In recent years there’s been a strong push to buy black. Put your money where your values lie. Build black wealth. Support your community. And in my core I know that most of us want to buy black, but practical limitations such as price, awareness, and accessibility are real challenges. Everyone is not naturally inclined to search the web for black-owned alternatives for every personal care and household essentials they purchase, but BLK + GRN has made it that much easier. At BLK + GRN it’s all black everything with a focus on curating brands that value green beauty and sustainability. Learn how the founder is making it easy for you to buy black.
Introduce yourself & why you do what you do.
Hey girl hey! My name is Kristian, Dr. Kristian H, on social media. I am a public health professor, a believer in #BlackGirlMagic, and committed to all things wellness and self-love. No day is the same, from teaching public health at George Washington University to leading yoga classes to mentoring entrepreneurs. I love discovering new products, creating exciting partnerships with fabulous women, and traveling.
Describe the inception of BLK+GRN. What was your aha moment and when did your vision start to manifest?
In 2017, I founded BLK + GRN, an online e-commerce platform that curates natural and holistic products created by Black artisans and entrepreneurs. There are two key movements that are currently happening in the United States: the buy black movement and the green movement. The buy black movement is an acknowledgement of tremendous buying power of the African American community and the realization that we can literally vote with our dollars. The idea that we can build our communities by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The green movement is a movement towards holistic health. It is the idea of removing toxic chemicals from our diets and products and instead using the power of plants and nature to heal and thrive. BLK + GRN was born out of these movements, allowing Black people to be conscious, politically and socially, with our consumption decisions.
What do you look for in brands to feature on your platform? Tell me more about the brand’s philosophy and how it was constructed.
We curate natural products that are handcrafted by Black artisans and entrepreneurs. We partner with the best Black-owned brands that are creating specialized products that support a holistic and healthy lifestyle. Our brands use ingredients that are high-quality, ethically sourced, plant-based, vegan, organic, toxic-free, and cruelty-free. Our brands boldly feature women of color in their marketing and branding. Our brands take quality, sustainability, and integrity seriously. From perfecting your skin routine, to cleaning your home, to establishing a self-care routine, BLK + GRN has you covered.
How is your platform different from other e-commerce sites?
For starters, we do not only sell products. We educate our tribe on the harms of certain chemicals and provide alternatives to their current preferences. We understand that health, wellness, and happiness is revolutionary. We infuse the idea of self-love and self-care throughout our brand. Secondly, BLK + GRN was created by and for Black women. When you support BLK + GRN, you are supporting hundreds of Black women founders, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. We are creating a movement. And lastly, we are picky. We test every single product on our platform, and we have high quality standards that brands have to meet. We are proving that there are high-quality, luxury Black-owned brands.
What’s your favorite black-owned skin care brand?
Currently, The Healing Place Apothecary from Oakland, California. I swear by her Daily Green Whipped Moisturizing Face Cream. In combination with black soap and rose water, my face has been breakout free.
What is your current favorite trend in the beauty space?
I am really loving the trend towards skin care and facial masks. I am loving all of the clay, charcoal, and plant-based masks that are currently on the market.
What’s your skin care regimen? This does not have to be limited to face. Let’s not neglect the rest of the body.
My face routine is black soap, rose water toner, and The Healing Place Whipped Greens Moisturizing Face Cream. I try to do a mask at least once per week; it’s my self-care. For my body, I like whipped butters. I am loving the Apricot Butter from the Hunnybunny Boutique. I also make sure to exfoliate areas I shave, with lot’s of attention to my underarms as I switch to natural deodorants.
What’s on your vanity and what’s in your purse?
Cocoa butter lip gloss, a soy candle, and Shea Yeleen Hand Cream.
What brands can we expect to find on BLK + GRN?
What skin care tip do you live by?
Drink lots of water. Wash your face every night even when you are tired. Give the makeup a break. Don’t forget the sunscreen (yes, Black people need sunscreen, too). Mask on.
Anything else coming soon?
So much! BLK + GRN launched with four categories (skin, body, self-care, and home essentials), but we will have 12 categories at full roll-out. Expect pet, baby, women specific products and much more.
Follow BLK + GRN here: