2020 Holiday Shopping Ideas: Black-owned Businesses in the SF Bay Area

Dear Santa’s Elves:

Yes, it’s that time again and – pandemic or not – your peeps will be expecting a little somethin’ somethin’ from you this holiday season. Even though Thanksgiving is barely approaching, anxious businesses have jumped the gun by offering Black Friday specials early, presuming that more people will be looking online this year than shopping in stores. The good news is that, if you do shop online, you can usually have the gift(s) shipped directly to the receiver, and often times free.

This year make an intentional commitment to start buying Blacker, especially from local Black businesses who have been struggling through these challenging times. In a year when online shopping may become the new normal, there is no better time to establish a habit of looking for special gifts for loved ones from Black businesses who have an online presence.

We’ve combed through our 1000+ SF Bay listings on the SFB3 web site to suggest some great LOCAL shopping options. As a bonus – at the end of this article – we’ve included a few national listings to complete your holiday shopping.

Taylor Jay, https://www.taylorjaycollection.com/ To quote founder Taylor Jay herself, her apparel collection “empowers women with beautiful, versatile, comfortable, sustainable fashion basics that easily adapt to any lifestyle.” What we like about her pieces is that she offers a wide range of loose, adaptable sizes that can be dressed up or down. Crop Top, $58

Blk Girls Green House, bggh.shop, [email protected] At Kalkidan’s and J’Maica’s 1,500-square-foot outdoor Oakland locale, customers can purchase plants, beautiful ceramic and clay pots, thoughtfully curated goods for the home like candles, wall hangings, specialty teas, locally produced apparel and more. If you enjoy a hands-on shopping experience, you can schedule a shop-by-appointment experience online. Gift cards available.

Ashay By the Bay, ashaybythebay.com. The holiday season is a great time to give books and read a few yourself. Children, teens and adults love the down time to catch up on new books. Here are a couple to considering giving to your favorite niece, nephew, work colleague, etc. No sizing is required and books are easy to order online and ship directly to the recipient. Elves, if you’re going to buy Obama’s new book anyway, why not purchase it from a local Black-owned bookstore instead of adding to Amazon’s deep coffers? Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves, $19.00; Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orissa), $16.99; A Promised Land, $43.00

Dorian Webb, DorianWebb.com. Jeweler Dorian Webb has designed a boxed set of note cards based on her favorite flower, the protea, to remind us of our remarkable resilience and ability to flourish despite challenges. While you’re on the site, you might want to browse for something special for your Boo. Gifts cards are available. 10% of the sale of each box of cards will be donated to Donate PPE which funds the purchase of masks for our frontline medical workers.  Alone Together Note Cards, Set of 10 cards, $25.

Oaklandish, oaklandish.com Not everyone is Oakland-born, but everybody loves Oakland. Oaklandish.com offers many tee-shirt designs for women, men and kids. They also carry facemasks, hats, caps and other accessories. Show some Oakland pride. Get one for yourself while you are gifting others. Tree Logo Applique Zip Hoody, unisex fit in many sizes, $70.

Red Bay Coffee, redbaycoffee.com  Founded in 2014 by Keba Konte, renowned Bay area artist and entrepreneur, they sell ethically produced beans from Ethiopia, Burundi and Columbia roasts. Motherland Holiday Gift Box, includes 3 12-oz whole bean bags of Coltrane King’s Prize and Motherland roasts. $56.99, featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2020

Yogalove, yogaloveoakland.com, 510.435.2798. You’re probably the only person who hasn’t gained weight during this quarantining season. We admit that we have and, with most gyms closed, little exercise has been done while snacking and binge-watching TV. Have you tried yoga? When life opens up again, try going with a friend, after you gift him/her with a few pre-paid classes.  Give the gift of self-care: 5-class pass $60; 10-class pass $108.

All About the Dogue Salon Spa, http://allaboutthedogue.com, 510.653.1691. If you have a dog, I bet your fur baby has gotten you through some rough days lately. Time to treat your home companion. Put a coupon under the tree for a Pampered Pet Stylist Spa Package that includes pre-bath brush out, shampooing, deep conditioning, blueberry facial, complete blow/fluff fry, shed-less brush out, tidy-up trimming, scissor trimming and cologne. A la carte and other spa packages are available.Pampered Pet Stylist Spa Package $70-180, depending on breed.

The Wine Noire, thewinenoire.com, 510.295.4838. Who doesn’t feel special receiving a bottle of the good stuff as a holiday gift? And it’s the perfect season to enjoy a toast or two with a friend or two via Zoom, of course. Based in Berkeley and founded in 2017, founder Alicia Maria Kidd imports, exports, and distributes wines to consumers and into the marketplace. 2014 Silk Bush Mountain Vineyards Altitude (South African), Red Blend, $15.99 now, check out their wine bundles for combo deals.

Finally, dear elves. Everyone loves some slap-your-momma delicious food, especially during the holidays. Consider giving local FOOD gift cards that they can use throughout the year. And gift cards also help keep restaurants open during these pandemic times. Check with your fav eateries and ask if they offer gift cards.  Here are a few places that allow you to purchase gift cards online:

National Options:

Puzzle Huddle, puzzlehuddle.com. When they couldn’t find them for their own children, D.C. parents Matthew and Marnel Goins created a line of aspirational puzzles for children of color; a variety of puzzles for different ages and gender are offered. XL Chemistry Girl Kids’ Puzzle, $19.95; featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2020


The Wrap Life, thewraplife.com. In addition to selling all kinds of bandies, turbanettes and head wraps, they also offer wrapping tutorials on their web site. Perfect modest gift for girlfriends and family. Valerian Ribbed Turbanette, $14.40; featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2020

Rayoandhoney.com They create cotton canvas totes, banners, etc. with uplifting messages. Oprah even suggested a couple of wise sayings by her BFF Maya Angelou. 14”x23” Tote Bag, $65; featured in Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2020

So, elves, these are just a few gift suggestions. We encourage you to browse through all the categories on our web site to find something local, Black and special for each person on your holiday list.

Happy Holidays to all!