|Photo by L*u*z*A*|
Yes, day three of the MyBrownBaby Fresh 2010 Gift Guide—and this one is for the ladies! I combed the web in search of goodies made and or sold by people of color and found THE BEST gifts—like dolls, stationery, jewelry, art, children's books, clothes, and beauty products you'll be proud to give to the favorite people on your list. Earlier this week, I featured delicious treats for the little girls and boys in your life. Today: Great gifts we women would LOVE to find under the Christmas tree. Click on the headlines or the prices at the end of each listing to get to the online stores selling these precious goodies, all of which have the MyBrownBaby Fresh stamp of approval. Happy shopping!
These ain’t your grandmama’s knit scarves. For sure, I had a really hard time picking just one item to feature from Yarncoture, a Texas-based hand-knitting and crochet boutique run by a stay-at-home mom of five. It was her scarves—bold, eclectic, flower-child colorful—that caught my eye first. But then I saw this hot pink shrug—the sweetest, most perfect sweater for the sweetest, most perfect little black dress. And then there were all the fingerless cuff gloves. And the ribbed knit cowls. And some pretty little coin purses. And, by God, cute little luggage tags and neckwarmer and cuff sets made by… wait on it… her kids. There are some seriously beautiful pieces here, but if you don’t see what you’re looking for, YarnCoture will custom design a little something extra special for you, based on whatever your little heart desires. You. Can’t. Lose. LOVE! $98 for The Lacy Shrug in Red Rasberry; scarves start at about $30, exclusively at Yarncoture.
But seriously? I almost didn’t list this bracelet because I was all, “You know, I could just buy this one for myself and put it in a cute little bag and tag it, ‘Merry Christmas To Meeeee!’” Lucky for you, dear hearts, I took my finger off the PayPal trigger and left this absolutely stunning bracelet available for purchase at Lunaversoul, one of the funkiest, edgiest lines of handmade jewelry I’ve come across in a hot minute. Designer Camisha Jackson dares you to “take your outfit to the next level” with her eclectic, one-of-a-kind pieces, which she says are “guaranteed to turn heads while adding that little extra spice to your favorite outfit.” Hit up her site for more unique bracelets, necklaces, and earrings—each piece hotter and fresher than the last. Try not to hurt yourselves. Apollonia Ruffled Bracelet Cuff, $50; jewelry from $27 at Lunaversoul Handmade Jewelry.
My girl Jennae Peterson, purveyor of Green Your Décor and business partner with her husband, Ras, says the couple’s line of t-shirts are “fashion with a purpose… a symbol of strength and determination.” I say they’re simply fly. And you can stay fly, too, in one of Differently’s offbeat, creative tees; the colors are juicy and the messages are downright addictive. My personal faves among 16 must-have designs: The flirty “I Have A Kinky Relationship With My Hair,” the thoughtful “Positive Black Stereotype” tee, the hip, “Rasta Empress” tee, and the keeping-it-all-the-way green tee, “Eat Local,” featuring the state of your choice. And in keeping with Jennae’s dedication to the environment, the shirts are made with one-off printing on organic and recycled cotton tees. Totally swaggalicious! T-shirts from $25 at Differently.
Designer Sauda Jackson says the jewelry she creates for Transformation Absurd:earArtz merges social and spiritual sustainability. I say her earrings, made with recycled objects as eclectic as broken CDs, found beads, and telephone wire—are simply fierce. Each one-of-a-kind, handmade pair is an absolute work of art that merges ancient with modern, Africa with America, simplicity with, “dang, how’d she do that?” beauty. It was the color, pattern and shape that made me gravite to the Ndebele Souix earrings, but it was the description that sold me: “An indigenous collaboration in art, Native American and the Ndebele of South Africa.” A celebration of culture—that’s what I’m talking about! Earrings starting at $10, exclusively at ModAfrInspiredArts.
I mean, how can you go wrong in a Tracey Reese? Um, you can’t. Especially in this super sexy knee-length, silk, peony print dress. The straps criss-cross the bodice, while the shimmering sequin belt cinches the waist. Both the fold-over hem and that hot pink in the print totally seal the deal. Now, this dress, by one of the few African American designers to make it big in the lily-white world of fashion, is a bit pricey; it’ll set you back by more than $400. But if you head on over to the Tracey Reese online store, there are some equally beautiful dresses, tops, bottoms, shoes and coats available for prices as low as $130. Yup! $408 for the Tracy Reese Night Peony Draped Frock, at Tracey Reese.
How adorable is this little clutch? I peeped it first in the December 2010 issue of Essence magazine and couldn’t resist adding it to the MyBrownBaby gift guide; it strikes all the right notes—the bamboo brown tones, the wooden circle texture, the neat, oblong shape. Couldn’t you just see your girl rocking this with a hot top, the perfect pair of skinny jeans, and the most delicious stiletto in your arsenal? Even better: As a special gift to Essence readers, the $129 price tag has been knocked down to $116 (but it looks like the discount price applies to all). You might want to scoop this one up for the special fashionista in your life, but you’ll have to be quick about it: Each bag is handcrafted and takes at least two weeks for delivery, so you’ll have to order quickly to get it in time to put The Taraji Clutch under the Christmas tree. $116 at Fran J. Collection