Grio Gift Guide: Black-owned brilliance for everyone on your list

Make sure to start getting your gifts early!

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2020 has been quite a year and we’re all looking forward to a little love and levity over the holidays. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we support Black businesses in our communities and this year, we’re buying from err’ybody Black.

Read More: Phoebe Robinson to host Facebook’s ‘#BuyBlack Friday’ Show

Check out 8 fabulous finds for anyone on your list:

<strong>For the fancy friend … LaRue 1680 </strong>

Stephanie Sinclair is serving up tea offerings with a twist through her brand LaRue 1680. The single mom launched her company in the midst of all the chaos 2020 has stirred up and we’re so glad she’s sharing her passion with the world. Find incredible blends like India Street Vanilla Chai, Italian Cream Earl Grey, Moroccan Mint, Yerba Mate and Hibiscus. The loose leaf teas are sold in 0.5 oz tins or 2 oz bags for $15-$23 depending on the flavor. Sinclair also has a gorgeous line of delightfully fancy teapots and starter sets so that anyone can bring a little luxury to their day.

<strong>For festive fun… Midnight Reflections</strong>

Midnight Reflections is a wrapping paper and gifting company with goods illustrative of Black culture. Founders Lyndsey K. and Motisola Z. were inspired to create quality and ethnically conscious items that provide people of color with images that are reflective of their experience during the holiday season. After years of not seeing merchandise like this on the market, the dynamic duo knew it was time to create African Americaninspired products that evoked joy. We’re loving the Black Santa Wrapping Paper Kit ($8.99) as well as the Black angel greeting cards, Happy Kwanzaa gift bags, and adorable face masks available this season.

<strong>For the fitness fiend … Keaira LaShae </strong>

Whether you’re a hardcore fitness fanatic or someone who prefers the couch, chances are your workout regimen has taken a serious hit in 2020. Keaira LaShae is the intense, inspiring, innovative woman you need in your life. Her daily IG workouts have been getting us through quarantine and watching her work through her pregnancy as she awaits her third little girl is enough to make you get up and give it your best, no matter your mood. Her fun, dance-inspired workouts will help you twerk for the Gods and her 21-day challenges will whip anyone into shape. Her website has a lot to offer anyone looking to make healthy moves in the new year and we’re particularly impressed with her Waist Snatcher belt for $49.99, available in a variety of sizes and colors. You can also find some fantastic fitness apparel, very necessary boob bands, knee straps, supplements, resistance bands for your booty, and workout enhancing cream.

<strong>For a little calm… Blue Lotus Creations</strong>

Natalie Jones Bonner, a Mississippi-based business owner and State Director for Minorities for Medical Marijuana, launched a store called Blue Lotus Creations which sells several CBD products. Our fave little find is “Touch Me” the hemp extract-infused topical for the lips and body. This multipurpose must-have provides the perfect amount of moisture for your pout while packing some serious pain relief for joints and muscles. It also soothes dry skin, rashes, sunburn and even works on bug bites. At $29.99 for a 1oz. pot, it’s the perfect intro for someone looking to try out cannabis-derived products for the first time.

For the coffee craver…BLK & BOLD

BLK & BOLD is a fully certified B-corp, meaning it uses profits and growth to positively impact employees, communities, and the environment to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. We’re loving their limited edition BLK x BLK Farm To Cup coffees. This celebration of collaborative economics and end-to-end Black-owned coffee aims to highlight the quality of coffee grown in regions across Ethiopia, Africa. This collaboration intentionally supports the families and communities of the coffee producers, manufacturers, and consumers, both domestically and abroad.

For sweet scents and self-care…Joe + Monroe candles

Joe + Monroe is a candle line created by Joyaa, a millennial mother from Chicago. The Joe + Monroe brand was created to pay homage to both her grandfather (Joe) and her daughter (middle named Monroe), both of whom serve as monumental and inspiring people in her life. The candles are made from a luxurious Coco Apricot Creme wax that is a vegan blend of natural apricot and coconut. Infused with natural essential oils, the luxe fragrances are free of phthalates and parabens. Each candle is individually hand poured into a reusable beautiful gold glass container. We can’t get enough of the heavenly scent Dark Roses, but all of the offerings are worth a try. At just $14 for a 3.5 oz jar, you can sample several.

For the fly one on the Zoom calls…Jam + Rico

Jam + Rico is the lovely line of jewelry from Lissette Scott that’s inspired by her heritage. Her grandparents immigrated from Jamaica and Puerto Rico, and her roots in both places inspire the beautiful collections that showcase her love of the Caribbean and her keen eye for style. We have our eyes on the Cowrie Bangle ($45) for a few friends who are longing for the islands after a long year of staying home.

For your well-meaning white friends…'The Black Friend'

We all know a few white folks who love to call us for help on all their white people problems, their quest to understand their privilege, and to soothe some occasional white tears. While we’re glad to see folks doing the work required to become true allies, it’s not always fun to be their personal spokesperson on behalf of Black America. Fortunately, Fredrick Joseph has written a book that is perfectly suited to step in and provide some advice and guidance so you don’t have to. Speaking directly to the reader, “The Black Friend on Being a Better White Person” calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter features the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite, Jemele Hill, sports journalist and podcast host; and more. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, reverse racism to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former token Black kid. The book includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.

For the fancy friend … LaRue 1680

Stephanie Sinclair is serving up tea offerings with a twist through her brand LaRue 1680. The single mom launched her company in the midst of all the chaos 2020 has stirred up and we’re so glad she’s sharing her passion with the world. Find incredible blends like India Street Vanilla Chai, Italian Cream Earl Grey, Moroccan Mint, Yerba Mate and Hibiscus. The loose leaf teas are sold in 0.5 oz tins or 2 oz bags for $15-$23 depending on the flavor. Sinclair also has a gorgeous line of delightfully fancy teapots and starter sets so that anyone can bring a little luxury to their day.

Stay tuned for more gift guides from theGrio next week!

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