You are only as powerful as the company you keep, and these Black couples in business and tech are proof!
Launching a business with a loved one has many perks. You can share the workload, find support at the tip of your finger, and more importantly, climb to the top!
Take a look at ten Black couples turned founders who found love and purpose to build their business empires.
Drs. Drew and Joya Lyons - Smile Savvy Cosmetic Dentistry
An HBCU love story — Drs. Drew and Joya Lyons first crossed paths at an Enrichment Program for interested dental students, but it was not until three years later at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry that their love would blossom. Just three years after their marriage, the love duo secured their bag launching Smile Savvy Cosmetic Dentistry in 2014.
Lola and Richard McClaney - ourBLOC.com
In case you missed it, sweethearts and founders Lola and Richard McClaney created ourBLOC.com after recognizing a disparity while searching for wedding vendors.
“It was important to create a platform for Black and minority-owned businesses for folks who look like us. We think it is important because that’s how you build community,” Lola told AfroTech.
With wedding bookings on the rise, Lola and Richard have made it their mission to shift revenue directly into the pockets of Black and minority vendors.
ourBLOC.com officially launched Feb. 1, 2022 and welcomes all minority vendors to apply.
Nevadra Johnson and Terrence - Nae Nae’s Naturals
Nevadra Johnson and Terrence ventured into the entrepreneurship world initially to solve a health scare. Their children experienced skin and scalp issues, which caused Nevadra and Terrance to search aimlessly for natural hair products.
After not having any luck, the Johnsons created a hair and body butter to address eczema. Within a few months, their children’s hair grew drastically. Now the rest is history as Nae Nae’s Naturals are now available online!
Jeffry and Oyin Antwi - Drift Wellness + Sleep
Jeffry Antwi felt alone in the tech space and wanted to create his own community. Hitting the ground running, he received support from his wife Oyin Antwi, and brother Steven Antwi. The trio then launched Drift Wellness + Sleep, a company that aids with sleep and attentiveness.
Through its application, users will be exposed to various sounds and video selections to become one with nature. The application also includes a vocal coach to remind users to refocus.
Jamie and Jilea Hemmings - Nourish + Bloom Market
Jamie and Jilea Hemmings are the owners behind Nourish + Bloom Market, the first Black-owned autonomous grocery store in the U.S.
As AfroTech previously reported, the couple was inspired to launch the local food store after researching how diet could affect their autistic child.
Jamie and Jilea Hemmings put a healthier spin on some of their child’s favorite foods and they decided to take their efforts to new heights. Combining their passion for food with tech, the Nourish + Bloom Market was birthed.
Brian and Darnitra Jackson - Unimation Media
Brian and Darnitra Jackson wanted to see a more diverse multicultural media. Therefore, they took matters into their own hands and launched Unimation Media.
As AfroTech once reported, the couple boasts over 20 years of combined experience in the mediums of graphic design, marketing, photography, and 3D animation.
“Ultimately we knew it was going to be a tremendous benefit to our customers because it will save them time, money and help them closely represent, connect and engage with their audience,” said Brian, the Unimation Media co-founder, according to Black News.
Rhandi and Jonathan Altidor - The Better Buggy
Educators Rhandi and Jonathan Altidor paved a way for local Black grocers to thrive on the frontlines. This couple believed throughout the ongoing pandemic, the food delivery market left Black grocers in the shadows.
Rhandi and Jonathan Altidor utilized their downtime to launch The Better Buggy to help food suppliers and farmers in Atlanta, as AfroTech previously reported.
“We are always team ‘buy Black’ whenever we can, wherever we can- why don’t we fill this void that’s out there and help empower these local Black-owned stores and create this service because it wasn’t there,” Rhandi told Because of Them We Can.
The couple aims to ensure fresh foods can be accessible to the Black community in Atlanta.
James A. Samuel, Jr. and Evelyn Samuel - ANJEL Tech
James A. Samuel, Jr. alongside his wife Evelyn Samuel stopped by AfroTech in 2021 to share how ANJEL Tech is making the Black community safe. The application operates as a body camera for users to use during moments of danger or uncertainty. Through ANJEL Tech’s cloud, selected loved ones can access an unaltered and edited live stream of an incident.
As parents of two, the couple aims to provide others the security of knowing their child can venture into the world and return home safely.
Tim and Kim Lewis - CurlMix
In 2015, Tim and Kim Lewis launched CurlMix as a do-it-yourself subscription box. However, to improve sales, they pivoted the concept into a haircare line that has been thriving ever since.
“CurlMix was birthed from our first business as a DIY box for curly hair, so think like Blue Apron, but for hair,” said Kim in an exclusive interview with AfroTech. “We were sending people raw materials to make their own kits or products at home and one box emerged from all 24 that we produced and that was our flaxseed gel.”
After customers loved the box, the Chicago couple shifted their entire business to focus on their flaxseed gel noting that customers weren’t able to get the product in stores because most brands would never consider making real flaxseed gel because the way that it is produced is like cooking.
For their full story, click here.
Cora and Stefan Miller - Young King Hair Care
Young King Hair Care was founded by Cora and Stefan Miller as the first multicultural beauty brand for young men.
After initially launching as a direct-to-consumer brand in December 2019, Young King Hair Care decided to revise its go-to-market strategy, test various digital and social campaigns and engage with bloggers and influencers within their community.
As we previously reported, not only did the changes lead to more sales than anticipated, but their products ended up being sold on the shelves of Target and Walmart within their first year.