Thousands of small businesses were left reeling during the pandemic—either closing permanently or temporarily—and minority-owned small businesses bore the brunt of the impact. In fact, early in the pandemic, Black business ownership rates fell 41% from February to April 2020, according to a report from the House Committee on Small Business.
Though minority-owned businesses are bouncing back, it’s still more important than ever to shop with intention and use our buying power in support of small, diverse and innovative brands. It’s time to put our money where our mouths were when we marched for equality and social justice—which is the kind of holiday spirit I want to be a part of.
Whether your loved one works from home or is an at-home mixologist, here are 25 gifts they’ll love that also support minority-owned businesses.
To bring the joy back to cooking
These items will spice up your life and put the fun back into making your own meals at home.
1. Always Pan
Co-founded by Shiza Shahid, who also co-founded the Malala Fund, Our Place creates ethically sourced and sustainable cookware for the modern and multiethnic family—including the most versatile pan you’ll ever purchase, the all-in-one 10-inch Always Pan ($145). Designed to replace eight traditional pieces of cookware, the Always Pan braises, sears, steams, strains, sautés, fries, boils and never sticks—all while looking très chic.
2. CRUXGG BRED Bread Maker
Ghetto Gastro, a Bronx culinary collective, and CRUX, a leading kitchenware brand, launched their first exclusive collaboration of seven kitchen appliances with Williams Sonoma in 2020. It was the first time William Sonoma partnered with an all-Black collective to create a full line of kitchenware. (The second collaboration with a minority-owned business—the Seasoned Blue Steel collection, launched in March 2022.) But what rises above the rest is the BRED ($79.98). It’s an all-purpose bread maker that saves you time with 15 preset programs. Plus, BRED features two loaf sizes, three crust colors and can make jams, cakes and yes, doughs.
3. Estelle Colored Glass
Named after founder Stephanie Summerson Hall’s grandmother, Estelle Colored Glass creates hand-blown colored glass cake stands and stemware in a mix of jewel tones and soft pastels that’ll make your heart melt. The vintage-inspired stemware ($185 for 6) brings a modern twist on colored glass. It adds just the right amount of playfulness to your wine cabinet.
For the kitchen table turned office
Buying a gift for someone who works from home? A gift from these minority-owned businesses will spruce up their “home office” and score you extra points.
4. Grovemade Laptop Stand
Grovemade makes sleek, mid-century inspired home and desk goods that help you do your best work at home. The company designs and crafts all products, like the Monitor and Laptop Stand collection ($180+), in the its Portland, Oregon, factory. The brand, co-founded by Ken Tomita, focuses on craftsmanship and style, so your new “office” stays true to your home’s personality.
5. JINS Glasses
Long hours of blue light exposure may cause eye fatigue and may even affect your sleep quality. That’s where Japanese eyewear brand JINS’ blue light lenses ($90+) come into play. JINS offers two blue light lenses, ranging from 25% to 40% of blue light blocking, so even Goldilocks could find her perfect fit.
Coffee and teas
6. Mostra Coffee
Mostra Coffee, founded by a team of four Filipino American friends, champions the Philippine coffee industry. It establishes direct-trade relationships with coffee farmers in the Philippines to give back to the community that inspired the founders in the first place. However, Mostra sells delicious coffee beans ($19.50+) grown by independent farmers across the globe, including countries like Colombia, Kenya and Peru, which makes each sip that much more satisfying.
7. Dr. Sebi’s Cell Food
Not to fret! Dr. Sebi’s Cell Food offers teas in a variety of herbal blends including Stress Relief Tea ($29.99), Energy Tea ($19.50) and Immune Support Tea ($39.99).
For the stay-homebody
Staycation, anyone? Here are a few home decor items, created by minority-owned businesses, that make staying home more luxurious.
8. YaYa & Co. Blankets and Cheeseboards
YaYa & Co. founded by Candida “Candy” Mashmoor, is the epitome of a brand that gives back. Mashmoor employs women in Punjab, India, where they create many of the brand’s products. She also built a center for women who are trauma survivors. Plus, with each purchase made, YaYa & Co. plants a tree in the Brazilian Amazon to promote conservation of the largest ecosystem in the world. Whether from a cozy blanket or the Fayre Olive Wood Serving Boards ($62+), your home and heart will feel warmer this season.
9. Expedition SubSahara Baskets
Founded in 2017 by Senegalese-born Sofi Seck, Expedition SubSahara is a celebration of Senegalese culture and craftsmanship. The pieces are colorful works of art. Use the handwoven and sustainable baskets like the Souk Bowl ($59) in the kitchen, living room, or as a catch-all for jewelry or your wallet in the bedroom. Even better, a portion of sales goes toward building a girls’ STEAM school in Senegal to empower the next generation.
10. MOLECULE Sheet Sets
They say you spend one-third of your life sleeping, so why not make it as comfortable as possible? MOLECULE is an eco-friendly sleep brand co-founded by Channing Chor and designed for active and health-conscious individuals. The collection includes mattresses, bed frames and temperature regulating sheet sets ($109+) made with advanced TENCEL™ materials that keep you dry and cool, and help you discover healthier sleep.
To raise “spirits” during happy hour
Whichever your poison, these minority-owned alcohols and mixers are worth cheers-ing to.
11. Teremana Tequila
Teremana Small Batch Tequila ($35.99+) is an ultra-premium tequila from the Jalisco Highlands of Mexico. (And it was founded by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jenna Fagnan and Ken Austin.) Available in Blanco, Reposado and Añejo, Teremana is made from mature, naturally sweet agave slow roasted in small, traditional brick ovens and distilled in handmade copper pot stills. You’ll want to savor this one sip at a time.
12. HH Bespoke Spirit Gin
HH Bespoke Gin ($47.99) was created by the family behind the Black-owned and operated award-winning boutique Harlem Haberdashery. It pays tribute to traditional London Dry style gin, but it’s updated with American botanicals, including juniper flavors and an infusion of lavender, rosehip, and plum. Harlem Haberdashery draws inspiration from the rich cultural history and distinctive style of the Harlem Renaissance and continues to give back to the Harlem community.
13. Don Q Reserva 7 Rum
Created in honor of its 155th anniversary, the Don Q Reserva 7 ($27.99) is a bright and radiant aged Puerto Rican rum. It’s crafted from a blend of rums aged a minimum of seven years in American white oak barrels. Rich in flavor and character, this rum showcases the value of generations of wisdom. Don Q also prioritizes green production and is a leader in finding ecologically conscious distilling practices.
14. Daru Whiskey
Inspired by their family’s long and rich legacy of making spirits in India, the Sran brothers created Sran Spirits to continue the tradition of distilling and creating alcohol that is instilled in their family culture. They source the highest quality grains for their flagship product, Daru Whiskey ($28.99), to bring you a taste of the same spirit their ancestors enjoyed.
15. FLO Wines
FLO Wines ($20) was created by Marcus Johnson, NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz keyboardist and pianist with more than 15 Billboard charted albums. The name FLO (For the Love Of) aims to inspire people to follow the things in life that bring them love, whether that be reds, whites or rosés.
16. Avec Mixers
AVEC is a better-for-you canned mixer co-founded by Black female entrepreneur Dee Charlemagne and U.K. native Alex Doman. You never have to drink a bad vodka soda or sugar-packed whiskey ginger again. These mixers ($36 for 12) are made with all-natural real juices, botanicals and spices in perfectly portioned 8.45-ounce cans. It comes in flavors like festive hibiscus and pomegranate (4g sugar, 25 cals), winter citrus grapefruit and pomelo (3g sugar, 25 cals) or a tropical spiced ginger and pineapple (5g sugar, 25 cals).
For when a stress ball isn’t cutting it
Self-care comes in many shapes and sizes. Here are a few items from minority-owned businesses to help your loved ones find their happy place.
Candles, lots and lots of candles
17. Javielle Candles
Founded in 2016 by single mother Ja’Salyn “Jas” Smith, Javielle Candles offers candles equal parts fragrant as they are entertaining—who wouldn’t want a “No Way, Rosé” candle? Made with eco-friendly and 100% soy wax, the company hand-pours each candle ($15).
18. FORVR Mood
Founded by Nigerian-born YouTuber and makeup artist Jackie Aina, FORVR mood offers a variety of luxury goods—including candles—that are sure to liven up any self-care routine. Each candle ($15+) is 100% coconut soy wax. Plus, they come in a variety of scents sure to appeal to any gift giver. For those who like options, FORVR offers mini- ($50) and regular-sized candle sets ($143) with four scents in each collection.
19. Aloisia Beauty
Pampering yourself at home is a great way to safely treat yourself. Clean, Korean beauty brand Aloisia Beauty helps turn your bathroom into a home spa. Its signature 7-Day Skin Care System ($55) comes with seven targeted single-use sheet masks. They’re supercharged with natural botanical and marine ingredients to “soothe, brighten, nourish, heal, repair, revitalize and moisturize” your skin in just one week.
20. Three Ships
However, if you’re feeling nostalgic for clay masks, Three Ships, a natural and affordable skincare company co-founded by Connie Lo, is the brand for you. Its Detox Green Tea Antioxidant Clay Mask ($17) is vegan, certified cruelty-free, gluten-free and pregnancy safe. Its key ingredients are French green clay and green tea extract to keep your skin glowing.
Black-owned POWERHANDZ produces sports and fitness accessories to enhance your at-home workouts and ensure you reach your fitness goals. The POWERFIT TKO Gift Set ($74.99) includes sliding disks, resistance bands and the POWERFIT Weighted Fitness Gloves for the ultimate full-body workout. Plus, the company donates a portion of each POWERHANDZ purchase to the POWER TO GIVE Foundation. The foundation develops “targeted programs that increase a commitment to athletic and academic excellence for youth in underserved communities.”
Small but mighty stocking stuffers
If the past few years have shown us anything, it’s to not take the small things for granted. Your loved ones will enjoy these small but mighty gifts from minority-owned businesses.
22. CHI Life Handheld UV Light Wand
The ideal gift for your loved one still looking for Clorox wipes. With the compact CHI Life Handheld UV Light Wand ($104.99), you can sanitize 99.9% of germs within one minute. Simply wave it over items like smartphones, laptops or other surfaces, and let it work its UV magic.
23. Gina’s Love Artisan Soaps
Black-owned and with an important message behind each product, Gina’s Love is a body product brand on a mission to show everyone that Life Offers Value to Everyone (LOVE). The company makes the artisan soaps ($8.99) with natural ingredients that are good for humans, kind to animals, grateful to plants and smell heavenly. Plus, purchasing bar soap is a great step toward minimizing your use of single-use plastics.
24. Peggy Li Jewelry
Peggy Li Creations designs simple, feminine jewelry pieces with a modern edge. Plus, they have been seen on shows like And Just Like That, Dead to Me, Kim’s Convenience and more. The Dotted Hoop Earrings ($49) offer a fresh take on a classic. Plus, they will surely dazzle at your next job interview.
25. Greer Chicago
Seeking a place devoted entirely to “good feelings, intelligent thought and the celebration of beauty,” Chandra Greer founded Greer—a stationary and office-supply company offers everything from cards to notebooks to writing implements. For those preparing for the letter-writing flurry following the holidays, Greer’s thank you cards come as a single card ($4.75+) or a box of six to eight ($14+), and in both folded and flat form, depending on your needs.
This article was published in November 2020 and has been updated. Photo by Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock
Megan Nicole O’Neal is a writer with a passion for storytelling, traveling and whenever possible, mixing the two. The UCLA alum lives in Los Angeles; more specifically westside coffee shops with equally strong wifi and dark roasts. Connect with Megan on Twitter at @megan_n_onealor her website mnoneal.com.