11 Australian Women of Colour Owned Businesses We Love
Despite the pandemic making the last two years a difficult time for everyone, the bright parts of these times for me was discovering epic small businesses while scrolling through Instagram reels or Tik Tok. It turns out procrastinating from university assignments is a productive use of your time when you have to organise goodie bags filled with amazing creations from BIPOC women-led business for the Australian South Asian Centre’s (ASAC) launch event.
Here’s a list of 11 values-aligned businesses owned by Women of Colour that we loved having as our sponsors for our event.
NS Collection is a South Asian Melbourne-based jewellery boutique that finds the perfect balance between modern and traditional. If like me, you’ve got no idea what jewellery is right for you and fall in love with every single piece you see, they also offer studio and virtual appointments to help you decide. NS collection has all your accessory needs covered (earrings, bangles, bindis, tikkas etc.) to help you feel like the queen you are.
2. Veda Beauty
If you ask any South Asian for hair growth tips, without a doubt oiling will come up and we love that Veda Beauty is sharing our hair growth traditions with the world. Veda Beauty is a health and beauty business all about improving scalp health and promoting hair growth. They sell oil treatments made from natural ingredients well-known for hair growth across South Asia. Veda Beauty’s oil treatments are the perfect pick-me-up your hair needs on a self-care day.
3. Art by Priyanka and Mahala
Art by Priyanka is where painter and Resin artist, Priyanka Kaur’s, creativity is celebrated with bright and colourful art. Along with her colourful acrylic paintings, Priyanka’s resin art adorns grazing boards, trays and coasters, and are a dream come true for art and homeware enthusiasts. For those who are interested in learning and working with resin, Priyanka also hosts Melbourne-based resin workshops.
Mahala is a social enterprise founded by Priyanka aimed at creating space for the amazing work South Asian women do. Priyanka’s commitment to empowering South Asian women comes in the form of handmade gift boxes that feature unique products made by South Asian women. These products range from mugs and jewellery to scented candles.
Lala’s Kitchen by Sweta Patel is a dream for all foodies who love Indian food and desserts. Their menu is comprised of dishes from all over India including Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab. Sweta’s meals are made with love and will give you a taste of India from the comfort of your own home.
Hearthstone Home & Co is a green and zero-waste business that offers a range of carefully and soulfully handcrafted, eco-friendly homewares that are both vintage-inspired and on-trend. All products are handmade and sourced from nature, and Hearthstone Home & Co ensures its packaging is plastic-free, recyclable and/or biodegradable. They also put by their values into practice by donating $1 for every order to One Tree Planted.
Pure Soul Collection is a family-owned skincare brand centred on self-care and self-love. Their products hold natural, balancing and purifying properties that enhance your skin. Their products are for all skin types and range from facial serums to body oil.
The impacts of fast fashion on climate are well-known and Megha, the founder of Salt Tree Mango has been doing her part to reduce the impact since 2017 after she learned about the 2013 Rana Plaza incident in Bangladesh; where a garment factory collapsed on workers despite previous warnings as a result of negligence. Salt Mango Tree is a consciously curated marketplace for ethically-sourced fashion and lifestyle objects produced by artisans, slow fashion brands and grassroots organisations from India. We love that Salt Mango Tree is committed to conscious consumption, ethical practices, fair trade, natural and organic materials.
This one is for all our tea addicts who love trying out different types of tea. The Chai Room, founded by Fatema who began selling tea in local markets in Sydney. The Chai Room has a variety of teas, some of which Fatema grew up with. For Fatema, chai is also a type of aromatherapy that she takes a few sneaky minutes to enjoy during her busy days, in between sipping her tea. If you are a beginner at the art of brewing tea, the Chai Room has you covered with all the accessories you need to make the perfect cup of chai. Our personal favourite is their original masala blend, which makes the perfect desi chai.
9. Jholly Good Times
Jholly Good Times is founded by Joshi and Ash Jholl and inspired by the moments they share with their daughter Aisha. Their artwork will make you smile, reflect and reminisce. Their illustrations break down complex concepts so everyone can understand what they mean. Great for kids (and adults) who like learning something new or appreciate small joys that make life great.
Joon.Co is our favourite when it comes to finding traditional outfits and jewellery in a sustainable way. And the best thing about them is that other South Asian queens can use your traditional outfits, if you choose to rent them on Joon.Co or you can rent their outfits and jewellery! Lehengas for sustainability? Yes, please!
11. Coco Bar
The Coco Bar is a Melbourne-based business for chocolate lovers. Their goal is to make people feel special, appreciated and believe the best way to do this is to add a personalised touch to your chocolate. Coco Bar chocolates are made with love and care, order some Coco Bar chocolate the next time you want to give something sweet and special to someone in your life.
We have shared these small businesses to amplify the great work they’re doing and we hope you check out their products and come to love them just as much as we do. If you’ve bought products from any of these businesses, let us know in the comments which are your favourites!