Welcome to our newest editorial initiative, Who What Wear Spotlight, where we'll be using our editorial platform, social following, and ad inventory to turn the spotlight on small businesses that need our support now more than ever. Each week, we'll be highlighting a new fashion or beauty company. If you own a small brand and would like to be considered for the program, please apply here.
Nothing beats the feeling of finding a really great boutique, right? With the world at our fingertips when it comes to shopping, a quick Google search can present you with an overwhelming amount of product to sift through. And that’s why stumbling across a great boutique, that collates a bunch of great things you’re bound to love, is so wonderful in every way.
It makes sense, therefore, that when we discovered online boutique Yard + Parish, we were overjoyed. Far from just another e-shop, Co-Founders of Yard + Parish, Alesha Bailey and Samantha Newell, seek out the chicest, most conscious, independent brands of the African Diaspora to curate an offering that champions a “natural, conscious and colourful lifestyle.” From jewellery and homeware to beauty and lingerie, a scroll through Yard + Parish’s offering proves an absolute feast for the eyes.
Here, Bailey and Newell explain what Yard + Parish represents and discuss why they’re encouraging the act of shopping consciously more so now than ever before.
Introduce our readers to your business. When did you start it and why?
Yard + Parish is an online shop offering Black-owned eco-luxe fashion, beauty and lifestyle products. The company launched in the summer of 2019 to provide a luxurious and accessible shopping experience for people of colour.
What is so special about your site?
Visitors to Yard + Parish will discover curated pieces that are inspired by Afro-Caribbean culture. Each product is either handmade or produced in small batches by independent artisans.
How do you go about selecting the brands that you work with and stock on the site?
As a curated boutique, we are always sourcing small businesses that use natural ingredients and follow sustainable practices. Each brand tells a beautiful story steeped in tradition and many specialise in style solutions for darker skin tones.
In your own words, why is it important to support Black-owned brands?
As Black-female founders, we have experienced first-hand the challenges of building a sustainable business in the face of systemic discrimination. As entrepreneurs, and as customers, we understand exactly what it feels like to be an afterthought. Now, more than ever, we encourage consumers to consciously make an effort to support Black-owned brands. There’s a misconception that Black-owned means “only suitable for Black people,” which is simply untrue.
How has social distancing and stay at home orders affected your business? How have your priorities shifted?
Through our collection of self-care and homeware brands, we’ve been able to provide products that promote health and happiness at home. While we’re unable to connect with our community in-person, we’ve become more engaged online and developed meaningful experiences with our audience.
Some people are finding joy in getting dressed and doing their beauty routine, even if they have nowhere to go. What do you think fashion and beauty can offer people right now? What has it done for you?
For the sake of our sanity, it’s important to have some fun. Fashion is all about expressing who you are and who you want to be. Keeping up with our beauty regimen has been so therapeutic because self-care is self-love!
What are your top 3 favourite products you sell and why?
The Revolution by Existing art print by Line & Honey because it is simple yet powerful. The artist Amberlee makes a point of representing the beauty of Black women. The Irene Dangle Hoops by Afton by Palm because they’re a great styling addition that can take you from day to night (plus each pair is hand-painted)! And finally, the Black Walnut Shampoo and Conditioner Set by Luxemore London because aside from gorgeous packaging, it keeps all hair types strong and deeply moisturised while being 100% natural and vegan-friendly.
Is there anything else about your brand and products you really want our readers to know about you?
We are all about redefining luxury. If you want to live the Island life at home, Yard + Parish is for you. Indulge in an array of Black-owned brands offering clean beauty, handmade jewellery, fashion accessories, homeware, and much more. Discover the Diaspora with us!
Formulated with walnuts to help strengthen and boost shine, this shampoo-and-conditioner duo is a favourite of Bailey and Newell.