In the past few years I’ve made gifting Black a priority, a guiding ethos of my gifting strategy along with its other core tenet: be specific. The combination of the two along with budget constraints has made for some interesting items, like a very good $20 lipgloss (mentioned below) and books by Black authors. (The latter isn’t technically Black-owned but it is supporting Black artists, which to me, counts.) To compile the list below I’ve sourced affordable items from some of my favorite Black brands, many of which come from our directory of nearly 200 Black-owned businesses vetted by my fellow Strategist writers and our editors.
Broken into categories from beauty and self-care to home goods to books and entertainment, there’s something for every occasion, whether that’s the fast-approaching holiday season, a housewarming, or a baby shower. To make browsing even easier, you can jump to specific categories using the links above.
Beauty and self-care
If your giftee is on the hunt for a signature scent, consider this discovery kit from Ourside, which contains mini rollerballs of the brand’s three fragrances — Dusk, Moondust, and Nostagia. There’s also a $35 coupon code that can be used to purchase a full-size bottle of their choice.
Cure their constantly dry skin with this shea-butter body lotion one writer “nearly cried” over.
A makeup-melting cleanser from the design-y Eadem, a brand that makes photo-worthy skin care that works. This cleanser melts away makeup and SPF, leaving behind smooth, hydrated skin thanks to ingredients like tiger grass, allantoin, Kalahari melon, and moringa.
HyperSkin makes one of our favorite vitamin C serums for treating hyperpigmentation. It contains a super-stable form of vitamin C along with bearberry, licorice, and kojic acid, which help to brighten skin, plus a little salicylic acid to prevent breakouts.
This nonobvious bonnet is a celebrity and Strategist favorite because it stays on all night and is inconspicuous enough to wear outside. The original comes in one size, but if you want to ensure it doesn’t slip off during the night or loosen over time, there’s an adjustable option too.
We dubbed this Ami Colé lip oil the “Telfar of lipgloss.” As I’ve written previously, I appreciate the brand’s “minimal-but-melanated approach to beauty, which feels like a love letter to Black community.” (And if your giftee has already hopped on the bandwagon, they’ll love a restock.)
From Crown Heights–based Marché Rue Dix, this moisturizing rose oil is a great (and luxurious) gift for someone who appreciates twofers because it’s both a fragrance and anti-aging facial oil.
For anyone who is tired of looking at the same boring white walls, Sabrena Khadija has an assortment of prints, including this astrology inspired ‘Gemini,’ piece, which Strategist writer Dominique Pariso has in her home.
Or, if collage is more their speed, Austin-based artist Britnee Lavender specializes in retro-surreal art.
Goodee stocks homewares from around the world, making them a go-to for unique, exceptionally made gifts. This Bolga fan, for example, is handwoven in Ghana and crafted from ethically sourced straw.
For your friend who’s newly into floral arranging, this statement vase would look nice on its own or filled with fresh blooms.
Modish Decor, makers of luxury throw pillows, recently released this linen pillowcase, which would look nice on a neutral bedscape or plush sofa.
Designer Sheila Bridges is best known for her Harlem Toile designs, which have been put on just about everything — from plates to silk scarves to skateboards. This candle, made in collaboration with L’or de Seraphine, smells of lemon, suede, patchouli, and bergamot and comes in a ceramic votive that can be displayed long after the candle burns out.
Lichen, which bills itself as a “design incubator” is known for its home goods and impeccably curated vintage furniture. This chrome shelf, designed in-house, is a perfect gift for the friend with lots of “collections.”
Clothing and accessories
Every piece from House of Aama is inspired by a piece of Black history and Black life and references a tradition or motif. This headscarf from the brand comes in an array of nude shades and is made from Dupioni silk.
A colorful, statusy beanie that’ll keep their head nice and toasty.
Brother Vellies, founded by Aurora James, is known for its fine leather goods, like handbags and shoes. The brand’s exceptionally cozy Cloud Socks — which come in 17 different colors — are equally nice and much less expensive. “They feel like leg warmers that happen to hold your feet,” says designer Batsheva Hay.
If your recipient is all set with socks, here’s something just as comfy: a pair of breezy linen boxers from Linoto that are ideal for lounging.
Along with flattering basics and bodysuits, Oma the Label sells jewelry that’s easy to imagine wearing every day, like this dainty necklace that can be worn solo or layered.
Kids and pets
Any new parents will appreciate this book on healing by multidisciplinary artist Kenesha Sneed.
Big comes from the illustrator of Sulwe, Hair Love, and Little Leaders and follows the journey of a young girl grappling with her size in a world that doesn’t fully accept her as she is.
Preschoolers kids (and their parents) will enjoy this puzzle that features original artwork.
Amanda Seales–approved Alaffia works with cooperatives in West Africa to create its line of natural hair-, face-, and body-care products. This bubble bath is made with calming lavender and certified-organic and fair-trade unrefined “raw” shea butter to keep a new baby’s (or kid at heart’s) skin soft and moisturized.
Food and drink
Anyone with a sweet tooth (with or without food sensitivities) would appreciate a box of Partake, which are allergen-, gluten-, and dariy-free; there are ten cookie options, including classic chocolate chip, lemon, gingersnap, and holiday sprinkle.
If they prefer lattes, this turmeric-latte blend from Golde will satisfy their cravings without feeding a crippling caffeine habit. Former Strategist intern Aisha Rickford calls it her “go-to for calming my stomach, clearing my skin, boosting my energy, and even serving as the secret ingredient in lots of my homemade baking recipes.”
A nice bottle of wine is almost always an appropriate gift. This crisp Chardonnay from Maison Noir Wines would pair well with whatever they’re ringing in.
Books and entertainment
In the town of Chicken Hill, residents are keeping a big secret: the identity of the skeleton at the bottom of the well. Both a murder mystery and a Great American Novel, James McBride’s latest work is a masterful (and entertaining) exploration of community and the ties that bind it.
For Spades games, here’s a nicely designed deck of cards that features illustrated face cards.
If they already own playing cards and Uno, consider Culture Tags, which asks the group how well they know the culture by making them guess popular phrases with only acronyms.
If your giftee is fully immersed in yeehaw culture, they’ll love this coffee-table book that celebrates modern-day Black cowboys. Author and photographer Gabriela Hasbun documents decades at the annual Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo through her photos, stories, and conversations.
Afrosurf — which catalogues Africa’s vibrant surf culture — previously appeared on our list of the most giftable coffee tables books. Compiled by South African surf company Mami Wata, it features surfer profiles, essays from some of Africa’s most famous writers, and truly stunning photography.
This one’s for the person who’s really into knitting — and psychedelic color palettes. The brand’s yarns are made with certified organic merino wool that’s free from harmful chemicals associated with the traditional superwash process.
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.