A Different Kind of Black Friday
Black Businesses to Support This Holiday Season
“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
Black Friday is here, but we’re interested in a different kind of Black Friday — Black-owned businesses to support this Black Friday. Dedicated to the flourishing of Black-owned businesses and forever in awe of the beauty and brilliance the community holds, we thought we’d share some picks that will sit pretty under the tree. There’s truly something for everyone: Luxury bohemian goods, expertly-formulated skincare, books for all those book clubs everyone promised to start this year, and more.
First seen on the goddess known as Solange, Brother Vellies is an ode to Black excellence. Founded by creative director Aurora James, Brother Vellies features one-of-a-kind pieces from South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Morocco. The brand was founded in 2013 with James’ identifying the key goal as keeping traditional African design and technique thriving while stimulating sustainable jobs for artisans living in those regions. Think of them as the merging point between rich cultural history and timeless design. These are the sorts of pieces you’ll cherish for a lifetime and want to pass down for years to come.
Luxury Black-owned skincare is here. Esthetician Lesley Thornton developed KLUR after working with over 2500 individuals. Her expert approach to skin health, coupled with her experience treating diverse clientele’ skin, makes this brand equal parts aesthetically pleasing and effective. Our personal favorite from her line is the Elements of Comfort body oil.
Bevel by Walker and Company is dedicated to building the world’s most consumer-centric health and beauty products. With products ranging from men’s shaving tools to lotions and serums, their products are made to supply the men in your life with a full head-to-toe grooming experience.
BLK MKT Vintage is an ode to Black history. Their finely curated offerings hone in on vintage objects that double as artifacts. A Martin Luther King Jr. doll from the 1990s sealed in its packaging lives alongside a signed Langston Huges title. For many Black folks, antique shopping can be a wrought experience. There’s a sense of displacement in many antique shops, as if there is a reminder that much of America’s history tried to omit Black folks from public places, shown through vintage photographs of white women in poodle skirts and racist figurines lining shelves. For this reason, amongst others, BLK MKT feels like home, a safe space where our history is honored, celebrated, illuminated in all of its truth.
Grounded is a digital plant shop and subscription service offering an array of green goods for your home. Created by Danuelle Doswell and Mignon Hemsley, Grounded is an act of occupying space and honoring their lineage. Much of the social media-dominated trend of houseplants centers whiteness — white hands holding pots in a millennial pink apartment, for example. Grounded features subtle nods to Blackness. Black hands hold the pots. Ari Lennox wrote them a song as an ode to Black-owned Friday. Their digital presence very much serves as a reminder that melanin and Botanics is a given, that we belong in all spaces, but especially the green places.
Book clubs became a theme this year. As the collective consciousness began to peel back the layers of systemic oppression present in our society, books became increasingly important. Some of us leaned into fiction, a safe form of escapism. Others devoured titles on anti-racism as if they were cramming for an exam at midnight the night before. Regardless of where you landed with your relationship to literature, there’s a Black-owned mecca to get any book you need. We plan on picking up Obama’s latest, A Promised Land.