And after a week-long guide highlighting beautiful products created or sold by businesses of color for men, women, and kids, I'm closing out the MyBrownBaby Fresh 2010 Holiday Gift Guide with beautiful items you can cop for your people—your hair stylist, your neighbor, your girl, the hostess with the mostess, and so many more. As with the earlier guides, I carefully handpicked each item. I do hope you enjoy them. Happy shopping!
Heart of Haiti Vase of Memories
I can’t think of a more thoughtful gift than one that keeps on giving. That’s why I’m so proud to introduce Heart of Haiti, a Fair Winds Trading campaign that is using commerce and culture to create social change in Haiti, where our brothers and sisters are still picking up the pieces more than one year after a hurricane devastated the country. Through the sale of Heart of Haiti products, artisans are able to earn life-changing income for themselves, their families and their communities—money that is helping to repair homes, pay school fees, feed and clothe families and give Haitians access to better nutrition and improved education and healthcare. Indeed, the Heart of Haiti collection already has led to employment of 350 Haitians and has provided some financial benefits for an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people in the country. The handmade products include quilts, metalwork, ceramics and paintings, all created by Haitian master artisans who make the products by hand from recycled materials. The bright, exuberant design of the hand-painted papier-mache Heart of Haiti Meeting bowl caught my eye; its spirit, full of movement and color, stood out like a beautiful work of art. An incredible gift for an incredible cause! Visit the Heart of Haiti at Macy’s to see more beautiful handmade products and to make your gift-giving count. Prices start at $10.
Nope, I never think any one person can have too many pillows. The hubs does. Especially when he’s making up our bed and has to position the 400 bazillion pillows I have for it. I just think they’re beautiful pieces of jewelry that make statements all over the house—on the bed, a pretty chair, the couch, a quiet corner of the floor. I fell in love with the design aesthetic of Afrochic last year, when I stumbled on her design blog. She describes her line as modern, soulful styles, and I couldn’t agree more; she’s got pillows, wallpaper, placemats and shower curtains that are absolutely to die for. This stunner features AphroChic’s signature silhouette on the front and rows of many more on the back; the sun yellow simply shines against the crisp white—a combination sure to add joy to any room. Wrap this pillow in some clear wrap with a big bow and your hostess gift will be the envy of the party. Silhouette Mimosa Pillow, $90 at AphroChic.
Let the stats tell it and almost 10 percent of American wine drinkers are African American—a significant number considering we make up only about 12 percent of the population. That means we’ve got some wine lovers among us. Why not treat them to a bottle of vino from an African American vinter? There are only a handful, but they’re much easier to find, thanks to the Association of African American Vintners, a consortium of seven black-owned wineries. Check out the association’s website, which will lead you to the online stores of the wineries, who either will happily tell you where you can get your hot little hands on a bottle of their wine, or will ship their goodies to you (provided your state allows it). Association of African American Vintners.
Raise your hand if you’re a total black film junkie! *Insert image of Denene waving her hands in the air and acting like she really does care* That’s why when I saw the Top 25 African-American Films Of All Time list on the civil rights blog, The Defenders Online, I made a vow to up my film game this Christmas. I mean, I have a nice collection, but I sure can use a film upgrade, particularly if said upgrade includes classics like Stormy Weather, Claudine, Imitation of Life, and Cooley High. A group of, say, five flicks from The Defenders Online list would give a nice kick-start to someone’s great film collection. (Um, hint hint.)