Black-owned businesses we discovered on Instagram and are now shopping IRL

I recently featured a few cool up-and-coming local fashion and beauty businesses selling directly via DM on Instagram that I was shopping from. But there was no one black featured in the list.

So we asked our readers to tell us more about the black-owned fashion and beauty IG pages they frequent and we got some amazing feedback. 

Read: #WednesdayWishlist: Local up-and-coming brands we’re shopping directly from Instagram

From dairy-free ice cream to natural products, clothing and accessories and nails, we discovered a plethora of talent - and goods we now desperately want to shop come payday. 

Dairy-free ice cream

Yo Coco is a purely-shop-from-Instagram-directly store serving love in dairy-free, fun scoops. (Orders are taken via IG contact button for delivery in and around Johannesburg).

We asked CEO and founder, Sine Ndlela why she started this business. 

“I started Yo Coco because my top three things are serving, creating and ice cream. Yo Coco allows me to do all three in a fun way.” 

Biggest obstacle? 

"My biggest obstacle has been self-belief.”

A post shared by Yo Coco (@the_yococo) on

Natural products

SwaZa Naturals organic skincare and organic haircare is based in Cape Town.

We asked owner, Andiswa Gqaza what inspired her.

"I started my own business purely because I grew up struggling from very sensitive skin. My skin just reacts to everything that has chemicals in it and this has been a struggle all my life. Then my first daughter had eczema from birth and I just knew I had to make something that will work for my kids as well as for myself.

So I started doing research and realised I can actually do this as a business and help other people struggling with sensitive skin and create awareness around natural lifestyle living. I started the business April 2016 and it has been very rewarding and fulfilling experience."

Biggest obstacle? 

"The greatest struggle has been funding, organic raw material is quite pricey and I started the business with just my own salary, no capital. It has been challenging to make sure we have enough stock all the time for our clients. Also we want our products to be as affordable as possible, so balancing this with expensive raw materials has been a challenge."

Clothing and accessories

The Tuku Affair sells clothing and accessories. 

We asked Tumi Ndaba, the managing director why this direction.

"My business started as a hobby, I used to collect African print fabric from all over Africa and wear them as head wraps. It was my signature look. People constantly asked me where I got my fabric and I started buying them for friends. As the demand grew I saw a gap in the market for good quality African print fabric.

I was broke and only had R200 to start the business with, I made a deal with the fabric supplier to give me fabric and I'd pay her after a week. She gave me five prints and they were sold out within 2 day, and the rest is history."

What has been your greatest difficulty/obstacle in running your business?

"My greatest difficulty is honestly growing the business, small businesses rely on constant cash flow to grow and groom themselves. When sales are not going well, the business if not well managed could ultimately die. I'm trying hard to apply for funding as I have since expanded into clothing and need quite a large some of money to sustain this."

African print head wraps will always be my first love! ????

A post shared by The Tuku Affair (@the_tuku_affair) on

Nail salon

Georgia Shekeshe is the owner of Tenfold in Maboneng, a slick nail salon specialising in ultra cool nail art.

Why did you start your own business?

"Tenfold started out of a personal frustration with nail salons specifically in Pretoria. My experiences always left me wanting more. I’d write down all of the little things I could improve upon and decided to take the leap."

What has been your greatest difficulty/obstacle in running your business?

"The biggest challenge is that I’ve had to learn every facet of the business all at the same time. I’ve gained so much experience through having to understand each aspect of a seemingly straight-forward business, from finance, HR, real estate, marketing - the list goes on. While it can also be daunting at times forging ahead all on my own, it’s been a complete mind shift in the most liberating way."

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