Style
Image via Peaceimages Jewelry's Instagram.

11 Black Owned Accessories & Crafts Brands That Will Ignite Your Creativity This Winter

These unique AF accessories and crafts are the perfect gifts for your artsy loved ones.

This is our fourth gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the OkayAfrica Shop.

It's cold y'all. Well, in some parts of the United States, at least. When it's cold, it feels almost impossible to get out of bed and brave the elements, let alone be creative, motivated and stylish. Or better yet - feel inspired to buy the perfect gift.

Thankfully, you don't have to be outside to stimulate your imagination, and the smallest accents can turn your frumpy winter gear into a fabulous fit. We rounded up 9 black owned businesses whose accessories and crafts will have you (or your loved one) feeling lit on the inside, even when it's below zero outside.

Hmm...did we make “lit" work in that sentence? Oh well.


Made by Malyia

Handcrafted jewelry are the defining statements of any outfit. Maylia's jewelry are simple yet stunning short stories of gold, silver and rose gold: thin chokers, sleek layered necklaces and classic nose hoops. The minimal, mesmerizing designs make these pieces timeless treasures.

Effie's Paper

Stationery is so underrated. A dope pen, notebook or even mug, can transform any office into an inviting space. Effie's Paper has got that covered with cup cozies, notebooks, pouches and pens with one line mantras like “I woke up like this" and “black girl magic". Buy these for the writer in your life who is sometimes too lazy or uninspired to write.

GRL TRBL Pins

Afro feminist pins are a thing, and they are adorable and empowering AF. GRL TRBL's pins have a pop culture twist: Beyoncé tells you to “get information", and black sleeping beauty stays woke. Get these tiny yet impactful accents for the person in your life who wears their heart activism on their sleeves - or bags.

Dorcas Creates

Dorcas' stickers, notebooks, pins and even wrapping paper, all have one thing in common: they celebrate the versatility and wonder of black women's beauty. In bold colors, sleek styles and a playful yet chic aesthetic, these accessories and stationery are sure to put a smile on your face and remind you of your greatness whenever you use it.

Peace Images

Cowrie shell rings, mermaid pendant necklaces and stone-studded chokers are just a few of the gems you'll find at Peace Images Jewelry. These soulful and serene pieces are ideal for the loved one with an ethereal presence.

Coloring Pins

Shopping for someone nostalgic for the 90s? Or maybe a person from NYC who is 100 percent down? Coloring Pins has some of the best pins that reference cartoon icons, black culture and NYC catch phrases. Peep their “Deadass" metrocard pin, coconut oil jar pin and deadpan black Daria.

Loza Tam

Last year we showed you some fly headwrap and hat brands, but we just had to include more, as winter is the perfect season to keep your hair warm and protected from the elements. Loza Tam offers brightly printed headwraps, as well as hats, turbans, bonnets and headbands - lined with satin, so your hair is guarded on the inside and withstanding the cold outside.

Don't Sleep Interiors

Your bedroom likes accessories just as much as your body does. Don't Sleep Interiors creates colorful printed pillows with quotes and images of your favorite black revolutionaries, like James Baldwin, Nina Simone and Angela Davis. Perfect for daydreaming about true social change and equality.

Avie's Dreams: An Afro Feminist Coloring Book

Full disclosure: this is our fave item on this list. This gift is for the dreamer and creative in your life who loves to imagine new worlds while consciously striving for social change. In this book, Black women morph into dinosaurs, flowers, goddesses and bodiless beings, while a winding poem strings these eccentric images along. A rare and rewarding find.

Radical Dream Pins

Okay so we really like pins. Can you blame us? They're tiny statements of solidarity, style or substance. They tell micro stories about our personalities and values. And they just make your denim jacket or bag look fucking cool. Radical Dream pins has Hey Arnold!, Proud Family and A Different World pins y'all. We all know someone who adores one, if not all, of those shows.

Nishkami

At Nishkami, you'll find tikkas, apparel and statement chokers in an array of styles and colors. However, their eclectic headwraps - especially the velvet-velour collection - are unique accessories that blend perfectly with the winter.

This YouTube Account Is Sharing South African Audiobooks For Free, And We Are Here For It

Listen to audiobooks by Steve Biko, Bessie Head, Credo Mutwa, and more.

Audio Books Masters is a YouTube channel that uploads audio versions of South African books and short stories.

Recent additions include Life by Bessie Head, Crepuscule by Can Themba, Indaba, My Children by Credo Mutwa, among others. South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, who passed away three weeks ago, also gets read. You can listen to his poem No Serenity Here. More books you can stream include I Write What I Like by Steve Biko, Africa is my Witness by Credo Mutwa, among others.

Audio Book Masters was started by two friends, Bonolo Malevu (24) and Hahangwivhawe Liphadzi (23).

Malevu is a University of Pretoria BA Drama graduate, who is currently doing his LLB. Liphadzi is an LLB graduate, who is completing his LLM this year.

"I found a hobby of narrating books to craft my art skill after reading Credo Mutwa's Indaba, My Children," says Malevu in an email to OkayAfrica. "After reading the prologue, I knew that this book was meant to be converted [to] many different formats such as stage plays, series, movies and audiobooks."

Then came the idea of creating a YouTube channel. That was when Malevu teamed up with Liphadzi.

They both bought themselves high quality recorders, and started reading, recording and uploading.

Authors from the olden days such as RRR Dhlomo and HIE Dhlomo, whose audio versions of their books are available on the channel, are older than 50 years and their copyrights have since expired.

The rest, though, Liphadzi and Malevu say they are trying to get in contact with the publishers, but it's not easy.

"We have contacted the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) regarding this issue," they say. "We have been in contact with various copyright holders and we are still in the negotiation process. However we are finding it difficult to contact certain publishers, and the consistent uploading of their books is to attract their attention."

The two friends say they started the channel to bring books closer to people who otherwise wouldn't have access, and to get people to appreciate literature, especially African authors. "We want to bring such literature to the digital age in the form of storytelling which has been a unique African form of literature," they say. "The channel also helps develop our voices as we are a voice company that offers all kinds of voice services. We also identified how South African authors lack audio books, and found that there is a gap in this market, and this could really create many job opportunities in South Africa."

The two are currently developing stories in indigenous languages for children in English medium schools. "This is drawn from the fact that in such schools, a lot of African students struggle to speak their own native languages. So we approach various schools to sell them such literature. We are freelance voice over artists who also do radio, content production, news reading and radio adverts."

We are so here for this.

Subscribe to Audio Books Masters' YouTube channel and follow them on Twitter.

popular

Nigerian Actor Sope Aluko On How She Landed a Coveted Role in ​'Black Panther​'

Marvel's Black Panther is already on the brink of being a blockbuster, as it already broke box office records within the first 24 hours of it's pre-sale. Beating Captain America: Civil War's record in 2016, Fandango reports results from a user survey, stating Black Panther was 2018's second most-anticipated movie after Avengers: Infinity War.

One up-and-coming actor who will star alongside Lupita Nyong'o, Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan (to name a few) is Sope Aluko. Come February 16, we'll see the Nigerian-born actor play 'Shaman' in the film. Her previous credits include recurring roles on Netflix's “Bloodline," NBC shows “Law & Order SVU" and “Parks & Recreation" and guest appearances on USA Network's “Burn Notice" and Lifetime's “Army Wives."

Her film credits include supporting roles in feature films including Identity Thief, 96 Minutes, Grass Stains, The Good Lie and more. Raised in the UK, Aluko studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). Aluko speaks four languages, including her native language, Yoruba, French, and Bahasa, an Indonesian language.

Keep reading... Show less
Music

Femi Kuti Spreads Some Much-Needed Peace In the Video For 'One People One World'

Watch the music video for the first single off Femi Kuti's upcoming EP "One People One World."

Femi Kuti drops the music video for his single "One People One World," the title song from his forthcoming 10th studio album.

The energy boosting music video sees Femi Kuti delivering an electrifying performance in the Kuti family-owned New Afrika Shrine in Lagos.

On the track, the accomplished musician promotes an unwavering message of peace and unity—things that the world could perhaps always use more of, but especially so in today's Trump-dominated political climate. His message of positivity is illustrated with graphics that appear throughout the video, showing various country flags and symbols of love and peace.

"Racism has no place, give hatred no space," Kuti sings atop brassy instrumentals. "Let's settle the differences, it's best to live in peace. Exchange cultural experiences; that's the way it should be," he continues.

"One People One World," (the album) is a plea towards global harmony and solidarity. When you look at what's going on in Africa, Europe and America, it's important to keep the dream of unity alive," the artist told OkayAfrica in November.

"When I was a boy, I listened to funk, highlife, jazz, folk songs, classical music and my father's compositions, so you will hear those things in the music."

"One People, One World" by Femi Kuti and his band, the Positive Force, drops on February 23 via Knitting Factory, and is now available for preorder.

Femi Kuti, 'One People One World' cover.

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.