LGBT Businesses Give Back: Suppliers to Support in June & Beyond!

It’s here – the month that many of us spend the rest of the year awaiting. This June, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is proud to highlight six trailblazing businesses & entrepreneurs that have gone out of their way to give back to the LGBTQ+ community. Supporting LGBTQ+ businesses and the LGBTQ+ community should not be limited to the month of June, and these entrepreneurs recognize that. Read more about the innovative and LGBTQ-focused work that these Certified LGBTBE® suppliers pursue this month and every month!

TAILQR | Founded by Sara Stanton (they/them/theirs)

TAILQR founder Sara Stanton is redefining the traditionally binary shopping experience for individuals who have previously been unable to find necktie options that cater only to men or women. Designed for transgender and nonbinary folks, TAILQR is a genderless necktie company that is inclusive of all bodies and silhouettes.

“This genderless clothing line is a new way for disenfranchised folks to feel empowered when shopping for clothing, with a product that provides comfort without labels, for people without labels,” Stanton explained.

Tasked with wearing a suit for work but unable to find ties that fit their non-binary body, Stanton set out to overcome that obstacle by custom-making their own ties in funky patterns and prints. This endeavor blossomed into a full-blown business by 2021 after multiple friends, family members, and consumers facing similar struggles commissioned ties from Stanton.

Now, as a 100% trans-owned and LGBTBE certified business, TAILQR’s ties are handmade exclusively made in the U.S. from recycled materials and cater to all price ranges. Stanton recognizes that through their privilege, they have the opportunity and responsibility to create and provide opportunities for other marginalized individuals.

“Being an LGBTQ+ entrepreneur is a huge responsibility,” said Stanton. “It means that everything we do needs to be intentional and community-driven. It also means giving back, both with my time and money. That is why we give back 5% of all sales to LGBTQ organizations that focus on trans youth, and we also give away ties to unemployed folks for job interviews, LGBTQ youths for proms and graduations, and more.”

As a transgender child growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, Stanton never felt that they saw themself reflected back in society. Now, through TAILQR, they have authentically created that reflection for young nonbinary and transgender individuals growing up.

“It’s important to me to give back to the LGBT community so that everyone, everywhere, can see themselves and know there is a place for them in this world,” they said. “I want to put a spotlight on the joy of being transgender.”

Stanton obtained LGBTBE certification for TAILQR to connect with likeminded individuals, obtain resources for their business, and create an authentic partnership with other members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“It brings us face-to-face with the queer community and allows us to learn and grow together in a safe space,” they said.

OutBranding Promos | Founded by Logan Wick (he/him/his)

Searching for promotional products for your next business event or conference? OutBranding Promos is here to help! Founder Logan Wick provides clients with personalized & creative products for each event, offering worldwide shipping and customized additions. OutBranding Promos offers creative swag ranging from custom t-shirts and clothing to bluetooth speakers, webcam blockers, mousepads, drink tumblers, food gifts, decals and stickers for laptops & tech items, and much more! As a Certified LGBTBE, DOBE, and MBE supplier, OutBranding Promos is changing the events game for a wide variety of clients, including Meta (Facebook), Pfizer, Google, Toyota, Sony, Alcon, & TIAA.

Wick believes it is important to give back to his community and the LGBTQ+ community at large through the work his business does. OutBranding Promos gives back 20% of all of their profits to charities each year, including those focused on protecting transgender youth. This year, with every Pride order fulfilled, Wick will donate 20% of all of the profits to Out Youth, Transgender Education Network of Texas & Trans Families. OutBranding Promos will be designing and selling #ProtectTransKids merchandise to support this endeavor in 2022.

“Right now, in 2022, it is extraordinarily important to help protect transgender children and make sure that they have the access they need to medical care for the mental & physical health,” he said. “The attacks on our transgender community are growing and we must fight back. I am a proud half-Mexican trans man who recognizes how much privilege I have gained through my later in life transition, including the ability to be open and visible all the time.”

Wick explained that as an LGBTQ+ entrepreneur, it is important to him to be open and visible about his identity in order to fight for equality.

“Being out, proud & visible is the best way I can help hold the door open while smashing phobic barriers to make it easier for everyone else behind me,” he said. “Together we can all work to make the pie bigger, to feed more and empower our LGBTQIA+ community even more.”

As a member of NGLCC, Wick has been a regular attendee and presenter at the annual International Business & Leadership Conference, as well as a board member of the Austin LGBT Chamber, a volunteer on the Procurement Council, and one of the founding members of the TGX Initiative.

“Being a Certified LGBTBE® since 2014 impacted our business with steady growth for years,” he said. “The majority of the relationships we created in the last 8 years, which led to access to many new opportunities, were because of our LGBTBE certification & participation in NGLCC events. We’ve been local chamber members since 2007 because our LGBTQIA+ community has always been important to me.”

Pride Candle Company | Founded by Timothy O’Keefe (he/him/his)

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Pride Candle Company is a unique scented candle manufacturer. Using only clean ingredients, Pride Candle Company exclusively partners with LGBTQ+ and allied vendors & retailers to create and distribute their fragranced candles.

Founder Timothy O’Keefe has fought for equality for the LGBTQ+ community and marginalized groups throughout his life, and has brought that drive to Pride Candle Company. The Certified LGBTBE® supplier donates 10% of the proceeds of each candle they sell to organizations that work to advance the LGBTQ+ community.

“Thanks to endless sacrifices and incredibly hard work from our LGBTQ+ foremothers and forefathers we have advanced equality for our community,” said O’Keefe. “There is no way to pay them back, so we are trying to pay it forward and help our entire community achieve equity and equality.”

O’Keefe certified his business through NGLCC to network with like-minded suppliers and meet potential customers.

“Visibility matters,” he explained. “Being an out and proud LGBTQ+ business owner is something I never would have dreamed of when I was a closeted teen. I want to show queer youth today that anything is possible.”

Queerencia | Founded by Ty Collier (he/him/his)

Queerencia is a Black & LGBTQ+ owned brand selling apparel, accessories, and home products. Founder Ty Collier “merges queer history and culture with trendy products to better educate, influence, and encourage all types of queer people and allies of the LGBTQ+ community.” Queerencia stands out from its competitors in the apparel and accessories industry by centering DEI, accessibility, and queer storytelling & representation throughout its products.

“Queerencia focuses on making queer history and queer culture more accessible, and we do this through the platform of apparel and accessories,” said Collier. “We aren’t just selling branded tees…Queerencia empowers the LGBTQIA+ community to be bold and proud of who they are while showing off their queer pride.”

To Collier, it is important to give back to the LGBTQ+ community in order to ensure that marginalized individuals have the tools and resources they need to flourish.

“Giving back to the LGBTQIA+ community creates hope for a brighter future,” he explained. “Queerencia donates a portion of every sale to local and national LGBTQIA+ nonprofits that help impact the lives of those in our community.”

Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, Collier knew he was different from those around him and remained closeted for his own safety. After finally being able to move away from home, he found both his people and his passion.

“Feeling unconditionally loved and accepted by my LGBTQIA+ community gave me the permission to flourish and find my passion, Queerencia,” Collier said. “Queerencia provides more accessibility to queer history and queer culture and it is my honor and passion as an LGBTQ+ entrepreneur to give back and create the resources I wish I had when I was younger.”

Collier joined NGLCC to expand brand awareness for Queerencia and to connect with other queer-owned businesses.

“Being a Certified LGBTBE® has not only given my business more credibility but it has also created an amazing network for Queerencia,” he explained. “NGLCC has provided with me the opportunity to build important relationships and grow my brand.”

B. Proud Photography, Inc | Founded by B. Proud (she/her/they/them)

B. Proud Photography is an award-winning photography and videography service. Eponymously founded by B. Proud, this business aims to support and raise the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Since 2009, I have been working on personal projects, documentaries, and photography & videography projects that celebrate our community,” Proud said. “Our community has been discriminated against forever. If I can make a difference in another person’s life by giving back, then it is worth every penny.”

Proud’s exhibitions have been shown across the country in many galleries, museums, corporations, and LGBTQ+ centers – and are still available to be shown. Her book, which is available for purchase, can be found in the collections of major institutions like the Smithsonian Institute and the Library of Congress. Their work ranges from writing about long-term queer relationships to photographing queer love and families.

“I received many emails about how this work has made a difference in someone’s life, how their family has come to understand them better because of it…or it has given a young person hope that they too will find love,” explained Proud. “Currently I’m working on a similar project with transgender and gender nonconforming couples and families across the country. I’ve been to 24 states and photographed almost 70 couples.”

Proud initially encountered challenges entering a mostly male-dominated industry, but has connected with other business owners and established a national support network with the help of NGLCC.

“I can find support with a simple email, text or phone call,” Proud said. “I am also proud to share my success with my photography students at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Visibility is validating and showing young LGBTQ+ students that they can be successful is a huge win.”

Live Proud Spirits | Founded by Beth Hohlier (she/her/hers)

Live Proud Spirits is an award-winning premium spirits and liquor company. As a 100% LGBTQ+ and woman-owned business, founder Beth Hohlier believes it is important to give back to marginalized communities.

“Live Proud Vodka, and soon, Live Proud Dill Pickle Vodka, are our first spirits,” she said. “We donate $1 for every bottle sold to civil and human rights charities.”

Live Proud Spirits features a beautiful, rainbow-colored bottle to showcase its social and financial commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized communities. Hohlier explained that her business strives to make sure that marginalized individuals have representation and feel supported.

“It is very important to show representation in a field where there really isn’t much,” said Hohlier. “We strive to represent with class and integrity, while giving back.”

Hohlier certified her business with the NGLCC in 2018.

“It has given us educational information and networking potential,” she said. “We feel like being certified has help lend us credibility and shows we are a part of the community not just marketing to the community.”


Learn more and become a part of the NGLCC community at!


Recent Blog Posts