The Highly Melanated Gift Guide

Business Owner
30 Amazing Gifts from Black-Owned Brands

30 Amazing Gifts from Black-Owned Brands

While we are continuing to work to support the Black Lives Matter movement through education, voting, and supporting racial equality, we found that Black-owned brands are rarely given the platform or shelf space by major retailers that other brands get. So to help you get started shopping we are highlighting Black-owned businesses in our annual holiday gift guide this year.

We scour the stores and online markets trying to find the perfect gift for our loved ones each year. Trying to stay away from big-box retailers this year is a must with COVID still out there. So while you are browsing the web or local retailers for your gifts make sure to support diverse brands.

Shopping these products and services will show your commitment to diversity. To take your commitment a step further you can take the 15 Percent Pledge, which seeks economic equality and prosperity for Black future founders, Black students, and Black people in the workforce. You can take the pledge at Discover the Black entrepreneurs who offer a variety of gift ideas on the following pages. Make sure to shop these businesses all year round.

—Jenny Cardoza


For Him

Mens grooming products
Self-care is the perfect gift to pamper the man in your life. You can’t go wrong with Scotch Porter Beard Care products that are non-toxic and healthy. Their website has a guide on how to use their products and a gallery of repeat customers so you can see the results. Products and packages start at $9.99.
Lovecraft Country Book
The phenomenon is real with Lovecraft Country! The whole country has been talking about this mind-bending experience on television but you’ve got to read the book first. Find this book along with 1000s of others at Mahogany Book Store, an independently owned bookstore located in DC and online. $16.99.
Detailed Car
It’s All About the Details Ja’Von, 19-years-old, out of Crofton owns Vons Auto Clean & Shine. It is a premium detailing service that will come to you as long as you have a water and electric source he can use. Von’s business was created because he has always been a car enthusiast and was raised in a clean household, so his motivation coupled with his clean habits made this business a no-brainer. Give the gift of a pristine ride! Prices start at $40.

Put a Bow On It Moziah “Mo” Bridges is the 15-year-old CEO of Mo’s Bows handmade bow ties. After trading bow ties for rocks on the school playground, Moziah’s strong fashion sense led him to start his own company at the age of nine. These ties are the perfect gift for the gentleman in your life. Prices start at $25.
The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore
Pack your bags and sweep your honey off their feet by booking the Ivy Hotel for a weekend getaway. The Ivy is a bastion of world-class hospitality in a historic Mount Vernon mansion. Eighteen beautiful guest rooms and suites, charming public spaces, a small luxury spa, and a new culinary concept, Magdalena, A Maryland Bistro are all available to you during your trip. See website for pricing and package deals.
Cute dog
Training for man’s best friend is the gift that keeps on giving. Smashingly Respectful Dog Training in Severn provides a highly recommended dog training service ran by professional trainer, Ashly. ⁠She has been studying dogs and Dog behavior and working with animals for about 15 years. She started as a Veterinary Technician and had been doing that for 12 years. Now, she trains full time out of her home with her dog training facility on the property. Everyone that comes to Smashingly Respectful Dog Training gets an individualized experience based on what your dog needs. Gift Certificates in any amount are available.

For Her

Angela, the owner of Shore Picnics, started the 1st luxury picnic delivery service on the Eastern Shore, where they provide a more upscale and unique setup for any event. They prepare and setup the perfect picnic date. Mixing classy & casual styles together to create an experience to remember. They even offer custom picnic grazing boxes delivered to your door. Starts at $50. Make your plans through Insta or Fb at @shorepicnics.

Drunk fruit
A Holiday Happy Hour Drunken Fruit is certified organic fruit aged in a proprietary blend of alcohol. Exquisitely versatile for the distinct palate it is a dessert, a cocktail, a garnish, an aphrodisiac, a bottle appetizer, a chef’s dream, the perfect gift. Prices start at $29.99.

Wic-ked Good Quality Time Letta Moore is the genuis behind Baltimore’s first candle making business. Not a lot of gifts can beat quality time, so join the lady in your life in a candle-making experience. There is also a Candle of the Month Club you can opt-in to as well if your lady of the house isn’t into a hands-on experience. $33
Christmas Family Picture
Santa Claus is coming to town! Come deliver your letter in person to Santa. No waiting in line at this private outdoor location! For $199 you get a private photo session with photographer, Tia, from Four Little Hooligans, a 15-minute private session with Santa, and 8 digital images. Also offering Christmas Tree Farm Sessions.
Most ladies love to accessorize, so this gift can be for the lady of the house or the young lady who is a fashionista. Noelle, a 15-year-old in the PVA program at Annapolis High, started making rubber band bracelets in 1st grade and in middle school switched to beads for family and friends. Once COVID hit she really needed an outlet for her art and with a ton of support from her mom, Stacks By Noe was born. To get your order by Christmas order by December 13. Prices start at $15. Browse all her designs via
Sisters Andréa and Robin McBride are taking over in an industry that’s notoriously been dominated by white, older men. The McBride Sisters also are finding ways to foster other women in the wine industry through their hiring and philanthropic efforts — all in addition to making some truly great wine. They are truly embracing the spirit of the holiday season and love seeing so many of their customers gifting their wine-club memberships to their vino-loving family and friends. $61.99.

For Tweens/Teens

Pins & Tees
Kristina, owner of Mind Free Apparel, offers tees and pins that deliver a message. The perfect gift for teenagers to express themselves. Starts at $9.99.
Heart Ring
This ring is inspired by Love. Spread it inward and outward. Made by artist Lorraine West, who has fans such as Erykah Badu wear her pieces. Each ring is handmade with it’s own distinct character, just like your teen! $85.
Penned by the 13-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, this award-winning book explores social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and literacy for all ages. Young children, young adults, and anyone interested in expanding their perspective on important social views. $10.

Sew Cool Grab the ‘It’s a Vibe’ DIY Embrodery kit for your teen and promote self-care. There are many sets to choose from on artist Kylie Collins site. She provides a visual narrative surrounding not only black history and tradition but influences in present day society. Starts at $20.
Grab your teen to keep them rolling outside with this Longboard from The Rad Black Kids. This skateshop carries boards and clothes. This brand was born from the desire from the founder to see faces that reflect his in action sports. Starting at $90.
Launched by childhood friends that attended the same pre-school, middle school, high school, and even the same historically black college, this watch company is centered around education. Spring Break was always a refreshing reset before the end of the school year and they wanted to capture that essence in their name. The “SPGBK” acronym is an abbreviation of “Springbreak” which is the formal name of their company.  Also considering their positive experiences while in school, they make sure to tie their hometown/HBCU roots into the watches either by name or design. $79.99

For Kids

Malaville by Mala Bryan’s dolls set a positive representation for brown girls everywhere with their entire line. We fell in love with their Limited Edition Imani Doll. Make sure to allow 1-2 weeks for delivery. Visit their site to shop the varaiety of dolls. $24.99.
This wooden toy flower bed features 10 plywood flowers at various stages of growth from a seedling to a seed head, that can be planted in any one of the 10 holes in the wooden base.Water them with the watering can to see them grow! Visit Kido’s website for even more toy options to choose from. Kido is run by owners Keewa, a jazz artist, and and Doug, an artist specializing in murals and grafitti. $19.99.
Kids Activity
A Piece of Art These beautifull illustrated educational puzzles will keep your little one busy for hours. Thick durable pieces comes in a box with a rope handle. Ages 4 and up. Little Likes Kids™ from Washington, DC is “here for” a new generation of kids aged 6 and under to bring beautifully-illustrated and lovingly designed toys inspired by—and truly reflective of—the lives of today’s kids to $18.95.
This educational toddler game is designed to aid in child cognitive brain development, learning, and memory. Use this fun kids’ game to teach children about the importance of playing together and being kind to one another. For ages 3 and up. $18.
Mother and daughter team, Cynthia and Kathryn teamed up to make dolls that reinforce children of color how important they are, how smart they are, how beautiful they are, how creative they are, and provide positive affirmations of themselves that they can identify with everyday. $150
Kelli, the owner and designer of Pretty Please Teethers started with one mission in mind: to find safe, stylish, natural handmade items for her little one. Now she designs and hand-makies products that babies will enjoy and moms, will love. $14.99

Hostess Gifts

To avoid harmful chemicals in your cleaning products, look to Pur Home. Unlike many so-called ‘green’ products, Pur Home scores a one or two (the best ratings you can get) on the Environmental Working Group’s safety page. Go with this multi-purpose cleaner or their disinfecting gift pack. $29.99.
Design studio xN was founded by Nasozi Kakembo, a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation who found herself drawn to textiles from her native Uganda after her workday in international human rights finished. xN produces a portion of their baskets, textiles, and kitchen accessories in Uganda alongside local artisans, and a percentage of their profits is donated to education-focused non-profit work in the country. $50.
Oven Mitts
Natalie Manima of Bespoke Binny’s uses colorful African fabrics for her designs which include aprons, oven mitts, lamp shades, and napkins, each in bright, geometric-patterned cloth. $35.47. BespokeBinny on Etsy.
BLK & Bold owners, Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar, childhood friends, decided to venture into the billion-dollar coffee industry to make each cup of joe count. Five percent of their business is donated to eradicating social issues, including youth homelessness and food deserts. $14.
Peace on Earth
These Peace Vases will add just the right amount of charm to a home with their bold and colorful vessels. Jungalow® started as a design blog in Justina Blakeney’s tiny, plant-filled living room back in 2009 and has since grown into a lifestyle brand and the go-to source for jungalicious design goods and inspiration. $68.
BBQ Sauce
The Jones family has made their sauce from scratch daily for decades. For the first time ever, you can now recreate the magic of Jones BBQ in your home. Open up a bottle of Jones Bar-B-Q Sweet & Tangy BBQ sauce and pour it over ribs, chicken, or pork and enjoy! You can also use it as a marinade or dipping sauce – you can’t go wrong. Our all-natural BBQ sauce is made with love in Kansas City. $6.99.