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If you ask The Root or Essence, 2013 was a pretty awesome year for black women and well, I’m inclined to agree. From Kerry Washington slaying us as the intelligent and fashionable Olivia Pope to Beyoncé’s self-titled album that dropped without major promo, the media has given black female celebrities a lot of well-deserved attention this past year. Any uplift-ment in the positive image of the African-American woman is a win in my book but often times, we miss the up and coming moguls before they make it big. Well, here is my short list of black women to look out for in 2014 and beyond as they make major moves in their respective industries.

FASHION

Simply L3ve was founded in March 2011 by owner & designer Michelle Gibson, a 2013 graduate of Howard University (Go Bison!) who took the risk of starting her fashion line right out of school…and is really succeeding. Simply L3ve is “inspired by the beauty of love, the preciousness of nature and the idea of ‘A New Definition of Fashion’.” Her eco-chic designs have been featured at DC Fashion Week and Macy’s and Simple L3ve has press coverage all over the web. Get your own piece of the collection at www.simplyl3ve.com and be considered the fashion-forward Queen of all your girlfriends. Keep up with the young designer at her social savvies: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube.

BEAUTY


Melissa Butler has found a niche in the market and capitalized on it: naturally moisturizing lipsticks in bold hues for a variety of complexions. She is the CEO and Mixologist at The Lip Bar, where Ms. Butler dares women of color to step out from the traditional reds and browns and embrace bold lip colors like Blue Muthaf*cka and Gin-Ger & Tonic. Your lippies are handcrafted by the creative genius herself with the same ingredients we crave to keep our hair popped: shea butter, jojoba oil and avocado oil for an entirely new lip care experience. Her next goal is to have a “The Lip Bar Truck” that travels these great states and allows us to make custom lippies. How fun! Stay in the know with all things The Lip Bar: FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube.

 COMMUNITY/BUSINESS

Birds of a feather really do flock together. The BOSS Network is a community of career and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation and networking, both online and events-based. Being your own boss ain’t easy but Cameka helps you make it look like a piece of cake by providing a sisterhood of women who are all about being successful and lifting each other along the way. The organization was even listed in Forbes.com “Top 10 Entrepreneurial Websites for Women.” If you are a BOSS or want to be your own boss, this is the organization for you. Learn more here: FacebookTwitterInstagram.

I Want To Know:

  • Are you an entrepreneur or an aspiring one? Tell us why your business rocks!
  • Do you know of any small businesses by black women who rock? Let us know!