Target Facebook shopping group among several centered on black women

While some retailers don’t support black lives, there is a growing trend of social media shopping groups created for and by black women propelling social change. For them, shopping is not just about products. It’s about building community, connecting rather than buying, and sometimes encouraging multi-generational black wealth.

Too often, there are no spaces dedicated exclusively to the collective joy and protection of black women, especially on the internet, group leaders say. When black women are not co-opted, assimilated or silenced, they add, they thrive.

USA TODAY spoke with online black women’s 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 of 218,000 members, Black girls in Trader Joe’swas formed 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. This is exactly what the FB group gives. It’s like a big family! Davis said via email.

Although she loves Trader’s Joe’s, Davis thinks he should be more supportive of black women.

“TJ’s (Trader Joe’s) big pages are run by white women who are already sharing and posting about TJ’s current demographic,” she says. “By creating BGITJ (Black Girls In Trader Joe’s), I changed the game, because there are a lot of BW (Black Women) who have never shopped at TJ before and are now loyal buyers and who clean the shelves.”

According to Davis, Trader Joe’s featured store displays inspired by combinations of popular products hailing from BGITJ. “If they (TJ) do indeed like black women buying,” she says, “it’s time to go public.”

BGITJ encourages solidarity with matching T-shirts and the band’s slogan “We In This Thang!” And the band’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 his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

“It was amazing,” Davis said. “Forty black women gathered. It was more than just love for TJ.

On Instagram: @blackgirlsintraderjoes

Black Women Who Like Target Facebook Group

This Facebook shopping community of more than 20,000 people doesn’t just celebrate the retailer, it elevates the black women who are members of the group.

After joining Black Women Who Love Trader Joe’s in February 2021, Fort Worth, Texas, educator Sharla Horton-Williams was inspired to ask members if they would like a Black women who love the target page too. The response was overwhelming.

Horton-Williams said she wanted to create an environment to help black women feel safe.

“We talk a lot in Black Women Who Love Target about hair care and skin care,” she said. “These are unique to our culture. It’s a safe place and it’s a fun place. We learn to use our dialects without being judged. We can talk about things that are important to us without having to explain and translate to the rest of the world.

The Facebook group, with more than 21,000 members, connects black shoppers who share a love for all things Target.

For Horton-Williams, it’s also crucial that Target respect black shoppers. “They were really a forerunner in establish and honor black excellence and black creativity,” she says. “So almost always we share new black designers or showcase the latest black art that’s in Target.

The founders of a black women's online shopping group have applauded Target for showcasing black designers and art in the retailer's merchandise

This Facebook group even sports custom shirts made by members Bijou Karman and Natalia Vaughn.

Black women who love Targetmember, Kinna Thomasis a testament to how online shopping affinity groups allow black women to explore their interests and share them with others.

“I joined because sometimes I just need help figuring out what to buy or try,” Thomas said. “This particular group helps connect with others like me who love to shop and try new things. Articles about everyday essentials, like skincare and toiletries, are my It’s also fun to see how people express their personal style, because fashion is one of my natural interests.

Target responds to the group’s shared admiration with reciprocity because it wants black shoppers and businesses to feel seen.

Jasmin Reynolds founded a retailer affinity group that fosters community among black women

Gloria Delgadillo, a member of Target’s communications team, says that “At Target, our goal is to create a shopping experience where all customers feel welcomed and represented, and we are committed to ensuring that customers blacks see themselves represented, merchandise we offer to our marketing efforts and more.”

The company’s investment in black buyers and employees provides new opportunities that haven’t historically available, said the target.

Facebook group:

Private Facebook group of black women who love fashion

Many members of these online groups are often inspired to create their own. In Thomas’ case, that meant creating a fashion-focused community.

She created the private Facebook group, black women who love fashion in 2020, following the murder of george floyd. It was a time when many black people needed nurturing environments to feel collective joy, and since then it continues to evolve.

“It’s incredibly important to me to amplify the voices of black women and create a safe space to connect,” says Thomas. While her page focuses on “discussing fashion,” there’s what Thomas calls a “wider dialogue” at play.

She points out that her band is about “the importance of feeling accepted and loved just as you are…it’s a celebration of them, and it feels incredibly important in these uncertain times.”

With over 70,000 members, his community has grown bigger than Thomas ever imagined.

“It’s so meaningful to me to create a place of refuge, rest and joy for black women around the world,” she said.

Facebook group:

Black Women Who Like Costco’s Facebook Community

A Facebook community that connects on Costco products and builds multigenerational black wealth, Black women who love Costcowas founded by Dallas, Texas resident Josef Spencer Hudson 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 the community’s more than 29,000 members.

The Costco Black Women's Facebook group has attracted more than 30,000 members.

“It goes beyond being a place for us, as we say, ‘Kiki’ (or social gathering),” Hudson said. each other, not only on how to buy Costco stock, but also on how to buy other stocks and build wealth.”

Facebook group:

Black Girls Love Starbucks Instagram Group

This Instagram group of over 7,000 loves coffee and conversation. Imani Isoke Johnson of Hempstead, New York launched the IG page Black girls love Starbucks after being a Starbucks fan and collecting its mugs for years.

While she’s found other black women who love the outspokenness, a sense of community is what binds the band members together.

New York's Imani Isoke Johnson launched IG the Black Girls Love Starbucks Instagram page.

“This page has definitely helped me form new relationships with women I have so much in common with,” Johnson said, adding that she was ready to make a phone call or reach out to all members in the need. She also hosts small in-person get-togethers with band members — at a local Starbucks, of course.

On Instagram: @blackgirlslovestarbucks

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