It’s the 1st December, we’ve got our Christmas tree up and we’re feeling pretty festive already (not to mention, cold!) As the big day approaches, we’ve put together a selection of our favourite black-owned businesses that we think would make great gifts this season (p.s. if you’d like to treat us to anything on the list we won’t stop you…)
MDM flow is an amazing hip-hop inspired lipstick brand founded by British Florence Adepoju, a scientist with a keen eye for bold, bright colours that compliment darker skin-tones. Having been frustrated with the options available, she decided to create her own handmade lipstick line.
The lipsticks are bold, gold and sold – I have bought and tried this myself, and can safely say the pigmentation of the lipstick looks absolutely gorgeous with my skin. Try ‘vamp’ for a strong, sexy lip. £18.00 at www.mdmflow.com
TTYA London is a brand for those ‘Taller Than Your Average’, founded by the wonderful Irene Agbontaen. The brand has become the go to fashion label for tall girls who often struggle finding well-fitting staple pieces. Irene’s collection is timeless and can be worn season after season.
Since launching, celebs including Jourda Dunn, Jessie J and Karlie Kloss have worn her pieces! Check out her current offering at www.ttyalondon.com You can also find her range at ASOS, Selfridges & Barney’s. We particularly love the TTYA Wrap Maxi Dress, £65.00 (ttyalondon.com/shop/dresses/ttya-wrap-maxi-dress/)
Edge O’ Beyond
Edge of Beyond is a to-die-for luxury lingerie brand. Founded by Naomi de Haan in 2013, the brand offers luxurious, desirable pieces made with pure silk and French lace. You can also customize your lingerie by adding delicate gold plated jewelry – pretty cool! Even Nicole Kidman has worn EOB. We adore the Elsie Bra, £75 (www.edgeobeyond.com/products/elise-bra), at www.edgeobeyond.com.
And if you want to go all out and spoil someone special, we also are in love with the Iris Kimono (www.edgeobeyond.com/products/iris-kimono), £290.
Dark Sugars is what chocolate dreams are made of. Founded by Nyanga and ‘The Chocolate Man’, Dark Sugars bring the cocoa from Ghana to you. From Cardamon and Orange Truffles to the Liquid Sea Salt Caramel Pearl, Dark Sugars spoils you with a selection that makes it difficult to settle on just one flavor.
Give a chocolate lover the freedom of choice with a gift card, available from £5.00 – £100.00 (we suggest £100..!) online: www.darksugars.co.uk/products/gift-card. And they ship to the States!
Brother Vellies is a black-owned shoe brand with a cause. This sustainable footwear brand, founded by Aurora James who wanted to introduce the world to her favourite African footwear, is handcrafted in South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Not only does the brand produce sustainable shoes and preserve traditions of African cultures, the brand also helps striving artisans in Africa sustain themselves. All shoes are made with sustainable, recycled material and are worth the price. We love the Honey Kaya Short Boots (www.brothervellies.com/products/honey-kaya-short-boot), $695.
Iyoba Body Essentials
This US black owned Apothecary brand offers very affordable natural skin care, and also has hair moisturisers, styling creams, body butters, artisan soaps and more! The products have a heavenly smell, are all made with natural ingredients AND are great for people with skin conditions like eczema. And they ship internationally! We LOVE the Lemongrass Soap (www.iyoba.com/lemongrass-soap), $5,95.
Erica M New York
Founded by Eric Young, this bodywear line that includes bodysuits, tops, hosiery, lingerie and accessories has even been worn by Beyonce herself (note to self, buy the The Mani Bodysuit that Beyonce wore…)
The line offers sexier-than-your-usual pantyhose and ‘forward thinking’ lingerie that is both exciting and luxurious! Why not treat someone to this cute Hanako Bodysuit (ericam.com/product/hanako-bodysuit/) $120, this Christmas!