Spotlight on Black Women Owned Business: The Brown Sugar Collab
In honor of the first black Batwoman, we shine the bat-signal on black women owned businesses in the Queen City.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A powerful black woman is taking Gotham by storm. But in Charlotte, powerful black women have always been essential in shaping the city. To celebrate the first black Batwoman played by Javicia Leslie Sundays on Charlotte’s CW, we are shining the bat-signal on businesses run by black women in Charlotte.
Candles, body butter, skin care, gifts and accessories. At first glance, The Brown Sugar Collab in the heart of South End sells items similar to other chic boutiques. But the inventory is unique — all products are made by women of color.
Owner DeAnna Allen opened her shop in October 2020, amidst a year of social unrest and pandemic shut downs. Her goal? To support suffering small businesses and provide an outlet for those looking to shop black-owned. “I think it’s very important to keep money in the community, help circulate it, as well as create jobs and opportunities,” says Allen. “Most small businesses don’t have access to large loans or government funds. So it’s important for us to have these types of businesses, and to get the support of the community so that they can survive and thrive.”
Sweet scented sugar scrubs and glittering candles are stacked stylishly around a vibrant, modern painting of black women, heads supporting one another. A visual metaphor for The Brown Sugar Collab. “Women of color may not have resources for an opportunity to be in retail locations such as this because they have to jump through so many hurdles,” says Allen. “I just wanted to be able to give them more exposure.”
After a long and varied career in education, real estate, fitness, and traveling the world as a flight attendant, Allen calls the boutique her ‘first love.’ You can feel that love as you browse her carefully curated selections. When asked her favorite superhero, Allen says Wonder Woman. “She was always able to use her superpowers to capture the bad guys and do her part in changing the world…and she did it flawlessly.” Changing the world, flawlessly, is something Wonder Woman and Allen have in common.
Visit The Brown Sugar Collab:
1425 Winnifred Street Suite 113 Charlotte, NC 28203