We’re all in full holiday mode though some of you are still considering what to get certain clients on your list. Wonder no more! Here’s a great short list of Black-owned businesses sure to offer an Instagram-worthy choice.
First up is Harlem Candle Company. There is no doubt that given all that has happened during 2020 we could all use little soothing. Luxury candles that touch upon rich aspects of the legendary Harlem Renaissance are truly gems.
Founded in 2014 by travel and lifestyle expert Teri Johnson, the Harlem Candle Company is reflective of Johnson’s own passions for fragrance, jazz, and Harlem. Through intense research, this Black female founder discovered Harlem’s vibrant and rich past and somehow perfectly fused it into various fragrances alongside award-winning perfumers to produce beautifully scented candles that celebrate the Harlem Renaissance. Each candle is specially handcrafted using a soy vegetable wax blend, infused with one-of-a-kind fragrance oils. Sure to be a hit.
These exquisite 80-burn candles are a full 12 ounces. You can go traditional and select from the Holiday Exclusives line that features fragrances such as “Holiday.” The real joy here is candles such as “Josephine” (a blend of Moroccan Rose, Indian jasmine and warm amber) or my personal fave, “Speakeasy,” that conjures up famed Harlem hidden clubs via a mix of palo santo, bourbon, and tobacco. To super impress, consider the 22-carat gold James Baldwin “Love” luxury candle inspired by his book and film, “If Beale Street Could Talk.” It doesn’t stop there. Harlem Candle Company is full home fragrance complete with reed diffusers, room sprays, and gold candle accessories.
So maybe you’re also considering giving the gourmet food basket? If so, forget standard catalogs that come in the mail or the traditional Harry & David. Instead, support small Black business but in a wide way. Head on over to Etsy where you’ll find the Black-owned Boston Gift Box. This team has curated a selection of local fare that enables each buyer to support seven local Black and women-owned businesses in Boston simultaneously. Here’s what the collection includes: a Haitian spice blend, small-batch handmade pineapple chutney, a rejuvenating bath bar, luxurious lip balm, refreshing hand sanitizer, and a colorful art piece by a talented local artist. But wait, there’s more. They have also included recipes and access to a dynamic online listing of Black-owned businesses to check out in the Boston area.
Far from mindless consumption, each box also includes special details about the individual products because the team believes that shopping is enhanced when you know more about the people behind the products. There’s a printed version of stories so the recipient can learn more about each business and what inspired these artisans to create and share their respective crafts. You’ll never look at another gift box the same way again.
Wine and champagne are almost always a great business holiday gift, but when it reflects us, it’s even better. Enter the McBride Sisters Collection. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a Black-owned female vineyard.
As their website says, the McBride sisters were “raised among the vines of Monterey, California and Marlborough, New Zealand … one could say that the McBride Sisters’ path to winemaking was destiny at work.”
Using old-school knowledge with a new-school approach, Robin and Andrea McBride launched in 2005 and haven’t looked back. Making strides in an industry typically controlled by people who do not look like them, they continue to break ground. This evidenced in the names of their wines. How can you not give Black Girl Magic Rose, Black Girl Magic Riesling and Black Girl Magic Zinfandel? They company also offers sparkling wine, single bottles, trios, gift pairings and it ships all over the world. This business is something to raise a glass to at the holidays and throughout the year. Oh, and they’re paying it forward by one of the most robust Black-owned gift guides we’ve ever seen right on their website. Don’t miss it after reading it.
OK, so you can never go wrong with the gift of chocolate but when it’s elevated to a luxury level, the magic truly happens. With clients from the NFL to Disney and Nike, you will be in good company the moment you order from Phillip Ashley Rix. He is one of the world’s preeminent designers of luxury chocolate and an award-winning chocolatier. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Phillip Ashley Chocolates came onto the scene in 2012 and has been rapidly growing ever since.
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The brand has an international following and Rix has even curated dining experiences at the James Beard House in New York City, as well as creating chocolates for Hollywood’s elite at the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars. In 2014, Forbes Magazine named Phillip Ashley the “Real Life Willy Wonka”. In February 2020, he competed as a finalist on Food Network’s “Chopped Sweets.”
Rix offers a full line of designer chocolates, holiday gifts sets and build-your-own options that will make you say, “I’ll take one of everything.”
Finally, the comfort of exquisite loose tea can be a beautiful gift, but when it’s blended to support wellness, especially during these times, the gift is more than welcome. Check out Black-owned Ivy’s Tea — the result of years and years’ worth of herbal knowledge. Ivy sets out to offer even more than this. The company’s full-on China products as well as fine art are something to behold. Our personal favorite is the #TrapTea spoon. Now this is cool:. Her spoons come with messages on the handles and customers can pick a phrase for inscription such as “Oh, you fancy huh?” or “Boss Bitch” or “Classy Bougie, Rachet” We’re in love. Tea time will never be the same.
So whatever your choice, it’s great that we can celebrate and support us. Merry Christmas to all and to all, a good night.
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