gifts they might actually want

37 Gifts Under $50 From Black-Owned Businesses

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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In the past few years I’ve made gifting Black a priority, a guiding ethos of my gifting strategy along with its other core tenet: be specific. The combination of the two along with budget constraints has made for some interesting items, like a very good $20 lipgloss (mentioned below) and books by Black authors. The latter isn’t technically Black-owned but it is supporting Black artists, which to me, counts. To compile the list below I’ve sourced affordable items from some of my favorite Black brands, many of which come from our directory of 200 businesses vetted by my fellow Strategist writers and our editors.

Broken into categories from beauty and self-care to home goods to books and entertainment, there’s something for every occasion, whether that’s the fast-approaching holiday season, a housewarming, or a baby shower. To make it even easier, you can jump to specific categories using the links above.

Beauty and self-care

A makeup-melting cleanser from the design-y Eadem, a brand that makes photo-worthy skin care that works. This cleanser melts away makeup and SPF, leaving behind smooth, hydrated skin thanks to ingredients like tiger grass, allantoin, Kalahari melon, and moringa.

Pat McGrath’s Skin Fetish blush has an ultrasilky finish and comes in a range of flattering hues. Rio describes it as incredibly easy to blend and recommends the shade Divine Rose, a warm, mauve-y hue.

HyperSkin makes one of our favorite vitamin C serums for hyperpigmentation. In addition to a super-stable form of vitamin C, it also contains bearberry, licorice, and kojic acid, which help to brighten skin along with a little salicylic acid to prevent future breakouts.

This nonobvious bonnet is a celebrity and Strategist favorite because it stays on all night and is inconspicuous enough to wear outside. The original comes in one size, but if your giftee wants to ensure it doesn’t slip off during the night or loosen over time, there’s an adjustable option too.

Introduce your giftee to what we dubbed the “Telfar of lipgloss.” As I’ve written previously, I appreciate the brand’s “minimal-but-melanated approach to beauty, which feels like a love letter to Black community.” (And if your giftee has already hopped on the bandwagon, they’ll love a restock.)

We’ve been seeing these Topicals eye patches everywhere — at a wedding, at NYFW, on our feeds. In addition to being a trendy accessory, it’s moisturizing and brightening too.

A silky sunscreen that gives skin a noticeable glow.

From Crown Heights–based Marché Rue Dix, this moisturizing rose oil is a great (and luxurious) gift for someone who appreciates twofers because it’s both a fragrance and anti-aging facial oil.

In case they’ve already tapped into Honey Pot’s pads and tampons (which are also Saweetie-approved), elevate their bath routine with the brand’s lesser-known, cocoa butter and honey bath bombs.

Home goods

For anyone who is tired of looking at the same boring white walls, Sabrena Khadija has an assortment of prints, including this astrology inspired ‘Gemini,’ piece, which Strategist writer Dominique Pariso has in her home.

Goodee stocks homewares from around the world, making them a go-to for unique, exceptionally made gifts. This Bolga fan, for example, is handwoven in Ghana and crafted from ethically sourced straw.

For your friend recently into floral arranging, this statement vase would look nice on its own or filled with fresh blooms.

Modish Decor, makers of luxury throw pillows, recently released this linen pillowcase, which would look nice on a neutral bedscape or plush sofa.

Designer Sheila Bridges is best known for her Harlem Toile designs, which have been put on just about everything — from plates to silk scarves to skateboards. This candle, made in collaboration with L’or de Seraphine, smells of lemon, suede, patchouli, and bergamot and comes in a ceramic votive that can be displayed long after the candle burns out.

Lichen, which bills itself as a “design incubator” is known for its home goods and impeccably curated vintage furniture. This chrome shelf, designed in-house, is perfect for displaying the friend with lots of “collections.”

Clothing and accessories

A colorful, statusy beanie that’ll keep their head nice and toasty.

Another statusy hat option: The Savant Studios trucker, which I’ve said is the accessory of Black creative Brooklyn. It comes in lots of colorways — this one, called “Orange & Cream,” is particularly fun.

Brother Vellies, founded by Aurora James, is known for its fine leather goods, like handbags and shoes. The brand’s exceptionally cozy Cloud Socks — which comes in 17 different colors — are equally nice and much less expensive. “They feel like leg warmers that happen to hold your feet,” says designer Batsheva Hay.

If your recipient is all set with socks, here’s something just as comfy: a pair of breezy linen boxers from Linoto that are ideal for lounging.

Along with flattering basics and bodysuits, Oma the Label sells jewelry that’s easy to imagine wearing every day, like this dainty necklace for perfect wearing solo or layered.

Actress Gabrielle Union swears by these woven pouches for carrying everything from her daughter’s snacks to her lipstick. (New York Magazine deputy editor Alexis Swerdloff loves ’em, too.)

Kids and pets

Any new parents will appreciate this book on healing by multidisciplinary artist Kenesha Sneed.

Big by Vashti Harrison

From the illustrator of Sulwe, Hair Love, and Little Leaders Big follows the journey of a young girl grappling with her size in a world that doesn’t fully accept her as she is.

Older kids (and their parents) might prefer this puzzle that features original artwork.

Amanda Seales–approved Alaffia works with cooperatives in West Africa to create its line of natural hair-, face-, and body-care products. This bubble bath is made with calming lavender and certified-organic and fair-trade unrefined “raw” shea butter to keep a new baby’s (or kid at heart’s) skin soft and moisturized.

Food and drink

Anyone with a sweet tooth (with or without food sensitivities) would appreciate a box of Partake, which are allergen-, gluten-, and dariy-free; there are ten cookie options, including classic chocolate chip, lemon, gingersnap, and holiday sprinkle.

Jam enthusiasts would be thrilled with this small-batch, all-natural, vegan jam from Trade Street Jam Co. Throw in a pack of their sweet-potato biscuit mix, too, and you’ll still be well under $50.

Photo: Retailer

If they prefer lattes, this turmeric-latte blend from Golde will satisfy their cravings without feeding a crippling caffeine addiction. Former Strategist intern Aisha Rickford calls it her “go-to for calming my stomach, clearing my skin, boosting my energy, and even serving as the secret ingredient in lots of my homemade baking recipes.”

And here’s a sleek-looking set of handmade ceramic mugs designed by Justina Blakeney for Jungalow. The microwave- and dishwasher-safe cups also come in amber, lavender, and black.

A nice bottle of wine is almost always an appropriate gift. This crisp Chardonnay from Maison Noir Wines would pair well with whatever they’re ringing in.

Books and entertainment

In the town of Chicken Hill, residents are keeping a big secret: the identity of the skeleton at the bottom of the well. Both a murder mystery and a Great American Novel, James McBride’s latest work is a masterful (and entertaining) exploration of community and the ties that bind it.

If they already own playing cards and Uno, consider Culture Tags, which asks the group how well they know the culture by making them guess popular phrases with only acronyms.

If your giftee is fully immersed in yeehaw culture, they’ll love this coffee-table book that celebrates modern-day Black cowboys. Author and photographer Gabriela Hasbun documents decades at the annual Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo through her photos, stories, and conversations.


Afrosurf — which catalogues Africa’s vibrant surf culture — made it onto our list of last year’s most giftable coffee tables books. Compiled by South African surf company Mami Wata, it features essays from some of Africa’s most famous writers, surfer profiles, as well as some truly stunning photography.

Cooking collective Ghetto Gastro’s buzzy cookbook is of recipes, stories, and photography that celebrate Black food and Black culture and covers topics like food inequality and how eating well can be a pathway to self-empowerment.

For the person who’s really into knitting — and psychedelic color palettes. The brand’s yarns are made with certified organic merino wool that’s free from harmful chemicals associated with the traditional superwash process.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

37 Gifts Under $50 From Black-Owned Businesses