At Junior we’re committed to giving everyone a platform to showcase their beautiful and best quality children’s books, toys, interiors and clothes and know that black and ethnic minority owned businesses are often at a disadvantage when trying to promote their products. As part of our ongoing pledge to create a diverse and welcoming space to business owners from all cultures, to provide content that is inclusive and to help open up the playing field, we’ve rounded up the best Black Owned Businesses that everyone should have on their radar. Not only to support these often overlooked brands but to help everyone broaden their horizons and find items to help give black children a more positive sense of self and encourage all cultures to learn about and appreciate each other.
Miles and Mia
Miles and Mia is a children’s book publishing company set up by Michaela Alexander who was frustrated by the lack of diversity in the children’s book market. The company is named after her two children, as is the first book off the press, Miles & Mia A to Z, an educational picture book that teaches kids the alphabet in a fun and engaging way. We love the illustrations of Miles & Mia and the warm friendly tone. The book also scooped a Junior Design Award when it launched!
>> BUY HERE: Miles & Mia A to Z, £8.99, Miles & Mia
Founded in 2018, children’s clothing label Kamso was created to celebrate and showcase African heritage through a range of timeless, simple designs enhanced by traditional African prints and fabrics. Each piece is beautifully made from materials that embody Africa’s earthy tones, vibrant prints and soft textures. We love the adorable romper suits, shirred sun dresses and super cute bloomers. In fact we love it all! Small batch production, ethically sourced fabrics and a seasonless approach to design makes this a sustainable and ethical brand to boot.
>> VIEW COLLECTION at Kamso
Dinky Mix Kids
Former kidswear designer Chi, took the plunge to set up Dinky Mix Kids, a kid’s lifestyle brand specialising in prints and cards when she realised that her job was keeping her away from her son for far too long. Now a mother of 4 and the owner of her own business, Chi creates illustrations and graphic art, that represent the cultural and racial diversity of all children and promote a strong sense of identity and self belief. As her ‘About’ page so eloquently says, “Dinky Mix aims to promote the oneness of humanity and our common ground. Helping our kids to celebrate the difference as well as the similarities of the vast array of people cultures and races that reside on this amazing planet.” Bravo Dinky Mix, Bravo!
>> BUY HERE: Gutsy Girls Can Change the World Print, from £12.99- £54.99, Dinky Mix
Sheni & Teni
This online store aims to celebrate African cultures through reading and play. Sheni & Teni’s selection of books and puzzles are designed to stimulate conversation and stretch those brain cells while kids read and play. This company is passionate about creating an avenue for children to learn all about African cultures while playing and say of their approach, “We believe this stirs up questions about diversity, ethnicity, heritage and culture thus expanding their horizons. We do this by creating unique, exciting, good quality products that you and your littles can bond over.”
>> BUY HERE >> Thundergirl’s Self Awareness Book, £7.99, Sheni & Teni
Philly And Friends
If you’re looking for some wall art, affirmation cards or a lovely keepsake book that explores themes of diversity and self-confidence, this is the site for you. Founder, Vese Aghoghovbia-Aladewolu created publishing company Philly and Friends when she had her daughter (whose nickname is Philly) as a way to make sure there was more diversity on the bookshelves. Who do I see in the Mirror is a fantastic book that not only broaches the subject of diversity, identity and self-belief but also reminds the reader that everyone is so much more than what they see in the mirror. The alphabet posters and wall art featuring the character Philly and friends are also great for encouraging inclusivity and diversity at home and in schools.
>> BUY HERE: Philly & Friends Who Do I See In The Mirror hardback picture book, from £10, Philly & Friends
Thimble & Doll
Self- taught seamstress Alisha first started making dolls for her nieces when they wanted dolls that looked like them but couldn’t find any in the shops. The joy that these hand sewn dolls brought to these little girls made Alisha realise there was a big gap in the market for dolls that reflected not only her family but the diverse multicultural society around us today. Starting off at Camden Lock market, the popularity of her dolls has grown and grown and she now has her own bespoke doll making service with a choice of 10 different skin tones so that every child can find a doll that looks like them. With ready made dolls available too as well as seasonal additions, Thimble & Doll will bring a touch of handmade magic to your toybox.
>> BUY HERE:Camila Lovelie Doll, £45.00, Thimble and Doll
Everyone loves a milestone celebration card but when first time mother Deborah Ajaja looked for cards that would represent her son and her family’s culture she couldn’t find any at all. Realising there was a big gap in the market, she created Colour Celebrations Milestone Cards to help families celebrate their babies’ significant developmental and cultural moments in a fun and fitting way. Hooray!
>> BUY HERE: Milestone Cards (black edition), from £16, Colour Celebrations
Kady & Lafia, AKA The Muffin Sisters, design contemporary baby blankets and accessories made with traditional, vibrant African fabrics to create beautiful heritage pieces. Born and raised in Poland, it was only after a trip to Mali in 2014 , that the sisters really felt connected to their African roots and developed a deeper understanding of their Malian cultural heritage.
“We realized the importance of reconnecting with our ancestral roots and doing the same for our future generations,” say the Muffin Sisters who now live in London designing their gorgeous wares for babies and parents.
>> BUY HERE: Amina Soft African elephant toy, £13, Muffin Sisters
La Basketry is the place to go for all things woven and wonderful. Having completed a basket weaving course in Senegal, co-founder Tabara N’Diaye wanted to create a website that celebrated Senagalese craftsmanship as well as helping people to explore basket weaving for themselves. Now the website stocks ready made pieces as well as kits that you can buy to create your own woven masterpieces and there are basket weaving workshops you can book too!
>> BUY HERE: Large Prism Orange Storage Basket, £95.00, La Basketry
Junior have been clucking and cooing over this website, which stocks the most adorable woven moses baskets and rattan cribs. These little beds are just stunning and would make any nursery or bedside look incredible. The brainchild of half Ghanaian, Prisca who went on a personal journey of discovery when she was pregnant with her eldest daughter, the Kind was born from a desire to pass her Ghanaian heritage onto her children and meeting with skilled artisans on her travels. Through collaborating with these brilliant craftspeople, Prisca has fused contemporary vision with traditional techniques to create beautiful heirloom products that hare kind on the environment and the eye.
>> BUY HERE: Nori Moses Baskets, from €169, the kind
>> BUY HERE: Roots Moses Basket, available for pre-order from €169, the kind