August is National Black Business Month. Black business owners account for about 10 percent of US businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses, according to the US Census. That amounts to approximately 2 million companies owned by African Americans.
Atlanta is packed full of unique local businesses, and among them are shops, spas and studios that you might not have known are black-owned.
"The community really embraced us," Celestial Spa owner Bernice Davis said. "They say it feels like family."
Tashia Surrey-Thomas, owner of Posh Atlanta Cakes, also feels the love from her customers. Being a native Atlantan has given her the proper roots to prosper despite some challenges.
"I'm fortunate to be native to a city that celebrates me for being an educated, gay, black woman who owns a business that is built off of generations of family bakers before me that didn't have the luxury of an education at a private art college in Atlanta," Surrey-Thomas said. "I'm proud to be a black-owned business in Atlanta. Things aren't perfect and the work is far from over, but I'm grateful for those who have paved the way."
For those looking to support businesses like Davis' and Surrey-Thomas', there are many to choose from across metro Atlanta.
Take a look at these 14 black-owned businesses in Atlanta to explore for a spa day, dessert or advancing your business:
Unwind through spa treatments at Celestial Spa, 2930 Cascade Road, Atlanta. Enjoy the Celestial Facial, which includes deep pore cleansing, steam therapy and aromatherapy massage. Davis strives for her clients to feel special through providing caring customer service. "I want them to feel like we really care, and that ultimate goal is trying to make sure we meet their goal of total relaxation," she said.
Chef Surrey-Thomas has been selling custom cakes with Southern flair through her online company, Posh Atlanta Cakes, since 2007. She has an extensive culinary background and has appeared on shows "Say Yes to the Dress" and "The Talk." She said most of the cakes are based on family recipes, aside from the red velvet cake she developed, which is her best-seller.
Get whipped into shape by mother-daughter duo Ellen Ector and Lana Ector of Gymnetics Fitness, 3228 Butner Road, Suite 260, Atlanta. The co-owners run a fitness studio that offers group and personal training, along with weekend #BootyBootCamp sessions that give the legs a workout and Hip Hop Spin classes that keep Drake and Pitbull on rotation.
Slip into relaxation at D'lor Salon & Spa, 1180 Fairburn Road SW, Suite 100, Atlanta. The spa − which includes nail, facial and massage services − focuses on reducing the stress of customers through holistic approaches. The salon also has laser hair therapy technology, along with an array of hair services.
Buy your wrapping paper locally at this Atlanta business. That's a Wrap!, 1996 Hosea L. Williams Drive NE, Atlanta, founded by Mia Canada in 2006 is built on her extensive knowledge of design and fashion. Her company offers lavish wrapping paper, mobile gift wrapping, gift wrapping classes and specially made centerpieces.
Join this club geared to entrepreneurs, artists and executives located at 384 Northyards Blvd. NW, Building 100, Atlanta. The Gathering Spot, founded by Ryan Wilson and TK Petersen, accepts new members only through invitation. Members get access to networking opportunities, cultural events and VIP perks.
Pamper your skin with treatments that embrace fresh products at iwi fresh Garden Day Spa, 341 Nelson St., Atlanta. Yolanda Owens, owner of the spa, is known as the "skincare chef," because she uses healthy ingredients in her farm-to-face skincare products and spa. Owens' approach has made her well known, and celebrities like Kelly Rowland sing praises for her products.
Purchase specialty popcorn from the comfort of your own home by ordering from Atlanta based E & C Popcorn. This company's homemade gluten-free treats are cooked healthily through air popping and by using fresh ingredients. The shop sells its Collier Caramel popcorn in various sizes.
Take a moment for yourself by visiting boutique spa Respire Massage and Spa, 923 Collier Road, Atlanta. The massage parlor/spa tailors its services to the needs of each client. Some services offered include the Ashiastu Deep Feet Bar Therapy, ReVitalize Facials and deep tissue massages.
Continue your New Year's fitness goals by working out at KTX Fitness, 3201 Martin Luther King Jr Drive SW, Atlanta. The workout facility is owned by Keith Thompson, who has been featured on "Good Morning Atlanta," "The Rickey Smiley Show" and "The Queen Latifah Show." His gym specializes in distinctive cycling, step and Zumba classes.
This New Orleans style candy shop is known for its tasty popcorn and pralines. Miss D's, 209 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta, sells an assortment of flavored popcorn, such as triple cheese, kettle and caramel. Peanut brittle, candy apples and pretzels are also on the menu of the shop in Sweet Auburn Curb Market.
Grab one-of-a-kind sweets at one of Sublime Doughnuts' two locations: Georgia Tech, 535 10th St. NW, Atlanta and in the North Druid Hills area of Atlanta at 2566 Briarcliff Road NE. "At Sublime, we present flavors and textures from around the world on a doughnut canvas," Founder Kamal Grant said on the Sublime Doughnuts website. Some doughnut flavors include Nestle Crunch, Sweet Potato Cake and Oreo.
Need a change of scenery for when you work remotely? Check out Opportunity Hub, which is a co-working space located at 426 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. The business, founded by Rodney Sampson, focuses on providing an inclusive space to visitors. It also strives to build innovation, technology and entrepreneurship.
Give your skin love through plant-based and natural care at Honeysuckle Moon, 276 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta. The spa created by L'Angela "Honeysuckle Moon" Lee provides facials that incorporate fresh ingredients, such as aloe, witch hazel bark and almond. Clay masks, beard grooming, reflexology, exfoliation and henna are also available.