What type of mom do have? If she’s a great one, the question isn’t whether she’s biological, adoptive, bonus, spiritual, or chosen (We see you, house mothers!); a great one has a vital role in creating the person you are—and loves you unconditionally through all your growing pains. Chances are, she cherished every arts and craft project you brought home from school—and may even still have them; so when it comes to choosing what to get the woman who gave you everything, why not get creative? We have a few ideas that may help!
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The Studio Museum of Harlem opened their online store in February, and it’s safe to say we want all the things. Whether it’s a nod to nostalgia and the beauty of the famed Grandassa models (see the limited edition Kwame Brathwaite poster in our visual), or a look to who’s got next (we also love the aptly named “Lawdy Mama” limited edition print by Barkley L. Hendricks and the affordable but evocative Nwantinti tote by Njideka Akunyili Crosby), this beacon of Black art and creativity does not disappoint.
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Sergio Hudson is already known for dressing Black queens (Michelle Obama’s epic 2021 inaugural outfit, anyone?), but you can also bring one of the designer’s royal looks home, thanks to Black Owned Everything, where a capsule collection of Hudson’s designs are offered (including his velvet Nefertiti and King Tut pillows, above). In the market for something else? This style site launched by stylist and wardrobe curator Zerina Akers (Black Is King) has a bevy of unique options—all from Black-owned brands.
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What happens when two individually acclaimed writers also happen to be mother and daughter? For Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams, it resulted in an instant classic cookbook, 2015's Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family. Yes, we know the mom in your life may have her own signature dishes, but there are some delicious remixes in these 80 healthy recipes—and we want our moms as healthy as can be.
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Speaking of longevity, Jenny Espirito Santo created Mind the Cork as a way to celebrate her love of nature and craft while building a sustainable brand. In a year that has seen a major uptick in our indoor plant life, Mind the Cork’s planters are sleek, minimalist and a celebration of design. For the mom—plant mom or otherwise—who is looking to add some extra green to her space without compromising her aesthetic, the Atlas Hanging Planter is perfect for those little corners that need some spicing up. And since we’re all still inside for a while, the Isla Planter/Desk Tidy doubles as a home for your succulents or your pens.
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If you cop her a planter, you should probably also spring for a plant—after all, they can be therapeutic. Since she’s already grown and nurtured you, a plant might be a nice, lower-maintenance gift, and Grounded has ample options. The company was founded to help us “disconnect and decompress through the appreciation of plants in the spaces we occupy”—and doesn’t she deserve to decompress?
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Our mothers are our source. Similarly, the “Motherland” is the source of what we’ve come to know as Blackness in America. That’s why Catherine McKinley’s The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women is a welcome bridge across the diaspora; the curator and writer has been collecting imagery of African women for decades, forming the McKinley Collection, “a personal archive representing African photographies from 1870 to the present.” The African Lookbook is an ode to Black womanhood on the continent, and an ideal way to bring the Motherland to your mother.
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She’s your everything; why not remind her daily with an “I Am Everything” deck from I Am & Co.? This affirmation-based (and very affordable) brand has wonderful ways to remind the mom in your world to take a beat to self-focus and remember who she is—kind of like adjusting your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Gift her a set (or three)—or get her a gift card, so she can treat herself to some self-love.
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She’s always been protective—and always loved her people. You can help her make a subtle but profound style statement with one of Cise’s “Protect Black People” handbags. The style may be cute—and available in an array of candy-like colors—but the message is absolutely clear.
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Looking for something a little sparkly this Mother’s Day? One of mom-in-chief Michelle Obama’s faves can be hers, too. The crowd-pleasing ByChari boasts a wide variety of golden goodies perfect for any mom. Their “For Mama” collection offers three different “MAMA” options in rose gold, gold-plated and silver. ByChari also features an entire page just for mom with less traditional jewelry pieces to surprise her with. The site is also offering free shipping on all orders $250+.
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Kabria Cummings founded her artisan-focused brand as a tribute to her late mother, who loved to travel—and she’s done her proud, curating and importing gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, handmade goods from across the globe. From Indonesia to multiple African countries, Cummings’ impeccable eye will bring a touch of global chic to your mom’s home, too—and right now, she’s offering 10 percent off and free shipping!
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Mother of two and Black Ink Chicago alum Rachel James has elevated the finger-painting game with Pear Nova, her luxury, vegan, cruelty free & 10 Free nail brand (and Allure Best Of Beauty Award Winner for its Night In Shining Armor shade, pictured above). Pro tip: James has curated luxury sets for Mother’s Day—and right now the site is offering 25% off everything through May 2 with the code: MOM25. Mother’s Day? Nailed it.