The holiday season is in full swing, and with it comes an opportunity to pump life into the Black community both locally and nationwide.
“Buying Black” over the holidays doesn’t mean limited options- especially not in a time where Black business owners across the world are literally at our fingertips. Black entrepreneurship is nothing new- and neither is the idea of a person spending most of their money in their own community.
Organizations like The Black Money Matters Project have completely eliminated the legwork in finding Black businesses with products available locally, nationally, and beyond. From toy dolls and clothing to wine and time at the spa, Black businesses have shoppers covered for the perfect holiday gift.
Black designers offer a wide array of fashionable digs for the Mr. and Mrs. Clause. Melanin Apparel offers something for the whole family to wear when it comes to celebrating Black heritage in style. The Brooklyn Circus and City of Gods can help keep the men hip. Some designers focus on the Black Daddy Gang, while others like Blanc Blouse focus solely on mom.
Nakia Drummund, co-founder of Blanc Blouse with her mother Linette Ball, told the AFRO her Black business began in 2014 with hopes of helping women solve an age old question for the well endowed: Where do you find a trendy white shirt that doesn’t have to be pinned in the middle?”
Blanc Blouse offers diversely priced items for the special woman in your life, but also offers a unique opportunity to support Black women in business.
“It’s important for us to buy from each other because we are buying into our own story,” said Drummund, who is also a 34-year-old educator. “In this climate, and with the change in presidency, cooperative economics has been very much on my mind. How do we build for ourselves and learn from times when we did have and did do for ourselves? We need to make some shifts. This is a way for us to be truly free.”
If unsure about the latest trends, a subscription to Dapper Black Box will cover several bases at once for him with a variety of items from Black-owned companies, and Adorably African Children’s Clothing makes sure that quality clothing for kids is checked off the list.
What’s the perfect ensemble without accessories to match? Online stores like Etsy.com cut out the middleman and allow you to buy straight from Black business owners with products online. Liven up your wardrobe with earrings, bracelets, and rings from WCArtistry and Conscious Centers by Tiffany Freeman. Make your home a little more vibrant and woke with pillows from Don’t Sleep Interiors and artwork from artists like Saki Douglass.
Department stores across the country will undoubtedly be packed with women clamoring to get new product for the perfectly beat face. Melissa Butler is offering the Holiday Collection at The Lip Bar that includes hot new shades of lipsticks from the ravishing “Brickhouse” red to the spicy “Mochajito” brown, a gold that gives “Everything,” and a blue hue perfect for those feeling “Misfit.” Not to be outdone in flare or quality, Beauty Bakerie, DaLynn Cosmetics and Ka’oir can help fill stockings with lipsticks, nail lacquers, lashes, and eyeshadows, while also making it a little easier to back away from the MAC counter.
For the Kids
Black toy makers are kicking into high gear as the holiday season approaches. Looking for the perfect doll of color? Look no further than the products offered by Ishababies and Sugarfoots Dolls, created by Howard alumna Barbara Ell.
“I like to think that I am spreading diversity everywhere,” said Ell, who’s dolls are handmade in cocoa, ginger, and cinnamon skin tones. “It’s hard to get space next to Barbie on that shelf because she has been the reigning queen forever, but picking up a doll and playing with something that reflects your skin tone is huge.”
Ell said that while the Sugarfoots Dolls are geared towards children of color, “all nationalities are drawn to the dolls because of their vibrant fabrics.”
Rest and Relaxation
If your significant other’s idea of a perfect Christmas includes primping and pampering fit for a king or queen, the Salamander Resort and Spa of Middleburg, Va. should be at the top of the list. This getaway is tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains and easily accessible by way of the Washington Dulles International Airport, which is just 30 minutes away. The establishment has a total of 14 spa rooms, along with an equestrian center, zip lining adventures, a golf course, a fitness center, and a pool. Clear your head with a hike into the mountains, or grab a drink at the Gold Cup Wine Bar — the possibilities for a good time are endless.
Other Black owned bed-and-breakfast retreats include Akwaaba, which boasts four different locations between New York City and Washington, D.C. And the Magnolia House Inn is sure to offer top-notch Southern hospitality.