Holiday shopping season is drawing to a close, but there’s still time for us Christmas procrastinators to pick up something special for the loved ones in our lives.
Skip the madness of the malls and shop these local Black businesses in person and online. You’ll find more unique offerings as well as the chance to circulate money in our communities. And if the order arrives after Dec. 25, call it a Kwanzaa gift and get extra credit for being woke. That’s a win-win.
Made Lifestyle Collection
A men’s accessories brand with hand-picked pocket squares, watches, bow ties and colognes that challenge any mass-produced designer label, with the added bonus of many offerings in the $25 range.
Recommendations: “Rhône,” a clean, dangerously sexy scent, and the new “Cheers,” with citrusy top notes and amber base notes. The perfect gift for well-traveled sophisticates, “Cheers” is a collaboration between Made Lifestyle Collection and Keith Cradle and comes in limited edition bottles with the name in French (A Votre Santi), Italian (Saluti) and other languages.
Shop Made Lifestyle Collection at shopmadeLC.com.
A boutique brand of hand-poured, eco-friendly vegan soy candles in transportive scents. Named for founder Jameka Whitten’s mother, Lavondé also offers home scents, linen sprays and auto fragrances, all based on pure essential oils. Made to exacting standards to satisfy even the hardest-to-please domestic goddesses.
Recommendations: “When I Think of Home,” “Dish” and “Cocktails, Anyone?”
Shop Lavondé’s Light at lavondeslight.com.
The Main Idea
Attention-grabbing wooden earrings featuring icons like Nina Simone or references to cultural watershed moments like Rep. Maxine Waters’ famed “Reclaiming My Time” incident. These are perfect for the college student, stylish revolutionary or witty trendsetter in your life.
Shop The Main Idea at iamthemainidea.com.
Danielle Carelock Art
Danielle Carelock is the truth for the high tea hostess in your life. With works that range from wheel-thrown vases, hand-glazed place settings and teacups worthy of Alice herself, the Clayworks potter creates items infused with an elegant earthiness. Pinkies up!
Check out Lockhart’s work on Instagram. Follow her at @daniellecarelockart.
Lo’Vonia Parks makes meditation accessories with attitude. The established fine caricature artist is reminding people to relax, relate, release while keeping it real with Buddhist malas featuring the simple message: F*ck that Sh*t.
These are true meditation rosaries with 108 hand-knotted wooden beads as well as bracelets, aimed at reminding folks not to stress out this holiday season.
Follow Parks on Instagram at @lovoniaparks to see her work.
Ethnic by Ali
Ethnic by Ali has developed a cult following for founder Ali Steele’s sage-scented Ali Butta, but the lemongrass, vanilla and lavender-whipped shea butters are enticing as well. Help your ashy cousin turn those knees and elbows smooth, and slide into the new year right!
Follow Ethnic by Ali on Instagram at @ethnicbyali to order your Ali Butta.
Zolingo’s Spice for Life
Add some heat to the holidays with Zolingo’s Spice for Life. Alonzo Hill’s custom-blended seasonings are made fresh from fine organic ingredients and aimed at increasing health in the community. Spices, skincare and medicinal products available.
Shop Zolingo’s Spice for Life at zolingosspiceforlife.com.
Emiene Wright is an avid storyteller, journalist and editor creating content on print and digital platforms. She has been published in the NAACP’s Crisis Magazine, North Carolina’s Our State magazine, and The Charlotte Observer.