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We Goths Don't Sweat, We Simmer.

Blue and black image with a pool background highlighting goth and alternative black owned businesses.

It's hot.
It's hot.
It's hot.

I don't know where you are, but the sun is currently beaming down on Atlanta at a toasty 86 ºF. I've been drinking my weight in sweet tea and running around in breezy jumpsuits, but it's still not cutting it. The mosquitoes are munching, the concrete is burning, and I am trying my best to make it through another Georgia summer. Hot child in the city indeed.

If you're anything like me, your wardrobe consists of soft black, rich black, cool black, soot black, jet black...etc etc. I've transitioned to my favorite rompers, skirts, and crop tops, but I can't change a scientific fact: black absorbs heat like nobody's business. If you're still out there in your best Bellatrix Lestrange fit, bless your heart because it couldn't be me!

As you know, we are not only dealing with the heat and COVID-19 this June. Countless protests have sprouted up as a response to black deaths, social injustice, and police brutality, both here and throughout the U.S. If you follow ToS's IG, you have seen my raw thoughts regarding these current events. If not, I will restate what I've previously said:

"'If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.' BLACK LIVES MATTER AND THEY’VE ALWAYS MATTERED AND THEY’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO MATTER. Look at your favorite brands and ask yourself, what have they said/not said? What have they pledged/not pledged? What is your money supporting? It doesn’t even have to support ToS if you don’t want it to, but it does need to support the brands speaking out against injustice. Our subculture is rooted in supporting the oppressed and marginalized. Remember that."

*This isn't up for debate. If you disagree, ToS does not want your business, your money, or your time. Plus, why would you want to buy from a store (a) run by a woman of color and (b) created to address the lack of representation in our scene?

Vague, late, and often dismissive responses to the protests by various well-known goth/alt brands has resulted in people of all ethnicities choosing to seek out other goth/alt black-owned businesses. Some are well-established and some are just beginning, but there is an abundance of black-owned businesses that sell eccentric, edgy clothes and accessories. Your money talks, so let it say something positive and powerful! Today, let's highlight and support some of these amazing businesses as we try not to wither away in this mosquito-filled inferno. Check these out:

(1) JoceBoss Boutique:

Located in sunny and spooky LA, JoceBoss Boutique is run by Joce, a seamstress. Joce runs her boutique as a one woman show, so while orders may take a little longer than your Amazon package, her gothabilly tops & skirts are well worth the wait. My favorite items are the Velvet Tie Up Top, Stripe Top, and Pink Bats Bralette, all of which are sexy, fun, and summer-appropriate!

(2) Sinister Sisters:

Also located in LA, Sinister Sisters was created by two badass babes, Stacey and Azja. Their aesthetic is very 80's glam goth, which is SUCH a vibe. If you love old school heavy metal band merch (think Motörhead and Morbid Angel), they have some summer-approved crop tops right up your alley! My favorite item from them is the Beherit Halter Crop Top. There's currently only 1 available, so don't sleep on this!

(3) Upstreet Kid:

ALSO located in LA (it is the beach goth capital, after all), Upstreet Kid is the creation of Char, an incredibly chic wardrobe stylist and designer. These clothes lean more towards streetwear, but they are so distinctive and cool that I had to include them. My favorite item from Upstreet Kid is the Milk Swim Set, a white, very va-va-voom top & bottom pair. Wear this and you'll definitely be serving "Hex Girl in Miami".

(4) O'Dolly Dearest:

We're finally out of LA! Located in NYC, O'Dolly Dearest was founded by Zoe Martin, a stunning SCAD graduate (shout out to a fellow Southern girl). When you think of O'Dolly Dearest, think of a Bratz doll who doubles as an IG influencer. Think Barbie in a bodycon dress, driving around in a G-Wagen. If that aesthetic screams out to you, check this brand out! My favorite item is the Flirtini Dress in both black and pink. This item would be such a sexy cover-up as you wistfully lounge by the pool.

(5) Nasty Gem:

So you've packed your beach bag. You've got your clothes, your black sunnies, your coffin-shaped towel, and your platform sandals. Wait. Where are your accessories???

Out in Maryland, Nasty Gem is the child of Tori T, an aesthetic goddess and all-around hottie. Your goth girl summer is not complete without her handmade collars, chains, bags, and earrings. Adorned with spikes and O-rings, these items are severe and a little dangerous, which is why we love them so much! Pair your black Daisy Dukes with my favorite items, the Horseshoe Steel Og Choker and the BASIX og D Collar.

And there you have it! Now, you can stay cool and support alt black-owned businesses at the same time. If you know of any that deserve a highlight, let me know! I'd love to include them here.

Have a fun, safe, and spooky summer!