#BuyBlack Holiday Gift Guide

At the beginning of this year, I told myself that I would make a conscious effort to shop locally, and specifically support black owned businesses.  So for this holiday season, I have curated a gift guide from black-owned businesses that I’ve previously supported or plan on supporting.

Christmas is going to be lit year!  

Gifts When You Want To ‘Treat Yo Self’

From Lia Soy Candle
Image Credit: From Lia

From Lia – “I want every woman who orders from From Lia to see the value in herself and how important she is. I want to encourage you to always be there for yourself. Everyday. The products I make are to encourage you to relax. Burn the candle, use the soaps and look forward to a soak in the tub to gather your thoughts and find the strength to keep pushing toward your goals.”

Image Credit: Addictive Apothecary
Photo credit: Addictive Apothecary

Addictive Apothecary –   “Addictive Apothecary is a family based business.  That was created because of my daughter.  My daughter wanted to have more mommy daughter time.  She asked me if we could make candles together since I was always buying them and often unhappy with them.   We offer all natural products from our candles to our bath and body line.  If it’s not safe for my family to use, it’s not safe for you and your family.  Every single product that we offer is hand crafted to ensure the highest quality possible.”

 

Image Credit: Bask and Bloom Essentials
Image Credit: Bask and Bloom Essentials

Bask & Bloom  – “Bask & Bloom Essentials was founded by Candera Thompson. Candera was born and raised on the island of Abaco, Bahamas where she grew up in a household of many handmade items. Watching her mother and other family members encouraged Candera to start experimenting with her own ingredients for hair, bath and skin care.”

Image Credit: The Nyspiyahd Life
Image Credit: The Nspiyahd Life

 The Nspiyahd Life – “We’re just an everyday family who decided to live an extraordinary life. We work to share the concepts of healing, wholeness and holistic living through all of our works.We aim to present our works in an authentic and beautiful way. From beautifully handcrafted goodness to courses and coaching to help you live better. We make all our products with one aim, to help you live a more Nspiyahd Life.”

Image Credit: Instagram
Image Credit: Instagram

Pear Nova – “Pear Nova LLC is a Chicago based, luxury nail polish brand that boasts timeless collections of 5 free, vegan-friendly, PETA certified shades.”

For the Fly Youngn’s  – Kids Gift Ideas

Image Credit: KaAn Designs
Image Credit: KaAn Designs

KaAn’s designs – “A brand developed by a Mrs.(Ashley), with some help from her Mr.(Kenny), and inspired by the daily adventures of their two little boys Aiden and Noah. In addition to creating pieces that offer functionality and style, it is our goal to create tees that make a statement, and those that have sort of a nostalgic feel. You know for the 90’s kid, turned millennial parent?!”

Image Credit: Ozzie and Olive
Image Credit: Ozzie and Olive

Ozzie Olive  – “Home and Originator of the MYMOMMYISDOPE & MYDADDYISDOPE Tee | CAMOCARGOS & TheToddlerTote”

 

Brown Toy Box – “Our mission…To affirm the beauty and build confidence and self-esteem in Black children.We know that when children have dolls and toys that look like them it changes the way they perceive themselves and those that look like them. Our goal is simple, we want every little brown child to look in the mirror and know that the reflection looking back at  them is a person that is beautiful, worthy and wonderful.”

For the Queens and Mini Queens that like to add a little Flair

Image Credit: Because of Zoe
Image Credit: Because of Zoe

Because of Zoe designs – “I created Because of Zoe Designs when my daughter, Zoe, was just one year old. Inspired by her spunky personality and my love of prints, I set out to create hair accessories that reflected the beauty and playfulness of childhood.  Because of Zoe offers the everyday mom hair accessories that are just as hip, happy and high-spirited as the girls who wear them.”

Image Credit: Gabby Bows
Image Credit: Gabby Bows

Gabby Bows – “The Double-Face Double-Snap Barrette”

Image Credit: Branded by Motif
Image Credit: Branded by Motif

Branded by Motif -“We are on a mission to help others go get life and feel beautiful while doing so. THINGS branded by motif allows us to create art that people can wear, that looks good and has meaning.”

Image Credit: The Wrap Life
Image Credit: The Wrap Life

The Wrap Life – “The Wrap Life was created by Nnenna Stella in Brooklyn, New York.  We’ve shipped thousands of handmade goods to beauties around the world. TWL is about cultivating a life abundant with color, texture, and handmade goods. Most of our products are hand printed or handmade and the proceeds enrich the lives of those who create them.”

For the Woman Who Likes a Little Sass with her Fashion 

Image Credit: Walter Priece (Avah's Closet"
Image Credit: Walter Priece (Avah’s Closet”

Avah’s Closet – “Looking to be stylish with a hint of Culture has never been this easy. Our Collection Features handcrafted bags (handbags, clutches, messenger bags, and weekenders), accessories and clothing using authentic African fabrics. Our pieces are all about making bold statements and you are guaranteed to turn heads when you wear Avah’s Closet. “

Image Credit: Tees In the Trap
Image Credit: Tees In the Trap

Tees in the Trap – “Apparel and home goods inspired by pop culture, hip hop and everyday life. We love good music, reality tv, ratchet quotes, funny memes and celebrity tea.”

Image Credit: Melanin Apparel
Image Credit: Melanin Apparel

Melanin Apparel -“Black Pride T-Shirts, African American T-shirts, Natural Hair T-shirts, African American Apparel, and Afrocentric Clothing shirts, hoodies, tanks and more!”

Image Credit: Dope Christian Tees
Image Credit: Dope Christian Tees

Dope Christian Tees – “The intersection of faith and fashion! We have the dope apparel that represent the kingdom of God!”

Image Credit:
Image Credit: Izzy and Liv

Izzy and Liv -“Izzy & Liv is self-affirming, inspirational, fun, sassy, filled with pop culture references and a bit retro. We design pieces that reflect some of our shared experiences; celebrates the icons we love; reinforces the beauty we possess, and immortalizes the things we can’t get enough of. When you shop at Izzy & Liv, you’re bound to find something that you can relate to!”

For the Your Homegirl that Can Burn in the Kitchen

Image Credit: The Kitchenista
Image Credit: The Kitchenista

The Kitchenista – “Comfort food is my passion and my life revolves around the kitchen! I’m a self-taught home cook, food blogger, recipe developer, food photographer and mom of two residing in Virginia. The Kitchenista Diaries has been my home since 2012, where I’ve shared my personal journey from accountant to culinary entrepreneur. I’m all about taking home cooked meals to the next level.”

Who Doesn’t Need a #SelfCare Day?

Image Credit: Divine Oasis Salon and Spa
Image Credit: Divine Oasis Salon and Spa

Divine Oasis Salon and Spa -“Divine Oasis is a full-service beauty salon and luxury spa dedicated to providing a holistic approach to enhancing the natural beauty of our diverse clientele. We offer a relaxing and inviting salon experience where guests can receive professional consultations, natural hair care, permanent waves and relaxers, precision hair cuts, and hair coloring.”

Image Credit: Anointed Hands Facebook
Image Credit: Anointed Hands Facebook

Anointed Hands – “Getting SomeBody Right! Anointed Hands is your one-stop pamper shop where you can get a relaxing massage, your hair done, and get products to help stay in shape.”

 


Now, I KNOW this list is geared towards the ladies, but you all are my tribe, so naturally, I had to take care of  you. Most of the brands listed above offer men’s apparel, but here are a few ideas specifically for  the men in your lives:

Image Credit: Bevel
Image Credit: Bevel

Bevel – “Bevel, by Walker & Company, provides premium grooming products & services, designed to help reduce razor bumps & skin irritation.”

Image Credit: Super Fresh Clothes
Image Credit: Super Fresh Clothes

Super Fresh -“Superfresh each month releases one to two new shirts or hoods in extremely limited quantities, 36 to be exact. Once a shirt is released on the site a two-week countdown clock immediately starts. Once that clock hits zero the item is considered “spoiled” and get retired to “the freezer” where it will no longer be available to the public. EVER.”


So there you have it! Hopefully, when you are shopping this holiday season, you will check out some of these brands or other black owned business.

Do you know of any other brands I should check out? Leave a link in the comments below!

Also, I feel like I should note, this is NOT a sponsored post. No one paid me (yet!) to endorse their business. I truly think these brands are dope and plan on using them for my Christmas shopping this year.

 

*Click the Image or the Brand’s name to check out their website!*

Until next time,

Shanetra D.

 

 

Avah’s Closet – Tulle & Couture

This past Saturday, I invited to attend Avah’s Closet 3rd Annual Runway Show. Now, if you aren’t familiar with Avah’s Closet, then get your life, then allow me to briefly introduce you.

Avah’s Closet is the fashion brand by designer, Adai Quaye. Adai was born and raised in Ghana and draws her inspiration from her vibrant culture. Her bold pieces are created using Ankara fabric, commonly known as “African Prints”,  and are guaranteed to turn heads when you wear them.


This year’s Runway Show theme was Tulle and Couture – From Culture to Couture 2016 and was held at Edventure Children’s Museum..Guests were greeted by beautiful melanin rich ladies, welcoming them and handing out “Avah and More” swag bags. This swag bag is not your usual, “small sample and postcards” type of bag. It was filled with products for your hair by Miss Jessie’s, Elasta QP, Eden BodyWorks, JessiCurl and African Pride. Body butter from ButterUp A Shea Butter Co and Roll on Eye Serum from Natural Roots. And because Adai has such a keen eye for detail and truly embodies her brand, there was black soap and other small gifts from Ghana that truly tied in the culture.

The show was hosted by the always entertaining Kojo Danquah-Duah of Kojo Kreations, and highlighted his designed as well as those by featured guest designer Charise Rodriguez-Davis. Adai did not skimp on any details of the show, the hair, and makeup of the models mirrored the clothes that they were wearing and the fashion ranged from everyday and professional wear to children and men’s wear to the ultra feminine day-to-night attire.

Overall, Tulle and Couture Runway Show demonstrated the genius of Adai Quaye, not only as a brilliant designer but as a philanthropist and true community builder. She used her platform not only to entertain her crowd with gorgeous fashion, but she invited other designers, hair stylists, makeup artists, photographers and bloggers (me!) to share in the beauty of this night.

For the grande finale walk, Adai gleefully danced down the runway behind her models and thanked the audience for all of their love and support. And with true grace, she closed the show not by boasting in her good deeds, but by honoring the life the child of one of her friends who was killed recently by gun violence. Adai is truly a beautiful spirit and I was so honored to be invited to experience this night with her.

I personally can not wait until next year’s show, to see what she comes up with because the best is yet to come!

xoxo,

Shanetra D.

Check out some of my favorite looks below:

Photo by: Walter Priece
Photo by: Walter Priece
She's so beautiful. Photo by: Walter Priece
She’s so beautiful.
Photo by: Walter Priece
Photo by: Walter Priece
Photo by: Walter Priece

 

For more photos check out the Tulle and Couture Facebook Page. Make sure you head over to Avah’s Closet to purchase something today! The Holiday Season is upon us and she has something for everyone in your life, ahem, *cough, cough*,  like me!

For Glowing From the Inside Out

Tracy G Sway

Major key alert! – Meet one of the many friends in my head – Tracy G!

I first discovered Tracy G on the Bevy Says podcast, “Who You Calling a Slut, Loving Your Body & Owning Your Sexuality”, where they discussed body image, sexuality and feminism in pop culture. The show itself was extremely enlightening and motivational, I mean, these women were having this wonderful conversation about navigating your body image and sexuality without the constraints of someone else’s opinions and they allowed you to listen in. It was funny and educational and gave you so many nuggets for your personal repertoire.

Now, this show is not for the faint of heart, these are grown ladies using very colorful language, but you can check it out here.

Real quick, let’s take a moment of silence to pray that Bevy releases another episode soon. I LOVE her!

Wait, I thought this was about Tracy, who is she?

Tracy G dubs herself as “Self-talk Strategist. Edutainer. Trillass Individual.” She’s on the SirusXM show, Sway in the Morning and she is the creator of the brand “She’s Beauty and the Beast”.


She’s Beauty and the Beast is a “compilation of audio musings, lifestyle + personal development + social commentary and overall caffeine for the spirit, She’s Beauty And The Beast is a new, millennial wellness brand for those who could rock with an extra partner in progression.”

It. Is. Dope.

It is definitely a part of my morning (and sometimes afternoon) routines and I honestly can tell a difference in my psyche once I repeat the affirmations.

And since you are my girlfriend, I am going to share my favorite affirmations with you. *Full disclosure, she isn’t for everyone. She uses some words that I wouldn’t repeat in front of my mama, but I like her.*

 

 

And because I’m currently obsessed with all things Tracy, check out HER podcast here!

 

https://soundcloud.com/shesbeautyandthebeast

 

Here’s to glowing from the inside out!

 

xoxoxo,

Shanetra D

3 Tips to Maintain Your Adult Friendships

friends eating cupcakes

At the beginning of this year, I hosted a vision board party and at this party I chose a word that would be my “word of the year.” Now before you roll your eyes at me, hear me out. The word I chose for myself was intentional.

Intentional: inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/ adjective, done on purpose; deliberate.

I wanted to stop letting life just happen, I wanted to be intentional with my decision making and truly design the life I desired.

One area that I have been focusing on the past few months has been my taking the time to have intentional friendships. I want to always be the friend that I wish I had and I know in order to do this then I have to make intentional decisions to make sure I am nurturing my friendships.  Because I’ve noticed that the older I get and the more responsibilities I get (read: Langston’s social calendar), the harder it is to keep up with my friends.  And I want to make sure that I am surrounding myself with women that are going to help me grow and enjoy life, not just women that are in close proximity to my day to day life.
Here are some of the ways that I am intentional about nurturing my friendships:

•If that person crosses my mind or I realize that I haven’t talked to them in a while, then I immediately reach out. – This can be via phone call, text, or email. I check in and let them know that they were on my mind and if they are local, I try to set up a time to see them face to face.

•I do my best to support them and/or their projects. – I have some pretty creative girlfriends so any time they are working on project I do my best to like, share, comment, DONATE and/or attend. So while I am here, it’s great to like and comment on your friends’ social media posts, but if they provide a service or product, and you were going to spend the coins anyway…GIVE THE COINS TO YOUR FRIEND!

•I invite them places. – Now this may seem a like a no brainer, but if you want to SEE someone, tell them. They can’t read your mind. You HAVE to reach out. And who cares if “you always have to call first”, if you are the extroverted friend, then guess what, you have to call first. Period.

Now, my friends will tell you, I am by no means perfect at this, I fall short, I miss things, I forget to text back (hush, Shuana!), but I make a conscious effort. Intentional friendships are the cornerstone to my adult life…I don’t know what I would do without you guys!

 

Here’s to more girls’ trips, living room dance parties, and brunch!

 

xoxo,

Shanetra D

 

p.s. Another way that I nurture my friendships is I share all the great gems I find online. It could be an IG account that’s popping, a new blog or my newest podcast obsession like this one. Want in on the party? Join my email list and you’re in!

 

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Vibrate Higher

 

“Remain so zoned out with vibrating higher that you have no time throughout your day to focus on negativity, drama, and petty things.” – Lalah Delia, Vibrate Higher Daily

My amazing photographer friend Jeanette of Jean B Photography posted this picture from a recent photography session and it took my breath away. Not in a vain, “I think I’m cute”, superficial way but in a,“wow, I can SEE the joy in my eyes.” I can actually see the manifestation of all the hard work I have been putting into becoming this positive, joyful woman.

Jeanette couldn’t have posted this picture at a better time. It was as if she knew I needed a little reminder. (Sidenote: Jeanette and I always joke that she has ESP, because this happens to us a lot.) 

This past week has been one test after another. Personally, professionally, relational – test, test, test. It became so much that I really questioned if I even wanted to be this high vibration, positive person – because let’s be real, it’s a lot easier to be petty. (Gimme a P-E-T-T-Y, I’m petty all the time!) But I took a moment to regroup, refocus and reaffirm my commitment to this journey.

And because we are on this journey together, I’ll share with you some of the ways I pull(ed) it together.

  • Prayer/Quiet Time – I don’t have a consisted time of day or a particular routine that I follow, but when I’m being tested, I try to take a few moments and sit still. I sit and sift through my thoughts; what is true about how I feel? Is this worth holding on to? –After I quiet my mind, I pray. I pray for wisdom, strength and guidance for my next steps.
  • Refocus my thoughts – Once I have slowed my thoughts down, then I begin to “take captive every thought” and replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of thinking, “man, I’m having a horrible day”, I try to think, “This is just a moment. This moment will pass. Today will STILL be a great day.”
  • Seek positive energy –  I am an energy snob.  I work really hard to make sure that I bring a light, positive energy to any situation that I am involved in, so I have NO time for negative, messy energy. I am very careful of the company I keep and the conversations that I entertain.  This means I curate what I see on social media (hello unfollow button!), I don’t get entertain every conversation and I am not interested in hanging out with certain people. At this point, it is almost instinctive to cut off negativity, because I have no desire to have it in my life.

Those are just a few ways that I make sure that I am exuding positive energy and vibrating higher. But what say you? What are some ways you guard your heart? Do you have any advice for blocking out the “negative Nancy” of the world?

Also,  let me know if you are interested in me sharing more of the ways I curate my social media and my digital space to ensure that I have positive energy online.

xoxoxo,

Shanetra D.