For myself and many others across the globe, this holiday season will undoubtedly look different than in the past. The holidays are, for me, normally an excuse to binge-watch holiday movies, eat endless amounts of peppermint bark, and spend an unlimited amount of time decorating the house while blasting Mariah Carey’s greatest Christmas hits. With the recent loss of my Mother, my feeling of anticipation for the holidays has shifted, and I am left searching for a way to reconnect with my holiday cheer.
My mother and I were always the dynamic duo when it came to the holiday season. We would tag-team decorating the Christmas tree, shopping for gifts, and cooking our two biggest dinners of the year. It became our little tradition to do these tasks together and it was always something I looked forward to when I came back home. Although it is difficult to think of getting through Thanksgiving or Christmas without her physically here, I know she is with me spiritually and watching over me as I continue our traditions.
One way that I have rediscovered my holiday excitement is through shopping from Black-owned businesses. I have always made it a point to support them, especially those that are small and local, but this year I wanted to make it a priority to only add Black-owned products to my shopping lists. There are so many incredible businesses out there to support, and it has awakened my holiday spirit to discover new (at least new to me!) Black-owned brands. A few picks that are currently in my cart are the #DEARBLACKGIRL Moisture Kit from Belle Bar Organics, Black is Beautiful bucket hat from Savant Studios, and the Checker and Gradient Satin Pillowcases from Flex Factory.
Another way I have been finding joy for the holidays is through connecting with my peers within the fashion community. There is nothing like the kinship of community to remind you of what truly matters this holiday season. Below, 7 tastemakers of the fashion community on what Black-owned items they are buying and why, in hopes of inspiring you to do the same.
Alexander-Julian Gibbson, Fashion/Travel Editor and Stylist
There are multiple viable markers of support, but as great as emotional and moral support can be, nothing reigns more supreme than financial in a world run by money. Using my dollar to support these brands is the best way to celebrate the creativity, tenacity, and ingenuity of these Black-owned companies’ owners. Creating an environment where they can thrive creates a world where younger people of color can aspire to thrive and innovate too.
Becky Akinyode, Stylist and Creative Consultant
Christmas means a moment for me to be with my family. I get so sentimental and like to reflect on the past year. This year has truly been one for books, but it’s still important for me to count my blessings and be hopeful for what’s to come. I think it’s important to support Black-owned businesses because systemic racism makes it hard for us to succeed, and there’s nothing I love more than seeing Black people thriving. It’s a beautiful thing and I try to do my part to support that in any way I can.
Mario Horne, Creative Director and Consultant
During the holiday season, I make an effort to invest my time and energy into creating life-long memories that bring genuine happiness to the ones I love the most. This time of year reminds me just how fortunate and thankful I am to not only feel the emotion of love, but to know that I am loved.