Atlanta has been the home of countless business leaders and entrepreneurs over the years, including Fresh Heritage’s founders Gamal Codner and Jamil Codner, who channeled the city’s vibrant energy to create natural beard care products that uplift the Black community. In the same spirit, we’ve compiled a list of 20 Black entrepreneurs from Atlanta who have made their mark in the business world and continue to inspire others with their vision and hard work. Even if you don’t live in Atlanta, you can still learn from their successes and follow their entrepreneurial journey as they continue to expand. Do you have your favorites to add to the list? Share them with us!
1. Cora and Stefan Miller, Young King Hair Care
First-time parents Cora and Stefan Miller founded Young King Hair Care after the birth of their son, Kade, when they had difficulty finding clean, natural hair care products for curly-headed young men. "Young King represents our belief that we can help change the narrative of how the world sees Black and Brown young men," they explain. "We're here to encourage them to show up as their full authentic selves, which comes from self-love and taking pride in self-care."
2. Chris Classic, Savoir Faire
Do you have a signature scent? If not, Savoir Faire is here to point you in the right direction. Artist and fragrance connoisseur Chris Classic has made a name for himself as a pioneer of Black-owned fragrance brands in America. He created Savoir Faire after years of being an avid cologne enthusiast. Since then, he hand blends and bottles bold, sensual fragrances that make unforgettable olfactory statements.
3. Jazmin Duke, JD Bath Co
If you’re looking to unwind, a luxurious soak in the tub may be just what you need after a long day’s work. Through JD Bath Co, Jazmine Duke crafts non-toxic, organic vegan bath bombs that are gentle on the skin but heavy on luxury. As Duke puts it herself: “We took our strict adherence to non-toxic and quality ingredients while keeping luxury at the forefront and developed a whole line of bath care.”
4. Javier MeCkoi, Disrespectful Gentleman
With his luxury footwear line, Javier MeCkoi seeks to set trends rather than follow them – and where else to start with a line of classic, head-turning footwear? From luxurious slippers with seamless stitching to versatile Chelsea boots, Disrespectful Gentleman offers elevated, casual looks that will make you stand out from the crowd and give you an air of distinguished mystery.
5. Bea Dixon, The Honey Pot
Founder Bea Dixon brings plant-derived feminine care to those who need it the most from her kitchen. She uses the power of herbs to create the first complete feminine care system that cleanses and balances without the use of toxins, artificial fragrances, or synthetic ingredients. Best of all? All their products are clinically-tested and gynecologist-approved, ensuring maximum safety and satisfaction!
6. Mahdi Woodard, 100K Campaign
Entrepreneur Mahdi Woodard is on a mission to help small business leaders push past the obstacles of their first year, in which they typically make less than $100,000 in a year and struggle to gain a sturdy footing. With the 100K Campaign, he redefines what's attainable for these businesses by offering online courses and lessons on strategy and execution, giving others the resources to become powerful brands.
7. Anthony Sanders and O. Osiris Ballard, Atlanta Breakfast Club
Boasting the "best breakfast in Atlanta" is a bold claim, but co-owners Anthony Sanders and O. Osiris Ballard stand by it, and they have the menu and customer support to back it up. Their restaurant's team is united by love, loyalty, and a dedication to good food and hospitality. It shines through in the bustling popularity of this beloved local restaurant, making it a staple of the Midtown dining scene.
8.Kerri-Ann Thomas, Brooklyn Tea
When Kerri-Ann Thomas founded Brooklyn Tea, she wanted to stake a claim within the centuries-old tradition that tea plays in countless cultures and generations worldwide. With Brooklyn Tea, she has created an authentic and accessible escape for fellow tea lovers, providing high-quality, organic, fair trade tea and educating others about the varieties and benefits of regular tea drinking.
9. Bunnie Hilliard, Brave and Kind Bookshop
Bookstores are vital parts of their communities, and Bunnie Hilliard fills this need by creating a neighborhood bookshop that offers thoughtfully curated, diverse, and inclusive children's books for all ages and reading levels, as well as indie favorites and bestsellers for adults. If you're looking to expand your reading list or track down an old favorite, this small but mighty bookstore is your best bet.
10. Kamal Grant, Sublime Donuts
How does one go from being an officer in the Navy to an acclaimed baker? For Kamal Grant, it was on his travels with the Navy where he was introduced to culinary treats and flavors from around the world. These exotic flavors inspired him to enroll in culinary school. From there, he opened Sublime Doughnuts, voted as the best doughnuts in Atlanta and renowned for its inventive, delightful sweet treats.
11. Marguerite Pressley Davis, Finance Savvy CEO
As a former Wall Street financial analyst turned financial strategist, Marguerite Pressley Davis wants to help business owners make more confident, financially informed business decisions while empowering them to scale their businesses and create generational wealth. She often reminds her members that they are their own best investment and strives to close America's gender and racial wealth gap.
12. Keith Kash, Who's Got Soul Southern Cafe
Executive Keith Kash founded the wildly successful Who's Got Soul Southern Cafes to offer an unforgettable dining experience to Atlanta, where amazing flavors and Southern hospitality come together seamlessly. He makes it known that everything from his kitchen is homemade, with no MSG, canned veggies, or pork seasonings. It's no surprise that his restaurants are a go-to spot for celebrating life with family and friends.
13. Ryan Wilson, The Gathering Spot
The Gathering Spot is a private membership club rooted in community and culture, a welcoming place that intentionally curates a diverse collection of entrepreneurs, creatives, executives, filmmakers, politicians, venture capitalists, lawyers, musicians, and artists under one roof. Co-founder Ryan Wilson aims to amplify the Black community, offering a hub for collaboration and connection. Have you stopped by?
14. Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, The Village Marketplace
"Entrepreneurship is a substantial pathway for Black Americans to achieve economic equality and to tackle the racial wealth gap -- that's the mission we are on," explains Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, founder of the Village Market. Serving as a direct pipeline for Black businesses, the organization connects owners with engaged customers and impactful resources, making it a staple of Atlanta’s entrepreneurial community.
15. Bryan Chatman and Stanzel Jackson, Fruition Hat Company
Being true to yourself is at the heart of the Fruition Hat Company, a brand that encourages freedom of expression through style and accessories. The best place to start? A head-turning hat! Bryan Chatman and Stanzel Jackson offer a sleek and elegant mix of fedoras, caps, bowler hats, and more, creating looks that are so good, you will want to pass these hats onto the next generation.
16. Derek DeAndre, HOAM Candle Company
During the height of the pandemic, home fragrances became the ultimate comfort for Derek DeAndre. This enthusiasm soon bloomed into a full-on passion, and he soon opened his own candle company. DeAndre believes in the power of scent and that the right fragrance can influence a person's psyche. His candles act as mood enhancers and bringers of joy -- something we could all use in our lives.
17. Brandi Shelton, Just Add Honey Tea Company
How do you take your tea? It’s a question that holds so many possibilities when you ask a tea expert. Brandi Shelton is on a mission to bring the freshest, most flavorful teas to Atlanta, and with Just Add Honey, she's combining flavors from around the world for a stimulating, soothing cup every time. As the South's fastest-growing tea company, there's nowhere else to go from here but up!
18. Jennet Jackson, Weathered Not Worn
The right piece of clothing can speak volumes about the person wearing it, and it's a sentiment Jennet Jackson has taken to heart. For her, fashion is more than just an accessory. Weathered Not Worn Clothing features customized denim and camos that represent its owners' unique struggles and victories. This fashion aims to empower and connect the Black community, continually reminding all of us to keep fighting.
19. Phnewfula Newfala, Happy Mango
Starting a family can be overwhelming, but Phnewfula Newfala's eco-friendly store, Happy Mango, is here to offer you affordable, green options to help lighten your load. She wanted to make safe, environmentally friendly items accessible to all while also offering a space for playtime, classes, and other events. This is a must-stop for all families who want to make conscious, earth-friendly choices.
20. John Onwuchekwa, Portrait Coffee
Located in the West End, the historic Atlanta neighborhood with a rich history of black entrepreneurs and culture, Portrait Coffee is a catalyst for new representation and growth in the area. Owner John Onwuchekwa chose the name to encourage people to think differently when it comes to coffee, which Africans first discovered. Every cup of coffee is made with a full appreciation of its history and meaning.