Celebrating Black History Month: 6 Black Owned Businesses for Brides to Support

Events and BoutiquesOur Heart | February 5, 2023
Black Owned Businesses Header Image With Black Retail Owner Standing In Front Of Maggie Sottero Wedding Dresses

At Maggie Sottero, we could not be prouder of the partnerships we have with our amazing Authorized Retailers. Not only have they provided our brides with expert and inclusive shopping experiences, but they have been incredible members of the Maggie Family as well! We love all our Retail Partners, but with Black History Month here, we want to specifically highlight and celebrate the partnerships we have with the Black owned businesses in our Maggie Family.

Love and love for ALL are one of the pillars of our community. We would not be where we are today without the diversity of our employees, brides, partners, and retailers. To learn more about some of the incredible diversity in our Maggie Family and how to support Black owned businesses like the ones below, keep reading and make sure to sign up for our exclusive text messages below to learn more about how to find your wedding dress and the retailers you will be working with.

Ways to Support Black Owned Businesses

Educating yourself and others is one of the most important ways to support different communities all year round. While our retailers below gave expert advice on what Black History Month means to them as Black business owners, and the importance of diversity in bridal, we wanted to give some tips on how to support Black owned businesses this month and ALWAYS.

Tip 1: Buy from Black owned businesses. Whether it is a big purchase like buying your wedding dress or investing in their businesses for your day-to-day needs, this is by far the best way to support businesses like these.

Tip 2: Become an advocate. Share these businesses with others online and by word of mouth (the more people checking them out, the better!).

Tip 3: Write and share positive reviews. Posting a positive review online is a great way to create awareness and encourage more traffic to Black owned businesses! A simple 5-star review can go a long way.  

Tip 4: Build professional relationships with Black owned businesses. If you’re a business owner yourself, help your fellow business owners out by featuring them on your website and socials, and investing in the community.

Tip 5: Be intentional. While it is great to celebrate the Black community during Black History Month, it’s important to engage with these businesses all year round!

To learn more and to hear from Black voices, keep reading for some exclusive interviews from our Black owned retailers.

Elite Secrets Bridal

Located: Baltimore, Maryland

Find Them on Instagram: Follow Elite Secrets Bridal

Photo courtesy of Elite Secrets Bridal

LaTonya Turnage, the owner of Elite Secrets Bridal, fell in love with the wedding industry after getting her start in makeup. The personal aspect of bridal has always been her favorite part – from beautifying her brides to helping them dress to interacting with family members! Helping create such a special day for brides and witnessing their joy first-hand was the catalyst behind her opening the “Say Yes Hub” of Baltimore.

What does Black History Month mean to you as a business owner and individual?

“Black History Month is a time to appreciate the contributions Black Americans made for all of us and acknowledge those paving the way for the future.”

“As a business owner, this time reminds us of the importance, power, and value of the Black consumer and the responsibility to make sure they feel seen and valued.”

“Personally, this is a time of reflection and an opportunity to pay homage to the Black businesswomen who went before me and a gentle reminder to reach back and help BIPOC trailblazers on their way up.”

What is the experience you want our brides to know when they choose your business to find their dream dress?

“We have several years of experience in wedding beauty, collection availability, private bridal suite venue options, hair and makeup services, and on-location alterations. We provide top-of-the-line bridal fashion with highly trained industry professionals, and we promise exceptional service to our clients. Our motto is simple, “You should have love at first sight with your wedding dress, too.”

Why is diversity in bridal important to you?

“It’s important to me that our brides can envision themselves when seeing advertisements and social media posts. It’s also important from a business perspective to support the community and encourage inclusiveness all around. Diversity exemplifies who we are at Elite Secrets Bridal. We’re in the business of creating experiences with memories to last a lifetime for every bride that crosses our path.”

Photo Courtesy of Elite Secrets Bridal

The ”Say Yes Hub” of Baltimore is one of many of our diverse Authorized Retailers. Not only do we encourage you to make an appointment with them to find your dream dress (take our Style Quiz to get an idea of what to look for!), but make sure to follow their Instagram as well to get expert insights into Black owned businesses and the bridal industry as a whole.

Labella Bridal Boutique

Located: Occoquan, Virginia

Find Them on Instagram: Follow Labella Bridal Boutique

Photo Courtesy of LaBella Bridal Boutique

Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone West Africa, Ellalyne Brayman has been a lover and student of fashion and design for years. Not only did she work as a model in London, but she has been in the bridal industry for 23 years – finally founding Labella Bridal Boutique in 2007. Throughout the last 14 years since this wonderful black owned business opened, it has made every bride’s experience special and one of a kind!

What does Black History Month mean to you as a business owner and individual?

“At Labella Bridal Boutique we celebrate diversity every day by showing kindness and embracing everyone who enters Labella. Being a Black business owner in a town where many Black people were discriminated against on the street means a lot to me. Yes, I have experienced discrimination, but I positively turn it around by showing kindness and compassion.”

“I reflect on my ancestors. They didn’t have this opportunity. The reflection of my ancestors is in me.”

Are you or your business doing anything to celebrate or honor Black History Month this year? If so, how are you celebrating?

“Yes! We have added some framed pictures of positive affirmations around the boutique. We have also started to play international heritage music, and I have decided to display some African carvings around the shop. Additionally, I have started to wear African attire and accessories to work.”

Why is diversity in bridal important to you?

“Diversity is extremely important, and Maggie Sottero has done an amazing job with this! For my granddaughter to feel and know that she is represented in this industry is very important. The fashion industry and especially the bridal industry play a huge part in this. Love is love and should see no color. I have hope for a change. Hope in the face of uncertainty. Maggie Sottero shares the same energy that I do. Embrace diversity. Together we will work towards eradicating the ignorance of oppression on diversity.”

Photo Courtesy of LaBella Bridal Boutique

We are so incredibly thankful for the expertise and experience that Ellalyne, an immigrant, and woman of color, has given our brides! You can find this kind and compassionate bridal business through our Authorized Retailers website or directly make an appointment on their website.

Bridal Trousseau

Located: New Haven, Connecticut

Follow Them on Instagram: Follow Bridal Tousseau

Photo Courtesy of Bridal Trousseau

Next on our list of Black owned businesses is Bridal Trousseau in New Haven, Connecticut run by Melaka and Ide Ehigiato. Though the two business owners originally got their starts in biology and engineering, they discovered their passions for helping people celebrate, fashion design, and ultimately, bridal. Not only have the Ehigiat’s become experts in their field but they have become a hub for diversity in the bridal industry that extends to their staff.

What does Black History Month mean to you as a business owner and individual?

“Black History Month for us is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate those who paved the way for us and contributed to making this world a better place.”

Are you or your business doing anything to celebrate or honor Black History Month this year? If so, how are you celebrating?

“Diversity to Bridal Trousseau means being inclusive daily. It means we see your story and we hear you. When a bride chooses our salon, we do focus on hearing what she wants. Bridal is such a beautiful time in a person’s life, and we really enjoy the fact that we can bring an important aspect of a vision and celebration to life. When we started in bridal, we didn’t see much representation of what America looks like. That has changed thankfully. I love that Maggie Sottero Designs has been very consistent in creating images that represent the people who wear their gowns.” 

What is the experience you want our brides to know when they choose your business to find their dream dress?

“At Bridal Trousseau, diversity and inclusion are very important to us. The brides we serve are diverse. We welcome everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation into our salon and we treat everyone with the utmost respect. We want everyone to feel safe and loved in our space.”

Photo Courtesy of Bridal Trousseau

Between Bridal Trousseau’s outstanding customer service, friendships with brides, and memorable moments, they are one of our many black owned small businesses that we are proud to be partnered with. Make an appointment today!

Black Owned Businesses: Urban Set Bride

Located: Richmond, Virginia

Follow Them on Instagram: Follow Urban Set Bride

Photo Courtesy of Urban Set Bride

Inspired by the 1920s phrase to describe a new dress and the sassy women who came before, Urban Set Bride is a Black owned, family owned, and woman owned bridal boutique that provides a safe space for all those in love regardless of race, gender, or sexuality. We were so excited to talk to Christine Haines Greenberg, one of the co-owners, to highlight this Black owned business to our brides!

What does Black History Month mean to you as a business owner and individual?

“Black History Month to me is one of the many steps we need to take as a nation to honor those who’ve shaped our past through innovation, education, and civil discourse in America. As a business owner, it’s nice to be highlighted as a woman of color, making strides to make a difference in the retail market. But that shouldn’t be reserved for just one month.”

Why is diversity in bridal important to you?

“Diversity in bridal should be a no-brainer, but it’s taken centuries for designers and marketing teams to figure this out. While I’m grateful for the huge amount of progress we’ve made as an industry over the last 20 years, there is still work to be done. Everyone, no matter their skin color, size, gender identity, creed or physical abilities should be able to see themselves in a wedding gown. Period.”

Photo Courtesy of Urban Set Bride

This mother-daughter-owned boutique has created a wonderfully transparent and uplifting business in bridal. To quote Christine, brides will walk in and realize, “not only is this fun, but I look pretty darn good in these gowns!” To have the experience of a lifetime and truly be celebrated while shopping for your dream gown, book an appointment with them today!

Black Owned Businesses ICON Bridal & Formal

Located: Rockville, Maryland

Follow Them on Instagram: Follow ICON Bridal & Formal

Photo Courtesy of ICON Bridal & Formal

Connie Thompson, owner of ICON Bridal & Formal in Maryland, has had a history with the fashion industry since she was running around her parents’ boutiques back in Ghana. After immigrating to the United States, the seamstress and fashion expert opened her own bridal boutique which will be celebrating its 11th year anniversary this summer! Keep reading to learn more about this fashion ICON (wink wink) and what Black History Month means to her.

What does Black History Month mean to you as a business owner and individual?

“Black history means a lot to me because I’m able to learn about a very rich culture and history made by our Black ancestors both living and past. It’s fascinating to reflect on how relentless and hardworking they were and how despite being the minority, it never prevented them from achieving their goals and making history great!”

Why is diversity in bridal important to you?

“I would like to see more Black designers in the bridal industry.  When some of my brides come into my shop, they usually tell us about how they were looking for a Black designer but couldn’t find any in the DMV (DC, MD, Virginia) and so they chose my shop because of it being owned by a Black woman.”

Photo Courtesy of ICON Bridal & Formal

Joy, inclusivity, and love are the main focuses that drives ICON Bridal & Formal. Her and her amazing team are prime examples of why you should support Black owned businesses during Black History Month, and every month of the year! To make an appointment and get the experience of a lifetime, head to their website!

The Dress Matters

Located: Media, Philadelphia

Follow Them on Instagram: Follow The Dress Matters

Photo Courtesy of The Dress Matters

Champion in diversity, Deborah Collins, owner of The Dress Matters in Philadelphia, is another one of our amazing Black-Owned Retailers. The Dress Matters has been open for 7 years, and while it hasn’t been easy according to Deborah, it’s been worth it. Keep reading to learn more about her journey into inclusivity in fashion and bridal!

What does Black History Month mean to you as a business owner and individual?

“Black history to me is a time of celebrating and remembering African Americans that gave us hope or life lessons. The leadership and determination shown throughout history is amazing. As an African American business owner, it means I have a lot to feel proud about and it teaches me to continue to be a leader.”

Are you or your business doing anything to celebrate or honor Black History Month this year? If so, how are you celebrating?

“To celebrate, my business selects a Black organization or charity to donate a portion of sales to!”

What is your favorite aspect of working in the bridal industry?

“My favorite aspect is when a bride finds her dress and says yes. It’s such a happy time for the bride and her entourage. I feel like we get to be a special part of the wedding.”

Photo Courtesy of The Dress Matters

For The Dress Matters Bridal Boutique, celebrating and supporting black owned small businesses is not exclusive to Black History Month. It extends to diverse hiring, inclusive representation in their products, and encouraging African American women to dive into the business world as well. If you’re a bride near Philadelphia, make an appointment at their boutique today!

While we are so excited to highlight these Black-Owned Authorized Retailers, we have many others around the world as well! To find a retailer near you, take a peek at the list before and make an appointment to find a gown:

Creating inclusive and celebratory environments for our brides is the most important thing to us at Maggie Sottero. That’s why we are so proud of and adore our Authorized Retailers. They have made such amazing efforts to create a welcoming and loving environment for our brides no matter their race, gender, or sexuality. To reiterate what our Black-Owned Retailers said above, it is important to celebrate black owned businesses year-round, not just during Black History Month!

To visit one of these Authorized Retailers or one near you, make sure to click our button below to make an appointment, and read more blogs like this below!

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