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Our Story

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.

Our CB @Home collection launched in the Fall of 2021 featuring Dinner Napkins & Lampshades designed and sewn by Founder, Michelle...along with products personally procured from artisans 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 on Juneteenth 2020, with her masks quickly selling out across the country. Since its launch Cotton Blocks has introduced a Tee &; Hoodie line and CB @Home an interior décor line featuring lampshades, dinner napkins and soon to come, throw pillows and drapery all designed with African textiles. Cotton Blocks has also been featured in Essence Magazine, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 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 Junior League of Cleveland’s Sustainer of the Year Award (2022) and the Carolyn K. Oakes Service Award (2017), Jumpstart Sidewalk to Stage Pitch Competition Winner (2016), Presidents’ Council Foundation’s John H. Bustamante Emerging Entrepreneur Award (2014) and the Frasernet Power Networker to Watch Award (2010).


Michelle has a passion for service and is committed to her community. She has served on the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s External Affairs Committee and its Special Events Committee recently combined and renamed the Community Engagement & Philanthropy Committee. She is the current Sustainer Council Treasurer and Immediate Past V.P. of Sustainer Council for the Junior League of Cleveland, serves on the Executive Board the National Council of Negro Women (Cuyahoga County Section), Board Member of the CWRU African-American Alumni Association, Financial Secretary, CARATS, Inc (Cleveland Chapter) Member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Cleveland Chapter), and Win with Black Women.


In her spare time Michelle is a Co-Founder of Black Women Werk LLC, an online community providing space and place for Black women and their voices and Aficionado Productions LLC, an event production company producing large-scale events and license holder of Diner en Blanc, Cleveland.

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 live music and great conversations with loved ones over Bourbon!