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Gratitude Trip Recap: Black-Owned Businesses in LA

Last month, I took a Gratitude Trip with Be Rooted trip to Los Angeles to visit Black-owned businesses in SoCal. Be Rooted was the first brand I worked with on a paid partnership when I started TargetWhileBlack, and I was the first influencer that founder Jasmin Foster worked with as well. So, this trip was a 360 moment for us!

Three women smiling.
Jasmin Foster, founder of Be Rooted, me, and the Thread Beauty social media manager.

Here’s a rundown of where I went and where I want to go next time I’m on the West Coast. Do you have a favorite Black-owned spot in LA? Share it with me!


First, I visited the Thirteen Lune flagship store—their first and, right now, only freestanding brick-and-mortar. 90% of the products in the store are BIPOC-created, and allies create the other 10%. For context, it is located just south of Beverly Blvd and Melrose Ave, in Central LA. I expected a giant version of brand pictures and stories, but it was completely different. You can read about the brand in my blog post here and watch my reels.


I’ll admit, I wish the store had the same setup as the locations in JC Penney stores. There were not a lot of brand stories around the store, and because everything was either on tables or the walls, it made the overall store feel cluttered.


If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I never make a shopping list without including books, and a Black-owned bookshop is my jam. As soon as I stepped into The Salt Eaters Bookshop in Inglewood, I knew that I was in my happy place! All of the books in the store are Black books!


Here is what about:


The Salt Eaters Bookshop is an independent bookstore in Inglewood, CA, prioritizing books, comics, and zines by and about Black women, girls, femmes, and gender-expansive people. ​Inspired by The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara, our shop is working to create a resting place for us all to come home.


Let me tell you, I was close to tears when she said I could pick out a book! My pick was Legendborn (a YA fantasy novel by Tracy Deonn), which I’ll get to eventually, but my TBR (to-be-read) list is deep now.


While there, they facilitated a guided journaling session, which I kept up with after my trip. It’s a great way to decompress and reflect!). Of course, we used Be Rooted journals—I love seeing other Black-owned brands in a Black-owned store!


If you’re visiting but don’t have a budget for new books, take a book or leave a book at the Free Black Women’s Library.


Beyond the books, they have bright pink wallpaper featuring images of a black woman. I can’t even tell you how dope that was!



Next up was yoga on the beach with Mel Douglas Yoga. There is nothing like getting zen with the waves crashing in the background under the warm sun. I highly recommend it.



I had the BEST Brussels sprouts of my life at Black-owned brunch spot Poppy + Rose in downtown LA.


Lastly, I struggled through floral arranging at Old Vine Florals downtown. Don’t get me wrong, it was a cute activity, and I like to think of myself as a creative person, but those flowers and I did not get along!


LA is full of cultural gems. Check out this list of Black-owned businesses you can visit next time you’re on the West Coast.


Let me know what your favorite LA Black-owned spots are!


ICYMI:

Need a consultant? Or do you want me to speak at your event? Please get in touch with me at hello@retailwhileblack.shop


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