If you’re like me, then you struggle with buying the perfect gift most of the time. I like to buy my people things that make sense — that let them know that I know and understand them, that serve as a practical thing in their lives and that they probably don’t know they want or even need until I get it for them.
So this year, like every other year, I plan to buy dope gifts instead of wasting money on a “I just bought you a gift because I have to” product that has no real value and will probably end up being lost with socks, jeans, hair pins and hair bun-shapers that always tend to disappear into a secret universe.
I decided to narrow down a list of dope minority-owned products that not only make for great gifts, but also allow you to support minority entrepreneurs. While many of them are DC-based, there are still some awesome products and services that you can gift even if you don’t reside in the DC Metro.
Here are 10 minority-owned products you can gift your person this holiday season.
Brian Alexander Bespoke (BAB) is a luxury suitings and apparel company launched by DC-transplant, Brian Alexander Lunsford. If you have any dapper gentlemen in your life — dad, brother, uncle, bae — you cannot go wrong with a custom suit. The dope thing about BAB is that it’s a concierge suiting company — meaning Brian travels to your special guy to get measurements and customize a design that literally no one else will have! Your special guy will be Fresh AF — at the family dinners, at weddings, at work and pretty much where ever they want to wear their customized suit. You’ll love it and so will your SOS. You can visit Brian’s website, http://www.brianalexanderbespoke.com (or click the link above), to contact Brian via his contact form AND you don’t have to live in the DC Metro to take advantage of his service.
Check out Brian’s work on Instagram: @brianalexanderbespoke
I discovered this gem on Instagram and am literally obsessed! The Gift Geisha, by Chyra Lewis, creates and customizes gift boxes that your person will love. The boxes contain cute accessories and trinkets, and are packaged to appeal to the eye and the heart. Seriously, every time I see one of these decorated boxes on my Instagram timeline, I get excited like the box is for me. If you want to get your SOS a gift that they can appreciate because it’s designed just for them and includes products that you know they’ll love — like pens, clutches, perfume or compact mirrors, to name a few — then a gift box by The Gift Geisha is perfect! You can shop the company’s gift box collections or create your own. You can visit Chyra’s site, http://www.thegiftgeisha.com (or click the link above), to get started.
Check out Chyra’s work on Instagram: @giftgeisha
Self-empowerement books are always a fan fav, so it’s only right that I have Heart4Truth Movement on this list. The org’s founder, Oddesty Langham, is dedicated to enhancing, encouraging and empowering individuals through knowledge, connection and love. Her second book, Single 21, is a perfect read for anyone who wants to find biblical guidance during their single season, and what better time to gift this book than the holiday season when it may hurt a little more than other times to be single. Oddesty uses scripture to help others get through their single journey and her transparency provides comfort to those when they may need it most. This book is great for a book club read or a devotional for those who just want a fresh perspective and a new start! You can visit Oddesty’s site, http://www.heart4truthmovement.org (or click the link above), to purchase her book and learn more about the organization.
Get motivated by Oddesty on Instagram: @heart4truth
#4 726 SQFT
Is your SOS an art lover? Say no more! Tiffany Jones’s watercolors available on 726 SQFT are dynamic visuals that you need to cop ASAP. I honestly can’t think of a better way to gift your person with a gift that is as unique as she. The prints highlight the versatility of black women — from our hair to our skin. They’re the perfect gift to celebrate the Queen in your life and all of her glory, and are also awesome prints that can be used to accent any wall in your SOS’s sacred living space. Tiffany Jones’s prints are hand drawn — so yeah, you’re not going to find them anywhere else. You can visit Tiffany’s site, http://www.726sqft.com (or click the link above), to get a print for your person. And, Tiffany is also running a special today through Monday, November 27. Use code 726FALLTHANKS to get 10% off + free shipping.
Check out Tiffany’s work on Instagram: @726sqft
Tony Innouvong’s accessories have what is arguably one of the most unique stories behind them. His ties are designed and handmade in the USA but use reclaimed Lao fabric to achieve the finished product. He combines his love for fashion and his Pacific Asian culture to essentially create what I’ll call wearable art that doesn’t require a trip to a Pacific Asian country, but will surly make you desire to go there. While the ties are crafted in the USA, they give the vibe of a worldly treasure since the fabrics used come from Northeast Thailand and Cambodia and use special dying techniques like the Japanese shibori dying technique to achieve the color combinations in each piece. You can visit Tony’s site, http://www.TonyInnovong.com (or click the link above), to purchase one of his ties for your SOS who is a lover of cultural experiences and looking their best.
Check out Tony’s work on Instagram: @thelaotieguy
So, this gift is a little different from others on my list, but I had to include it for my stoners! Mamajuana Edibles are delicious marijuna-infused treats for you to get your SOS this holiday season. And, you’re in luck. The company is hosting The District of Cannabis Experience on December 2 in Washington, DC. You’ll be able to shop from different vendors, including Mamajuana Edibles, as well as smoke freely at this loud packed (pun was definitely intended) event. The cost is a $10 donation to attend, but according to their Facebook page, their donations are put to good use — donations collected in the past were used to build a school in Ghana! You can RSVP on Eventbrite by clicking the link above.
Check out Mamajuana Edibles on Instagram: @mamajuanaedibles
I’ve gotten to the point where I’m more excited about experiences than things. If your SOS is like me, then Happy Hour at Home by The Black Rebecca (TBR) would be an awesome gift! TBR plans intimate social events for you and your friends so that you can enjoy the excitement of being out in the comfort of your own home. Her service is ideal for any type of celebration — such as a bridal shower, birthday party, club meeting or whatever you can think of. If planning isn’t your cup of tea, let TBR do it! It’s something that anyone who loves quality time with friends and family, a good specialty cocktail and interesting conversation will absolutely swoon over. You can visit Rebecca’s site, http://www.theblackrebecca.com (or click the link above), to book your SOS’s Happy Hour at Home as well as check out more of her products!
Check out The Black Rebecca on Instagram: @theblackrebecca
I’m so here for this black-owned cigar company. I discovered it on Instagram this week, and immediately knew I’d add it to this list. If your SOS is a cigar smoker, why not purchase cigars from Britain’s first black-owned cigar company? Founder, Mike Edwards, hand rolls The Black Label Cigar, which features a wrapper, filler and binder from other ethnic locales. If you think of sophistication and luxury when you think of your special person, odds are, you’ll be just as impressed with Aireyys as I am. You can visit the Aireyys site, http://www.aireyys.com (or click the link above), to purchase your SOS a cigar or three.
Check out Mike on Instagram: @aireyys
#9 Suzy Black
Suzy Black’s intimate collection of lingerie is perfect for your SOS to feel beautiful and celebrate her femininity. This black-owned line caught my attention with its beautiful story about a daughter who grew up admiring her mother’s love for lace and elegance. Nothing compares to a mother-daughter relationship so you can bet that this product is created with all kinds of love and affection — the kind passed from a mom and a daughter or frankly from any woman who significantly influences your womanhood. This lingerie is an obvious choice to get a special person who has welcomed her curves — big or small — with open arms and fully embraced what it means to be a woman. You can visit the site, http://www.thenewsuzy.com (or click the link above), to shop for your SOS.
Check out Suzy Black on Instagram: @suzyblacknyc
#10 Deunta Williams
I’m a literature lover, so I have to suggest one more book to give as a gift to your SOS this holiday season. My Breaking Point is authored by Deunta Williams, entrepreneur, former college football All-American athlete and youth advocate. When we met a few years ago, Deunta shared the story of his football career-ending injury. Ever since, I’ve been impressed with his perseverance and desire to own his life and make the most of it even though things didn’t initially go as he planned. We can all learn from Deunta and and his book can be a true inspiration to anyone. You can visit Deunta’s site, http://www.deuntawilliams.com (or click the link above), to learn more about how he’s been living in his new purpose and to purchase his book for your SOS.
Check out Deunta on Instagram: @deuntawilliams_