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The Rife Team

Bristol Black-Owned Businesses: Darkeur Earrings

In this series, Lucy meets local Black-owned business owners to find out more about themselves and their businesses.

Bristol has always been known for its thriving art scene, creative prowess and eclectic range of businesses. It seems wherever I go in Bristol a new business venture has popped up. From food, to exercise, to fashion – we are certainly not starved.

But even though these new businesses keep appearing, that doesn’t mean owning and running a business isn’t challenging – even at the best of times. And Black business owners face a whole different range of obstacles, often trying to survive and thrive in a social, political and economic system that was not designed for them.

Global events from this year have rightly shone a light on Black-owned businesses. In this series I’ll be exploring some of Bristol’s best and the incredible people behind them.

I met with Saharla from the owner and creator of Darkeur earrings.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business

My name is Saharla and I’m the creator of Darkeur earrings. Darkeur earrings is a brand that is loud, bright and made for self-expression through statement earrings. They’re all hand made by me in my handy kitchen.

Why do you think Black-owned businesses are so important?

Black-owned businesses are really important to put money back into circulation within your community. Black-owned brands are not just the businesses that you see on Instagram – they are people’s livelihoods, they’re people’s family. I never really understood when people said, ‘my job is my livelihood’ until I created my business and I realised that this isn’t just a side hustle. I live for my business, and my business lives for me. I enjoy making, it’s therapeutic, and it’s good for my wellbeing.

It’s more than just a business – it’s the community that you get from other Black-owned businesses that you don’t get from other brands.

It’s knowing that you are connected with the business owner and I feel like that’s so unique for all Black-owned businesses.

Are there any barriers you’ve faced as a Black-owned business?

I haven’t experienced any barriers yet. I’m quite new in my business. I can imagine some for businesses that are more established, it might be difficult getting your name out there compared to a non-Black-owned business and finding support outside of the community. It’s all well and good when your own community is supporting you, but your business isn’t going to thrive in just your own community, you need everyone’s support. But right now, all is good, thankfully.

What advice would you give to a Black person looking to start their own business?

Just do it, honestly. It is a lot of fun, a lot of stress. You learn a lot about yourself, you learn so much about those around you.

The support you will receive is so overwhelming, you cannot imagine it.

If you told me in January I was going to start a business I’d laugh in your face because I was never business-orientated. Now, I feel like I could of started this even earlier. It was just finding a name, and honestly, that doesn’t matter – just do it. If it flops it flops but you will learn so much about yourself in the process and that is the most important thing. I’m not the same person I was before June. Surprise yourself, put everything you’ve got into it and just see what happens and you will be surprised. Just do it!

What are you most proud of about your business?

The fact that I’m still doing it. I know it’s only been three months but I’m still here and I’m still doing it even though I’m sometimes like, ‘why am I doing this, it doesn’t make any sense, no one’s buying anything.’ I feel like the perseverance and the strength that I’m finding in myself to be able to carry on doing it is what I’m most proud of. I did not expect that this is where my life is taking me and I’m really appreciative of my business for telling me who I really am.

Where can we find you?

You can find more about my business on Instagram @darkeureearrings and my Etsy @darkeurearrings and we’re also on Tik Tok @darkeurearrings as well.

Tell us your favourite Black-owned businesses on our socials.