December is here and we’re officially in the season of gifting—yay! While I always encourage everyone to do some of their shopping from Black-owned businesses, it’s more important now than ever. These ‘unprecedented times’ we’ve all been living in since 2020 have hit Black entrepreneurs the hardest, with a steep 40% drop in Black businesses over the course of the pandemic. Many that remain are struggling to keep up with rising costs. This is of course all paired with the existing barriers that people of color face when they want to start a company.
So what happens if you support Black entrepreneurs this season and beyond? You help to change the current limiting landscape, create job opportunities for BIPOC individuals, and (most importantly) actively help to correct racial inequity.
At NOGAMA, joy is woven through every piece of jewelry I design, and I know that every other Black entrepreneur feels the same about the products they create. We could all use a little extra joy this season, couldn’t we? To help you find Black-owned businesses this holiday, I’ve put together a list of New York-based businesses to support when shopping for your gifts. I hope it provides you with all the inspiration you need to complete your list!
Talented floral artist LaParis Phillips is based in Brooklyn, New York, just as the name suggests. Whether you’re in need of a gift for the hostess of a dinner party you’re attending, or even for your best friend, flowers are a universally thoughtful gift and a great way to shop small this holiday season.
Floral arrangements offer a full sensory experience and a change of scenery, and with so much time spent at home over the last few years, we could all use more of that. You can even make it extra meaningful by requesting the recipient’s favorite flower or color palette.
This New York-based handcrafted candle company is founded by Shavaun Christian who believes that a good candle can help you unplug from the world and reconnect with yourself. With scents like vanilla and sandalwood and holiday-friendly eucalyptus and pine, these all-natural candles feature a unique golden shimmer and crackling wooden wicks to transport you to another world. My favorite part of these candles is that each one comes with an empowering message to focus on while the gentle aromas fill your space. Give the gift of rest and relaxation this holiday season.
Aba Love Apothecary
Calling all self-care aficionados. Aba Gyepi-Garbrah is a certified Aromatherapist and holistic skincare specialist who received professional training at New York Institute of Aromatherapy. Her line of skincare is expertly developed and includes products like Flower Crown Brightening Facial Serum and Grooming Oil for men. These luxurious products are made to awaken the senses while calming and nourishing skin, so if they take self care seriously, they’ll love Aba Love Apothecary
This mother-daughter duo didn’t see enough representation in dolls for children, so they took matters into their own hands knowing how important it is for them to see themselves in the culture around them. These unique handmade linen dolls come in numerous skin colors and hair types, and they even offer custom dolls if you want to go the extra mile!
New York based designer Brandon Blackwood specializes in handbags and accessories. From the very beginning, Brandon set out to ensure his brand is inclusive and offers affordable luxury with sustainable practices. Everyone is talking about Brandon Blackwood’s designs, and Lizzo and Saweetie have even been seen recently wearing his designs. A Brandon Blackwood original is the perfect gift for that special someone on your list who loves a little luxury.
Ready to get shopping? I know I am! I hope this guide to POC-owned businesses gives you some ideas for the ones you love. If you’re looking for a gift with a little extra sparkle this holiday, NOGAMA is here for you. Happy holidays!