We know that women of color are entrepreneurial. According to a 2016 report by American Express Open, there are an estimated 1.9 million African American women-owned firms, employing 376,500 workers and generating $51.4 billion in revenues. Women-owned businesses are created by entrepreneurial individuals who see a need for something in their community or have a talent they wish to share with the world. In the city of Brotherly Love, Black businesses are booming. Here are some black women-owned businesses that you should check out:

Denise’s Bakery

Denise Gause, owner. After a fire closed her 25-year-old North Philly homage to sugar, eggs and flour, she did what any strong baker would do: She rebuilt it. Today, lines once again form out the door and the phone rings off the hook for Denise’s pound cake, pies, brownies, doughnuts, cookies and wedding cakes. 2916 N. 22nd Street, (215) 225-5425, cakesbydenises.com/denises

Sweet Nectar Dessert Kitchen

Robin Broughton-Smith, owner. She’s gone from Jay-Z’s accountant to the creator of sticky buns, ginger cookies, carrot cakes, baked doughnuts, plus all manner of seasonal cupcakes and custom cakes in the Art Museum neighborhood. The shop also offers classes, demos and meetups. 547 N. 20th Street, (267) 318-7143, sweetnectardk.com

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

Ariell R. Johnson, owner. The first African-American woman on the East Coast to own a comic book shop has created a venue along rising Frankford Avenue that’s welcoming to all. Amalgam stocks Marvel, DC, big-time and self-published books for grown-ups, kids and everyone in-between—and serves up coffee drinks and locally made pastries, including comic-book-hero-themed cupcakes. 2578 Frankford Avenue, (215) 472-3300, @amalgamphilly

3rd Element Spa

Tomika Branch and Chyvonne Shackelford, owners. Sisters make the best small business partners. This nail specialist and esthetician established their busy, full-service day spa in the West Oak Lane community where they grew up. Popular here: Oxygen facials, gel manicures, detox pedicures, plush waxing, lash and brow enhancements, massages and
3rd Element lip balm and body butter and wash. 7175 Ogontz Avenue, (215) 276-2633, @3rdelementspa

The Sable Collective (TSC)

Shanti Mayers, Celeste Bryant and Syreeta Scott, owners. More than a shop, this North Philly spot is a resource for women of color. The warm, chic storefront sells holistic body care, new and used books, Ankara-print socks, eclectic housewares, affirmation flag pennants (“I Am Brave” and “I Am Magic”), South African jewelry and Cuban leather bags. TSC also holds book clubs and yoga workshops—and serves as the hangout for clients from next-door-neighbor Duafe Holistic Hair Care, which belongs to Syreeta Scott, stylist to Jill Scott, Ava DuVernay, Questlove, Janet Jackson and others. 3133 N. 22nd Street, thesablecollective.com

About Phace

Ursula Augustine, owner. This by-appointment-only spot belongs to an industry vet whose 25-plus years in the business include stints with Bobbi Brown, Francois Nars, Aveda and Jeanine Lobell of Stila. Devoted clients swear by her lash lifts, Sensei Peel, sugaring—but especially her note-perfect makeup applications. 1700 Sansom Street, (215) 557-1562, aboutphace201.com

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Dé Village

Owner, Nikki Parks. Natural stone and wooden jewelry, Shea butter, natural soaps and body washes come from Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria to this standout Reading Terminal Market veteran. 12th & Filbert Streets, (215) 923-9860, readingterminalmarket.org

De Village and the madness that is Reading Terminal Market on a weekend. Di Nics in the background always packed. #nikon #nikkor #d3100 #dslr #50mm #philadelphia #philly #photography #vsco #readingterminal @readingterminalmarket #shooteverything #center


Mona Lisa Jackson, owner. Petite Ms. Jackson is not being nasty when she sizes up her guests—and gently informs them their bras don’t quite fit. The longtime owner of this exclusive, walk-up Rittenhouse Square lingerie shop is known for her no-nonsense ability to fit figures of all shapes and sizes in investment-worthy Chantelle, Aubade, Chantal Thomass, Janira, Falke, La Perla and more. 132 S. 17th Street, (215) 972-0373, coeurlingerie.com

Amazulu Collections

Charita Powell, owner. Seven days a week and for more than 25 years, this popular Reading Terminal Market stand has represented artists from all over the world and lived the motto, “where cultures meet.” For sale: handmade folk dolls, original paintings, body care, cultural clothing and sterling silver jewelry designed by Powell and made by Indonesian artisans. Her newer South Philly venture, Amazulu Living Room, is a gallery-boutique (with a natural hair salon in back) known for hosting special events. Collections, 12th & Filbert Streets, (215) 627-8667; Living Room, 1529 Reed Street, (215) 207-7986, amazulucollections.com

For more information about the great city of Philadelphia, make sure to visit visitphilly.com