If there ever was a time to support Black-owned businesses, it’s now. The previous holiday gift guides published by The Miami Times spotlighted clothing brands, jewelers and artists.
The goal of these guides is to raise awareness about the wide variety of Black-owned small businesses and artisans locally, throughout Florida and nationally who struggle to stand out alongside big budget, general market, major retail chains and Amazon.com. Help us help them.
In the third installment of The Miami Times’ holiday gift guide, distinguished community leaders submitted recommendations for 10 Black-owned businesses they admire and often patronize.
Please be intentional with your dollars this holiday season and consider this list. Recognized for excelling in their respective industries, each business was created with the thought of meeting the needs of the Black community.
If Eye Ever – Online
With a unique name and concept, If Eye Ever is a handcrafted brand of lensless frames made from African fabrics. Suzan McDowell is the visionary behind the brand; lead designer Glaja Mayne executes that inspiration into elaborate eyewear. The company’s “do you boo” motto encourages individuals to value self-expression and embrace taking risks. Already, the funky frames have been spotted on celebrities like singer Brandy Norwood, actor Kendrick Sampson and even Ms. Tina Knowles Lawson, mom to Beyoncé. Prices range from $40 – $60 depending on frame style and design.
The LimeLight Collection – Online
Mechanical and biomedical engineer Ebony Daniels Sanon took an unconventional route to pursue her love for fashion through The LimeLight Collection. The luxury brand of handmade jewel-encrusted clutch purses allows women to embrace their inner fashionista. Each purse bears an elegant name and can range from $269 – $289. Gift cards starting at $100 are available for purchase on the site. Use promo code MIAMITIMES for 15% off the entire site through the end of 2020.
YaMaya’s Gift – Online
Certified herbalist Sheila Browder noticed an increasing need to provide natural medicine to her community. Years of observing loved ones being diagnosed with medical conditions relating to nutrition and health habits drove her to start YaMaya’s Gift, a business that leverages the medical benefits of herbs. Browder provides tea blends, skincare products, sage, capsules and herbs for pre- and postpartum care at prices that range from $5 – $60. Use promo code miamitimes for 20% off orders over $20 until Dec. 31.
Defense Tea – Online
Inspired by an urgency to prioritize self-care and health during the pandemic, Sherronda Daye and JD Craigman felt obligated to create a business that promotes a strong immune system. Defense Tea uses natural ingredients and its beneficial properties provide nutrition in the form of a 12-ounce bottle of tea.
The two signature drinks offered by the brand are The Defender, which aids in digestion, preventing inflammation and fighting viruses; The UpRooter soothes cold symptoms. Miami-Dade and Broward County residents can enjoy free delivery. Prices for 4- to 18-packs range from $19.99 – $94.99
Moonflower Essentials – Online
Marianne “May Reign” Ritchey is a firm believer in maintaining a self-care regimen. As a poet who struggled to make ends meet, she turned to her candle-making hobby in 2011 as an extra source of income. Since then Moonflower Essentials has became a household name. Ritchey’s all-natural offerings include aromatherapy soy candles (with bonus affirmations), soaps, bath teas, body scrubs and body butters that can be culled into a gift set at a cost of $45. Her site also features her Reign Apparel line that represents Black culture. Use MIAMITIMES20 at checkout for 25% off candles until Dec. 20.
BeLoved Box – Online
BeLoved Box is a premium wellness and fragrance company created by Danie Spikes. In 2017, the professional relationship coach hoped to provide the products that many of her clients expressed an interest in to boost their quality of life. Spikes’ body care line nurtures positive moods through signature blends like BeCalm, BeInspired, BeRelaxed and BeAssured. The blends also come in self-care boxes that can be paired with add-ons, such as a coaching workbook that discusses best practices for self-love. Other offerings include bath teas, massage oil candles, and triple butter and silk soaps. Use discount code miamitimes for 15% off until Dec. 31. Merchandise ranges in price from $5 – $60.
The Glitter Agency – Online
The Glitter Agency offers an online boutique of activewear, luxury mink eyelashes and leisurewear that leave a bold statement. Created by Erika Everett, the custom design and image consulting agency is known for creating over-the-top couture pieces for high-end clients. Traci Young-Byron, artistic director of Miami’s Young Contemporary Dance Theatre, is known for rocking Everett’s custom designs for photoshoots. The agency also offers garments for special occasions and weddings through consultation services. Prices range from $12 – $65 for non-custom pieces.
Terri A Meredith – Online
Though representation in the art industry is hard to come by, one local visual artist has mastered depicting the beauty of Blackness. Meredith’s jaw-dropping artwork depicts Black people in their natural habitat, while also managing to transform mundane routines into something remarkable. After losing her mother in 2012, Meredith vowed to continue creating. Her collections range from acrylic paintings, pen sketches and conceptualized wall art, to a lunchtime series and tributes to icons in the Black community. The works are affordable pieces that anyone can enjoy, whether manifested on canvas or on a phone case. Contact Meredith directly at email@example.com for a special promotion of $100 for an 18″ x 24″ gallery wrapped canvas print of any image on the site, originally priced at $125 – $250. Shipping is included.
Chillicious Edibles and Events LLC – Online
Sisters Nicole Jones and Hipolita Wells created Chillicious Edibles and Events LLC in honor of their late brother. The duo specializes in making custom treats including chocolate-covered strawberries, candy apples and cupcakes. Orders are placed through their Facebook or Instagram pages. Jones and Wells also cater events and make special treat boxes for various occasions. Their most popular dessert is the Peach Cobbler Pound Cake, priced at $40 – $50; other treats can range from $25 – $45 per dozen.
Urban Ambassadors – Online & Brick-and-Mortar
1717 N. Bayshore Dr. Suite 114, Miami, FL 33132
Recommended by Connie Kinnard, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau vice president of multicultural and tourism development
Owned by Jaesyn Mixon, Urban Ambassadors is a clothing brand that captures the essence, culture and pride of urban communities through fashion. Black Lives Matter and Miami are two of its most popular collections. Each item is handmade to order; all apparel sales are final. Prices range from $19 – $65.