In Swahili the term for cooperative economics—to build and maintain black institutions—is “Ujamaa.” In an age when many black-owned businesses have been forced to shutter, there isn’t a better time to support them than now. And why deal with all the Black Friday craziness when you can just hop online and find the perfect gift? From established to newly created, these businesses can cater to your needs this holiday season.
Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage are well-known brands. What you may not know is that they are owned by the same company, Sundial Brands. Nubian Heritage was the first product by creators Richelieu Dennis and Nyema Tubman. For this holiday season, stock up on their many bath, body and hair-care essentials, also conveniently located at CVS and Target.
Portland, Ore.-based Soapbox Theory offers handmade toys along with cute, culturally affirming clothing and accessories.
Owned by the husband-and-wife team Pierre and Jamyla Bennu, Oyin Handmade has become a cult favorite. You can also grab some of their award-winning products, including the popular Hair Dew and Burnt Sugar Pomade, at Target.
DOPEsiety offers an array of unique unisex clothing.
QuellyRue Designs offers a range of cute and stylish items, from T-shirts to wallets, that are perfect for adults and children.
Based in Norfolk, Va., Urban Heirlooms specializes in handmade leather goods. Choose bags and various leather accessories, including wallets and wristlets.
Hue-Man Bookstore, founded online in 2013 after the Harlem-based brick-and-mortar store closed in 2012, specializes in books that cater to the black community.
Washington, D.C.-based Mother of Men—founded in 2012 by Brooklyn, N.Y., native Nyakinyua Gill—offers an array of unique and handcrafted jewelry.
Ikiré Jones offers tailored menswear and other unique pieces. Gift these goods to your dapper friends and family.
Established in 2005 by Khary and Selena Cuffe, Heritage Link Brands specializes in the distribution of wines made at African as well as African-American wineries. Use Heritage Link to find black-owned wines to send to your favorite sommelier.
Created by writer Dianna Harris, Blk Proverbs rose to popularity after the blog was featured in a viral BuzzFeed list. Highlighting popular sayings among black communities, the site features T-shirts and wristbands with your favorite “black proverbs.”
Artist Danielle Sladek creates culturally affirming holiday cards for every season.
Owned by Lisa Hill, LiSi Cosmetics offers a line of chic and affordable nail polish. Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure using its expansive line of colors.
Artist Jamilla Okubo provides a variety of products featuring her stunning prints at her Society6 shop. Whether you need a phone case or a shower curtain, Okubo has something that will catch your eye.
Add stationery to your gift list this year. Calabash Creations offers handmade paper goods.
Artist Tiffany LaTrice offers many prints that you can give to the art lover in your life this holiday season.
Nubian Skin has received much fanfare since its brown-skin-focused lingerie line was announced. Based in the United Kingdom, Nubian Skin has multiple shades of brown to encompass the full range of our skin tones.
Naa-Sackle Akuete creates soothing shea products for her business, Eu’Genia Shea. Named for Akuete’s mother, Eu’Genia specializes in shea butters for midwifery, so consider a gift for a new mother in your life.
Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Leslie Marie offers clothing and wearable tech.
Colored Girls Hustle offers funky gifts like handmade eyeglass chains and waist beads.
Baltimore-based Designs by Bolaji offers custom-made furniture.
Offering everything from handcrafted, designed flash tattoos to trendy body chains, CanDid Art offers unique statement jewelry.
SusieCurlMichael offers custom listings for special orders of its shea-based hand and body products.
Written by popular author Nikki Grimes, this children’s book about President Obama is the perfect gift for any children in your family.
With clientele such as Michelle Obama, Kelis and Alicia Keys, Anthony Dickey is a hair expert. His hair-care line, Hair Rules, is designed for women with kinky and curly hair.
Offering multiple goods ranging from handcrafted East African briefcases to hemp body butter, Powwow Collective is a one-stop shop for unique gifts this season.
Chen Burkett New York specializes in women’s clothing fashioned from Dutch Wax print. You can find multiple handmade, African-inspired print dresses, skirts and tops on its site.
Since 2007, husband-and-wife team Brian and Autumn Merritt have sold their vintage lifestyle brand, Sir & Madame. Their online shop includes their in-house brand as well as popular high-end boutique designers.
These cheeky cards are designed by artist Elle Lewis. She is behind the “I love you like Kanye loves Kanye” card, which has been featured on MTV.com, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan.com and elsewhere.
The creator behind Absynia describes the jewelry as “culturally inspired and ethically made.” You can find a wide variety of gorgeous pieces made with authentic beads sourced from various countries in Africa.
The Silver Room offers everything from inexpensive sunglasses and T-shirts to high-end one-of-a-kind silver bands. The offerings are exquisite, and with such a wide range of choices, you’re bound to find the perfect gift.
The creator of Brown Butter Beauty prides herself on making sure the products are made of pure, therapeutic essential oils along with safe fragrance oils. You can buy ethically sourced products for the whole family.
For the dapper man who loves to wear ties, the Ziggi Tie Piece will help keep his tie from flying out of place and keep him looking good all day.
Shikiri Hightower-Gaskin is the mastermind behind China Royal. She opened her first high-end boutique in Los Angeles in 2001. Since then her fashions have been lauded by Essence and other influential magazines. With that kind of pedigree, China Royal should be on your holiday shopping list.
Based in Oakland, Calif., Wear It Owt offers uniquely designed jewelry.
Known for their popular men’s style blog, the men behind Street Etiquette have produced a line of clothing called Black Ivy.
Spa Index has a comprehensive list of black-owned spas across the nation. The database will help you find the perfect relaxing getaway this holiday season.
Yinibini Baby offers children’s clothing and accessories, handcrafted in Washington, D.C.