SheaMoisture and its parent company Unilever are teaming up with Black-owned CBD wellness brand BROWN GIRL jane to expand the #BrownGirlSwap initiative.
Originally started by BROWN GIRL jane's founders Tai Beauchamp and sisters Malaika and Nia Jones, the first initiative asked shoppers to swap five of their favorite beauty and wellness products for ones from Black-owned brands. Now, through a partnership with Unilever and SheaMoisture's Cara Sabin that started Aug. 10, Brown Girl Swap will expand with a $250,000 grant fund and entrepreneurship program. The fund is for businesses at least a year old that are 51% or more Black woman-owned. Ten companies will receive $20,000 startup awards, five will receive $5,000 honorable mention grants, and 25 more will receive $1,000 Amplify Engagement Grants for social media promotion. Grantees will be vetted and chosen by BROWN GIRL jane, SheaMoisture, and Vaseline, and you can find the application online.
But the partnership is more than just financial. "We wanted it to be comprehensive and holistic because it’s not enough to just say 'OK, fund these companies' — to give them the resources without providing the mentorship," Beauchamp tells Bustle. "With the Swap, the grantees who receive that money will also be able to have the opportunity to be mentored by those at SheaMoisture. We wanted to really provide a solution, and I think if you’re really going to be solution-based, you have to think of all the ways you can integrate community and resources and have them meaningfully be applied."
As with the original campaign by BROWN GIRL jane, consumers are still being asked to swap five of their products for Black-owned brands. Alongside that effort and the financial commitment, Brown Girl Swap will work to diversify workplaces through a paid internship program at Unilever for Black students, empower Black entrepreneurs with an upcoming free, virtual Black to Business Summit, and amplify Black-owned indie brands and voices via SheaMoisture and BROWN GIRL jane's social media and company partnerships.
"When I think about what Brown Girl Swap could become, I’d love to institutionalize this format and this formula," Beauchamp tells Bustle. "We wanted it to be a holistic way to approach how we close the socioeconomic racial divide that exists. For us, we want to see more Black women entrepreneurs in the space thriving, to see more appreciation for those differences, and to see more increased commerce amongst those businesses — and also to use SheaMoisture and Unilever as an example to show the power of a partnership between a large corporation and indie brand."
Want to get involved? Beauchamp says to post videos and photos of the product swaps you've made using the hashtag #browngirlswap.
"Just recognize that by purchasing these brands," she says, "you’re truly helping to reshape the world in which we live."