It’s been a tough year for many small businesses as COVID-19 restrictions and lackluster federal aide have taken a big toll, especially on minority-owned businesses. So why not boost Black-owned businesses and shop for your loved ones this holiday season and beyond. Running the gamut from virtual wellness classes to vegan cookies, here are companies that you can support not only this holiday season but also in the months to come.
Fear of God Essentials
Not sure what to get the young trendsetter in your life? Fear of God, the ultra-popular luxury streetwear brand founded by Jerry Lorenzo, has collaborated with the retailer PacSun to offer a muted capsule of athleisure, sweats and accessories at a fraction of the price of the original line. The Essentials collection’s contemporary twist to everyday basics won’t steer you wrong.
Buy now: Fear of God Essentials
For those on the hunt for handcrafted accessories meant to withstand the test of time, look no further. Created by Toronto-based artisan Ashley Alexis McFarlane, Omi Woods was a 2020 Etsy Design Award finalist for McFarlane’s minimalist take on African-inspired heirloom jewelry. And the brand’s mission towards using conflict-free precious metals is the cherry-on-top to its feminine styles that ooze sophistication.
Buy now: Omi Woods
Savage X Fenty
Looking to gift your partner with intimates? This lingerie line by pop-icon-turned-mogul Rihanna has been lauded for its inclusive sizing (undergarments range from XS to XXXL) and an unapologetically-fierce creative direction. In October, the brand expanded its collection to include boxers and boxer-briefs alongside men’s sleepwear. Some pieces are only available to Xtra VIP subscribers while other offerings can be bought membership-free.
Buy now: Savage X Fenty
Sincerely, Tommy’s artful curation of independent brands ranging from home furnishings to clothing strikes a balance between vintage and fresh. Owner Kai Avent-deLeon’s in-house line features simple, timeless silhouettes that are sure to grab the attention of any fashion-forward giftee. Their Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, storefront also hosts a coffee counter, still open for patrons who wish to responsibly shop options in person.
Buy now: Sincerely, Tommy
Food and Drink
Boon Boona Coffee
Shake up the morning brew of any coffee connoisseur with beans from this Washington-based roaster. Following a trip to his parent’s homeland of Eritrea, Efrem Fesaha founded Boon Boona Coffee after noticing a demand from native Africans seeking authentic, unroasted beans imported straight from the source. Now, the company boasts and roasts several varieties of coffee, with each package indicating the region where the beans originated from.
Buy now: Boon Boona Coffee
Treat the vegans and non-vegans alike in your life to a box of cookies from plant-based confectioner Maya Madsen. Her flavors range from marble fudge to funfetti with gluten-free variations to match. For those interested in getting monthly deliveries, Madsen offers a Cookie Love Club subscription that comes with six cookies, including two exclusive flavor concoctions, and Maya’s Cookie merch.
Buy now: Maya’s Cookies
McBride Sisters Collection
Co-founded by sisters Robin and Andréa McBride, this wine label heralds grapes from both California and New Zealand, their respective homelands. The long-lost duo grew up on opposites sides of the world, connecting after over two decades of thinking they were only children. Once they met, the pair united over wine to cultivate the current reserve that includes varieties from resiling to rosé. Now sold in-store at select Target’s, McBride Sisters has grounded itself as a formidable force in the winemaking industry.
Buy now: McBride Sisters Collection
Nestled in the heart of Harlem lies an unassuming storefront packed to the brim with an assortment of specialty teas. Serengeti Tea serves as a one-stop-shop for your loose-leaf needs, sourcing all its tea from the breadth of the Africa diaspora. The teahouse also features premium coffee, cocoa and raw honey as well as spiced sea salt blends to round out the ingredients for an at-home café.
Buy now: Serengeti Tea
For the Home
Looking to get into the competitive spirit? This family-friendly game tests your knowledge on Black colloquialisms. The objective: guess as many phrases as you can before the clock runs out. The game includes over 350 almost-indiscernible acronyms in categories such as church and daily sayings, and thankfully the makers at Culture Brands have included hints with each card. If you’re looking to socialize, the game can easily be played remotely for socially-distant game nights.
Buy now: CultureTags
This artistic incubator is founded for creatives, by a creative. Owner Dominique Clayton’s storefront in Los Angeles provides a community to local talent stepping into the art world. As businesses shuttered during lockdowns, Clayton wanted to create a virtual iteration of her standalone gallery that showcases everything ranging from original fine art to gorgeous prints, amplifying emerging artisans from underrepresented backgrounds.
Buy now: Dominique Gallery
Harlem Candle Company
With many of us at home, nothing beats the aroma of a just-lit candle to help put you at ease. This line of luxurious soy- and vegetable-based home fragrances was founded in 2014 by Teri Johnson, who aimed to capture the robust, rich scents that can tell the storied history of her newfound home, Harlem. The brand’s Renaissance collection of candles nods to Harlem legends like Duke Ellington and Josephine Baker, reimagining what that sensory experience was like one whiff at a time.
Buy now: Harlem Candle Company
This online nursery also offers a plant propagation subscription every month, with accompanying workshops on how to care for your plants. From ferns to ficuses, Isha Plants carries a rotating selection of beautiful greenery to brighten up any living space and add some extra oxygen as well.
Buy now: Isha Plants
Bevel is a one-stop shop for all your hair needs, including a variety of hair trimmers, gels and lotions. Their signature, double-edged safety razors get an ultra-close shave to prevent otherwise irritating ingrown hairs.
Buy now: Bevel
Buttah is specially formulated for melanated skin, and it strives to give that lit-from-within glow without a visit to an esthetician. Their customizable kits are perfect for the skincare enthusiast who likes to test new products.
Buy now: Buttah
Beatrice Dixon dreamt up a vision to create a line that puts women’s health first, sourcing from only the best, cruelty-free ingredients. And thus, Honeypot was born. Its dye-free, organic period-care and plant-based feminine-care products are designed so as to not disrupt the vulva’s pH balance. The company has revolutionized the industry by setting the bar in terms of ingredient transparency, and its commercial success offers a glimpse into a shift in what women want from the products they use regularly.
Buy now: Honey pot
The subscription box is not only Black-owned but it also elevates other Black-owned brands. Each month will include a tailor-made a set of products to test out quarterly, that can range from hot sauce to scented candles to crafting supplies.
Buy now: Ujamaa box
Aya Paper Co.
Whether you’re sending holiday cards with flair to loved ones or want to gift one-of-a-kind stationery for the planner in your life, Aya Paper Co. has you covered. The store combines aesthetically-pleasing illustrations with both modern and retro typography that is sure to brighten up anyone’s day. What’s more, all of the shop’s paper products are made with 100% recycled material.
Buy now: Aya Paper Co.
As the pandemic tests our ability to stay active safely, GirlTrek, which touts itself as the largest health movement for Black women, has built micro-communities of people take daily walks as a collective, spanning more than 50 cities in the U.S. Not only does the group talk the talk—it walks the walk, recently surpassing its goal of 1 million members who have pledged to invest in their health. There is zero cost to join your local group but some members opt for GirlTrek merch to show their support and match with their group.
Buy now: GirlTrek
After a stress-inducing year, focusing on self-care is the gift that will keep on giving. This part wellness space, part cafe located in Brooklyn, N.Y. has pivoted to virtual, offering group meditation and yoga classes several times daily, carried out by Heal Haus practitioners. In addition to group classes, the studio offers private sessions to get one-on-one guidance from specialized facilitators in areas like womb wellness and life alignment coaching, all from the comfort of one’s home.
Buy now: Heal Haus
Know anyone that considers literature their love language? If so, purchasing from the library of works sold at Marcus Books supports the oldest independently-operated Black book store in the nation. Celebrating its 60th year in business, the store features its online catalog through Bookshop, with books being shipped directly from their brick and mortar in Oakland, Calif. If you don’t have a book in mind, the store curated lists by topic to serve as a guide on what to grab next.
Buy now: Marcus Books