It’s that time of year when everyone is busy shopping and trying to score the biggest deals on gifts for friends, family and colleagues. I haven’t assembled a holiday gift guide in years, but this year – I felt called to assemble a list of small, black-owned business that I am looking to support.
I’ve had a spreadsheet of businesses that I’ve been putting together over the past few years and I want to share it with YOU. I’ve met the owner of every one of these businesses or seen them vend at events so I’ve been able to touch, see, feel, or experience their work.
I hope you enjoy this list and check out many of these businesses while you are busy shopping throughout this holiday season!
And while you’re here, don’t forget to check out the Manifest Yourself shop for our affirmation cards and workbook to help you create a 90-day action plan to achieve your goals.
*** indicates that I’ve purchased from this black owned business in the past or I currently use the products/services***
ELO | www.elolipcare.com ***
The Artisanal Vegan Lifestyle Brand comprised of ultra moisturizing wax-free lip care and exquisite alcohol-free home fragrance.
*I’m a lip care junkie and these are quickly becoming a staple in my purse.
THE LIP BAR | www.thelipbar.com ***
Vegan, Cruelty Free Lip Colors that are beautiful on every complexion.
*I personally own Bawse Lady, Merlot, Prime Donna, Goddess, and Curl Friend.
MISCHO BEAUTY | www.mischobeauty.com
Mischo Beauty is a pioneer of clean luxury, offering award-winning, richly hued and high performance nail lacquers. We are committed to our philosophy to do no harm as we innovate across the beauty landscape.
HAIR + SKIN
BB BOMBS | www.bbbombs.com/ ***
Here at BB Bombs we create quality bath & body products that smell amazing as well as makes your skin feel amazing! We strive to use the best quality ingredients possible while still making our simple luxuries affordable. Whether it is our colorful, moisturizing bath bombs or our subtly scented oils, we are determined to make bootys better one bomb at a time!
*I personally own Radiant Oil and the Detox Sugar Scrub.
BGLH MARKETPLACE | www.bglh-marketplace.com
BGLH Marketplace was created by veteran beauty blogger Leila Noelliste. We have so many lovely butters, it can be hard to choose just one. Shea, mango and/or cocoa butter combined with coconut oil, almond oil and essential oils and whipped to a light, fluffy texture that absorbs right into the skin. Incredibly rich and fragrant, a few dabs of these butters will have your entire body glowing and smelling divine.
EDEN BODYWORKS | www.edenbodyworks.com ***
EDEN BodyWorks was the brainchild of Jasmine Lawrence when she was just a child herself. At 11 years old, Jasmine faced her first beauty challenge. Her hair was badly damaged and she was searching for natural products to nurture and restore her hair back to health. With no solution in sight, Jasmine took to her kitchen and concocted her own remedy. And there, the EDEN BodyWorks story begins.
EDEN BodyWorks™ provides natural products that integrate wellness and beauty inspired by nature to restore and maintain the hair and body’s original design.
*I’ve used nearly every line of this brand! I’m currently using the Hibiscus Honey Curl Hydration line and I’m a huge fan of the deep conditioners in the Coconut Shea line. EDEN is also a 2019 Empowerment Social sponsor!
EVE MILAN | www.evemilanny.com
Eve Milan New York™ is a natural, high performance skincare line created by experienced Esthetician Eden Gilliam that’s designed to restore confidence back into your skin so you can wear makeup because you want to, not because you have to.
*I’ve personally used The Lacial Masque™ Brightening and loved it! Use code MANIFEST to receive free shipping on your order.
LUV SCRUB | www.theluvscrub.com***
Our mission is for you to reveal your best skin yet. Why? Because you deserve the best. Bath tools on the market are just not good enough. Loofahs and washcloths do not even come close. That is why it is so important that you know about this magical mesh. We want it to be a part of your morning routine just like other West Africans. There is nothing like it.
*I LOVE THIS PRODUCT! I recently purchased one at an event, and I can feel the difference in the texture of my skin after only 2 uses. The founder noted that I may not ever go back to getting Korean body scrubs.
M ROZE ESSENTIALS | www.mroze.com ***
Clean out your drawers and makeup bag. Simplify your daily skincare regimen with natural simple products that work throughout the day to build better skin. M Roze Essentials are designed for busy women who need the best everyday products.
*I purchased the entire line in June 2018, and I’ve been using it ever since! I credit this regime for helping me get my skin in order for my August 2018 wedding.
NEXT OF KIM | www.nextofkimbeauty.com ***
NOK Natural Body Care evolved when Kim Hill stopped mixing records and started mixing ingredients. It’s your new Luxury, elevated, natural, organic, vegan regiment. What’s next for you?
*I’m a huge fan of the NOK Lip Conditioner in Bergamot Ginger.
SCOTCH PORTER | www.scotchporter.com ***
We continue to build out our fresh, handmade better-for-you grooming products; solutions to the REAL issues you face daily. We develop products to enhance the everyday guy’s experience, because, well—we’re guys. We understand how painful ingrown hairs are. And how you want your skin to be moisturized without being greasy. Or how embarrassing it can be if your meat’s not as fresh as it should be—no bueno.
We’re married to the idea that men should be able to take care of themselves and not have to break the bank. That they shouldn’t have to use products packed with harmful chemicals just to look and feel like a boss.
So that’s our promise to you. To provide healthier, good-for-you and your body products, that are highly effective and easy to use—the rest as they say, is up to you. Stay fresh.
*Scotch Porter has my husband smelling amazing! Even after 24 hours – his beard still smells great. I’ve purchased the Beard Balm, Smoothing Beard Serum, and the Mineral Enriched Body Collection for my husband… and he loves it!
T-ROOTS BEAUTY | www.trootsbeauty.com
T-Roots is a handcrafted line of hair and skincare products made from the very best in nature. Developed for a range of hair and skin textures, our products are filled with soothing butters, rich oils and nourishing botanicals.
We understand that the relationship with our hair and skin goes well beyond what’s on the surface. So it’s our mission to create affordable, gentle products that are free of unnecessary fillers to allow your inner beauty to shine through.
CLOTHING + ACCESSORIES
CEE CEE’S CLOSET | www.ceeceesclosetnyc.com
Cee Cee’s Closet NYC was created by Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo in New York City. Join us in celebrating the beauty of West African prints through our unique accessories. Our accessories are designed by us and handmade by artisans in Nigeria. Having our accessories made in Nigeria allows Cee Cee’s Closet NYC to have a transformative impact on the lives of our artisan partners.
MESS IN A BOTTLE | www.messinabottle.com ***
Through MESSages on our apparel, we give a voice to the voiceless. We speak up for the individuals who don’t have a voice. We create MESSages that are emotional, thought provoking and expressive to the current climate of the world.
Our visions is to create MESSages that can relate to anyone; no matter their age, race, gender, nationality, or religious beliefs.
*** I’ve purchased a few sweatshirts and t-shirts from this brand and they are always a hit!
RAW HANDBAGS | www.rawhandbags.com
RAW is the abbreviation for Recognize A Woman. RAW Handbags are unique handmade designer statement making handbags that will compliment your wardrobe. RAWH are designed for ALL women to; “Wear fearlessly, Spread womanhood and Inspire other women to be phenomenal.” Each handbag is named after a powerful iconic woman, creating an inspiring relationship between the woman wearing the bag and the woman the bag is inspired by.
REBECCA ALLEN | www.rebecca-allen.com
Frustrated by the lack of options, I scoured swatches and borrowed my friends’ feet to find five nude shades to complement women from dark to light, particularly all my brown ladies. You can, of course, wear any and all shades you choose!
I developed the New Pump to be timeless and wearable all year long. It’s also wearable all DAY long, with a cushioned insole and a 75mm heel. I want you to walk into your office with confidence. I want to give you one less thing to think about when you are rushing in the morning.
TEES IN THE TRAP | www.teesinthetrap.com ***
Tees in the Trap was founded in the Spring of 2014 in order to highlight hip-hop, popular culture and everyday life – from a woman’s perspective. We are a little trendy somewhat edgy and always fly.
Our story is simple. We are in love with tees and pop culture and we hope you are too.
Whether is the latest catch phrase, reality tv show or current event, we’ve got you covered – literally. We create our own trends and set the standard on what it means to be dope. Rock your own style. Don’t be afraid to take chances and do you. #BLOOP
*Tees in the Trap is home to many of my favorite branded collaborations! I’ve purchased several t-shirts from them since their launch.
CROWN CANDLE CO. | www.crowncandleco.com ***
Crown Candle Co.is based in Bronx, NY. All of our candles are made with 100% coconut wax which burn cleaner and brighter than any other wax type. Each candle is hand poured in small batches to ensure quality and consistency. 100% cotton wicks and high quality, phthalate free fragrance oils are used to ensure that our candles burn clean and produce toxin free scents.
Crown Candle Co., was born out of my desire to do something to pay homage to my grandparents who were huge influences in my life.
*The founder of this company is a CLOSE friend of mind – so I may be biased. BUT I’m a huge fan of Excite, Refresh, and the Vibe collaboration candle.
EFFIE’S PAPER | www.effiespaper.com
Effie’s Paper, Stationery & Whatnot is a lifestyle brand setting the trend for the cool accessories to buy, how to travel in style and how much coffee it’s chic to drink on a daily basis.
We believe that from the door to her desk, a woman should be surrounded by pretty things that make her heart leap! Our products are a unique mix of casual elegance, motivation and social conversation that make using them fun and engaging. Although named after Kalyn’s grandmother,Effie’s Paper, Stationery & Whatnot is not your grandmother’s lifestyle brand!
LIT BROOKLYN | www.litbklyn.co ***
Denequa Williams is the maker and owner of luxury soy candle company, LIT Brooklyn. Every candle is candle is hand poured, packaged, and shipped from Brooklyn. Within a year of it’s existence, she has been featured in some of your favorite publications, Essence, Ebony, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed & more.
*I have several of Denequa’s candles in my home, but my favorite would have to be Blush!
JAM + RICO | www.jamandrico.com
Established since June 2016, Jam+Rico is a fashion jewelry company providing bold, unique and colorful designs. We travel to the Caribbean and Latin American countries finding inspiration from the people, culture, music and terrain. Our mission is to provide thoughtfully created accessories to enhance your fashion wardrobe. Our pieces bring joy to the wearer and evoke confidence and beauty to each individual.
Jam+Rico stands for Jamaica + Puerto Rico, the plus sign symbolizes the depth of the culture of the Creator of Jam+Rico.
LORRAINE WEST | www.lorrainewestjewelry.com
Made from precious metals including gold, sterling silver, brass and copper and inspired by symbology and geometric shapes, Lorraine West creates strikingly elegant pieces that allow clients to connect to their own beauty and power. Lorraine West Jewelry is proudly handmade in NYC with Love.
SEWIT SIUM | www.sewitsium.com
Sewit Sium jewelry was born to uphold this idea that fashion is language and a powerful form of storytelling. Each hand crafted piece takes us on a journey through history, while embodying a story that is relevant to our lives today. The line includes powerful amulets and talismans that anchor us in the present moment, only to say “I’m here but my history walks with me.”
LAMBDA VODKA | www.lambdavodka.com ***
Spirits are one of the primary sources of social entertainment and togetherness for people from all different cultures. Two love birds saw an open market in the LGBTQ Community, that lead them to launch a spirit created for “all communities” by “our communities” called Lambda Vodka.
*I haven’t purchased a bottle as yet, but I tried their vodka at an event this season and LOVED it! This would make a great hostess gift!
LOVE CORK SCREW | www.lovecorkscrew.com ***
As seen on CNBC’s “The Job Interview”, LCS Entertainment, LLC is a wine and lifestyle brand dedicated to offering consumers wine, entertainment, and other products and services. LCS Entertainment, LLC provides consumers a line of Love Cork Screw wine varietals that offer the sophisticated and novice wine enthusiasts a range of choices for any palate. Each sleek wine bottle is colorful, whimsical and fun. LCS Entertainment, LLC is a certified MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) and a WBE (Women Business Enterprise).
*I haven’t purchased a bottle as yet, but I tried their entire line at an event this season and LOVED the flavors. They were unique and would make a great hostess gift!
BETH DIANA SMITH INTERIOR DESIGN | www.bethdianasmith.com ***
Beth possessed a natural ability for creating functionality, efficiency, and organization from a very young age, an ability that she carried into adulthood. During her years in corporate finance Beth was also a homeowner. It was during this time that she discovered an appreciation of color, pattern, and texture; a love for beautiful things and problem solving; and a passion for interior design. Beth decided to pursue her passion, launch her interior design company and began attending the New York School of Interior Design. She nurtured her creativity and her craft, began building her brand, and her design aesthetic became apparent and loved. A design style that was eclectic, bold, and that had a vibe all of its own.
Beth, her work, and her design advice have been featured on TV and in various print and online publications including NBC, HGTV, Vogue.com, EBONY, Design*Sponge, and The New York Times.
*While I haven’t hired Beth to work on my home, I’ve worked closely with her for various installs and witnessed the fabulous work she’s done on the homes of people in my community. She’s first on my list when we purchase our first home or move into a new apartment.
BODY LAB TV | www.bodylab.tv ***
The BodyLab is the place for high energy, motivational fitness to help you get in shape for a happier YOU. Best of all, it’s convenient! Together we’ll work toward reshaping your day to day routine to get you living the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. We also provide online fitness challenges, fitness & nutrition tips and live motivational workouts via BodyLabTV. Workouts vary in style and technique: Home or Gym training, HIIT, circuit bodyweight, weights, plyometrics and more.
*I trained with Nardia, Body Lab TV, during summer 2018 and had a great experience. If you’re not based in the New Jersey area, she also has a app where she’s able to provide training and support to clients virtually that I’ve also used!
FIT GIRL NIKKI | www.fitgirlnikki.com ***
You ever get fed up with yourself? I did. My age and my waistline seemed directly related; they both were nearly 30 when I decided to take control. I went from a overweight, french fry addict, cigarette smoker who only wanted to lose 10lbs to an athletic french fry addict who has lost over 40lbs of fat.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” -Zig Ziglar
*If you’re looking to give the gift of fitness in the new year, I highly recommend reaching out to Nikki! I’ve trained with her AND I’ll be on her 2019 FitCation to Mexico.
KIMBERLY B. CUMMINGS | www.kimberlybcummings.com ***
Kimberly B. Cummings is an entrepreneur, speaker, and career + leadership coach. Her personal and professional development company, Manifest Yourself, LLC, provides in-person and virtual workshops, trainings, and coaching to professionals looking to lead a dynamic career and life. Through her experience as a career development adviser in some of the nation’s top universities, she has learned that there is so much more to career development besides having a high paying job; it’s about creating a lifestyle that allows you to do more, be more, and achieve more.
If you’re looking for career + leadership development to ensure that your next career move, if your best career move – reach out to Kimberly! Whether you’re looking for a new job, trying to get seen my senior leadership, or get promoted – she’s able to help!
*This is me! #sorrynotsorry Check out my personal site to learn more about services and view testimonials from past clients.
OH NIKI OCCASIONS | www.ohnikioccasions.com ***
I founded Oh Niki Occasions to proposition clients like you with my unique set of skills in planning and designing weddings and events with a penchant for the details – “Head to Toe, Start to Finish.” Nothing beats being able to draw from my passions for fashion, world travel, beautiful events and exciting experiences, to lend my well trained eye for design to YOU! I want to make every single detail of your wedding or special event beautiful and memorable – head to toe, start to finish!!
*Oniki was my wedding planner AND is now the official Empowerment Social event planner. When she says head to toe, start to finish – she means it! If you’re planning any events – I wouldn’t trust anyone else with the execution and details.
If you know any brands that I should add to this list, please comment below!