Looking back on the tumultuous events of 2020, it’s easy to imagine that your loved ones are longing for something cheerful right for Valentine's Day.
2020 was filled with nationwide protests against racial injustice. Meanwhile, reports have shown that the coronavirus pandemic crippling the country has disproportionately affected BIPOC communities. Many Americans began acknowledging the fact that the status quo has long excluded, muted, and underserved the country’s Black citizens.
With this shift in awareness came a concerted effort to amplify the voices of those who’ve been overlooked. Companies of all kinds pledged to boost diversity and inclusion in their business framework, hiring practices, and content. (Read The Spruce’s Pledge here.)
Black-owned businesses, creatives and artisans were thrust into the spotlight as publications, social media platforms, and consumers alike began focusing on representation.
As part of our commitment to highlighting BIPOC creators, we’ve compiled a Valentine's Day gift guide featuring homewares created by Black artists, sold at Black-owned stores, or both. Some products incorporate centuries-old African designs, while others take their cues from the current zeitgeist.
Everyone from toddlers to in-laws to co-workers is covered here. You’ll find artwork to make their walls Zoom-ready, throw blankets to keep them warm, and tools to foster their latest at-home hobby. There’s something unique for every budget and aesthetic—whether your giftee’s style is minimalist, whimsical, or traditional.
By adding these items to your shopping list, you’ll be supporting Black-owned indie businesses and giving your friends and family the gift of some much-needed holiday cheer. And if you want to throw in one of these presents for yourself, that’s quite alright … you deserve some cheer, too!
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L.A. home décor haven Effortless Composition boasts a wide range of giftable goodies, but this set of glasses just screams “date night.” Dim the lights, pour yourselves something smooth and raise a toast to your romantic evening.
Buy: $35, Effortless CompositionContinue to 5 of 26 below.
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Pop something lovely and leafy in this sturdy, ankara-printed cotton pot and you’ve got a great gift. What’s more, this design from London-based Etsy seller OsimeHome has a dozen other handy uses — it can hold everything from utensils in the kitchen to beauty supplies in the bathroom.
Buy: $31.30, Etsy
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Self-care advocate Tarisha Clark created this set of 30 cards to act as daily pep talks. Give this gift of positivity to a loved one, or even to yourself, if you need a reminder of your own greatness. Bonus: Your purchase can help benefit the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, as part of Uncommon Goods’ Better to Give program.
Buy: $15, Uncommon Objects
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This print by artist Emma Hall is simple, but makes a big impact. If you’re looking for something heartwarming that’s a good fit for any kind of recipient — from Grandma to grade schooler — look no further.
Buy: $49.80, EtsyContinue to 9 of 26 below.
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Cue up Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” when it’s time to give this precious, yet practical gift and you’re sure to get bonus points for presentation. It’s a solar-powered tool that can light the way through darkness, or brighten up a gray winter’s day.
Buy: $26, Goodee
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Large Paper Vase
Add some modern flair to the traditional bouquet of red roses. This avant-garde vase is made of water-resistant paper, hand sewn, and can be reused time and again. Find it at beachy Southampton boutique Hidden Gem.
Buy: $25, Hidden Gem NY
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Give the gift of blossoms that will stand the test of time. Artist Jasmine Irons-Anokute creates made-to-order art featuring pressed and framed real flowers. Each piece is as unique as your special someone.
Buy: $130, Etsy
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Roses are red, violets are blue. Now you can teach your littlest Valentine about loving veggies, too. This kit includes organic seeds for growing carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil, plus a set of paints to decorate the four terra cotta pots.
Buy: $29.99, Black Toy StoreContinue to 13 of 26 below.
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Brooklyn-based British designer Simone Bresi-Ando makes one-of-a-kind home decor pieces. Her West African-inspired cotton cushions are just the thing to liven up any sofa that’s gotten a little shabby after months of the shelter-at-home couch potato routine.
Buy: $180, Uncommon GoodsContinue to 17 of 26 below.
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The macrame trend is still going strong and Iowa-based textile artist Candice Luter is making the most of it. Her fiber wall hangings feature avant-garde shapes and configurations, while some—like her “fringe mirrors”—are practical to boot. She can also dye one of her natural cotton rope creations to the color of your choice.
Buy: $215, Etsy
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From old-school players to new-school fools, this playful print drops science by honoring some of the most elemental figures in rap. MC Lyte, The Roots, Tupac, and E-40 are just a few of the faces clustered together on this frame worthy grid.
Buy: $30, The Black Toy Store
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Buy: $30, Society6Continue to 21 of 26 below.
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This organic cotton runner was handmade in Mali and makes for a stately setting for any holiday feast. Each design is unique and the runner is machine washable, so you can rid it of turkey gravy or sweet potato pie stains and reuse it for many meals to come.
Buy: $50, xN Studio
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Award-winning children’s book author-illustrator Christian Robinson has poured his creativity into a whole host of colorful, thoughtful and uplifting books for kids. Each of his pages feels like a work of art, so it’s no wonder that they make for perfect prints, just right for a nursery or playroom.
Buy: $30, Gallery NucleusContinue to 25 of 26 below.
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Nestled inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Sweet Home Café showcases the rich culinary legacy of the Black American diaspora, from traditional soul food to modern creations. The café’s official cookbook includes such map-spanning recipes as Hoppin’ John, Senegalese peanut soup, and barbecued beef brisket sandwich.
Buy: $30, Smithsonian Store
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Artist Hilton Carter designed this apron with his fellow plant lovers in mind. It’s made with American Cone denim, and sturdy hand-worked leather pockets that can hold pens, tools, gloves, and more. Plus, the removable leather straps feature a sliding toggle for easy size adjustments.
Buy: $100, Things by HC