A Chat with Funmi Scott, Founder at Untapped Creatives: Supporting Black-Owned Brands in Finding Retail Partners

Untapped Creatives is a platform that connects, represents, and negotiates on behalf of a curated collection of Black-owned British luxury lifestyle brands across a myriad of categories including fragrance & beauty, fashion, homewares and children.

Our aim is to negotiate preferential rates and secure the right luxury retail spaces for Black-owned brands to showcase their wares, elevating their profile within the luxury space.

We use the term Afro Luxe to honour stories of Black success, freedom and creativity, in contrast to the media focus on narratives of oppression and struggle. Central to our mission is working to achieve parity for Black-owned luxury brands, with African craftsmanship being recognised alongside products of Italian and French origin.

 
 

Untapped Creatives

 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 

With my professional background, and as a creative entrepreneur myself, launching Untapped Creatives in 2020 was partly a response to the difficulties I noticed for Black-owned brands bringing their designs to the wider market, and accessing finance. I set out to resolve these barriers.

I also wanted to demonstrate that being Black does not necessarily mean being under-privileged, highlighting instead the opulence and creativity of African heritage.

 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 

Since our launch, we’ve already negotiated an Afro Luxe collaboration with Selfridges, which launched on May 28th and will permanently run in-store and online. With so many businesses facing financial difficulty during the pandemic, our mission of supporting Black-owned luxury brands has never been more crucial. We’re proud to be supporting our partner brands during this challenging period, tackling underrepresentation whilst also helping them to demonstrate their commercial viability to future investors.

 

What can we hope to see from Untapped Creatives in the future?

 

We’re very excited to be launching our own e-commerce website on June 18th, expanding the reach of Untapped Creatives to an even broader luxury market. Given the entrenchment of e-commerce during the lockdowns and the consequent change in shopping habits, we see our new shoppable platform as a crucial route to market for our brand partners. We’re also expanding our portfolio of brand partners across all categories, showcasing an even wider pool of Black creativity and talent.

Following on from the success of our Selfridges collaboration, we’re in talks with leading private members’ clubs and luxury retailers to introduce more Afro Luxe concepts into these spaces, ensuring that consumers can access Black luxury products in premium retailers as well as demonstrating that the luxury consumer is not exclusively white.