Imagined in 2016 ~ Launched in 2020
Cotton Blocks is a fashion-meets-history brand offering unique products that celebrate, educate, and uplift the people, places, and events of the Black American experience.
Our Mission is to brand the world with the truth about the Black American experience and Black American change agents.
Our flagship offering featured the Ankara Mask Collection, handmade face masks - crafted in Cleveland, OH with Ankara textiles we carefully selected and carried from Ghana - that celebrate the lives and influence of notable Black Americans along with the CB Tee & Hoodie Collections, screen printed wears created to spark conversation.
Soon to come, the CB Home collection that will celebrate the artistry and craftmanship of Blacks throughout the diaspora!
Why the Name Cotton Blocks
Michelle believes in the power of always remembering— lest we forget, as she says. That includes the cotton fields Black Africans were kidnapped, transported, and enslaved to pick (here in the U.S.), and the auction blocks on which they were sold. It’s not the entire story of Black Americans — but an important piece to remember and reclaim.
Meet the Founder
Michelle S. Felder, Founder
For over a decade Michelle S. Felder has been the Creative Genius & CEO of Felder & Co. the parent company of Style My Event, an event planning company, Gorgeous Living, a boutique interior style firm and the Silent Bell, a luxury concierge and lifestyle management service.
In the spring of 2020, Michelle found herself facing an immediate future without events and with reams of Ankara textiles she purchased in Ghana the year before. An entrepreneur at heart, Michelle saw more than an opportunity to bring a 3-year vision to life, but one to tap into the change happening all around the world: her masks would showcase African beauty, establish a direct line to artisans on the Continent through curated, handmade textiles, and educate people about the Black activists, artists, and thinkers who have shaped American history. She decided to breathe life into Cotton Blocks, a fashion-meets-history brand offering unique products that Celebrate, Educate, and Uplift the People, Places, and Events of Black Americans.
And although she comes from a long line of seamstresses, Michelle had never sewn a single stitch in her life. She relied on her aunt’s expertise to teach her over Whatsapp and a few YouTube videos, and in short order, she started producing and selling her handmade masks on Facebook in April. Michelle launched Cottonblocks.com on Juneteenth 2020, with her masks quickly selling out across the country. Since its launch Cotton Blocks has introduced a Tee and Hoodie line and soon to introduce home décor featuring lampshades, throw pillows, drapery and bedding all designed with African textiles. Cotton Blocks has also been featured in Essence Magazine, Fox8 and WKYC.
Michelle also has extensive experience in political campaign management and candidate consulting, working on Presidential, Congressional, Judicial, Mayoral, and Issue-Based campaigns. She is a graduate of the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education & Leadership Institute in Washington DC as well as the Presidents’ Council Foundation’s Emerging Entrepreneurs Program.
She has been recognized with the Frasernet Power Networker to Watch Award (2010), Presidents’ Council Foundation’s John H. Bustamante Emerging Entrepreneur Award (2014) and the Junior League of Cleveland’s Carolyn K. Oakes Service Award (2017).
Michelle has a passion for service and is committed to her community. She currently serves on the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s External Affairs Committee and its Special Events Committee. She is V.P. of Sustainer Council for the Junior League of Cleveland and is an active member of the National Council of Negro Women (Cuyahoga County Section), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Cleveland Chapter), CARATS, Inc (Cleveland Chapter) and Win with Black Women.
In her spare time Michelle is a Co-Founder of Black Women Werk, an online community providing space and place for Black women and their voices and AMN Productions, an event production company producing large-scale events.
Michelle is passionate about racial justice and actively supports causes and organizations that work to eliminate racism. She is a cheerleader of women entrepreneurs, a loyal friend, world traveler, a foodie-amateur chef who has received several culinary awards, and a lover of great conversations with loved ones over Bourbon!