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Women’s History Month 2024 - Celebrating DMV Entrepreneurs

Madam CJ Walker once said, “Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”

And that is exactly what women all over the world did. Starting with Clara Zetkin’s proposal during the Second International Socialist Women’s Conference held in 1910 where she urged for empowerment of women in the labor force. And, a lot has happened since then.

This year’s Women’s History Month theme touches on an aspect that women are still struggling with in different countries - “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion”. 

In this blog post, we want to highlight the significant progress African-American women have achieved in entrepreneurship and feature female-owned businesses in the DMV are who are rising stars in their own way. 

Current Status of African-American Female Entrepreneurs

Research conducted by GoDaddy has unveiled an intriguing trend: although comprising less than 10% of the U.S. population, Black women are swiftly becoming a dominant force among entrepreneurs. This upward trend in Black women-owned businesses was evident before the COVID-19 pandemic, which further catalyzed the surge in entrepreneurship across the board. 

According to the Brookings Institution, between 2017 and 2020, the number of Black women-owned businesses surged by almost 20%, surpassing the growth rates of both women-owned and Black-owned businesses collectively.

These findings not only underscore the significant economic contributions of Black women to the business landscape but also highlight the imperative of fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for their continued success and growth. Recognizing and nurturing the potential of African-American female entrepreneurs is essential for fostering a more equitable and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Women-Led DMV Businesses You Need to Support

Celebrating the vibrant tapestry of entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) region thrives with women-led businesses making waves across diverse industries. From skincare to culinary delights, from fashion to wellness, these visionary women are not just entrepreneurs but agents of change, infusing their passion, resilience, and innovation into every aspect of their ventures.

A Meaningful Mood

As both an entrepreneur and believer, Renee embraces her calling to spread messages of hope and love through every accessory and apparel crafted. With a deep-rooted belief in God's plan, she aspires to serve as a vessel for His word and His will, bringing blessings to all who engage in A Meaningful Mood.

Body Scrubs By Rebecca

Founded by Rebecca, Body Scrubs by Rebecca was born from a transformative conversation with a childhood friend about skincare. Exploring the world of exfoliation and natural ingredients, Rebecca discovered a potent blend that not only rejuvenated her skin but also helped fade dark spots. Inspired by her results, she was compelled to share her discoveries with others facing similar skincare challenges.

The Professional Hoodrat

Founded in November 2020 by DMV Native Kimberly Johnson, the brand was initially inspired by the historic election of the nation’s first Black Vice President, the brand began with a collection of streetwear celebrating this momentous occasion. Since then, The Professional Hoodrat has evolved to cater to individuals thriving in Corporate America while maintaining a love for Trap Music.

The Butterland

The Butterland® was born from Paris's quest to find natural hair care products for her daughter, Sydney, who underwent chemotherapy for childhood cancer. Frustrated by the lack of suitable options in stores, Paris drew upon her culinary background and began crafting her own solutions in the kitchen. Starting with just two products—Whipped Shea Butter for Hair and Skin and Moringa Growth Oil—The Butterland® has since grown into a comprehensive line of 12 products.

Bold and Beautiful Coffee Bar

Bold + Beautiful Coffee Bar is a remarkable coffee line meticulously crafted to perfection, tailored to satisfy your taste buds.  Born during the pandemic, their coffee line transcends boundaries, offering a range of blends sourced from coffee beans across the globe. With bold ingredients that set them apart from traditional brands, they aim to redefine the coffee-drinking experience for all.


Pecandy is the brainchild of Alishia, a culinary enthusiast with a passion for creating delectable treats. Driven by her innate talent and a desire to share her creations, Alishia perfected the sweet, salty, and crunchy texture of each candied pecan, infusing them with bomb flavors sure to tantalize your taste buds. From her oven to your hands, Pecandy offers a delightful snack experience that you'll love to enjoy and share.

Black and Scholared

Founded by an HBCU graduate and proud alumna of Howard University, Black & Scholared® began as an apparel collection honoring Black grads and has since evolved into a global community of proud HBCU scholars and alumni. Their fashion-forward designs not only represent school pride but also showcase the excellence and achievements of the Black community.

Zen in a Jar

Zen in a Jar is not just a business but a manifestation of one individual's love language - gifting. Initially conceived as a side hustle to fund doctoral studies, Zen in a Jar gradually evolved into a true passion. In 2018, Nikki took a leap of faith, leaving behind a lucrative career in IT project management to pursue Zen in a Jar full-time.

Luscious Lathers and Essentials

Founded by Tina Greenfield, the brand emerged from her personal journey battling Severe Social and General Anxiety Disorder, where she discovered solace and passion in the art of soap making. Driven by a desire to share her story and inspire others to find their own path to wellness, Tina crafted Luscious Lathers & Essentials to offer luxurious soaps that appeal to both the mind and body. Their products are meticulously crafted using high-quality ingredients, including plant-based butters and skin-safe colorants, ensuring inclusivity and quality for all.

Machée Creates

The Machée Creates is the brainchild of Machée Kelly, a passionate artist whose journey with art began in childhood and evolved into a multifaceted expression of creativity. Centering on Black culture and vibrant colors, her creations aim to uplift and inspire, celebrating identity and community through the lens of art and color psychology.

Soultry Boutique

Khadeeja Honesty used her life challenges as inspiration for handmade clay jewellery and self-care workshops. Not a stranger to loss, Khadeeja knows the importance of self-affirmation and soul care to cope healthily in a world that’s constantly throwing struggles of all forms at women. Soultry Boutique provides polymer clay jewelries for the modern woman that allow them to express themselves whether they prefer abstract, earthy or minimalist designs.  

Mama Biscuit

Lesley Riley, affectionately known as Mama Biscuit, or "the biscuit darling," is the culinary genius behind the beloved biscuits that have captured America's heart. From classic buttermilk to innovative flavors like Banana's Foster with Salted Caramel and Spiced Mango, Mama's Biscuits has revolutionized the biscuit game.

Marriah Jones Beauty

Marriah Jones, the CEO of Marriah Jones Beauty, embarked on a transformative journey from uncertainty to empowerment. Recognizing the importance of self-care, she embraced her passion for makeup and beauty, founding MJ Beauty. This venture became her platform to empower women to prioritize self-love and confidence.

Arrivista Planner

As the Arrivista Planner Queen Mother, Grace has witnessed the growth of The Arrivista Planner Tribe with immense joy since its debut in 2019. Each edition of The Arrivista Planner reflects Grace's purpose: to empower others to live boldly, creatively, and excellently while celebrating their unique journey. It is a lifestyle architect, designed to uplift and inspire individuals to walk confidently in their purpose.

Karibbean Kinks

Karibbean Kinks, led by hairstylist Sherelle Holder, is a premier salon located in Prince Georges County, Maryland. Originally from Tobago, Sherelle has mastered the art of styling locs and faux locs, creating dynamic and creative looks for clients of all genders and loc types. Her passion for her craft is evident in the positive impact she has on her clients' lives, as she believes that a simple beauty service can uplift the spirit.

Ninas Sweet Cakes

For Nina, baking is more than just a hobby—it's a form of escape and self-expression. Her signature "SweetCake Swirl" adds a unique touch to her creations, elevating them to new heights of deliciousness and beauty. As a wife and mother of five, Nina's baking ventures began as a hobby, assisting her grandmother in the kitchen. Over time, her passion for baking grew, leading her to explore event planning and baking for special occasions which eventually led to Ninas Sweet Cakes.

SunGods Official

CEO/Lead Designer, LaShawn Kenley, infuses her passion for creativity and cultural heritage into every garment, ensuring that each piece embodies the essence of empowerment and regality. At Sun Gods, they believe in ethically handcrafted clothing that allows their customers, affectionately known as Goddesses or People of the Sun, to embrace their majestic identity and radiate confidence.

Pop of the Party

Founded by La Tonya Dean, Pop of the Party is a premier party and event décor business serving Maryland and the surrounding areas. Inspired by her craft of styling balloons, La Tonya embarked on a journey to bring creative and fun accents to event décor.

Kacey Grady Cooks 

Kacey Grady Cooks is a culinary venture inspired by a legacy of love and passion for cooking passed down from Kacey's mother, Pauline. She developed a deep appreciation for the art of cooking and the joy of serving others. With a commitment to excellence and a desire to bring people together through food, Kacey offers personalized dining experiences that leave a lasting impression.

CARRA Hosiery 

Under the visionary leadership of CEO and Designer Christi Hairston, CARRA Hosiery emerges as a testament to love, style, and innovation. Founded in memory of her late sister Carra Lavonne, every product serves as a tribute to Carra's impeccable style, offering comfort, sophistication, and a unique twist: built-in panty in all legwear. This innovative approach, known as Free The Panty, redefines the boundaries of traditional hosiery, providing unparalleled comfort and convenience.


Whether you have micro locs, braid locs, sister locs, traditional locs, or free-form locs, NVLX Labs is tailored for their clients. Their products are specially formulated to complement interlocs and loc types that prioritize minimal product usage as locs mature. Designed to keep hair light, flowy, and healthy while promoting the locking process, their line is the go-to solution for luxurious loc care.

Adjourn Tea House

Inspired by a lifelong love for tea and a journey marked by loss and resilience, LaTonia embarked on a mission to create a small tea and wellness brand that fosters mindfulness and collective care. After more than 13 years as an educator, LaTonia transitioned into the food and beverage industry as a creative wellness practitioner. With Adjourn Tea House, she channels her experiences of grief and loss into products designed to support mindfulness practices and collective healing.

Po’up Cards

Founded by Lizz Rene, a proud first-generation college graduate and alumna of the University of Georgia, PO’ UP! brings together the vibrant cultures and traditions of Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) alike. 

Fleurs d’Ave

Established in 2018, Fleurs d’Ave Floral Boutique redefines floristry with a commitment to bespoke arrangements and personalized service. They prioritize the use of fresh, locally sourced blooms, with our in-house floral designers frequently visiting nearby farms to create unique and vibrant arrangements. 

Judy Makes Juices

At JudyMakesJuices, they're passionate about promoting wellness through delicious and nutritious juices. Inspired by the journey of the founder's mother's battle with breast cancer, they're dedicated to sharing the benefits of juicing and educating others on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Key Takeaway

As we reflect on the journey of women in entrepreneurship and celebrate their accomplishments, it's essential to recognize the strides made in fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion. Women's History Month serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and tenacity displayed by women throughout history, from the pioneering efforts of Clara Zetkin to the present-day achievements of African-American female entrepreneurs. 

The rise of businesses led by women in the DMV region exemplifies this progress, showcasing the innovation, creativity, and determination of these visionary leaders. As we continue to support and uplift women in business, let us draw inspiration from their stories and collective achievements, paving the way for a future where all women have equal opportunities to thrive and succeed.