“Game-changing” Black businesses and creators are at the heart of ‘Black to Z’ an uplifting new campaign led by Pinterest UK and cultural curator and founder Irene Agbontaen.

Image credit: Irene Agbontaen and Pinterest UK

Black to Z showcases 26 game-changing Black businesses and creators whose influences and ideas represent Black creativity and innovation; a project so vitally important in a world that often overlooks these creatives.

As a founder whose business, fashion brand TTYA, was also inspired by a need for better representation and inclusion, Irene Agbontaen joined forces with Pinterest UK to launch Black to Z as its creative director.

Serial entrepreneur Irene is a podcaster, designer and cultural curator. She launched her brand TTYA (Taller Than Your Average) in 2013 to offer high quality apparel for women who were taller than 5’9. What started as a collection offering wardrobe staples soon expanded to become an inclusive lifestyle offering that encompasses TTYA Talks, a podcast series, cultural programming for brands and events targeted to inspire and influence young people with a drive and hustle. She has collaborated with high profile brands and has an inclusively sized footwear collaboration with global online fashion retailer ASOS.

 

New inclusive feature on Pinterest now caters to Black women’s skin tone

 

Keen to share support the next generation of Black creative talent, her involvement with Black to Z is a natural progression. The Black to Z venture is designed to provide a space to show how Black businesses and creators kickstarted their creativity and ideas in their own words.

 

Black to Z participants share their visual inspirations alongside a word that defines their influences, resulting in an alphabet of Black creativity that takes ‘Pinners’ through the richness of Black-British diaspora culture and its influence on Black business and creators.

Taking part in Black to Z are graduates from Pinterest’s Black Gold Accelerator programme including Prick Ldn, London’s first and only cactus and succulent boutique, Mama Dolce, luxury free from ice-cream and Sheer Chemistry an inclusive hosiery company to name a few.

Spotlight on Tahlia Gray, founder of Sheer Chemistry

 

The showcase was launched at an exclusive one night-only exhibition taking place at Noho Studios in central London. Abi Shokeye, founder of Rich Skxn the ‘ONLY online retailer for melanin-rich skin in the UK’ and actor, musician and all-round creative Tom Moutchi, joined Irene for an intimate fire-side chat on the night where they all talked about their creative journeys and their inspirations.

Irene Agbontaen said: “Bringing Black creators and Black owned businesses to the forefront of conversations is fundamentally what made this project with Pinterest so important. For me, when launching my brand TTYA, there were very few places that I saw people like me championed and supported. Black to Z highlights these businesses, showcases them and opens them to a wider market. Black to Z as a platform is important to empower Black British business owners and incite change.”

 

 

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Agreeing with these sentiments, Belinda Boakye, Marketing Manager at Pinterest said: “We want our platform to be a true representation of the world we live in – continuing to support and shine a light on Black-owned businesses and creators is an important part of our journey.”

The Black to Z showcase is live on the homepage of Pinterest UK from 12 May 2022.


The Black to Z showcase alphabet

 

Letter and word Business/creator 

A_ Addis Ababa Khula store

B_Belief Aurelie

C_Creator Base Plus

D_Disruptors Making The Manor

E_Escapism Maya Nije

F_Fingerprint Sheer Chemistry

G_Generations Oré mi

H_Hope  Pleasure Stacks

I_Ive Philly & Friends

J_Joy Mama Dolce

K_Kid Climbxr

L_Loopholes Oja HQ

M_Movement Keep it Simpelle

N_Nonpareil Treasuretress

O_Originality Travel with Tolu

P_Playfulness Mica

Q_Queen The Plain Shop

R_Recreate Tatted Chef

S_Sentimental Tom Moutchi

T_ Tallawah Abi Wright

U_Utilitarian Not Just another store

V_Vision   Lude Magazine

W_Wildfire The Wind Collective

X_Xenacious Rich Skxn

Y_Youth Very Puzzled

Z_Zeitgeist Prick Ldn

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