This year continues to bring challenges across every industry, but recently, there has been a rise in the support of Black-owned businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. For one founder, #buyblack is more than just a passing trend.

Last week marked the launch of a new website, BLK OCEANS, showcasing the best of Black-owned businesses. Using bold imagery and captivating headlines, the site features interviews with Black founders of brands in four distinct categories: fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and kids.

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“BLK OCEANS is an online resource where people can discover and support Black creatives and founders,” says Founder and Curator of BLK OCEANS Leah Freeman-Haskin. “My hope is that people will use the website to discover new brands and become long-term, loyal customers of their new, favorite Black-owned business.”

Meant to uplift and inspire, the name, BLK OCEANS, comes from the famous poem, Still I Rise by Maya Angelou:

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Some of the current features include interviews with the founders of CHAR, Kurly Klips, Fanm Mon, Nude Barre and ‘skinfood’ beauty brand, Pholk Beauty with many more on the horizon.

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Utilizing Instagram as an additional platform to bring awareness to the brands, @blkoceans acts as an easily viewable and visually powerful resource where followers can discover new brands based on categories of interest. Black founders can connect with BLK OCEANS through Instagram or the website to request a feature.

“I hope Black creatives and founders feel supported and know there is a community cheering them on,” says Leah. “Despite current challenges, BLK OCEANS is a reminder for us all to keep rising!”