When it comes to online shopping, Porsha Williams does her homework. Before buying face wash or a new designer bag, the author, entrepreneur, activist, mother and beloved “Real Housewife of Atlanta” star Googles, reads reviews and prioritizes buying from Black-owned brands.
“I really like to research,” Williams told HuffPost. “It doesn’t have to be the exact same product every single time. Just, whatever I’m looking for, I make sure that I’m getting the best item.”
Supporting Black-owned businesses and learning about other Black entrepreneurs is important to Williams, and something she’ll happily take a few extra steps to do.
“There’s a lot of different platforms that showcase Black-owned businesses, but you can find a lot of information through Google. Then you can go to YouTube and find out about the owners of the company and how they got started,” she said. “I needed a work bag, so I Googled ‘Black-owned bags,’ and I found this really cute brand Mifland, and I’ve started purchasing their bags. That’s pretty much that’s how I do it.”
Per the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, Black entrepreneurs in America are statistically less likely to get approved for small business loans than white entrepreneurs. Further, according to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Black business owners are treated inferior to white business owners when applying for loans, often being approved for less overall funding with higher interest rates.
Williams, who runs two businesses of her own, Go Naked Hair and Pampered by Porsha bedding, knows firsthand how hard it is for Black businesses to thrive in America. She has made it a mission, both personally and professionally, to highlight and continuously support Black-owned brands.
“It’s always great to highlight African American businesses, because they may not be in some of the mainstream shopping platforms,” she said.
Though Williams may be most known for her role on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” she calls the show “a very small percentage of the life I’ve lived.” She’s the granddaughter of the late civil rights activist Reverend Hosea Williams. She’s also a mother, daughter, writer and activist, and has been arrested and teargassed for peacefully protesting the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Her activism and devotion to uplifting Black women and girls in America ultimately inspired her to write “The Pursuit of Porsha,” a memoir she hopes will one day be a map for her daughter to know who she is and where she comes from.
“I’ve lived a lot of life already. I’ve made those mistakes, I’ve cried those tears — she hasn’t had to go down that same route,” Williams said. “I can actually break some of those cycles and patterns that I found myself in, and she can learn through my journey.”
From holy grail clarifying shampoos to day planners that keep her organized, Williams shared the everyday stuff she uses from Black-owned brands.
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Be Rooted Co. for stationery and pens
“This company is all about stationery products. They have pens, papers, planners, journals. All of it has beautiful artwork on the front of Black women. It’s just beautiful, all of it.”
Urban Hydration skin products
“I love aloe. They use a lot of aloe vera and natural green ingredients in their products. And when I tell you, I put this aloe facewash and then aloe mask — it truly hydrated my face. My skin was super soft. So I really do like their products. I’ve been using them at this point. They have a new one out this peach and papaya. Super nice. Smells so good.”
Blk & Bold Coffee
“The flavor is so rich. I love it. I still cream it all the way down, because I don’t like it super strong. So I have Blk & Bold with my creamer and my sugar, but it’s still really good.”
TPH by Taraji clarifying shampoos and conditioners
“Taraji P. Henson’s clarifying shampoo is everything. She just recently came out with her own line; they sell it in Target. She’s been going natural for a couple of years now and her products are great quality. My hair was super bouncy after I use them. My natural hair is messed up, so I take care of my natural hair, even though I’ll wear a lot of protective styles.”
Kaleidoscope hair products
“My daughter’s 2, she’s turning 3, but I did suffer some hair loss as I gave birth to her. My edges got really thin, around the crown as well. I’ve been using these products and it’s definitely helped my hair to thicken back up and get back to where it used to be. I also suffer with fibroids, and fibroids also cause hair loss for me as well. So I’ve been using it to help regain that thickness back as well.”
“Will” by Will Smith with Mark Manson
“I started listening to Will Smith’s book. I think he’s so inspirational. I love his transparency. That was a big thing for me when I wrote my book. I knew that if I was going to even enter into that realm of saying, ‘Here, this is the real Porscha,’ that I had to be transparent and I love that about ‘Will.’ That’s where the truth is. That’s where the change happens: when you get honest with yourself.”
Toothbuckle toothbrush covers
“Before I discovered Toothbuckle, I’d get so busy that covering my toothbrush was like the last thing I could think of. And I would end up wrapping my toothbrush in a piece of paper towel and throwing in a makeup bag. Toothbuckle is this rubber material. It’s sustainable toothbrush covers. They’re super cute. They cover the bottom [of the brush] and you just pop it over the top. It’s a U.K. company.”