Amid a tepid economy, America’s burgeoning “maker” movement is breeding a whole new generation of creative black entrepreneurs. They are betting their futures not on traditional jobs, but on serious craft. Whether hand-sewn, hand-made, home-forged, hand-cut or garage-built, these risk takers rely on a very old-school concept: If you have a craft, nobody can ever take your career away.
The rapid rise of black entrepreneurs in the maker space is due, in part, to greater incubator spaces, cheaper access to collaborators, and possibly to dramatically higher black unemployment. This has made some people much more aggressive about pursuing passions and opportunities outside of the norm.
But, their timing couldn’t be better: Recent studies by African American economists and activists agree that one of the easiest solutions to black economic advancement, would be a dramatic increase in spending by black consumers within their own community. According to Nielsen, less than two cents of every dollar spent by African Americans stays in their community. Yet economic leaders such as Charles Tate, the former head of the Booker T. Washington Foundation, estimate that if African Americans would simply examine their list of monthly purchases and dedicate themselves to buying a minimum of three of those items from black-owned businesses, it would add as much as $30 billion to the community. So, with that in mind, you can spend Thanksgiving night waiting in line to buy new TVs from big-box stores or you can buy true craft by an exciting group of African American artisans.
This list, compiled by the Urban News Service, represents the best of the best — creators and crafters, some famous and some soon-to-be, who are producing high-quality products. They also have put just as much effort into their delivery systems, so their goods will arrive in time for the holidays.
Detroit vs. Everybody – The brand is manufactured and designed here in Detroit with brick and mortar stores in Greektown and Eastern market.