Trendspotting: A Black-owned gift guide for Gen Z
Clueless about what to gift your cousins, kids, or homies this holiday season? We've got some ideas from Black-owned brands.
With such an overwhelming influx of ever-changing trends, it can take time to tell what young people want for the holidays. Today, most young adults are either too lazy or too undecided to make a wishlist—and instead default to asking for everyone’s favorite gift: money. But while anyone would appreciate an unexpected deposit in their account (especially with recent inflation), the holidays call for a more personal touch. With that in mind, we’ve gathered a list of relatively affordable and intentional gifts to give the Gen-Z people on your shopping list!
Complete Chaos Game
Gift endless laughs and memories by slipping the Complete Chaos game under the tree. A mix of charades and trivia, this Black-owned party game tests players’ knowledge of Black influence in music, tv/movies, sports, food, fashion, and more.
Sunset Lamps and LED lights
Colored lights can turn any space into a vibe. Depending on their style, consider gifting the Philips Hue Bluetooth Smart Lightstrip Plus 1-Meter Extension With Plug to the teens and young adults in your life. These LED light strips retail for $40 and can follow voice commands when connected to Google Assistant. A more subtle but equally vibrant option is the Nellsi Sunset Lamp. For just $26, this portable lamp can project 16 different colors.
Mixing music and fragrance, Cavo Candles makes it easy to set a vibe in your home. This vegan, eco-friendly, Black-owned brand offers unique candles, each of which is paired with a customized playlist. So whether you’re celebrating payday, a new home, or simply need a good cry, Cavo Candles passes the vibe check musically and aromatically.
We’re Not Really Strangers
Catering to one’s mental health is a top priority for this generation. “We’re Not Really Strangers” (WNRS) is a card game designed to spark and empower meaningful conversations. While the original game allows players to build connections with others, WNRS also launched a self-reflection kit to inspire users to connect with themselves. These cards make for a fantastic gift regardless of where someone is in their healing journey!
Bonus: The WNRS Self-Relfection Kit and other card sets are on sale now!
Sometimes all you need is a hug, and You Matter has created hoodies that feel “soft like a hug but heavy like a gravity blanket and as light as a feather” to provide ultimate reassurance. With founder Demetrius Harmon’s mantra, “I feel weak, but I know I’m strong,” inscribed on the inner wrists of each sleeve, these hoodies are designed with people who struggle with self-harm in mind. After dealing with his own suicidal urges, Harmon created You Matter not only to reassure those struggling with their mental health but also “to spread love and normalize the complexities of the human experience.”
Vagabond is a Black, Haitian-woman-owned loungewear brand based in Brooklyn, NY. With sizes, XS – 3XL, the inclusive brand is home to comfortable and stylish pieces designed with the Black community in mind. Vagabond has cozy pieces for everyone, from satin-lined hoodies to minimalist lounge sets.
Don’t be discouraged if the site appears unavailable; the brand is preparing for its upcoming drop on December 10! In the meantime, check out their Instagram @shop.vagabond.
A crossover between fashion, music, and art, Artsunsac bags are the perfect gift for the music lovers in your life. The brand sells woven tote bags inspired by popular album covers by artists like Drake, SZA, Lauryn Hill, and Frank Ocean.
Bobbi Made This
Certified by Beyoncé, this Black-woman-owned brand makes jewelry that makes a statement. Bobbi Made This is known for producing bold, colorful earrings from polymer clay. These attention-grabbing earrings make any outfit look luxurious without the price tag.
Bag Shop NYC
Reusable tote bags are no longer just used for grocery shopping. With the rise of sustainable fashion, both men and women have been accessorizing with canvas bags. Bag Shop NYC is a Harlem-based, Black woman and Latino-owned brand making affordable and stylish reusable bags inspired by iconic NYC imagery.
Music is a staple in Black culture. So why not use a Black-owned sound system to listen to it? Raytec Audio is a Black woman-owned company offering quality products without the hefty price tag typically associated with tech gadgets. From Bluetooth speakers to headphones to earbuds, Raytec is perfect for the gym, work from home, or at-home dance parties.
Haniyah Philogene is a multimedia storyteller and Lifestyle reporter covering all things culture. With a passion for digital media, she goes above and beyond to find new ways to tell and share stories.
TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black’ with Maiysha Kai.