As the holiday season approaches yet again, it's time to start figuring out what you're getting your loved ones this Christmas. Not wanting to get the same generic gift, maybe it's time to look into some dope alternatives — dope black-owned alternatives. There are so many awesome black-owned businesses out there, so I'm sure that I'm only touching the tip of the iceberg. However, I've listed a few places you can start your Christmas gift journey ... even if the gifts are simply for yourself.
Starting the brand to provide all natural, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic makeup for women of color, Blac Minerals is the perfect gift for the beauty guru in your life. These products have a wide range to compliment our skin tones, and do not leave an ashen/grey undercast. Not to mention, they are rich in pigment and show up our my skin. Finally, they are created using more natural ingredients that don't feel or look heavy.
NAE is an aromatherapy bath & body and soy candle company based in Connecticut. They aim to make the everyday woman feel her best at the end of each day. Any lover of candles, essential oils and the power of herbs will love NAE.
An alternative to the regular vanilla playing cards we're used to, My Cards aims to give us options when it comes to card games. As describe on their website, "the goal of the Black Excellence Edition is to reflect the modern-day black person in all of our glory — with as many different facial features, complexions, hair types and hair styles that we could fit within a 54 standard playing cards deck. Showing our beauty and diversity in a way that only we can when we own the narrative." Bring these to your next spades tournament. That should be intense.
RAW is an acronym for "Recognize A Woman," and their goal is to provide all women with beautiful handmade bags. Each handbag is named after a powerful iconic woman in order to create an inspiring relationship between the woman wearing the bag and the woman the bag is inspired by. How cool is that? Get your fashion fix while being empowered.
Handmade and organic, the O Factory provides customers with dope jewelry. Started in 2012, the O factory caters to the free and creative spirits of the world.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio (shoutout to the home team, woot woot!), Kashmir has made her mark as an artist with the creation of some of the dopest culturally relevant pieces. Her art can be purchased in several different forms. From t-Shirts to print sets, home decor, accessories and more, there's art for everyone who wants some. Her work adds the perfect splash of beauty and culture, no matter what space that you're in.
Sugar and Spice, Baked by Bre, is a Los Angeles based company that creates yummy dessert options. Providing custom cakes and desserts for almost any occasion, check out Sugar and Spice for all your holiday party dessert needs. They even have henny infused cupcakes, and you know y'all henny...
Described as being the perfect guide for the imperfect person, No Prayer, No Power is a self-help book that can help to start the new year off right. Sometimes the faith we need is found in prayer. Written by Amber R. Morson, this book could be a blessing for ant person in need of a little encouragement.
This is a gift that keeps on giving. A monthly box meant to empower, educate and uplift children of color, this is a great gift to give to the children and young adults in your life. Those who subscribe will find a new book, lifestyle item, accessory, school supplies and hair & body care items every month. ButterflyGIRLS and DragonflyBOYS will no doubt eagerly anticipate their boxes as they explore and learn more about themselves.
Providing some of the best teas, coffees and spices, this is a company formed from love and nurturing. Whichever drink you prefer, you can find it here. As a lover of tea myself, knowing that there is a certain level of care in the product I'm purchasing makes me feel relieved. A passion learned from that of a grandmother, care is one of the main ingredients.
Another pick for any lover of art who also wants to bring their art with them. From bags, to notebooks, mugs and pillows, you can have beautiful art in whichever format you prefer.
Operating from the UK, Baruch Boutique provides clothing for some of the dopest, minimalist-inspired looks. The BARÜCH capsule collections are created in the London, by its founder Angela Knowles. These are made in small batches using African textiles to compliment garments from Scandinavian brands such as Selected Femme, Storm and Marie, Cheap Monday and WODEN sneakers. Any lover of fashion should have this boutique on their list.
Whether you want gold chains, crystal oriented or Jesus pieces, AjaJewels has something that we all will be happy to wear. Whatever type of jewelry you prefer, the artistic styles of AjaJewels may be able to provide it.
For all the quirky, comic loving, cosplay dressing, out-of-the-box black folks out there, this brand finds the balance of black and nerdy. Living up to their name, somehow, the Quirk Shop finds a way to cater to the culture as well as the things most self-proclaimed "blerds" love. Even if you don't fall into that category, I think their collections are pretty dope. There's something for everyone, you just have to look.
Did I mention I love candles? And LIT candles are killing the game right now. With signature scents to match whatever vibe you're looking for, they're the perfect addition to any space. Whether you prefer candles for decoration or aromatherapy, LIT candles offer the ambiance of both.
These custom, handmade bonnets make the perfect gift for hair of any length. These extra large silk/satin bonnets help protect natural hair, and provide enough room to not squish your protective styles. Trying to preserve that twist-out or fit those braids into a bonnet big enough? Your edges can finally prosper in peace.