Holiday Gift Guide

Ok. First you have to take this gift guide with a very healthy heapful of seasalt. 

Cause real talk—I’m not a gifter. 

I’m a giver and lover of generosity, but I’m not the friend who sends the perfect gift wrapped like a delicate display cabinet. 

Also, I don’t really do holiday gifts! I know—total Scrooge. 

So why am I writing to you about Holiday Gifts? Simple. I care an awful lot about black and brown women and queer-led businesses. That’s it. And this is a highlight of some brands I admire and think you should check out. That’s it. 

The best gift in my estimate? Time. 

There’s nothing more luxurious or meaningful than slowing down to deep conversation (and great food) with someone I love. AND if you’re on the hunt for some cool to WoW that someone…

Here’s 8 women who make beautiful things:

Image: Muri Lelu

Justice of The Pies

You don’t need a sweet tooth to get down with the bold concept of restorative justice behind these clever cookies. Founder Maya-Camille started this company to honor her father, who was a criminal defense attorney. Every year, the company invests in expanding kneaded love to aspiring young chefs from low income communities. Maya-Camille also put out her first book this year, another perfect gift.

Essie Spices

I’m kind of obsessed with Ghanain food. I still salivate at the seams when I remember the simplest fish I had at a no-fuss side of the road spot in Accra. Thank Gawwwwd I was alone. The hands got in there, the face got in there and there was zero room for any conversation or sharing. Shit was supreme XXX/fire. Ghanain Founder Essie brings all that love to your kitchen in a bottle, her special blend sauces and spice blends are easy to order at Target and select WholeFoods. My truth? I follow Essie for the Leeeewwwwks as much as cheerleading her biz and the good work she does for school girls in Ghana–Gurl got game 💪.

Muri Lelu

Plant based magic for your skin made by immigrant women full of cool girl in Brooklyn factor? Check. Hemp flower products friends swear by? Check. Don’t get high on the hype, get high on gorgeous skin and a thoughtful gift set.

Yidana & AAKS

Yidana’s handwoven sculptural pieces are works of art. Period. The flowerpots are a standout. The storage baskets are stunning and the craftsmanship is bonkers beautiful!

AAKS’ handwoven bags and accessories have kinda become a minor obsession in my feed. It’s the pop of colour, the unexpected sense of play on tradition and downright audacious imagination of what African luxury looks like for me. Just about every hot girl boutique worldwide carries these beauties. And yup—I’ll take any gift you send my way with this label on the tagline 😜.

Image: AAKS

Farm Girl Flowers

My go-to for ordering a friend a flower delivery that never flops. If you’re not just into flowers, but also into design and fresh arrangements that don’t bite back with tired 80s/90s nostalgia, you need this woman-owned little engine that could on your radar. I’m equally impressed by how Christina built this company—without a college degree and with zero VC money 💪. Talk about inspiring. And the flowers last forever.

LXS Pest Control

Sometime you gotta get gritty and honest about what makes you happy. Like zero rodents. Like how the fc to even come close living in what New Yorkers have pretty much resigned themselves to as The End of Plague Times. Grossing you out yet? Seriously, one of my friends posts almost weekly updates about the Brooklyn adventures with certain furry guests crawling in through every which crevice. Lucky for me, this problem is in my rearview. How? The most badass most generous and serious about their work pest control team on the e.coast. LXS is a wife and wife Latinx team who get the fcn job done, period! You’ll be blown away by their depth of knowledge and even more into how sound you sleep after their visit. This one is a gift that keeps on giving. Like 🐁.

Kay Tran

Are you part of the low nose bridge fam? Hello, welcome! Please pull up a chair. Let’s start with how many glasses you’ve owned that were never designed with your face in mind. And then let’s talk about the Real Struggle of finding lifted fit frames that don’t slide down your nose or sit on your cheeks, leaving red marks. Most Asian Americans feel my pain. Asian Canadian Founder Kathy Tran-Riese has a gift for you and everyone else you know in this fam-club. A whole line of sunnies designed for low bridge noses and perfectly brown ppl faces just like ours! 😎

Innards, by Magogodi

The kind of book that goes there. Opens conversation about all the messy hairy shit that keeps you invested in showing up as a better and fuller human. The kind of stories that’ll rip your heart open (can’t tell you how often research was just basically me in puddles writing this book) and have you roaring at South African humour (yup, sp. 😜)

I wouldn’t put my name on the cover if this shit weren’t banging. And I def wouldn’t shout Innards proudly as a gift worth gifting if I didn’t 💯 believe this book will move you.