Nordstrom honors black experiences in celebration of Black History Month 2022.
This year in honor of Black History Month, the fashion retailer Nordstrom honors Black culture by highlighting employee stories, celebrating Black-owned and Black-founded brands and creating experiences to engage customers and local communities.
In February and throughout the year, Nordstrom features the stories of Black-owned and founded brands through the company’s shoppable Black-Owned and Black-Founded categories.
Meet a few brand founders highlighted this month at Nordstrom:
Teri Johnson, founder and CEO of Harlem Candle Co.: Harlem Candle Co. is a luxury home fragrance brand specializing in scented candles inspired by the richness of Harlem. Johnson founded the Harlem Candle Co. in 2014 as a manifestation of her love affair with fragrance, jazz, and Harlem. She creates transportive, evocative candles inspired by Harlem Renaissance luminaries like Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes and James Baldwin.
“One of the things I love most about creating new fragrances is all the research and development that goes into creating every single one. I learn everything I can possibly learn about the person: what did they love? What perfume did they wear? ‘Oh, you like tobacco?’ Let’s put sweet tobacco notes in there. We did that for our Langston Hughes candle.”
William Adosai, founder of Vitae London: Vitae London is a British, watch and accessories brand founded by Adosai in 2015 that specializes in selling high-quality, fashion-forward watches at an accessible price. With each sale, a portion of revenue goes to support children’s education in Sub-Saharan Africa and provides an underprivileged child with either a set of school uniforms so that they may attend school, or a solar-powered lamp so that they may have a renewable energy light source to study.
“Being Black is a core part of my identity. I love that I get to champion the cause for many people from my background. I didn’t get many examples growing up, so being able to make a difference for my community means so much to me.”
Jasmine Walker, founder and designer of King+Lola: King+Lola is a children’s clothing and accessories brand that offers perfect gift items for baby showers and milestone birthdays. The brand is socially responsible and conscious of the environment and offers some eco-friendly luxury products that combine upcycled materials to make quality garments. All other products are made from new high-quality materials.
“Being Black in America has inspired everything I do – even the way I started my business with nothing… Everything I am has come from a place of struggle and hard times. That comes out in the way I started this business and found a way to make it happen even though it looked impossible.”
Black-Owned Brooklyn at Nordstrom NYC Center Stage
The Nordstrom NYC flagship will launch an in-store market with Black-Owned Brooklyn, a digital publication spotlighting Black-owned, Brooklyn-based business, as part of its revolving Center Stage pop-up platform from February 14 to March 6. Curated by Black-Owned Brooklyn’s husband-and-wife team, Tayo Giwa and Cynthia Gordy Giwa, the market brings together eight businesses across apparel, food, home goods, and self-care products. Customers are invited to explore, shop and get to know the people behind the businesses, including Chen Burkett New York, Savant Studios, Heavy Metals NYC, Breukelen Polished, Modish Decor Pillows, Sarep + Rose, Brooklyn Brewed Sorrel and Sol Cacao.
Honoring Black Food Culture
In celebration of Black food culture, Nordstrom will be featuring recipes created by Angel Gregorio, founder of the Spice Suite, including her Soul Food Stew in our restaurants and a Jerk Pasta Salad in our specialty coffee bars— from January 31 – February 28. The Spice Suite is a spice and kitchenware shop in Washington D.C. that has become a dream incubator and haven, where Gregorio has hosted more than 450 free pop-up shops for Black business owners. Her love for fashionable flavors and natural talent in the kitchen landed her in the Top 40 of MasterChef’s Season 8.
The Nordstrom NYC flagship will offer a pop-up by Brooklyn-based Patsy’s Rum Cake – just in time for Valentine’s Day. Founder Kathy will be in-store to share her handmade Caribbean rum cakes, including heart-shaped and mini sizes and flavors like rum raisin, walnut, coconut, and chocolate.
More Than a Month: Showing Year-Round Commitment
Nordstrom’s celebration of and commitment to the Black community goes far beyond Black History Month. The fashion retailer set a series of 2025 goals to address its most pressing opportunities related to diversity, inclusion and belonging. Among other things, these goals address:
- Increasing Black and Latinx representation among its managers by at least 50 percent;
- Delivering $500M in retail sales from brands owned by, operated by or designed by Black and/or Latinx individuals;
- Increasing charitable donations to organizations that promote anti-racism to $1M per year for the next five years.