Champagne and skin care may seem like an unusual combination for business sponsorship, yet Dardra Coaxum and Aisha Darboe’s pairing goes beyond products. Women’s solidarity was the bigger goal for both businesses at a Saturday, Mar. 11, brunch celebrating Honey Botanics; HRLM Champagne was the main refreshment served. Dardra Coaxum, co-owner of HRLM Champagne, said this partnership with the skin care line implements the practice of women building with one another.  

“It was awesome to see Aisha shine,” said Coaxum. “Also, it was awesome to see how much support she got, and her products are amazing!” 

Darboe started Honey Botanics in August 2022, after she suffered from severe eczema. Born and raised in the Gambia, West Africa, she experienced the insecurities and stress that people often face with this skin condition. Darboe was placed on steroids for treatment at one point, when she was diagnosed with a type of eczema called Atopic dermatitis.

“The steroid is a Band-aid to the itching,” said Darboe. “It’s not preventive and it doesn’t protect your skin, and it damages the nerves in your skin.” She created Honey Botanics to offer natural-based solutions for people in desperate need of skin treatments.  

Darboe was elated that Coaxum sponsored champagne at her brunch. “It’s very important for us to link Black women entrepreneurs because it’s very tough; linking helps provide support to each other,” said Darboe. “I was really happy and grateful that she came.” 

Coaxum, born and raised in Harlem, viewed the brunch as a mutual benefit for her champagne. “In a way, [Darboe is] looking out for me because that’s exposing my brand to all of her people,” she said. HRLM Champagne is her latest co-owned business, started in 2020 and inspired by her father. Coaxum shared this motivating quote from him: “There’s really no success unless you can bring your friends with you.” This resonated while developing the champagne with her friends. “I have this champagne, but it’s not my champagne; this is Harlem’s champagne…something that we can call our own, something we can celebrate no matter the occasion,” said Coaxum. 

Coaxum is also the co-owner of Harlem Shake, a well-known dinner-styled restaurant that locals, celebrities, politicians, and international travelers enjoy. With 10 years of business experience, she knows what it takes to succeed and understands that success can’t be achieved alone. Her restaurant with business partner Jelena Pasic displays her ability to work well with women. 

Coaxum describes her life as joyful and always stopping to smell the roses. She encourages people to enjoy drinking HRLM Champagne during any occasion. According to Coaxum, HRLM champagne tastes different from others because of its “super-smooth, crisp, and clean” taste. “It’s not bitter but it’s also fitting for every occasion,” she said. “Every day you wake up is a reason to celebrate.” 

Coaxum and Darboe share a connection of catering to their customers’ needs as Black women entrepreneurs. Darboe bestows personalized treatment on all her customers. They are ecstatic to see her when they enter Honey Botanics because she is attentive to their needs. She said the best part of her life right now are the faithful consumers. “I have met people that have impacted my life by the wisdom they share, or the advice they gave me,” Darboe said.

Darboe likes hearing customers’ reactions on how the products work. Their feedback reinforces the necessity of her brand’s creation. These compliments inspire her to continue making helpful products and staying available to provide information for customers while finding the best match for their skin problems. 

Both Darboe and Coaxum recognize how crucial it is to create an environment where excellent customer service thrives. Coaxum does this by doing whatever is necessary for Harlem Shake and HRLM Champagne to perform well.

For Women’s History Month, Coaxum and Darboe equally share the sentiment of “women make the world go around.” Darboe specified that Black women make the world go around, while Coaxum focused more on women’s role of giving life. Darboe foresees Honey Botanics as a brand where women “come home to the beauty that is uniquely theirs.” 

Coaxum is inspired by Darboe because she is an ambitious Black woman who enjoys fellowship. “If I could help her business in Harlem by sponsoring champagne, that’s what I’m going to do,” said Coaxum. “That’s what people in Harlem do: We put each other on.”

Coaxum anticipates franchising Harlem Shake into other cities, like Atlanta, as well as expanding HRLM Champagne into various countries globally. Darboe aims to expand her business into a wellness location where customers can do morning Pilates and yoga, and receive mental health services if traumatized by eczema struggles. She is also looking forward to future partnerships with Coaxum. For more information, visit and @Hrlm_champange on Instagram.

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