LGBTQ+-Owned Small Businesses to Support for Pride Month and Always
This year's Pride celebrations may not be as big and bold as they have been in years past due to the pandemic, but that's just fine with Out magazine editor-in-chief David Artavia. He says that while he won't necessarily be looking to party with the masses, he intends to celebrate and support his community through other ways. "For me, Pride has never been about a party. It's a march, a rallying cry, a call to action for equality for the LGBTQ+ community, especially for our trans brothers and sisters in the United States and around the world."
According to recent statistics from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, less than one percent of small businesses in the U.S. are registered as "LGBT business enterprises," meaning that they are majority-owned, operated, managed, and controlled by a member or members of the LGBTQ+ community. Artavia says that the public's patronage is very important for that very reason. "Supporting queer-owned businesses is everyone's way of putting our money where our mouth is," he adds.
Artavia explains that, for him, one month is not enough to adequately support the LGBTQ+ community; rather, efforts are needed all year long. Shop these businesses, some of which are recommended by Artavia himself, whose owners are committed to representing their community as well as creating a world that is inclusive to everyone.
As this property's website says, "there is always something going on in Provincetown" and, for many, particularly in the LGBTQ+ community, The Bradford is at the heart of it all. Artavia says that this venue in Provincetown, Massachusetts, is in the perfect place for anyone seeking a getaway. Owned by husbands Patrick Wilson and Stephen Walker since 2019, The Bradford was originally built in 1888 and is rooted deeply in the town's history. The property is located just steps away from Commercial Street's vibrant retail and restaurant scene as well as The Boatslip Waterfront Hotel and Beach Club, which hosts the world-famous queer Tea Dance, the town's largest outdoor dance party.
Putnam & Putnam
New York City floral designers Michael and Darroch Putnam of Putnam & Putnam are a husband-and-husband duo whose flower arrangements are both ornate and unfussy, intellectual and wildly romantic. To learn from them firsthand, they also offer live-streamed classes, video tutorials, and a virtual design tool through Putnam's Flower Channel.
BLK MKT Vintage
Co-owners Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah Handy of BLK MKT Vintage have scoured the thrift stores and consignment shops of Brooklyn to amass some incredible antiques and collectibles, all of which speak to the richness of Black history. Today, it's part nostalgia shop, part community space. Browse the wares in their brick-and-mortar storefront—old-timey clock radios, music records, magazines, and Civil Rights Movement memorabilia—and let them spark a bigger conversation.
Whether you're on the hunt for quirky desk toppers, underrated perfumes, jewelry, ceramics, or prints, Otherwild's has it all. Aside from its array of retail goods, the brand serves as a graphic design studio and collaborative community for artists, herbalists, musicians, and creatives. The L.A. shop is open for business, and you can shop its impressive variety of goods onsite as well.
Alder New York
Founded by David J. Krause and Nini Zilka in 2016, this queer women-owned beauty brand was designed to be inclusive of all skin types, age groups, and gender identities. Alder combines design sensibility and efficacy for skincare and haircare products. Last year for the month of June, 10 percent of all Everyday Skincare Set sales were donated to the Ali Forney Center, whose mission is to protect LGBTQ+ youth from the harm of homelessness and empower them with tools needed to live independently.
Pond Mountain Lodge & Resort
Artavia says that for nearly 30 years, the lesbian-owned Pond Mountain Lodge & Resort has been a queer oasis in the lush Ozark Mountains. He points out that the resort attracts a diverse mixed crowd of LGBTQ+ and allies alike, and the resort's sprawling 130 private acres have a lot of activities for guests to participate in and enjoy—including gorgeous twin ponds that sit on the area's highest mountain, popular for weddings. This property is the perfection location for a romantic getaway, with its dreamy mountain views and rustic charm.
Chef Kelly Fields opened the city-famous Willa Jean in 2015 near the French Quarter of New Orleans and Artavia says that it's been a local favorite ever since. Named after Field's grandmother, Willa Jean is heralded as one of the most celebrated restaurants for Southern food in town. And if you have a sweet tooth, Fields is more than happy to satisfy it with one of her award-winning sweet treats. In 2019, Fields won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef due to her recipe for cornbread. When she's not dreaming up tasty new treats, Fields dedicates time to making life sweeter for others through her Yes Ma'am Foundation, which she created in 2017 to inspire, encourage, and mentor the next generation of women in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Bloom & Plume
Floral designer Maurice Harris' larger-than-life personality is reflected in his arrangements. And his perspective on his own place in the world is equally as powerful. "I am a Black gay man operating in a space that has been pretty dominated by the whiteness," he previously told MarthaStewart.com. "And I think that I am able to engage in that conversation of the white aesthetic, but I bring my Black history to every arrangement that I make. I think it makes for a very unique, nuanced arrangement." When he's not designing elaborate arrangements for high-profile celebrities, Harris can be found managing his coffee shop, Bloom & Plume Coffee. With the coffee shop, he's on a mission to build what he describes as, "a beloved community where everyone belongs and becomes a better version of themselves—one cup, one person, and one neighborhood at a time."
MINNA is a tight-knit team of seven creatives based in Hudson, New York. Led by Sara Berks, they are a queer woman-owned and operated business, working with master artisans in Central and South America to craft multipurpose products for the home—rugs, blankets and throws, furniture and decorative objects, and more.
If you're looking for something of charm to gift someone else, Pumkinfish has lots for you to discover. Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, Pumkinfish is full of strange wonders, just right for someone in search of a unique gifts and goodies from all over the world, ranging from bath soaps to cocktail mixers to potholders to Cat Wine (yes, it's for your cats). Visitors to the shop also support an LGBTQ+ business, as this business prides itself on being a queer-owned establishment.