As a general life rule, we prefer to give presents that whisper, I know you best, but also, I just know best. We try to shop from eco-friendly brands, we value stuff that’s going to last a long time, and we like to buy things that feed our senses, like ethical spice blends, natural perfumes, and essential oil diffusers, because we are sensory folks with a penchant for Cozy Hermit Life. That’s why this [licks icicle] is not only our season for thriving, but for falling in love with both winter and soon-to-be-sprintime essentials from our favorite Black-owned brands during Black History Month, and beyond.
As we continue to ride out the waves of the pandemic, we’re continuing to spend time tending to our homes, fashion sense, and wellness routines. We find magical little things online (checkered deviled egg platter? Yes’m) that give us a jolt of serotonin. And as we continue expand our horizons in online shopping, it’s important to support Black-owned businesses and vendors that have been hit especially hard during COVID-19. There are literally entire search engines out there that will find Black-owned products and brands, such as NILE, and digital craft marketplaces including Etsy make a point of highlighting Black creators. We also have a dank short-list of Black-owned brands in, how shall we say, ~green~ industries that we love, and a bunch of other rad wellness, home, and apparel brands and beyond that make up part of Black+, which is a VICE initiative with The National Urban League that provides Black-owned businesses with pro bono media campaigns, creative marketing services, and more.
In honor of Black History Month, we’ve assembled the following Black-owned brands to zhuzh your life with beautiful bikes, beauty products, loungewear, kombucha, and more. They fit in quite snugly with this cider-sipping, 10-hour-long YouTube fireplace (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it), so smash that play button and let’s go shopping.
Cee Cee’s Closet
Cee Cee’s Closet is a New York City brand making luxury silk-lined headwraps, African print headwraps, and various hair accessories and apparel. It was founded by sisters Uchenna and Chioma Ngwudo, who continue to collaborate specifically with Nigerian tailors for their designs, which are equal parts practical and ~aesthetic~ with their plush materials.
On the Go Jo
They’ve tried the Aeropress, the French press, and the best coffee subscription boxes. Hell, they’ve even tried that viral coffee alternative that kind of tastes like delicious mud, MUDWTR. What they haven’t tried is a full-bodied, bright roast by On the Go Jo, a coffee and tea company that is all produced and roasted by Black women. These blends are like a forehead kiss for breakfast.
Cool. Verrrrrry cool. Anima Iris’ graphic purses have been worn by Beyoncé and have big Main Character energy. Their handbags rolled right out of the 1980s, and deserve to sit shotgun in a creamy Cadillac Eldorado driving down the PCH.
Black Owned Everything
Black Owned Everything is an expansive marketplace for everything its name promises, from home goods and decor to apparel and wellness items—and all from either itso wn signature line, or other Black-owned brands that sell out fast. The selection of goodies is ever-evolving, and you never know what you’re going to find. The brand’s signature cotton sweats are almost always in stock, and super cozy:
Their signature candle comes in a handsome matte vessel that’s also perfect for winter. It has a woodsy aroma profile with notes of nutmeg and cloves:
We’ve also fallen bum over noggin for this pair of esoteric earrings by We Dream in Colour. They’re the perfect gift for the astrology-lover in your life:
In terms of beauty, Black Owned Everything also has some gorgeous products from Range Beauty in-stock, like this full body glow oil that will hyrdate your skin with argan oil and bring a little extra TLC to your complexion during the dry winter months:
In our never-ending quest to look like a hot Muppet, the New York City footwear brand Arch has become our go-to for fluffy, horny shoes with a bit of 1970s nostalgia.
Perfect Blue Alchemy
Essential oils and body products are pretty personal, so make sure you know that your bud actually likes Sandalwood before you douse them with the stuff. Perfect Blue Alchemy is both woman and minority-owned, and handcrafts all of its vegan perfumes and oils with natural and earthy ingredients including Pine, Fir, and others that will make you feel like a wise, anthropomorphic tree. The Body & Beard Elixir is the brand’s essential men’s product, and great for moisturizing both skin and hair.
Perfect Blue Alchemy also offers a collection of their best-selling perfumes as mini-sprays, with scents that range from calming lavender to invigorating citrus.
Brown Girl Jane
It’s so important to support Black and brown entrepeneurs in the burgeoning world of CBD goodies, and Brown Girl Jane (BGJ) is groundbreaking model of plant-based wellness company and non-profit organization. BGJ advocates for policy impacting the well-being of women of color in areas of legislation, health research, and helps fund fellow women of color in their own entreperneurial beauty ventures. If you’ve never tried CBD, their nourishing facial serum is a great first start because its lightweight and fragrance-free:
If you’re looking for professional-level textured and curly haircare products, Design Essentials is a digital emporoium of goods, and right now they’re offering 20% off all Design Essentials Natural Collections products with the code BUYBLK20 until February 6, 2022. This bundle even includes a free satin bonnet:
Shop Black-Owned Bookstores on Bookshop
Bookshop is an online bookstore that links you up with local, indipendent book sellers and bookstores, and they have a curated list of Black-owned bookshops for you browse everything from books by iconic Black authors like Bell Hooks, to more contemporary titles like Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham, which The New York Times called “A literary experience unlike any I’ve had in recent memory… a blueprint for this moment and the next, for where Black folks have been and where they might be going.”
Where there’s a will, there’s a way to find even more kombucha to stock our fridge. Whether you’re pulling up to a brunch where some non-alcoholic bevvies would be appreciated, or just want to bring a new beverage into your bubbly rotation, Soul Brew Kombucha has some delicious flavors.
Etsy’s Black-Owned Shops
Ah, Etsy. The well that never runs dry when it comes to shopping for antiques, repurposed vintage apparel, custom art, and so much more [points to Shrek butt plug]. The marketplace has an entire page dedicated to navigating its Black-owned boutiques, and some of our favorites include the Urban Burn candle shop:
They also have an incredible selection of blankets and wall art from the legendary women quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. “Now—for the first time,” says Etsy, “their gorgeous tapestries are available for online purchase in partnership with Nest (a nonprofit focused on equity in the Makers Movement) and Souls Grown Deep (a foundation focused on elevating Black artists).”
Black-owned marketplace Goodee sells such head-turner items, such as this bicycle basket. It deserves to take our favorite nephew down the Nile, Or at least hold all of our farmers market bounty.
Peruse some of their best-sellers, and you’ll find an über comfy roll-up mattress that’s perfect for houseguests and lounging around the casa, hand-crafted Mexican glassware to take you into spring, and more.
PUR Home was started by folks who were, and continue to be engaged in community gardens and more environmentally friendly business models. The brand sells non-toxic household cleaners made with sustainably sourced, recylable, and often biodegradable materials, so you and Mama Earth can breathe a little easier.
If you love the ritual of making matcha, one of Brooklyn’s best wellness brands, Golde, has created a 5-star rated matcha made of 100% pure, shade-grown green tea leaves from Uji, Japan. “I’ve been trying to cut down on my coffee intake,” writes one reviewer, “and this has been absolutely perfect. I use it for my afternoon pick up with some lavender syrup and oat milk [and] it’s always a hit, hot or iced.”
Ten Wilde Jewelry
Valentine’s Day is around the bend, which means it’s time to love bomb yourself with some miniature, golden hoops from Ten Wilde Jewelry, or gift a custom, Gothic font date necklace to your hunny bun to commemorate their birth year, the year you both met, or the year Michael Shannon was born. The choice is yours.
Uncommon Goods’ Black-Owned Brands
Sweet potato biscuits with jam, hELLO. Uncommon Goods (which is a caterer of unordinary stuff that constantly distracts us at work) has tons of great stuff in its curated section of Black-owned brands for your pleasure, but this easy bake biscuit situation is the key to our heart. It was whipped up by Ashley Rouse, a chef of 15 years based out of New York who uses locally sourced, vegan ingredients.
Senagalese chef Pierre Thiam has also whipped up fonio mixes inspired by West African flavors and dishes, and redistrubtes some of the gross revenue back to the smallholder regenerative farms that grow fonio.
OUI The People
OUI The People was founded within the ethos of making beauty and wellness products less cringe, and far more celebratory of our natural bodies. The packaging is worthy of a 1970s wet dream, the ingredients are delightfully un-scary, and you’ll never find any “anti-aging” or “flawless” language. Their rose gold safety razor deserves its own altar, and their milky shaving gel, which includes dandelion root (an anti-inflammatory) and aloe vera (bigggg skin soother) has a clean, but not flowery scent of subtle jasmine, grapefruit, orange blossom, and neroli:
They have a sweet deal running right now on a shaving bundle:
Happy shopping, you walking cornucopia. You’re our favorite friend.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.