It’s Day Two of The Glow Up’s 12 Days of Gifting—and, as promised, we’re back with more ideas for you!
I don’t know about you, but my ideal winter vacation is actually a staycation. While the weather outside is frightful (I live in Chicago, so that’s a very real possibility this time of year), I can’t think of anything better than being cozy.
No, seriously. “Cozy” is my favorite word.
Most of my favorite things generally happen at home: great food, great family, great TV, great books, great sleep, great... (okay, that’s another gift guide). But on a practical level, the holidays are also an ideal time to organize, decorate and recalibrate for the new year ahead. Even seemingly minor shifts can make a difference in how you feel about your space—which can transform your entire outlook (trust me on this; I recently bought a new bookcase, and it’s kind of been a game-changer).
So, as you consider ways to make the season bright for your loved one, remember that sometimes, home is the best place to start—especially with black-owned brands. With that, The Glow Up’s suggestions for your favorite holiday homebodies (or home decorators):
If you know someone looking for home inspiration that draws from the diaspora, look no further than this husband and wife-run blog, interior design service and lifestyle brand, which includes fabrics, lighting, candles, cushions, paint, wallpaper, rugs, Juju hats, and even a book (full disclosure: in which yours truly appears). Their latest project? A visual tribute to Alvin Ailey, featuring a floral print with dancers’ silhouettes in the background; a similar tribute to Katharine Dunham is available. It’s available as wallpaper, fabric and cushions, just in time for the company’s 60th birthday.
Some may think of a candle as an easy gift, but we’d rather think of it as a universal crowd-pleaser. Even more pleasing? The hand-poured, soy coconut wax blends of T. Reeves candles, scented with essential oils. Founded by Los Angeles-based massage therapist Liticia Reeves, each of the brand’s four scents is intended to evoke a different emotion. The scents are also available as highly concentrated, alcohol-free roll-on fragrances, so the aromatherapy can travel.
Often, it only takes a few pillows or a throw to brighten a space. If that’s the case, say no more, fam; Bole Road Textiles has the goods. While everyone doesn’t get the concept of high-end home accessories, they can elevate an otherwise average couch or bed for a fraction of the price ... and therefore, make excellent gifts. Plus, this Brooklyn-based brand’s products are handwoven in Ethiopia, making this a gift that keeps on giving.
Lifestyle expert Justina Blakeney’s brand Jungalow is a home decor addict’s dream—and she makes it so easy to indulge, especially at the holidays. Not sure whether to choose bedding, wallcoverings, accessories, art, or any of her other offerings (from her countless collaborations) to give this season? Gift cards are available for $10 and up!
Know a home that’s relaxed, yet eternally woke? Gift them with a pillow or wallhanging from Don’t Sleep, which culls quotes from James Baldwin, Patrice Lumumba, Nina Simone and more to accent decor with deep thoughts. The brand also offers pillows made from vintage African textiles, because, as they say, “There’s comfort in consciousness.”
Want to help your friends and fam send a message before guests even step over the threshold? Customize a doormat for them with Baus, which also sells a number of home-healing items at very reasonable prices, perfect for those with a more spiritual bent. (Money magnets, anyone?)
Don’t believe in Santa Claus? That’s fine because this family-run brand has created a colorful alternative. That’s right; Santa’s cousin Clarence Claus is here to make sure your gifts are wrapped tight. He’s the creation of Greentop Gifts, a line of gift wrap, accessories and apparel created with our families in mind.
Feeling cozy yet? I am—and may have just blown my holiday shopping budget on home improvements. Not what you’re looking for? Stay tuned. We’ve got 10 more days of gifting to go!