I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the big mood/shift as of recently has been buying from small businesses owned by BIPOC and POC. If you’ve been living under a rock during the pandemic, economic crisis, and impending race war, let me slowly reacclimate you with a little brand introduction.
Black Bean Grocery is an Asian American-owned grooming and lifestyle brand based between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Operating under the “5 Blessings” of health, wealth, long life, love of virtue, and a peaceful death (followed promptly with an image of 福倒 — meaning “fortune has arrived”), this brand’s identity is not a shy one. Their website is adorned with aesthetically pleasing lifestyle items like on-point brand apparel, an iconic red and gold double happiness valet tray, and a cheeky face towel that reminds you to double cleanse, but the stars of the show are their grooming products.
With label designs that mimic old Chinese products that we all know and love, Black Bean Grocery brings a little of the old into the new creative space within the Asian American diaspora. From their Dai-Lo Styling Powder, a tribute to a classic Hong Kong cinema boss archetype, to their classic Three Beans Pomade, this brand has you covered from A-Z. While many of their products are incredibly versatile, the most popular of the bunch is the aforementioned Three Beans Pomade (strong and pliable definition all day, tames medium to long hair in full volume styles), Black Bean Superior Clay (a balanced, workable weight with medium hold and semi-matte finish, styles with a piece-y, coarse texture), and Black Bean Brilliantine (soften, smoothen and shine high-volume styles, imparts a glossy luster without oily buildup).
I don’t know about you, but whenever I see grooming products marketed towards men, something about it gives me unnecessary-flexing-of-toxic-masculinity vibes. Black Bean Grocery not only eliminates that narrative from their product lineup, which makes them very gender-inclusive, but they also make collecting hair products fun again. I don’t have a hairstyle that requires these products but I’m honestly considering buying a few of these products just in case, you know, I decide to incorporate them into my routine (read: put on my shelf because they look nice).
Photo via Black Bean Grocery