In the fall of 2020 I decided to buy Black as often as I could. I wanted my commitment to Black-owned businesses to extend past a fleeting few months and become a habit, so I decided that during the holidays I would do the bulk of my shopping at small, Black-owned brands. In the years since (and with the help of social media and The Strategist’s directory) I’ve learned about lots of brands to support, from small, deeply-curated shops that stock emerging brands to books written by Black authors that made me think and feel. Below, a list of gifts for every type of person on your list — from Birkenstock Boston fans to space-obsessed kids.
For the recent grad
A set of wavy, mirrored coasters from Sean Brown — the brand behind those viral CD rugs.
For the husband who likes to experiment in the kitchen
Bronx collective Ghetto Gastro’s first cookbook made our best-of-the-year coffee-table-book roundup because of its multimodal approach to food. Inside, you’ll find over 75 mostly plant-based recipes along with stories of the food’s origins, so he can learn a bit about the collective’s culture while he cooks.
For the wife who likes to be hands-free
Ashya, known for its leather slingback bags, released a special edition of its most popular style in collaboration with Black-owned concept store T.A. New York. It has all the makings of a classic, everyday bag: sustainably tanned cow leather that’ll last years, two large compartments (one of which is big enough to hold an iPad Pro), and a bunch of different options for wear. The removable belt strap can be worn crossbody or removed so it can be worn in hand.
For the boyfriend who already owns Birkenstock Bostons
A sleek loafer from Blackstock & Weber. This style, called the Mason, has a horsebit detail and comes in grained leather and suede. I’m a fan of the Chocolate color, a timeless shade that goes well with just about anything.
For the teen who likes a little bling
A gold-plated necklace that features the Yam logo — a hand drawn flower — that would look nice layered or worn alone.
For your best friend who’s a hopeless romantic
Seven Days in June follows two former lovers who have been avoiding each other for 15 years, only to be brought back together by a panel at the Brooklyn Museum. Shenanigans ensue as they try to keep up their ruse, which creates simmering tension that jumps off the page.
For the aunt who’s known for her dinner parties
Gift her a set of striped ceramic cups from Jungalow, which makes a range of boho home goods. Each cup is sold separately, so you can mix and match.
For the skin-care obsessive
Hyper Skin makes one of our favorite vitamin C serums, especially if you’re looking to fade hyperpigmentation. In addition to 15 percent vitamin C, it contains turmeric and a little salicylic acid (less than 1 percent), which also helps to prevent breakouts.
For the sister who just got her first ‘big girl’ job
A sleek-looking shoulder bag with a sculptural silhouette from Brooklyn-based Edas, which has an adjustable strap and comes in three versatile shades.
For the friend who just got their first apartment
Florist Ryan Norville — who owns the New York–based floral studio Oat Cinnamon — has collaborated with West Elm on three fall-appropriate assortments of dried florals. This one has bunches of dried eucalyptus and palm leaves, which will zhuzh up any tablescape.
For the sustainably minded college student
We’ve been told that these biodegradable and sustainably made shorts from CBAAF are “cozy, breathable, and flowy-feeling.” The tie-dye print is also a favorite among college-age people.
For the friend who’s still using a moisturizer with SPF
This mineral sunscreen created by tennis star Venus Williams is rated SPF 30 and approved by the FDA. It’s a favorite of our beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton, who says that despite the high-concentration of zinc oxide, “it doesn’t make you look totally ghoulish.”
For the snacker with discerning taste
Four bags of truffle-flavored heirloom popcorn from the family-owned brand Pipcorn, which first launched at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn.
For the kid who likes to gaze at the sky
You can even personalize the plate (at no extra cost) with their name.
For the cousin who loves green juice
This face mask has been mentioned by numerous beauty experts here on the Strategist, and since it’s formulated with edible superfoods (yes, you could eat it), one beauty professional describes it as a “green smoothie for your face.”
For the roommate who eats Nutella by the spoonful
A better-for-you version of their go-to nut butter that’s made with pistachios, almonds, and chocolate (and nothing else). Just know that Mumgry is based in Canada, so its website lists prices in Canadian dollars (we’ve approximately converted the butter’s price to U.S. dollars here) and it costs an additional $13 to ship to the states.
For the hardworking boss
They could probably use some extra day-to-day balance. The Sixes founder Franci Girard, a boss herself, told us that a daily dose of these drops calms her without any grogginess.
For the cousin who just moved to Seattle
Your cousin’s new West Coast friends will be pleased to know that this gender-neutral, Scandi-style raincoat is made from 32 recycled plastic bottles — just like all of the vegan, waterproof apparel at Baxter Wood, which is made sustainably and supports sustainable-education programs in developing countries through its partnership with 1% for Education.
For the expecting parents
They can teach their child about the importance of fighting for social justice, environmental justice, civil rights, and LGBTQ rights — plus all 26 letters of the alphabet — with this expert-recommended, anti-racist ABC board book by Innosanto Nagara.
For the nephew who lets his dog clean his plate
If he’s more into tacos or Drake than ramen, then Rachel Jones’s pop culture-inspired pet brand, Trill Paws, has an animal tag (or toy or leash) for that, too.
For the empty-nesters who got a pandemic pup
A durable, merino-wool tug-and-chew toy by House Dogge that’ll prevent their new pup from chewing on your sofa.
For the friend who loves Yoga With Adriene
If they like Adriene Mishler’s approachable, carefree style, then they’ll also appreciate the yoga and meditation classes at Heal Haus — a Black-owned studio in Clinton Hill that Elisa Johnson told us about — which are designed based on an accessible curriculum for different skill levels. Each class is just $10, or you can gift them a monthly pass for $30.
For the sister-in-law who loves the farmers’ market
A handwoven basket for displaying all of her summer fruits or winter squash.
For the recently retired uncle
Now that it’s always wine o’clock, give him a “fruity and funky” bottle of Pinot Noir that’s produced by award-winning sommelier André Hueston Mack and sourced from small Oregon vineyards.
For the aunt who is into crafting
This skein of soft bespoke cashmere is the best yarn for holiday-scarf-knitting, and it’s available in Felicia Eve’s String Thing Studio online store in ten different colors for any project.
For the mom who’s renovating her bathroom
For a fresh take on the classic toile motif, there’s this wallpaper from designer Sheila Bridges, which replaces the traditional parochial scenes of French toile with Black people doing an array of things — like dancing and doing each other’s hair. A note: There’s a three-roll minimum, so keep that in mind when placing your order.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.