11 Places To Buy Black This Holiday Season
This year, we all need to make a conscious effort to keep our black dollars in our black communities by supporting black-owned businesses on Black Friday and the entire holiday season. Listen, after we, the culture aka Black Twitter, bought every juicy chicken sandwich from Popeyes causing them to sell out in just two weeks, we proved that black buying power is as strong as Beyonce's wig glue.
For years, we have heralded the day after Thanksgiving as the holy grail of sales and the first day of Christmas season shopping. Remember when Issa Rae said she was rooting for everybody black at the Emmys? Well, it's time to keep that same energy while throwing items in your bag or cart.
Scroll through our black AF list from clothing to candles to wine to extensions to so many more. We have supplied you with some of dope businesses to support this holiday season!
For The Aspiring Sommelier: Love Cork Screw
They say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice and that's why supporting Chrishon Lampley, wine enthusiast and founder of Love Cork Screw, will be the sweetest thing you will do this year. Offering five wine varieties, LCS bottles range in prices from $12 to $17. You've got choices like the sweet Riesling Head Over Heels, the American white table wine Touch the Sky, and the unforgettable rosé We Go High. More than anything, you should support Chrishon's LCS movement not only because she's a black woman in wine, but also because she uses her platform to mentor young women and promising entrepreneurs by sharing her journey.
What's better than a bottle of wine made from love and light? LCS has gift sets intermixed with two wine varietals, a Love Cork Screw candle and a Body Butter, perfect for that wine-lover in your friend group.
For The Vibe Queen: Alexandria Winbush
Because mental health matters, Brittney Winbush created Alexandra Winbush to shift our thoughts on this tough topic through mood-boosting candles and spirit-lifting teas. After surviving a house fire that threw her into depression and anxiety, she decided to share the piece of peace that got her through it. The founder told Coveted Style that the best part about her business is being able to help people have a sense of peace in the midst of craziness. Brittney recalled receiving a message from a customer saying that she was having a pretty mad day and as soon as she lit her candle, she felt better and more at peace. And that's what Britney affirms is the best part of her company.
The candle fills your space up with amazing aromas, inspirational sayings, and vibe-approved playlist.
For The Weave Connoisseur: XOXO Virgin Hair
Wigs and extensions are the wave these days, so the once negative shock factor of wearing a wig is now as popular as Megan Thee Stallion's knees. Fashion model turned CEO Stephanie Nolan has always had an obsession with hair and its quality and longevity. Through collaborations with BET, Adidas and Lusters Hair Care, she learned that she could elevate hair extensions by making them ideal for the use of thermal tools, frequent styling and chemical alterations. Stephanie developed a collection that is 100 percent pure – free of chemicals or synthetic fillers to imitate natural hair.
We all love luxurious bundles and these locks are approved by some of our favorite beauty mavens like Jordyn Woods, Solange, Michaela Coel, Jackie Aina and many more. Use code XOXO on Black Friday for 40% off!
For The Skincare Enthusiast: Touch Body Works
You could go to Bath & Body Works or you could give Touch Body Works a chance. Your face, skin and body will thank you for switching it up. TBW's mission is, "To offer the best natural skincare and haircare available. We believe in making products that are good for your body and for the environment. We believe in using only all-natural, sustainable ingredients that are plant-based and/or cruelty-free. We believe in showing the better side of natural beauty. Sans the chemicals, sans the clinical and sterile emotions, and sans the pretentious prices."
Throw some items in the bag for yourself, your significant other, your family or whoever appreciates the charm of authentic skin products.
For The Artsy Creative: Abeille Creations
Self-taught artist Melissa Mitchell creates electrifying art that you can hang on your wall or drape on your body. There isn't a mural, canvas, headwrap, kimono or pair of Spanx she hasn't slayed. If you're looking for a wildly unique gift to give this season, Abeille Creations is a great place to start. Since Melissa was a youngin', she has found ways to incorporate bright colors and funky lines in her pieces because it's her favorite way to express herself. Her pieces exude confidence and personality which supports her goal of empowering everyone to rock her designs in all spaces from boardrooms to brunches.
For The Cannabis Enthusiast: Mary & Main
*sings* Mary Jay-aaaaannnneeeeeee! Marijuana, Mary Jane, cannabis, weed or whatever you call it – it is one of the most beautiful plants on this earth with its immense healing properties. While you can cop it from different places, we wanted to equip you with a black-owned dispensary. Not sure if you know but Hope Wiseman was the youngest, African-American dispensary owner back in 2018 when she opened Mary & Main.
If you have a patient card, you can order premium quality cannabis products with exemplary and compassionate service.
For The Shoe Diva: Aminah Abdul Jillil
The Alaskan native started her first collection in 2012 after touring the world with Brittney Spears. Aminah loves to share her creativity through her shoe designs and has ever since she made her first sandal. We are pretty sure you have seen her designs as she is infamous for a large structured bow on a killer shoe. Aminah recalls her inspiration for the first shoe during an interview with Fustany, "The Aminah Abdul Jillil bow pumps were actually the bow sandals first. My husband bought me a purse for my birthday one year, which had a huge leather bow detail that I absolutely fell in love with! So I'd mostly gotten my inspiration from that purse and made a pair of sandals with black leather bows around the ankles."
Style these glamorous pumps or sandals with a simple little black dress or with a graphic tee and distressed jeans.
For The SJW: GreenBoxShop
Green Box Shop
Say it with your chest is a real thing and doing it with a GreenBoxShop is the way to do it. The badass brand was made extremely popular after Frank Ocean's 2017 Panorama set and was conceived by Kayla Robinson in her small apartment after searching for tees that conveyed her true feelings about social justice. She couldn't find any so she made them herself. GreenBoxShop began as a way for her to raise money to become a certified yoga instructor. To Kayla's surprise, she became a well-received t-shirt activist which is helping her delve into urban farming. Her endgame: making healthy and home-grown food more accessible in the many food deserts in our country.
Head over to the shop to add some fire tees to your cart.
For The Avid Reader: Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery
Semicolon came about when author, editor and PhD Danielle Mullen shared her dream of being surrounded by books and art. What's in a name? Danielle told the Chicago Review of Books, "I love the idea of a sentence's ability to continue forward whenever the author so chooses. It's so applicable to other aspects of life, which is what I thought made it perfect for the space I was creating." Danielle uses the store as an asset for budding and self-published authors; if they need to print a manuscript in a pinch, Semicolon is the place to go as it houses an Espresso Book Machine, that prints up to 450 pages in minutes.
Danielle has created a space for artists and authors alike to come and build rapport. Best of all, you can order books online from the Chi-Town store.
For The Makeup Maven: Coloured Raine
Loraine R Dowdy left a major bag in the financial industry to create Coloured Raine in 2013. She was one of the first brands to be inclusive of all shades and hues. Coloured Raine differs from other beauty brands with its exceptionally made products that also don't put your account in the negative. We are sure the makeup lover in your life would love this as a gift!
For The Style Maven: Nichole Lynel
Nichole always wanted to be a fashion designer so she used her last to launch her website, Shop Nichole Lynel, to continue to pursue her dreams. She told us earlier this year, "I was always told how hard it was, but I realized the only thing that was really hard was going to work every day and hating it. If it's going to be hard, it might as well be something hard that I actually love. I started at the top floor and knocked on every door until someone told me 'yes'. It took months between the initial idea and the actual launch date. Stepping out on your own is a whole 'nother thing."
The brand is more of a lifestyle than simple clothing options. Nichole's online boutique is what happens when luxury and lifestyle collide. From exclusive pants sets to haute couture dresses, you can find something for every event or avenue in your life.
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Joce Blake is a womanist who loves fashion, Beyonce and Hot Cheetos. The sophistiratchet enthusiast is based in Brooklyn, NY but has southern belle roots as she was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Keep up with her on Instagram @joce_blake and on Twitter @SaraJessicaBee.
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Actress Arsema Thomas (Arséma Adeoluwayemi Hamera) may be new to the acting scene, but the star's standout performance in Netflix's limited series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is already leaving a lasting impression among many.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, a prequel to Bridgerton, follows the young queen's life as her marriage to King George of England sparks an epic love affair and a societal shift.
In the drama, Thomas portrays the role of a young Lady Agatha Danbury, a close friend and confidant of Queen Charlotte, and it also depicts Lady Danbury's journey.
The series showcases the struggles Lady Agatha Danbury experienced in her lifetime. The list includes being forced to partake in a loveless marriage to a former African king Herman Danbury, becoming a widow, and possibly losing her estate and title following her husband's death.
Since Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story debuted on Netflix earlier this month, it has dominated the streaming service's top ten charts and piqued fans' interest in the show's stars, including Thomas.
Although many may not know a lot about the Atlanta native, who goes by she/they pronouns, and how she became one of the breakout stars in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, still, with the recent promotional tour Thomas has been doing for the show, she has shared some shocking details about her life.
Thomas' revelations within the past several months include details about her educational pursuits, previous work experience, her African culture, the steps she took to prepare for her role as Lady Agatha Danbury, and many more.
Arsema On Her African Heritage
Thomas, who is Nigerian and Ethiopian, is the daughter of diplomats.
The 28-year-old's parents, consisting of an Ethiopian mother and a Nigerian father, worked in the government to improve Africa's economic development.
Due to her parents' professions, the actress moved around a lot and lived in various countries like Kenya, Benin, Comoros, Uganda, and India, which exposed her to social issues. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Thomas opened up about having conversations about politics and government at a young age.
"Dinner table conversations were about politics, about African governance. I realized that in a lot of the countries I lived in, the effects of colonialism and imperialism were so blatantly obvious. That became the driving force for what I thought I should be doing as an adult," she said.
Later Thomas would ultimately reveal that her parents' work had inspired her to become a "doctor or something" because she wanted to make them proud.
Arsema Attended Carnegie Mellon University and Yale University
Prior to pursuing acting, Thomas revealed to Shondaland that she was a college graduate.
In 2016, she received her bachelor's degree in biophysics from Carnegie Mellon University. Following her graduation, Thomas interned at a mobile health clinic and a refugee camp in Kenya for over a year.
Around the same time, the star would continue her education by getting her master's in epidemiology and health policy at Yale University. Thomas disclosed that despite the educational success that she has achieved, acting became her main priority when she realized that this is something she could envision herself doing "100 percent of the time." This decision led Thomas to relocate to Paris, South Africa, and then to London to study drama.
"I packed up everything and moved to Paris because I wanted to do acting 100 percent of the time," she stated. "It was always something I had wanted to do, [but] I didn't think I would be able to. I thought it was going to be a hobby or a thing that I'd have to suppress in myself for the rest of my life."
Thomas would land her first role in 2021 as a guest star on the television series One Touch. Shortly after, she would participate in the 2022 film Redeeming Love as the character Rebecca. The rest would be history because, around that time, Thomas would receive the life-changing role of Lady Agatha Danbury in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
Arsema On How She Prepared for Her Role In Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
When the opportunity for Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story came along, Thomas took various steps to transform into Lady Agatha Danbury.
The actress, who has admitted to never seeing Bridgerton in the past, told Cosmopolitan UK's Up Close series that because she wasn't familiar with the fictionalized character, she decided to find things that she thought Lady Agatha Danbury would resonate with.
It includes reading books about women by well-known female authors who have made history in their own right, creating a Spotify playlist with music that Lady Agatha Danbury could listen to, and having waist beads made for her character.
"There was a lot of stuff I needed to get into this role because the character is fictional. So I read a ton of books about women or by women, that I thought that Agatha Danbury would resonate. So I read 'Ain't I A Woman' by Bell Hooks. I read Angela Davis' autobiography. I read Assata Shakur's autobiography, 'Tar Baby' by Toni Morrison, 'Eyes Are Watching God,' and 'Vaga Bonds' by Eloghosha Osunde. I made an extensive Spotify playlist, and I got waist beads made for Agatha," she explained.
Further in the interview, Thomas mentioned that she had waist beads made for Lady Danbury and wore them throughout the filming process because it helped ground her as she portrayed the character whom she described as entirely different from who she is as a person.
"It was a Nigerian woman threading these beads, and I asked her to thread beads specifically for this character, and I wore it throughout the entirety of filming," she said. "Because it was just kind of was a physical grounding point to this woman that is really, really actually far from who I am as an individual."
Thomas shared that talking to her grandmother, who had a similar background to Lady Danbury, such as having an arranged marriage at a young age, also helped her prepped for the role.
"I also talked to my grandmother a lot. I didn't realize how similar she was to this character. Because she was also married off when she was quite young," she revealed. "It was really interesting to kind of talk to someone in my life who I've known, who’s gone through something that is essentially the stripping away of their freedom, and someone who doesn't have any resentment or harbored anger towards the situation."
Arsema Worked At The United Nations
Thomas' work experience is an interesting one. Despite interning at three different health organizations, she previously worked at United Nations Population Fund, according to her Linkedin profile.
United Nations Population Fund's site states that the organization is part of the United Nation's "sexual and reproductive health agency." The gathered information on Thomas' profile says that she was an associate for the company from 2017 to 2018.
Some of Thomas' responsibilities included conducting "policy analyses" for United Nations Population Fund's sustainability and "supporting the regional desk specialist" in the program's division.
Arsema Speaks Five Languages
On top of Thomas' overwhelmingly impressive resume, the actress also speaks five languages.
According to the African publication Bella Naija, Thomas speaks English, Amharic, Yoruba, French, and Spanish. Although Thomas hasn't publicly talked about what inspired her to become multilingual, many can assume it is because of the various locations she has lived in throughout her life and her interest in learning.
Thomas may be a rising star now, but with the facts provided above, the actress has displayed through her work ethic and drive that she can soon become a household name.
Thomas' latest work Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, is now streaming on Netflix.
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