Shop to Support: 6 Fashion/Lifestyle Brands in Chapel Hill-Carrboro-Durham That Are Black-owned and #BLM Allies

The W. Franklin St road sign in downtown Chapel Hill

As we entered July, I realized that we’re already halfway through 2020. 

It’s fair to say that this has been a year of drama with the coronavirus floating around the world and incidents of police brutality and racial injustice coming to a flashpoint. However, 2020 has also been a year of activism. People have had enough of the long-existing flaws within the system and are starting to call for change.

Whether or not you’re going back to campus this fall, Chapel Hill will always be a place to call home. If you feel that going to protests is unsafe because of COVID-19 and showing support via social media seems too virtual, you can start by shopping more at the Black-owned businesses in your own community.

Here is a List of 6 Black-owned and #Blacklivesmatter ally businesses in fashion and lifestyle in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro-Durham area.


  1. Miss EmpowHer (@missempowher)

    women wearing african waist beads of two different colors
    Miss EmpowHer Waist Beads. Source: Miss EmpowHer

Founded by student entrepreneur Caitlyn Kumi ’21, the female empowerment lifestyle/fashion brand sells persona-inspired waist beads of different colors that are handmade by women in Ghana. Waist beads are an African tradition that encourages women to embrace their femininity and promote body positivity. Miss EmpowHer also strives to uplift other women-owned businesses through its Women Supporting Women Fundraising Initiatives and featuring them on its Instagram stories using #womensupportingwomen.

Check out the online store here.


  1. Rumors Chapel Hill (@rumorsnc, @styledbyrumors)
Rumors Boutiques. Source: Rumors Website

Rumors Boutiques is a women-owned and Black-owned consignment brand that has locations in both Chapel Hill and Durham. Not only are the clothes sustainable, affordable and chic, but it truly empowers underrepresented groups by hiring LGBTQ+ and racial minority employees. Rumors Boutiques also supports other minority-owned small businesses through its Rumors Relief Fund.

Chapel Hill Location: 106 C North Graham Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Durham Location: 2501 University Drive Unit #3, Durham, NC 27707

Learn more about the business here.

  1. Perkins Orchard Outdoor Produce Market (@perkinsorchard)

    Fresh Peaches from Perkins Orchard
    Fresh Peaches from Perkins Orchard. Source: Instagram

Perkins Orchard is the largest and oldest produce market in Durham. The Black-owned market has been serving the Triangle with fresh produce sourced from more than 300 farms in North Carolina for 50 years. If you’re planning your next healthy meal, come shop some fresh vegetables and fruits while enjoying the livelihood of a farmer’s market. Perkins Orchard has a $20 Bag Deal that makes picking your favorite produce flexible and affordable. You can also try out their fruit edibles, such as sorbet and fruit popsicles, which are made fresh daily.

Location: 5749 Barbee Road, Durham, NC 27713

Learn more about the business here.

4.The Zen Succulent (@thezensucculent)

The Zen Succulent Homepage
The Zen Succulent Website. Source: The Zen Succulent

Looking to add a little green to your dorm room? Ready to become a plant parent? The Zen Succulent has you covered! The Black-owned minimal shop provides more than just plants. You can shop different collections from home decor to body care either in-store or online. The Zen Succulent puts a lot of efforts in curating high-quality and well-designed items. Everything is giftable.

Location: 123 Market Street B, Durham, NC 27701

Learn more about the business here.

  1. Open Eye Cafe (@openeyecafenc)

    Gourmet Ice Cream Coffee Float on the Counter
    Gourmet Cold Brew Float. Source: Instagram

Open Eye has been in town for more than 20 years. It’s a place where Tar Heels can get energized and concentrated. The business has been vocal on racial inequality issues on Instagram. It updated its followers about information on protests in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area, as well as set up a fundraiser for NC Bail Funds.

Location: 101 S Greensboro St, Carrboro, NC 27510

Learn more about the business here.

  1. Gray Squirrel Coffee CO. (@graysquirrelcoffee)

    Green plant in the coffee shop
    Gray Squirrel Coffee Shop. Source: Instagram

Also located in Carrboro, Gray Squirrel is another convenient hub for Carolina students to hang out and study. The minimal coffee shop has long been an LGBTQ+ ally. Following the series of nationwide police violence incidents, Gray Squirrel has been doing a good job updating protest information and educating its customers on anti-racism.

Location: 360 E. Main Street, #100 Carrboro, NC 27510

Learn more about the business here.

While you might not be surprised to see some names here, I hope I’ve provided some new stores for you to shop for a cause. If you’d like, go support the Black-owned businesses on the July 7 Blackout tomorrow. Your support will mean a lot to the Black business owners.

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About Author

Jerry Yan is a senior studying public relations at the School of Media and Journalism. Born and raised in Guiyang, China, Jerry speaks Mandarin and English and is influenced by both cultures. During his free time, he likes to travel around the world, write about his life on a blog and do yoga.

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