It's that time of the year y'all... it is officially holiday season and even if you don't celebrate a specific religious holiday, this is still the season to give and receive. If you have people in your life that are anything like me, we appreciate all things wellness. Arguably, wellness is a pretty broad term and could mean different things for different people, but for the sake of this piece let's just say wellness is anything that can enhance or improve your quality of life. In an effort to help make the act of giving a little bit easier this season, I've compiled a list of my favorite wellness items that would serve as amazing gifts AND they're all created by people of color.
First on the list is one of my holy grail, must have items. This is a true game changer for someone who has naturally curly, kinky, or coily hair. It instantly defines + moisturizes your hair and it's type 4 friendly. Not to mention this is a brand that uses 100% natural, non-toxic ingredients.
There's nothing better than a good book and this book is amazing to say the very least. It's an anthology of stories from black women who are writers. This is the perfect gift for the person in your life that appreciates the art of story telling and understand the importance of providing black women a seat at the table in the world of literature. This book was edited by Glory Edim, who is the founder of the Well Read Black Girl Club based in Brooklyn, NY.
What better to pair with a good book than a warm cup of tea? Ivy's Tea Co. is that girl when it comes to loose teas, ok?? The brand's slogan is #DrinkTeaLikeAnAdult and let's just say I definitely feel like an adult whenever I brew myself a cup. I honestly never knew drinking tea could be fun until I came across this brand. Shanae Jones, founder of Ivy's Tea Co., is a herbalist and hip-hop enthusiast and her passions are definitely reflected in the brand. The teas tend to have fun, hip-hop related names like "Pusha T" and there's even a #TrapTea Subscription Box if you're really serious about your tea. My personal favorites are Sister, Sister, Rise + Grind, & Blow.
As I'm putting this list together I'm starting to realize I just really appreciate a good vibe because next on my list are the ultimate relaxation sets curated by Alexandra Winbush. The sets are comprised of a candle, tea, and most importantly a playlist that matches the vibe of the candle + the tea. You're able to buy the items separately if you like or you can just go with the flow and light, sip, + play.
photo from: alexandrawinbush.com
This is perfect for that person in your life who loves to journal or is simply trying to get better at using a journal on a daily basis. Author and wellness advocate, Alex Elle, created this journal to help others incorporate expressing gratitude into their daily routine. Each page allows the user to list three things they're thankful for, illustrate their intention for the day, and complete a "because I have _____, I will give ______" statement. This journal is extremely grounding and could serve as a wonderful addition to a loved one's morning routine.
In the words of Crissle from The Read, words mean things and that's definitely true when it comes to affirmations whether you use them on a daily basis or more sparingly. Simone Bresi-Ando, a global communications and PR expert, created a beautiful set of Adinkra Ancestral Guidance Cards. Each of the cards are adorned with a different adinkra symbol and its guided message and meaning. Bresi-Ando says these cards are specifically poised to help harness your ancestral power and connect to the spirit world on a deeper, more accurate and personal level making these the perfect gift for that more spiritually inclined person in your life.
photo from: bresi-ando.com
Because what is life without a good GLOW? Nothing, really. This lightweight, balancing moisturizer is made with all the best ingredients. One of the best features about the moisturizer is that it is made with aloe vera gel that helps to balance the overall pH of your skin. The aloe vera gel mixed with the lavender + evening primrose are the key ingredients to providing the greatest glow.
photo from: basebutter.com
Since holiday season does coincide with wintertime you can almost always find me layered up with a cozy pullover and I'm sure this is true for a loved one in your life. However, you can't just have them laying around in any old pullover. That's why you need to get them some apparel from Philadelphia Print Works. If I had to describe Philadelphia Print Works with one phrase I would say... "fashion.. but make it a form of social activism." Philadelphia Print Works is a social justice heritage brand and screen printing workshop that produces sweatshirts, shirts, totes, and more that commemorates some of the greatest change makers such as Audre Lorde and James Baldwin.
photo from: philadelphiaprintworks.com
Similar to Bresi-Ando's deck of guidance cards this book of daily affirmations offers daily guidance and affirmation for your every day needs. This book is one of my faves because the affirmations were created with Black people in mind.
What's the saying floating around the internet these days? Drink your water, mind your business, and stay moisturized? Well this decadent all purpose hair and body oil will definitely help you with the latter. The oil comes in the most decorative bottle adorned with various flowers because after all it is considered a floral oil blend made with marula oil, maracuja oil, and calendula extract. This floral blend has a range of different uses from reviving brittle hair to soothing irritated, dry skin.
photo from: butterskin.com
photo from: puresheastore.com
Maybe the person you're wanting to get a gift for doesn't like body oils + they're more of a shea butter person, no worries because I have you covered. Well technically I don't, but the Pure Shea Store does. Not only do they offer shea butter in a range of different scents, but they also have hair oils and bar soaps amongst many other products.
There's nothing more satisfying than finding a good nude lippie, and honestly it's hard to find one if you're a black or brown girl, but the ladies at Mented Cosmetics have mastered the art of making nudes for my folks blessed with a bit more melanin than others. They have a host of nude shades that come in various different finishes so that you can find the perfect nude to gift to someone else or maybe even yourself.
photo from: mentedcosmetics.com
So maybe the person you're trying to find a gift for isn't really into books, tea, or shea butter. Maybe they're into the finer things in life, like jewelry, specifically handcrafted jewelry that incorporates natural crystals such as amethyst and clear quartz. Laya is constantly creating and producing more merchandise so no two items are ever the same, making each piece unique.
photo from: www.etsy.com/shop/LayaMoon
photo from: blkgrn.com
So you've stuck with me and made it all the way to the end of this list, but maybe nothing really stood out out to you or maybe instead of getting one gift you're feeling generous and want to get several. The amazing team at BLK + GRN have put together holiday gift sets to serve your needs. The different sets include thing like sage, chakra candles, and essential oil blends. BLK + GRN is like Amazon except all the products are 100% non-toxic and safe for your body and the environment AND everything on the site is black owned. Honestly, what more could you ask for? I'll wait.