite part about being a Black female entrepreneur? What excites you and keeps you motivated daily?

DWC: My favorite part is being a part of this elite, exclusive gang of natural born leaders and hustlers. Knowing that I’m an inspiration to others and showing them what’s possible while creating a legacy and enforcing change in this industry keeps me excited and motivated.

If you had to give someone a gift that you felt truly represents NYC, what would it be and why?

DWC:Blue Yankee fitted. One word: Hov.

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Courtesy, Adorn

Adorn

Brooklyn’s Adorn, the brainchild of Raqquyah Webb, offers colorful statement jewelry made from locally sourced natural materials.

What inspires you to create your products? What impact do you hope they have on the community?

RW: The diversity and interconnectedness of people is an inspiration and directly reflected in all of my collections. It is my endeavor to empower the men and women of the Black community by adorning their bodies. Through jewelry, I encourage and affirm authentic self-expression because it matters…because we matter.

What is your favorite part about being a Black female entrepreneur? What excites you and keeps you motivated daily?

RW: I get to express myself freely and authentically and see my expression inspire others to do the same. It’s like magic. I get to be a magician. My ancestors, elders and other family members excite me. They were and are exceptional. It’s my pleasure to continue our legacy of leadership and entrepreneurship.

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays in NYC?

RW: I lost my favorite aunt in December 2019. She was an amazing gift giver. So to honor her heart and spirit I gift my family members the exact same way she did, and I love it. It’s now my favorite thing about the holidays.

Courtesy, Kami Cosmetics

Kami Cosmetics

Kameka Barrett started Kami Cosmetics as a luxury, cruelty-free beauty brand for the sophisticated and bold woman.

What inspires you to create your products? What impact do you hope they have on the community?

KB: After an uncomfortable encounter at a popular makeup counter, I decided to create beauty products that will keep you looking beautiful all day. And to show women of color that they can wear bold, beautiful lip shades and not just a clear gloss. I hope the community sees that no matter where you are from and whatever adversities you may have faced, once you focus and work smart you can achieve your goals.

What is your favorite part about being a Black female entrepreneur? What excites you and keeps you motivated daily?

KB: Black women have and continue to fight daily to be seen and heard; therefore, I am grateful to be able to position myself in the entrepreneurial beauty space and that little girls who look like me are motivated to pursue their goals without fear. My customers, whom I call butterflies, motivate me. To know that I’m able to provide top quality, cruelty-free beauty products they love and enjoy wearing keeps me going.

What’s your favorite thing about the holidays in NYC?

KB: My favorite thing about the holidays in NYC is seeing how the City comes alive. The decorations, the spirit of the people, the weather, the dressing up. I think everyone should experience the holidays in NYC at least once.

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