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20 Incredible LGBTQ+ Owned Small Businesses We Love And You Should Know

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Hiya, buddies. I’m here with a big piece of information: IT’S JUNE. RIGHT NOW. Does it feel like the 12th week of March? Yes. Do calendar dates have any meaning anymore? DEBATABLE. But there is something worth celebrating this June (which, just to reiterate, is happening right now) — it’s Pride month! 

As EHD’s resident small business fangirl (not joking — I think today is my fifth small business roundup in 3 months — I *love* an entrepreneur!!!), I wanted to shine a light on some of my favorite queer-owned businesses across home, fashion, and beauty. Let’s ease into this Monday with some online window shopping (or maybe even real shopping!), yeah?

I have your new go-to rug and blanket source. I have affordable eyewear that will make you look like a million bucks. I have a face serum that will change your life (if, like me, you also have dry skin.) I even have a book recommendation buried in here somewhere!

And if that’s not enough, I chose to feature each of these companies based on what y’all are already loving from our site recommendations. Because in addition to being EHD’s resident small business fangirl, I’m also the person who analyzes our links to make sure we’re showing products that you’ll love! So basically, the odds are VERY HIGH that you are going to find a new favorite company below.

Anyway, buckle up, cause I’ve got some goodies for ya. HERE WE GO.

Home 

MINNA

lines basket medium | marta throw blue | shadow pillow cream

OH BABY. I told you that you were gonna love these brands and I wasn’t kidding! MINNA partners with family-run workshops and independent co-ops to create ethically produced home goods. I’m obsessed with all the rugs, but have actually been saving up for this bold, geometric, minimal one. Other standouts include their abstract blankets (hunter green is my favorite, but indigo is a close second) and all their placemats. P.S. Team EHD loves placemats now — come back later this month for a post about it.

Otherwild

sigil series prints by tyler mathew oyer | red box top | hammered gold ring

OTHERWILD HAS EVERYTHING. Truly. They’re an LA stronghold (and if you’re based out here, they’re still offering curbside pickup!), but if you need the perfect gift or a final finishing piece for your room, YOU CAN FIND IT HERE. Example: if anyone would like to buy me a perfect gift, I’d take this orange and pink vessel, and I’m sure that this blush ceramic coffee press would look stunning in your IG post of your kitchen. DONE. Also, this pet bowl is VERY CUTE and modern.

Show & Tell

baule pillow | baule crop top | golden symbols quilt

Show & Tell is a Black-owned boutique/gallery/event space up in Oakland and while they stock a ton of incredible apparel, scarves, masks, and paper goods, I’m LOSING MY MIND over these hand-made quilts. This striped one is a stunner, but this $150 option would look awesome as a standalone piece on a wall.

BLK MKT Vintage

vintage bowie state letterman jacket | vintage south african ndebele ceremonial doll | elect fannie lou hammer shirt | reclaim blk

Another dual brick & mortar AND online shop worth bookmarking! BLK MKT Vintage carries Black collectibles and cultural artifacts. My current favorites include this framed knotted wall hanging (mint and orange and stripes? YES PLEASE!) and this hand-carved, multifunctional stool from Cameroon. OH, and some of BLK MKT’s curated pieces are also available through Ethel’s Club. I wrote about the latter earlier this month and it’s also worth a visit!

Queer Candle Co.

sage & cedar scented soy candle | reed diffusers | tea & herb scented soy candle

CANDLE LOVERS, I GOT YOU (Sara I’m looking at you). This one comes highly recommended from a few pals of mine (so they’ve been tried, tested, and loved!), and y’all, they are BEAUTIFUL. Each candle comes topped with dried herbs, dehydrated fruits, or salts that represent the scent (so pretty!!!) and 10% of monthly proceeds are donated to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. My friends’ favorite scents are Sweet Grapefruit & Mint, Sea Salt & Orchid, and Teak & Leather.

Fashion

Matriarch

rute boot | root longwing brogue | marlen brogue

Hi, I’m about to ruin your savings goals for this month because THESE ARE SO FREAKIN’ CUTE. And they come in all-gender sizing, so you can literally get them for everyone in your family. Or you could get a matching pair for you and your friends, if you’re feeling generous. (If you are that kind of friend who buys shoes for your pals, please drop me a note down in the comments, okay?) But anyway, look at the soles on these beige brogues! And they come in a high-top style boot version! And this black boot is just timeless. WOW. I could literally link everything here. I LOVE MATRIARCH, FOLKS.

Coco and Breezy

iris | jene | amazonian

Coco and Breezy make the coolest (THE. COOLEST.) sunglasses and eyeglasses. The fact that Prince wore a custom pair of Coco and Breezy sunglasses really tells you everything you need to know. But y’all, these are affordably priced for premium eyewear (a lot in the $150-$250 range — if you wear glasses like me, you know that’s a GOOD DEAL for a cute pair!), they kind of give me an Ali Wong vibe (my glasses icon!), and I can’t pick which ones to recommend so here are all their sunglasses and here are all their eyeglasses.

Automic Gold

boss necklace | suspender earring | line bangle

Lovers of tiny, wearable, never-take-it-off jewelry, I SEE YOU! Automic Gold makes high-quality pieces without the markup (seriously — that is my real opinion and not a talking point that I’ve been fed!). Pieces are offered in yellow, white, or rose gold with a ton of inclusive options — you can buy one earring instead of a set; you can order rings between size 2 and 16; you can customize the length of your necklace or bracelet chains. As someone with a large circle tattoo on their forearm, I’m very into these open circle earrings, but I also love this zig zag gold ring. (Also, grab the line ring in a few sizes if you’re ready to invest in a good set of stacking rings that won’t leave green residue all over your hands!!)

Telfar

large dark olive shopping bag | small oxblood shopping bag | medium yellow shopping bag

IT’S THE BUSHWICK BIRKIN. Telfar’s under-$300 vegan leather bags are hugely popular — as of posting, the whole site is sold out — and for good reason. Instead of linking to more favorites, y’all should take a peek at this profile on how the business has fared in the age of COVID — it’s such a good read. (Like, what do you do when your business of 15 years takes off just as the world is ending?) Once you’re done, bookmark the site and wait for the next bag drop. YOU WILL BE SO COOL.

Makoma

poncho | short sleeve jumpsuit | oya

It’s no secret that Team EHD loves a jumpsuit — seriously, all of us do — and Makoma makes some GREAT, bright, printed ones for all occasions (everything from long sleeve button-ups to spaghetti straps! Jumpsuits for all!). This blue, yellow, floral/stripe hybrid is unreal!!! But if you’re more of the “I’d prefer to have those leg holes sewn together, thanks” type, there are a ton of equally beautiful dresses — I’m also in love with this dark indigo maxi.

Wildfang

empower sl blouse | pronoun pin | empower tartan trouser

Wildfang is famous for a couple things (you’ve for sure seen their Wild Feminist line out in the world and Emily wore a couple of their suits in the Portland project reveals), but today I’m here to extoll their slim crop pants — this one comes in such a cute floral! — and ALL of their overalls. They carry up to a size 20 and they actually shoot pieces with models of all sizes, so you can get an idea of what your future purchase will actually look like if you have a body that’s larger than size 4. P/S. Their sale section is SO GOOD right now — you can scroll for a WHILE and it’s kind of like the cooler version of Madewell. Happy searching!!!

Nicole Zizi Studio

denim coach’s jacket | military olive merino wool cuff beanie | raw recycled denim trench coat

This is like…the COOL, COOL stuff. Nicole Zizi uses ethical manufacturing processes to create iconic, gender-free streetwear pieces out of recycled, sustainable materials. Y’all, these are forever pieces worth investing in — I’m especially partial to this recycled plastic denim trucker jacket. (If streetwear is new to you, Nicole’s featured in this article about the business of investing in and flipping streetwear — it’s a HUGE MARKET — and it’s such an interesting read.)

Humankind Swim

navy sport swim top | limited edition tie dye | grey swim trunk

I see y’all looking for cute swimwear and I GOT YOU. If you’re like Emily and looking for something a little more modest for chasing around kids or for lounging around with family, look no further than these swim shorts — they’re super comfortable AND you can choose between a 4″ and 6″ inseam (also, consider getting a second pair for a friend, or partner, or husband, or whoever, because matching swimwear is CUTE). You can also grab a set with a swim top (or a swim shirt!) and a pair of swim shorts.

Beauty

Volition

hibiscus unspottable correcting oil | detoxifying silt gelee mask | screen time hydrating mist

THIS ONE IS SO NEAT, FOLKS. Volition makes products that are submitted by users. So like, YOU — the lovely person drinking your morning coffee with me (hi!) — can be a product designer. They put their best suggestions up for a community vote and manufacture the winners. Y’all — this leads to some GOOD skincare that’s made for real life. If you’re looking for a one-stop shop, this complete 6-product set has everything you need to get started for under $200 AND it comes highly reviewed. Also, they’re celebrating the one year birthday of this super hydrating celery mask and it’s almost 50% off, so you should scoop one while you can!

Sigil

amor fati | magnum opus | prima materia

If you’re the kind of person who’s like, “hey, I’d like to try and find a signature scent, but I have no idea where to start,” I’m here with a hot tip — you can start here!!! Sigil makes four scents and they’re all awesome — try this $50 sampler and take $50 off your purchase of a full-sized scent. (Worth noting that when I first discovered this brand, all my ~cool friends~ were already following on Instagram and had nothing but glowing reviews!) Also, Sigil is donating 20% of their revenue this month to 4 nonprofits (check out their home page — how many times have y’all seen a brand telling you not to buy their product and to donate instead?) so you can DEFINITELY feel good about making your purchase.

Dragun

dragunfire color corrector | face palette | dragunheart transformation face powder

Nikita Dragun is a famous YouTuber (3 million subscribers!!!) who created a makeup line — and this is a real quote — “for you to catfish everyone.” Nikita’s a trans woman who wanted to create the transformative products that she needed and she did a GREAT JOB because y’all, this stuff sells out in minutes every time it drops. Add yourself to the waitlist for the Transformation Kit here. (AND it comes in an egg! VERY CUTE.)

NOTO

the wash | ono ono multi benne stain stick | moisture riser cream

I discovered NOTO through Verishop (if y’all are not on this train, GET ON BOARD — the site is so well curated with free 2-day shipping. Amazon who?) before popping over to the NOTO’s site to see their full line. I’m a skincare newbie (I have complained about this on the site before — your girl needs HELP) but I read this glowing review of their Deep Serum and had to give it a whirl…and I loved it. If your skin is also dry, they have a whole section dedicated to hydration, really thoughtful customer reviews, and they’re super open about their sustainability goals and progress as a business. 10/10, worth supporting!

Hi Wildflower

mati rose gold illumination powder | ancients 4 oz candle tin | lipstick duo: dianthus & shona

First off, I just learned that Hi Wildflower was founded by the author of Bright Lines, which is a REALLY GOOD BOOK. Has anyone else read it? ANYWAY — Hi Wildflower is best known for their lipsticks named after botanics and wildflowers (hence the name!), but I’m here to throw some emphatic support behind the Matí Rose Glow, which you can wear as a lip gloss, cheek stain, or eye color. Plus, you can take 30% off everything in your cart right now which is a REALLY good deal.

Fluide

universal gloss in elysium | 7 free polish in riis beach | liquid lipstick in rosemont

I am IN LOVE with this brand’s origin story and I’m gonna share a (very) distilled, quick version — Isabelle was in her 20s and working at a creative agency when she met Laurie, a mom of Gen Z teens. Isabelle was looking for a more authentic beauty brand and Laurie was inspired by the activism and inclusivity of the next generation she was raising, so they teamed up and launched a makeup brand for everyone. THAT’S SO HEARTWARMING FOR SO MANY REASONS. Everything Fluide carries is beautiful and super pigmented (no need for a billion layers!) but you should check out their whole line of glitter products, which I look forward to one day wearing if I ever go out at night again.

Snacks (The Most Important One)

Five North Chocolate

cinnamon almond | pistachio sea salt | goji berry

FOLKS. I have been alive for 28 years and the concept of snacking chocolate is totally new to me. Have I been under a rock or is this new to you, too? I mean, I know that technically any chocolate could be a snack (and TBH, I will eat basically any chocolate at any time), but these are so well-portioned and pre-designed to munch on. Pistachio Sea Salt is a WINNER (trust me), but you can get 6 bags — two of each flavor, so you can figure out your favorite — right here.

WE MADE IT THROUGH ANOTHER ROUNDUP. How did y’all like this format? (I took your feedback from the last small business roundup to heart!) Are there any LGBTQ+ owned businesses that you’d like to recommend? Did anything get added to your cart? Did you have a nice weekend? LET’S CHAT 🙂

Opening Image Credit: Design by Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy of BLK MKT Vintage | Photo by Kiyanna Stewart & Laquan Brinson-St.Pierre | via Design Sponge

Fin Mark

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Sonja Stendera

I find it weird that it is of importance to show/mention the business owners’ sexual preference. Why is this being emphasized? Does it play a role for the business, the things they sell or design? Or for the target group?
I would like their products anyway, no matter if they are black, white, yellow, blue, transgender, queer, asexual, tall, short, big, thin or whatever….the most important thing that they have a sustainabale fair business and fair prices 🙂

I mean, nobody would write a blog post ot introduce small shop owners with: 20 Incredible heterosexual Owned Small Businesses We Love And You Should KNOW, or? 😉

KP

We wouldn’t need to write the 20 hetero businesses blog post because it’s basically every blog post! We don’t need to highlight and uplift the groups of people that are in the vast majority. The point is to give a lift to businesses where proprietors may be underrepresented or have more challenges to overcome than the average business. The point of this post is so consumers can choose to support a queer owned business if they would like to. That’s all! I think people are getting really thoughtful about where they spend their money and it’s nice to know the backgrounds of small businesses so you can choose who you would like to support.

Jessica

^^ this

Jessica

Thank you for your eloquence, KP

Emily

In addition to the other great comments, I think roundups like these help diversify the companies and influencers who show in our feeds on social media. For the longest time, all the designers I followed on Instagram were pretty much variations on me – white, female, straight, etc, – and as a result all the Instagram suggestions on who I should follow fit that mold. Then a year or so ago I read an article about diversifying your Instagram feed and started following some new (to me) designers – black designers, LGBTQ+ designers – and suddenly not only did my Insta feed start to look a lot more diverse and colorful and interesting, but my suggestions did, too. Social media algorithms look at past preferences and clicks and purchases tend to feed you more of what you already have. Even small changes and additions can alter those algorithms and open up a whole new world.

Elisabeth

Friendly reminder that it’s sexual orientation, not sexual preference. Science — and human experience — tells us that being gay or lesbian is inborn.

Rusty

Caitlin, you killed it!! Great job!

If I didn’t live on the other side of the world from all of these purveyors of goodliness and wonderfulness, I could purchase quire a few things from this fabulous round up.
Great job!

Still bummed that a global blog is so LA focussed, but I get that sometimes … things are too hard.

Kewl gear and great brands.

Hey Rusty! I’m sorry so many of these companies don’t ship internationally (Yet! Maybe if enough people from other parts of the world seemed excited they could find a way??). But as always, thank you for your support and positivity 😊 xx

Roberta Davis

Nice products and good to highlight during Pride month. I do have a question. How did you know these businesses are LGBTQ+ -owned? Or, how did you find them, if you were setting out to find them? I usually just buy products I like, and whatever group the seller identifies with is not the reason for me to like or buy anything. It seems that is the ideal we’re trying to get to for all people.

Sonja Stendera

Exactly what I meant, I buy products and usually don ot know about the owners’ sexual preference and…it is not of my business.
Why should the proprietors are underrepresented or have more challenges to overcome than the average business? Not agreeing, everybody has troubles or no troubles with their business regardless who they love. Nobody asks them if they are melon eaters or not….cannot understand the argumentation here.

Sarah

The systemic challenges that people in minority groups have and continue to face are very well documented. There’s no debate/argument about this. Imagine how your existence would be different as a small business owner who felt obliged to hide your sexual orientation for fear of discrimination – no kissing your partner hello when they walked into the store, stumbling over pronouns to avoid revealing their gender, etc. This is a challenge that heterosexual business owners don’t have to deal with because they, as a class, have never faced discrimination based on their sexual orientation. On the off chance you weren’t just being flippant, the difference between people who, say, like melon, and those who are gay or of color is that there is no history of discriminatory laws specifically singling out the former group.

Alexandra

Thank you for the diverse lists. While I try to shop less for environmental (and let’s be honest, financial) reasons, I absolutely appreciate the spotlight on Black-owned or LGBT-owned businesses. It empowers a small business if you choose to spend your money there instead of at the big business. And to a small business of any type, this makes a big difference, even more so if it’s a minority-owned business. I love WildFang. Found their supercool store in Portland and scored a cute vest on sale last year. It’s gender fluid clothing with a twist. Their shirts are also great and made of great quality.

Sandra

I am sorry to see a post titled like this. If you think about it, this is more divisive. People that are against a group will not shop depending on how they feel about this subject. I would prefer not to know and just buy because it is a great company. When we start calling out personal details of peoples’ lives, as a minority group to support, there are too many to mention. What about the great businesses owned by overweight people, or anorexic people or mentally challenged? It just gets silly. I want to see people as people, not by labels. Why can’t you just identify companies that have great products?

Sonja Stendera

Exactly what I meant, english is not my mother tongue, thus I probably expressed myself vague.
Yor comment is expressing my thoughts.
It is the products I buy or the business I support. I have a small business and I am totally ‘normal’ , the avergae human, but who supports me 😉

Jenn

Um. These businesses are all owned by “normal” people.

Highlighting LGBTQ owned businesses during pride is awesome, thanks Caitlin!

Amanda

1. It’s Pride Month. There are some great documentaries on Netflix/Hulu/YouTube that highlight the importance of the LGBTQ movement. You could also research the history of the Stonewall riots. And 2. The slippery slope argument you mention is often used to minimize the obstacles that those *not* in the majority encounter. The EHD team is celebrating the creativity and success of folks who have been discriminated against, systemically and other, for hundreds of years (and continue to be). Make no mistake, the divisiveness came first e.g., homosexuality in the DSM, marriage illegal, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the list goes on. As for your last question, some people do care about where they choose to spend their money. Identifying companies that do/do not align with your values is completely optional. There are many ways to judge a company’s “greatness.” Personally I appreciate this list.

This comment is for Emily! Okay, so this isn’t about this post. But I just wanted to say I just watched the documentary 13th. OMG. I mean, I already knew how awful was going on in general terms, but seeing just how calculated systemic racism in this country is, is just so sickening. So glad you suggested readers watch this. I honestly believe this should be shown to EVERYONE in this country. The part at end where they show how Trump encourages violence at his rallies and compares it to the same behavior throughout American history is really horrifying.
I’m SO glad you took on this topic. THANK YOU.

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