OkayAfrica's 2018 guide for you to #BuyBlack this Friday.
Thanksgiving, the "holiday" that kicks off the holiday season in America, is literally around the corner. Aside from asking yourself where the time has gone, the day after can be a frenzy in of itself, where folks scramble to shop at a discount. But for some in the community, Black Friday is the chance to spend with businesses who need the boost the most—the black-owned ones.
Although we don't need to dig into the "why," it's still imperative to support our own—this week/holiday season and beyond. FUBU (for us, by us) is still the motto—these businesses are well on their way to continue to build wealth in our communities, provide opportunities for employment and/or partnerships within our communities, as well as produce products that put black folks first. What could get better than that?
OkayAfrica curated a shortlist of black-owned brands to take note of this Black Friday—check them out below.
Lighting a scented candle or burning essential oils are a small gesture you can make to destress and take some well-deserved moments for yourself. Jolene Nembhard of Crown Candle Co. birthed her brand out of the love she has for her grandparents and her homeland of Jamaica. Her candles provide a clean burn (which is very important to look out for when candle shopping), as they're made in small batches out of coconut wax with 100 percent cotton wicks and phthalate-free fragrance oils. Her scent "Refresh" is a new favorite, but definitely look out for her first holiday gift set, "VIBE."
After setting the scent-mood of your space, brewing a pot of tea made up of healing herbs is a necessary next step towards relaxation. Shanae Jones launched Ivy's Tea Co. in 2016 after deciding to learn more about living off the land and using it for healing. Her hip hop-inspired brand seeks to change how folks perceive tea drinkers and introduce African holistic remedies into the holistic health industry. When tea shopping with Ivy's Tea Co., you can sign-up for their upcoming #TrapTea Subscription Box, peruse through their Rapper Collection teas (though they sell out fast) or pick a blend that caters to your health needs.
It's never too early to establish new goals for 2019—so let's set one together, shall we? Let's try to keep the Twitter fingers to a minimum through working our hands in crafty ways sans a phone screen. Krystle Collins is the artist behind Create The Culture—a hub on Etsy where you can find hand-embroidered pieces, pillows, pouches, sweatshirts, totes and more. A dope find on her platform are the DIY embroidery kits that are perfect for the beginners and the pros. All the images you can make with the kits are all things black girl magic—which we're here for.
What we put in and on our bodies is of the essence, y'all. And if you're like me and like to keep the beauty routine to a minimum (because lazy), these two finds by author and entrepreneur Africa Miranda could be just what you need for skin prepping and skin renewal. Her Beauty by Africa Miranda line features products that are inspired by her travels around the world. The Facial Elixir houses Brazilian ingredients Maraca Oil and Cupuacu Butter and can be used as a makeup remover or can be applied to the face before other skin products or makeup. Miranda's Luminous Body Mist is meant to be sprayed on damp skin after showering or bathing. It locks in moisture; softens and soothes the skin leaving you smelling luxurious.
PYER MOSS is designer's Kerby Jean-Raymond's "timely social experiment" that gained new fans on the internet this year. The Haitian-American has used his fashion brand to amplify and challenge the world's perception of the black experience in an unapologetic way. Getting your hands on a PYER MOSS piece can be a treat for yourself or for a loved-one, but is well worth it as each design are made in limited quantities (producing sustainable fashion is a pillar of the brand). Jean-Raymond's most recent collaboration with Reebok is a collection worth digging into if you're into starting conversations about what it means to be American in sleek style.
Daily Paper is another brand of note that's all about inclusivity, individualism and the first-generation experience in The Netherlands. The founders of the Amsterdam-based streetwear brand—Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsini—have been translating their diverse African heritage and upbringing into authentic, quality tailoring since 2010. The brand's FW18 collection is perfect to tap for those bracing up for winter—featuring bright-colored puffer jackets, oversized sweatshirt/sweatpant combos and more.
Layering gold jewelry, whether it be on your fingers, wrists or necks, has been trending all year—but why not start stacking pieces that are linked to something of substance? Sewit Sium's eponymous brand does just that, where the artisan and educator has crafted historically-referenced jewelry for over 10 years. Her belief that jewelry can and should be utilized as an educational tool drives her production of amulets and talismans that showcase our ancestral history as well as our ongoing story as Africans. Her pieces are handmade to order and feature pendants in the Ge'ez language, Axumite coins, cowrie shells, ancient Egyptian and Nubian symbols and more.