, Connecticut’s free online directory of Black-owned businesses, has teamed with YWCA Hartford Region to amplify and elevate local beauty brands and provide shoppers with discounts in celebration of the CROWN Act passing.

The CROWN Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” is a law that prohibits race-based hair discrimination. has developed an online CROWN Act Discount Guide to enable consumers to easily connect with Connecticut Black-owned beauty and cosmetics businesses offering special discounts through the end of March.

“The CROWN Act has passed in Connecticut making us the eighth state to pass this transformative legislation,” shared Melinda Johnson, Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy for YWCA Hartford Region. “ShopBlackCT’s invitation to celebrate this legislative accomplishment during Women’s History Month with community economic investment is the kind of innovation that bridges legislative progress with community advancement,” she emphasized.

“This is a historic moment for Connecticut, and what better way to celebrate than to help connect consumers with Black-owned businesses that specialize in beauty products,” added Founder Sarah Thompson. features more than 150 beauty and cosmetics businesses from 26 cities and town from across Connecticut, plus brands that are exclusively online. The site now features more than 1,400 businesses in categories including automotive, fitness, contractors, restaurants, and salons. The not-for-profit site is free to browse and free for businesses to list and receive support.

The volunteer-run platform has helped connect consumers with businesses and businesses with each other. It’s been visited by tens of thousands of people and has grown more than sevenfold since its launch on July 1.

“They have dedicated their time and their resources to create a platform that has been very instrumental in the growth of my business and the growth of many other Black-owned businesses in Connecticut,” shared Shawnee Rochester of Escape Massage & Esthetics Studio in Manchester. “A lot of times, us small business owners don’t have the means to get our names out there, but this platform was created to do that. It was so needed.”

Chef Jay Lewis of Fud, Inc. and Baby J’s Spices added, “The positive image, the positivity coming out of is so powerful and [it’s] such a great movement.”

Visit to access a list of Connecticut Black-owned beauty and cosmetics businesses offering a discount with promo code CROWNON now through the end of March.

To learn more about, read our interview: Creates Visibility and Provides Support for Black-Owned Businesses