There are a lot of companies selling body butter, but we are 100% black owned.
How we started
Back in 2008 I started a natural hair blog called ‘Black Girl with Long Hair.’ It’s where the BGLH in BGLH Marketplace comes from! Natural hair refers to a black woman’s hair that hasn’t been altered by heat or chemicals. I’d been experimenting with wearing my hair natural post-college, so I created an online community to share inspiration and advice.
The idea for BGLH Marketplace came out of the blog. Time and again in the comments section I saw my readers referencing shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, almond oil and coconut oil as miracle ingredients.
I knew about some of these ingredients, but others were foreign to me. I started buying them off of Amazon and experimenting. My readers were right! They changed the game for me. At 37 years old, my whipped butters keep my hair and skin moisturized, glowing and maintained. (That’s me below!) They are the only lotion I use!
In 2014 I officially launched BGLH Marketplace. I noticed that many people wanted whipped butter, but were worried about it being too greasy, heavy or hard. I researched pastry techniques to see how chefs make fluffy, light desserts out of heavy ingredients like cream, butter and eggs. I applied those techniques to making whipped butter and the rest is history!
Why being a black owned body butter business matters
Not everyone wants a deeper moisture experience. I mean there’s a reason Bath and Body Works is a multi billion dollar business. Even with formulas that are heavy on water and synthetics, they’re providing a moisture experience that works for many people.
However, black people are more prone to water loss in skin, and have lower levels of hydration. (Click here for a fascinating study on this!) The National Eczema Association reports that black people have higher levels of eczema. So black people often need a more profound moisturizing experience.
My children’s father suffers from severe eczema, and my oldest son has it too, though not as severe as his father. So I am constantly testing my formulas on my children and myself.
But there’s another reason my blackness is significant. There’s a history of black consumers being disrespected by the businesses they patronize. Despite having tremendous buying power and setting consumer trends black people aren’t often considered a prized consumer group.
We want our customers to know they are seen, respected and appreciated. We couldn’t have gotten this far without them!
The Buy Black Movement
In our early days we were often contacted by black influencers to be included in Buy Black business directories or gift guides. However, there was a significant uptick in Buy Black activity during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. As issues of racial injustice hit the forefront, people of all races and cultures were seeking out black owned businesses to support.
This meant a lot and was deeply appreciated. However it was fleeting. As culture moved on, the sales boost disappeared. Many black business owners I spoke to experienced the same thing.
Black owned businesses cannot survive on gestures alone. We as business owners have a responsibility to provide products and services that are necessary and high quality. Likewise customers who support black owned businesses cannot do so as a symbolic gesture. If they discover a black owned business they love, they must establish a lasting relationship.
Where our black owned body butter business goes from here
Blackness is in the DNA of BGLH Marketplace, but we’ve been delighted to find that our products have broad appeal and application for everyone! And increasingly we’re getting reviews like this one;
“As a 70 year-old European American woman, I have different issues from many of the customers here. That being said, the products are wonderful! The scents are intense and true to what they purport to be… Even though my hair is straight and my scalp is oily, my hair needs oil treatments, especially on the ends. My arms are crepey and these butters work better than creams made for crepe.” — Kathleen on Whipped Butters 2.5 oz Sample Pack
To date we have sold our butters to 40,000 customers in the United States, Canada and Europe (!) As our customer base gets more diverse each year, we are eager to show people of all races, culture and orientations why BGLH Marketplace Whipped Butters are the best in the world!