According to Forbes Magazine, Black women are becoming entrepreneurs at a rate that goes leaps and bounds above their white counterparts. Black women represent 42 percent of new women-owned businesses—three times their share of the female population—and 36 percent of all Black-owned employer businesses. This impressive statistic makes it unsurprising, then, that Black women will often go into business with one another.
But these Black women-owned businesses are a cut above the rest. So, in the spirit of honoring mothers all year round, we’ve decided to pay special tribute to these ten businesses that feature a mother and daughter at the helm. In some cases, too, there are mothers, daughters, and granddaughters working together to make that money!
Here’s our list of ten mother-daughter Black-owned businesses.
Lala, Tina, Chaela Bre, Eria (The Conjure)
The family that conjures together stays together — and “The Conjure Family” of Atlanta, GA, proves that to be true. Headed up by mother Lala, who is the CEO of TheConjure.com — one of the most popular spiritual candle companies on the Internet today — The Conjure Family is rounded out by daughters Tina (who performs customized spells) and Chaela Bre (who performs “soul purges,” a form of spiritual cleansing).
There’s also a young daughter, Eria, an aspiring R&B singer who pops up on their Instagram live broadcasts. The family has their own YouTube show, a strong following on Instagram, and is frequently seen hob-nobbing with the ATL glitterati (Young Thug is a fan).
Alice Randall & Caroline Randall Williams (Soul Food Love, co-writer’s in residence at Vanderbilt)
Sometimes, the family "business" is all about writing books together. Such is the case with Alice Randall and her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams. They're both writer's in residence at Tennessee's Vanderbilt University, and they co-penned the 2015 book Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family.
Caroline Randall Williams also said that her relationship with her mother helped her navigate what it means to be a Black woman, especially as she came to terms with her family's heritage. Her great-great-grandfather was Edmund Pettus — US senator of Alabama, a senior officer of the Confederate States Army, and grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. She infamously said that "the Black people I come from were owned and raped by the white people I come from."
Kelley O. Williams & Rachel Williams (Paige & Paxton)
As more Black women enter STEM than ever before, there's a growing need to bridge the gap between opportunity and accessibility. And that's where Paige & Paxton — a STEM-centric computer program founded by mother-daughter duo Kelley O. Williams and Rachel Williams comes in. The mission of Paige & Paxton — named for the fictional characters that present STEM concepts in a fun, easy way — is to provide both teacher and student-centric programs that make STEM classes both easy to teach and easy to learn. Paige & Paxton also operates STEM enrichment programming seven days a week through their partnership with Blue Studios in New York City.
Norma Lilly, Tracy Lilly, Atiya Lilly-Gassaway (Imani Jewelry)
Imani Jewelry isn’t just a Black-owned shop — it’s a Black-owned shop that’s owned and operated by three generations of Lilly women. Grandmother Norma Lilly is the family's matriarch, while her daughter Tracy Lilly and granddaughter Atiya Lilly-Gassaway round out the lineup. The one-of-a-kind line features bold colors that pay homage to their African heritage, and they have boutique shops in New York City and Atlanta.
Schery Mitchell-James & Bri James (Scrumpt)
Feeding the picky little ones has always been an issue that Scrumpt founders Schery Mitchell-James and daughter Bri James hope to tackle with their unique subscription box service. There’s a vast selection of delicious, yet healthy, lunches to choose from — and though the company is currently undergoing a “re-imagination” process, we have no doubt that when they’re back, they’ll be better than ever before.
Ellen Ector & Lana Ector (Black Girls Work Out, Too! & Gymentics Fitness)
Women of a certain age remember when fitness tapes and DVDs were all the rage, but they were often led by famous actresses like Jane Fonda or rail-thin waifs with little muscle tone. Rare was the tape or DVD that catered to a woman with curves — let alone one that featured a Black woman as the star of the show — and that’s where Ellen Ector and her daughter, Lana Ector, stepped up to the plate. They created the Black Girls Work Out, Too! DVD fitness set and the co-owners of Gymnetics Fitness are currently experiencing a new wave of success with their latest DVD set, ECTORsize.
Diannetta Chargois & Tramaine Chargois Singleton (House of Chargois)
Beaumont, Texas beauties Diannetta Chargois and Tramaine Chargois Singleton have corporate backgrounds (Diannetta is a retired oil magnate, Tramaine is a corporate attorney who currently is legal counsel to Halliburton), but they work together for their shared clothing line, aptly known as the House of Chargois. Covering everything from bridal wear to vintage finds, the House of Chargois shows off these ladies’ creative sides in a classy, elegant way.
Takara Beathea & Tamiya Beathea (TAKARA, Croix and Soko)
When Tamiya Beathea married Brian Dubin, the nuptials made headlines. For a good reason: Beathea, who runs TAKARA, Croix & Soko with her mother Takara, is a well-known businesswoman in Chicago. Their three shops have forever transformed the Chicago fashion landscape and prove that you’re never too old — or too young — to follow your dreams.
Martha Lou Gadsen & Debra Gadsen (Martha Lou’s Kitchen)
Everybody in South Carolina knew Martha.
No, not Martha Stewart — Martha Lou Gadsen, the owner/operator, and face of Martha Lou’s Kitchen, a finger-lickin' good restaurant in Charleston. Far from being a local eatery, however, Ms. Martha Lou’s kitchen has been featured on the Travel Channel and the Food Network. And even the other Martha (Martha Stewart, that is), has tried her fried chicken and sweet tea made with love and at an affordable price. Although Ms. Martha Lou recently passed away — you can see Questlove's announcement about it, above — her daughter, Debra, and her granddaughters are keeping her spirit alive in the biggest little restaurant in South Carolina.
Vanessa & Helen Williams (You Have No Idea)
Behind every Miss America lies her strong, take-no-mess mother, and Vanessa Williams — beauty queen, singer, actress, and mogul — is no different. Together with her mother, Helen, Vanessa penned a book called You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other). Here, they shared their triumphs and tragedies together and shared how they did it all with love. The mother-daughter duo also frequently goes on speaking tours together.