While Some retailers don’t support black lives There is a growing trend of social media shopping groups created for and by black women to drive social change. For them, shopping is not just about products. It’s about community building, bonds through purchase, and sometimes nurturing Black wealth across multiple generations.
Too often there are no spaces solely for collective joy and protection of black women, especially online, group leaders say. When black women are not co-opted, assimilated, or silenced, they add: they thrive.
USA TODAY spoke to online black women groups for Trader Joe’s, Costco, Target and Starbucks via Zoom and email. Here’s what they had to say.
Black girls in Trader Joe’s Instagram group
An Instagram group with 218,000 members, Black girls at Trader Joe’swas founded by a resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Mercedes “Dee” Daviswho also created the Facebook hashtag #BlackGirlsInTraderJoes and a private FB group exclusively for black women, which now has over 44,000 members.
“I believe in creating community and safe spaces for black women. That’s exactly what the FB group gives. It’s like one big family!” Davis said via email.
While she adores Trader’s Joe’s, Davis believes it should be more supportive of black women shoppers.
“The big TJ (Trader Joe’s) sites are run by white women who are already sharing and posting for the current TJ demographic,” she says. “I changed the game by starting BGITJ (Black Girls In Trader Joe’s) as there are many BW (Black Women) who have never shopped at TJ before and are now loyal shoppers cleaning up the shelves.”
According to Davis, Trader Joe’s has featured store displays inspired by popular product combinations that originated on BGITJ. “If you (TJ) actually value black buyers,” she says, “it’s time to do so publicly.”
BGITJ promotes solidarity with matching t-shirts and the group’s slogan, “We In This Thang!” And the group’s community isn’t limited to the computer, as Davis also hosts in-person events. The first BGITJ: Just Vibes Retreat took place in September 2021 in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
“It was incredible,” Davis said. “Forty black women come together. It was more than just a love for TJ.”
On Instagram: @blackgirlsintraderjoes
Black women who love Target Facebook group
This Facebook shopping community of over 20,000 people not only celebrates the retailer, it also uplifts the black women who are members of the group.
After joining Black Women Who Love Trader Joe’s in Fort Worth, Texas in February 2021, Educator Sharla Horton-Williams was inspired to ask members if they would like Black women who love the target side too. The response was overwhelming.
Horton-Williams said she wants to create an environment that helps black women feel safe.
“We talk a lot about hair care and skin care in Black Women Who Love Target,” she said. “They are unique in our culture. It’s a safe place and it’s fun. We can use our dialects without being judged. We can talk about things that are important to us without having to explain and translate them to the rest of the world.”
It’s also critical to Horton-Williams that Target respect black buyers. “They were really a pioneer in Establishing and honoring black excellence and black creativity,” she says.
This Facebook group even offers custom t-shirts made by members Bijou Karman and Natalia Vaughns.
black women who love targetmembers, Kinna Thomasis a testament to how online shopping affinity groups are empowering black women to explore their interests and share them with others.
“I joined because sometimes I just need help on what to buy or what to try,” said Thomas. “This special group helps connect with others like me who love to shop and try new things. The posts about everyday necessities like skincare and toiletries are my favorites. It’s also fun to see people expressing their personal style as fashion is one of my natural interests.”
Target meets the group’s shared admiration with reciprocity, as it wants black buyers and businesses to feel seen.
Gloria Delgadillo, part of Target’s communications team, says, “At Target, our goal is to create a shopping experience where all guests feel welcome and represented, and we are committed to making sure black guests feel comfortable from the start to feel represented Goods we offer to our Marketing Efforts and more.”
The company’s investment in both black buyers and employees is opening up new opportunities that didn’t exist before been historically available target says.
Facebook group: Facebook.com/groups/942327612837957
Black women who love fashion private facebook group
Many members of these online groups are often inspired to start their own. In Thomas’ case, that meant starting a community focused on fashion.
She created the private Facebook group, Black women who love fashion in 2020 after Murder of George Floyd. It was a time when many black people needed a nurturing environment to feel collective joy, and it’s been evolving ever since.
“Amplifying the voices of black women and creating a safe place to connect is extremely important to me,” says Thomas. While her site focuses on “chatting about fashion,” there’s what Thomas calls a “broader dialogue.”
She emphasizes that her group is about “the importance of feeling accepted and loved for who you are…it’s a celebration for them, and that feels incredibly important in these uncertain times.”
With over 70,000 members, their community has grown bigger than Thomas could have ever imagined.
“It’s so meaningful to me to create a place of sanctuary, calm and joy for black women around the world,” she said.
Facebook group: Facebook.com/groups/297641001235588
Black women who love Costco’s Facebook community
A Facebook community that bonds over Costco merchandise and builds black fortunes across generations, Black women who love Costcowas founded by Josef Spencer Hudson of Dallas, Texas after asking members of another group what new pages they would like to see.
Eventually, Hudson recruited her friend Rachael E. Brown of Wylie, Texas, as a group administrator to help with the community’s 29,000+ members.
“It’s more than just a place for us, as we say, ‘Kiki’ (or social gathering),” Hudson said. “We introduced so many other topics, and people educated each other there, not just how to buy Costco stock, but how to buy other stocks and build wealth.”
Facebook group: Facebook.com/groups/764261784497971
Black girls love the Starbucks Instagram group
This Instagram group of over 7,000 enjoys coffee and conversation. Imani Isoke Johnson of Hempstead, New York started the IG page Black girls love Starbucks after being a Starbucks fan and collecting his mugs for years.
While she found other black women loving the franchise, the sense of community is what binds the members of the group.
“This site has definitely helped me form new relationships with women who I have so much in common with,” Johnson said, adding that she’s ready to take a call or reach out to any members who need them. She also has small face-to-face meetings with group members – at a local Starbucks, of course.
On Instagram: @blackgirlslovestarbucks