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 AC unit] is not only our season for hitting the streets in our Tevas, but for falling in love with essentials for every season and reason from our favorite Black-owned brands this Juneteenth, and beyond.
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 for every aesthetic under the sun.
This year, the holiday season is the perfect time to support Black-owned businesses—and they’re offering great gifts! So many of the brands below would be perfect for the papa who’s obsessed with everything from coffee to the perfect shave, or for your hygge-obsessed friends who wants to make their kingdom (aka tiny apartment) cozier with artisanal quilts and scented candles.
We’ve assembled the following Black-owned businesses and brands to zhuzh your life (and the lives of your loved ones) 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.
Quentin Vennie founded Equitea with the hopes of creating an herbal wellness resource for all, but “especially Black men and all underserved communities.” Vennie’s blends are lovingly curated for various needs, and his hibiscus blend is a delicious way to get your vitamins. “This blend went through the longest process to create,” reads the site, “I was relentless in my wanting to create a blend that was high in Vitamin C and antioxidants.”
Good Man Brand
It’s hard to find a summer shoe that doesn’t suffocate your feet, and won’t give away too much of your ~toevage~ for free. Good Man Brand makes elevated men’s basics such as these slips on shoes that can go from the bar to the family function with ease.
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, MUD\WTR. 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.
Ready for a new pair of kicks? PerryCo makes high-quality, all-gender shoes that match everything, including its signature Prelude sneaker—available in a wide range of neutral shades, and even in denim. Since all of the styles are unisex, these shoes make a great gift for truly and literally everyone who wants to add some swaggy, sporty flair to their 2023 ‘fits.
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.
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
It’s always a good time 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. Now that it’s nearly summer, we’re prepping for our upstate jaunts with multi-purpose travel backpacks such as this one by LaQuita Taylor-Phillips. It’s handmade in Maryland, and contains five large and two medium pockets for holding everything you could ever need. (So, bug repellent, canned rosé, and The Da Vinci Code).
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. The brand’s rose gold safety razor deserves its own altar, and its Resurfacing Body Serum is a fan favorite. The overnight serum promises o exfoliate stagnant skin cells and promote smooth skin, and includes a highly reparative formula of AHA, PHA, BHA + super amino acid, and proline. “I alternate this product with another exfoliation product, and my partner and I have noticed a significant difference,” writes one reviewer.
It’s so important to support Black-owned cannabis brands, and Homebody is one such brand with extra wavy offerings, such as this this pearly CBD bath soak with hypnotic packaging. It’s made in the USA out of non-toxic biodegradable glitter, and it’s both vegan and cruelty-free.
Happy shopping, you walking cornucopia. You’re our favorite friend.
This story includes Black-owned businesses selected as part of Black+, an initiative by VICE Media Group and The National Urban League to support Black Entrepreneurs with free marketing and mentorship opportunities.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.