Local Black student businesses offer empathy and inspiration…along with fashion

Need somewhere to shop? Check out these local Black-student-owned businesses


Photo courtesy Instagram

o-harm’s Instagram page features a number of current and former RV students modeling clothing

Jadaa Cruz, News Writer

The five sending districts of Rancocas Valley are full of young, creative minds from the Black community, especially from former and current RV students. During the unprecedented year of 2020, the young men interviewed here began the process of developing their businesses from scratch. Within a few months of finalizing the last details, they unleashed their business on the public. 

As we move beyond Black History Month, check out these local Black businesses that are creating waves in tthe community.



“Awoken is a clothing brand that is for intellectuals–and people finding their true selves and believing in who they really are. But we are also known for the zodiac and astrology clothes,” stated former RV student and Awoken Co-Founder Jaivien Kendrick. 

After the tragic killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Kendrick and Co-Founder Charles Lowe were inspired to create their line of clothes.

“Since its Black History Month,” Kendrick began, “we did our ‘BLM x Awoken’ collection–this month we had shirts, hoodies, an embroidered hat and printed sweatsuits.”

Additionally, Awoken is donating some of their profits from the Black Lives Matter collection to an organization geared towards improving the lives of Black people. 

In the upcoming months, the creative team of Awoken are ready to release new products for their company; for example, more embroidered items and newly designed t-shirts for their zodiac collection.

Kendrick stated  that Awoken is “a small piece” of his “journey of becoming financially free.” He believes school, in the most respectful way, is “BS.” Therefore, his main goal in life is to grow his clothing line so his business can catalyze financial stability and grant him the opportunity to give back to the Black community. 

“People should shop at Awoken because it is supporting a good cause and it stands for a message. We live in a world today where people are pressured to conform to society–and be what I like to call mediocre. But [at] Awoken, we stand outside of it–embrace yourself. We are all about giving back, we are all about supporting others, because that is what the world should be.”



0-Harm was founded by sophomore Jadon Kendrick and Jaden Dublin with the support of juniors Brent Ottey and Bryan Amador, who are Co-founders for the business.

“[0-Harm] is a street-wear brand…that can be worn with anything that you want,” stated Dublin.  

“All of us,” added Kendrick, “and our group of friends, are really into fashion, from watching other brands, we wanted to make something by ourselves so we can rock something that is different.”

The prices for 0-Harms apparel, such as shirts and hoodies range from $19.99 to $49.99. The total cost for an item in the two categories depends on the style. Therefore, if a customer purchases a simple shirt, it will cost less than a graphic-designed one. 

Kendrick announced that the company is in the process of designing shorts and other clothes. 

The young men believe their business will be an opportunity for their future families and “generational wealth.”

“It also teaches us something that school can’t,” stated Dublin. “ We are 15, 16…doing our own work, making our own brand…some older people do not even know what to do yet.”

Amador showcased his pride for himself and his friends by saying “it’s ours…it’s special.” 

Kendrick is pleased to admit that his brand is known on the campus at RV. He says that he gets support from students and teachers. 

“One of my art teachers, shoutout to Ms. Saiia, she brought a crewneck from us and some coaches are also interested in buying some things,” stated Kendrick. 

The owners of 0-Harm dropped a clothing line for the Black Lives Matter Movement. In addition, a percentage of the funds made from the clothes are being donated to an organization to help Black lives. 

After asking why others should shop at their business, Dublin responded with “We are RVs very own.” Moreover, the team believes that their ‘drip’ clothing line is the alternative to PacSun, if people nearby are shopping on a budget. 



Junior Jalen Prilo is the founder of Cradlewear, which is an online store that sells apparel and sunglasses. After completing a workshop titled BOY, which was a program that encouraged and educated young, black men, Prilo was determined to enter a t-shirt design competition. Eventually, his victory sparked his business. 

Cradlewear sells affordable clothes. A general range of their prices are “t-shirts for $18 to $20…and hoodies from $25 to $30.”

In addition, it has various options for graphic designs on apparel. Moreover, the company allows customers to place orders for customized shirts and hoodies. 

“I feel [Cradlewear] is important because not too many people around me have started doing a business, and there are a lot of people who support me and look out for me, which makes me feel like I have impacted them on a personal level.”

The owner of the brand revealed that quarantine helped his business grow, while many small clothing businesses and boutiques in America plummeted. 

“I made an Instagram, a website and it pretty much became worldwide in a sense. I had people purchasing in Colorado, California…” and much more. “Because of COVID, people are always on their phones; it’s fresh on their feed. When they see my stuff, they are like, ‘Yo, let me buy that shirt.'”

Cradlewear is a big advocate for supporting the Black community. On its Instagram page, the majority of the people the account follows are small black businesses. 

“We support, like, and promote each other, as one we can take over the industry,” said Prilo.


Citizens in the local community have the habit of spending plenty of money on stores that have no desire in building a personal connection with the customer and sincerely helping society. These three black-owned businesses, however, posit themselves as empathetic, locally owned alternatives of companies such as Zumiez, Hollister and Urban Outfitters. The founders of Awoken, 0-Harm 2and Cradlewear have stated a similar message regarding the importance of supporting a Black business: “A business was created to solve a problem, which in this case is the racial injustice within the country.”

With the support from customers, owners of these brands attempt to build allyship amongst individuals of different races. In addition, they believe have the courage to  help resolve racially-charged problems spurring in the local Mt. Holly community and beyond.