We're back again this year to remind you that Boston is brimming with local talent that you should support this holiday season! Artists were hit hard by the pandemic, especially those who are self-employed. When looking for gifts for your loved ones, look to your own backyard and the artisans of color who have beautiful creations that anyone would be lucky to receive.
From T-shirts to earrings to candles to art prints, I've rounded up a variety of gift-giving options for you this holiday season. Do you have a suggestion to add to the list? Let us know by sending us a tweet at @WBURartery.
The whimsical creations of Villada Michelle are a must if you're looking to own bright pieces that make a bold statement. What I love about her line is that many of her pieces are re-purposed from existing fabric like comforters and blankets. (I snagged a furry tote this season.) Her one-of-a-kind masks make a great stocking stuffer.
It's hard to talk fashion in Boston without mentioning Kréyol. Joelle Fontaine, along with her mother — seamstress Yolette Fontaine, taps into her Haitian roots and sculpts classic silhouettes with a twist. Rich in color and texture, a piece from Kréyol's line is the perfect timeless gift for the sophisticated fashion lover.
FLAKOVELI is an art platform and brand founded by Puerto Rican artist Pedro Cruz, who goes by FLAKO. (He says he had everyone calling him by this nickname by the time he was a teen.) His pulpy, catchy merch is on my wish list this holiday season (one of my favorites is the "Racism Is A Virus" T-shirt.) This shop is perfect for the trendy, streetwear lover in your life.
Are you a proud Bostonian? Are you from Mattapan, Dorchester, Roxbury or Hyde Park? The Other Boston is a platform dedicated to highlighting the experiences of people of color in the city and their "Boston Proper" hoodie is the perfect statement to show your neighborhood pride.
Hair & Skin Care
I've been buying products from Beauty N Simplicity for years and have never been disappointed. High-quality ingredients are transformed into lush, rich smelling products that will make you want to eat them (please don't do this). I highly recommend grabbing a tub of the Lemongrass Coconut Whipped Shea Body Butter.
This hair care line is a must-have for naturals looking to simplify the ingredients in their products. Founder Sam Cass tests her products on her own 4C hair. Must-haves are the scalp oil, especially for the cold weather, and the hemp beard butter for the people with facial hair in your life.
Faith's Naturals offers a variety of products, especially in the area of intimate care. If you're looking for things like yoni eggs or steams, this is the place for you. If not, the shop has a wide range of choices including face washes, exfoliants and one of my favorites, the coffee and mint soap.
Ayana Mack is a talented illustrator, but you can buy much more than art prints from her. She makes it all! From mugs to journals to her new series of beautifully hand-painted wine glass sets, there's something for everyone in her shop (and you might be tempted to snag a gift for yourself too).
Multidisciplinary artist Deborah Johnson's whimsical art prints are a needed addition to your space to combat this gloomy weather. Her unique style combines striking illustration with quotes that hit you right in your heart, like the one that reads "You are holding so much magic." All prints are painted, printed and packaged personally by the artist!
There's a softness to illustrator Ashanti Davis' work that is just so, so appealing. With a palette of pastel colors, Fro's work feels like a warm, comforting hug. I recommend nabbing a print of "Mirrored Lola" to add a pop of color and warmth to any space.
Need ethically grown and sourced sage? Need a chakra cleansing oil? Or maybe you've been wanting to get a tarot card reading? Afro-Indigenous healer and apothecary Seed of Osun is your one-stop shop, especially for spiritual folks looking to bring in new energy for 2021.
You may have never gifted someone an ancestral healing ceremony before but who says you can't start now? Luana Morales offers many spiritual services, including coming of age and birthday ceremonies and spiritual coaching.
If you're looking for striking handmade earrings, I promise you don't need to look any further than Hippie Adjacent. Beyond earrings, the shop also offers handcrafted incense holders and candles. Don't know what to get? Grab a Hippie Adjacent gift card!
I've been drooling over Erica Imosi's beautifully designed scarves for a while now. Her textured artwork comes in many other forms, including postcards and prints.
Hammered copper jewelry takes center stage in the wide breadth of products offered by Zahirah Nur. If you're looking for statement pieces, look no further. In addition to jewelry, Zahirah Nur has original artwork in her shop offered as journals and framed prints.
Clay jewelry is a favorite of mine, and I love the designs of CeCilia Melendez, owner of Stonefruit Jewelry. The earrings are fun and quirky, perfect to brighten your mood (and your earlobes).