As we continue in our commitment to elevate diversity, inclusion and equality conversations, FN is shining a light on Black-owned businesses in honor of Black Business Month. For these next few weeks, we encourage you to get to know these incredible Black-owned companies and support them all year round.
By Dose is a brand you may not have heard of, but it’s picking up steam thanks to its simple aesthetic and accessible price points. Designer and founder Diana is focused on building her customer base by launching fan-favorite styles one by one.
For instance, she launched her self-funded, U.K.-based shoe brand last year with the Snake Lace, which garnered attention for its comfort factor. Now, she’s making waves with the Aurum, a 100mm knotted, heeled thong sandal in gold and silver. It’s the only shoe she is selling right now due to the current health crisis, however, she is still seeing sales tick up, mainly in the U.S. market.
“Because of COVID, we had to take a step back and not do so many things at one. It’s all down to me,” she told FN. “I’ve only been doing this for a year, so it’s all about trial and error. I’m always just trying to improve on the materials.”
Manufactured in China, By Dose shoes retail for about $200 through its direct-to-consumer site. The company plans to release additional styles next month.
“I wanted to create a footwear brand where I listened to my customers and made shoes that are actually comfortable. They are very simple and accessible,” said the designer. “I want my shoes to make my customers feel good and I want them to just be able to grab my shoes and go.”
Despite seeing organic growth from word of mouth and the recent heightened attention given to Black businesses — stemming both from the observance of Black Business Month in August as well as the international conversation around racial equality that’s been reinvigorated following the May 2020 death of George Floyd in the United States — By Dose is struggling to widen its audience in England, she explained.
“Your following needs to be big here in order to grow. It’s much more competitive compared to the U.S. [People don’t] really support each other because there’s just not many opportunities,” she said. “You have to look a particular way. Being a black woman — it’s a struggle. You have to be known.”
She’s inspired by designers such as Amina Muaddi, who has been able to write her own narrative.
“I’m trying to become a luxury brand and there are not many owned by Black people. And I want to be that woman,” she said. “I just love shoes so that’s what keeps me going.”