Holiday season is in full swing, but serious gift givers are constantly looking for the best products all year ‘round whether it’s for Christmas, birthdays, graduations or just because. What makes one a serious gift giver? The aesthetics are the most obvious reason. People want something that looks good and represents their personality or functions in a way that they need. However, it’s also important to think about where the gift comes from. In today’s climate, that means it’s important to support small businesses—especially Black-owned ones. Here are eight Black-owned businesses that provide a unique array of items that the gift recipients in your life will love no matter the occasion.
Cortnie Elizabeth went from style blogger to style architect when she began selling her artisan leather bags online a few years ago. Cortnie is a one-woman operation, but she makes each luxe bag with love, care, and meticulous attention to detail. It may take a while—6 to 8 weeks, to be exact—to actually get your bag, but nothing beats the near exclusivity of a handmade bag that is one of a small batch. Cortnie also creates custom pieces by request and has a cult following of bag lovers who keep coming back for more. Some of her most popular bags are clutches, bucket bags, belt bags, and fringe crossbody bags that come in a variety of colors, patterns, and prints.
HOUSE OF NAMBILI
House of Nambili founder, Nico Robinson, is the ultimate hustler. Pre-COVID, you could find her at various street festivals and vendor markets selling products from her line of trinkets and baubles. Thankfully, you can also find her goods online. House of Nambili sells a variety of African diaspora-inspired items from masks to shirts to mugs to home decor and more. There’s something for everyone as long as they love the diversity of Black culture—especially when it comes to prints and patterns.
DRESSED IN JOY
Mikaela Pabon pulls no punches when it comes to her love of prints. That’s obvious if you’ve ever seen the mompreneur’s posts, photos of herself styled in vibrant clothes and pictures of her beautiful family. Mikaela is also the owner of Dressed in Joy where she sells a variety of athleisure wear that reflects her love of prints. You can mix and match unisex sweats, track jackets, bodysuits and more.
IZZY AND LIV
This Black woman-owned business has become an online destination for an array of melanin-inspired goods: blankets, home décor, masks, accessories, monthly subscription boxes, and a variety of other items. The designs mainly feature Black women and children in beautiful and enchanted scenes, from astronauts to mermaids to general moments of joy. The holiday shop features socks, gift packaging, Christmas cards, funky (not ugly) Christmas sweaters, puzzles, pajamas and so much more. The prices are always affordable, the sales are always frequent, and there’s something for everyone—they even take Afterpay.
Papa Rozier features a wide range of handmade bath and beauty products created from ingredients grown on the family’s farm in Haiti and manufactured in Brooklyn. Indulge in Haitian black castor oil, lip balm, soap, Haitian moringa oil, and more—from one-off items to gift boxes. A portion of proceeds from purchases supports agricultural efforts and education initiatives for the people of Haiti.
KICKS & FROS
Sneakerheads need love too! If you can’t cop that newest exclusive drop on the SNKRS app, then head over to the Kicks & Fros Big Cartel shop to get a fly sweatshirt or t-shirt to represent for the sneaker culture. They also have a popular pouch that reads “Sneaker Money,” and it sells out quickly because, obviously.
These statement-making shades are not for the faint of heart. If you commit to a pair of Nroda, then you want to be seen. Their variety of 24K gold-plated eyewear runs the gamut, but the brand’s most coveted shades, the “I’ll Be Rich Forever” sunglasses, were made popular by Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg. That particular design, among others from the brand, has been copied several times over—even by major legacy luxury brands. But you can do the right thing by supporting this Black woman-owned business. BTW, “Nroda” is actually “adorn” spelled backward, in case you didn’t notice.
Brooklyn Tea is a cozy cafe located in Bed-Stuy. It’s a neighborhood favorite for its chill vibes and delicious teas and pastries. However, people who can’t get to Brooklyn can shop the sumptuous teas, teaware, and affinity apparel online. Beyoncé highlighted the brand on her Black Parade list, and it has been featured by a multitude of media outlets including, Eater, New York Magazine, Food Network and more.