Museumand’s Christmas Gift Guide 2020
Inspire your Christmas shopping with our festive gift guide designed to help you find unique presents for your family and friends while supporting black businesses in the UK and beyond.
Bath, body, beauty & barnet
The Afro Hair & Skin Company
The Afro Hair & Skin Co. is an award-winning afro beauty and wellness business located in St Leonards on Sea. They create organic and natural products crafted by hand, using fresh, natural, locally sourced ingredients, hand-picked to feed skin and hair with all the goodness they need to be truly happy, healthy and beautiful. The perfect way to pamper your favourite people. Listed at No.3 as one of Vogue magazine’s best skincare products for people of colour.
Artisan clothing & homewares
from Africa – lemlem
lemlem is an artisanal collection of clothing and homewares made entirely in Africa. Supermodel Liya Kebede was inspired to launch her brand following a trip to her native Ethiopia, where she met a group of traditional weavers who no longer had a market for their craft. Lemlem’s core collection is made from natural cotton handwoven in Ethiopia and includes gorgeous designs for women, men and children, together with unique treasures for the home. lemlem means to bloom and flourish in the Ethiopian language of Amharic so why not treat a loved one while supporting talented craftspeople in Africa?
Boots, bags & bodegas – New York style
Brother Vellies creates and sources luxury accessories that celebrate cultural histories and timeless design. The brand was founded in 2013 with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices and techniques alive, while also creating and sustaining artisanal jobs. Based in New York, Brother Vellies ships internationally, so why not feast your eyes on their stunning collection of footwear and accessories? Be sure to check out their Bodega to find a selection of great gift ideas made in collaboration with local artisans, alongside vintage treasures.
Jewellery & accessories celebrating
the beauty of African names – Foaki
Foaki is a jewellery and accessories store based in the UK, founded by the inspirational Yossy Akinsanya. Yossy explains: “The name is a combination of my full first name ‘Fo-layosade’ and my surname ‘Aki-nsanya’. My reason for using my name for the store and giving a majority of my pieces African, predominantly Nigerian names is because my first name is something I used to be embarrassed by, but there is so much beauty behind African names and I wanted to embrace my name that my parents gifted me and also make it a household name while I’m at it.” Delve into Foaki’s must-see collection of affordably-priced jewellery and accessories – to gift friends and family members, and support a new generation of black talent in the UK.
Food glorious food – Original Flava
For the foodies in your life, pick up a copy of Original Flava: Caribbean Recipes from Home and bring da’flava and togetherness of Jamaica to the kitchen! Written by brothers Craig and Shaun McAnuff, this brilliant cookbook is crammed with over 100+ classic and new recipes inspired by their mum and grandma’s home cooking, complete with tips and tricks from local street food chefs and incredible stories about Jamaican food history. Discover everything from Ackee ‘n’ Saltfish and Curry Goat to Honey Roasted Jerk-Spiced Salmon, Plantain Beanburgers and Banana Fritter Cheesecake.
An un-put-downable read
The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor
by Sally Armstrong
Book-lovers will be intrigued by this compelling tale of a great-great-great grandmother and ancestral matriarch whose legendary exploits drift down from generation to generation at family gatherings. Charlotte Taylor’s infamous story begins in May 1775, when at age 20 she leaves England for Jamaica with her lover, the family’s black butler. What happens next is riveting, as through a seamless blend of fact and fiction, Charlotte’s life ‘in the front row of history’ is brought to life by her great-great- great granddaughter, Sally Armstrong, one of Canada’s foremost journalists.
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without chocolate and it’s the perfect way to treat your favourite people (or yourself!) London-based Dark Sugars is home to a stunning collection of handmade chocolates, truffles and hot chocolate created by Nyanga and the Chocolate Man. Infused with the richness and vibrancy of West African culture and inspired by Nyanga’s quest to explore the journey of the cocoa bean, from tree to tummy, in both South America and on her family’s farm in Ghana. Check out their online shop for goodies including chocolate pearls and sweet vegan treats.
Scents, self-love & sisters
Give the gift of self-love this year with a wonderful collection of 100% soy wax, hand-poured, scented candles complete with affirmations to boost wellbeing. Aya Aromas was created by two sisters, Georgette and Sophinne, inspired by their love of using candles to uplift their spirits and the mood of their homes. They chose the name Aya as the word holds multiple meanings in different languages and cultures, including ‘beautiful’ in Japanese, ‘to fly swiftly’ in Hebrew and ‘angel’ in Turkish. In the sisters’ homeland of Ghana, AYA is an adinkra symbol representing endurance, reflecting the commitment to self-love and care that stands at the heart of the brand. As well as candles, you’ll also find wax melts, reed diffusers, and gift vouchers – ideal for the tricky-to-buy-for!
Simple to look at, lovely to hold
Naked Clay Ceramics
For a truly one-of-a-kind gift, Naked Clay Ceramics is home to a wonderful collection of tableware and homeware in black stoneware and white porcelain, inspired by the natural colours and textures of the earth. Using a combination of hand-building and slip-casting, every unique and individual piece is made by hand in Carla Sealey’s studio in Bedfordshire. “The pieces are fired with no glaze on the outside so that the feel of the natural, fired clay can be appreciated. I hope that tactile connection brings an opportunity to pause, breathe and savour a small moment in the hustle and bustle of life.”
Plants and pots to bring
the outside in – Prick
Prick is London’s first boutique dedicated to cacti and other succulents, with plants and gift vouchers available online. Prick sources the most unusual and exotic plants from across the UK and Europe and sees them as living sculptures. Store founder, Gynelle Leon, explains: “They are a beautiful and sustainable way to transform any interior. Due to their low maintenance and hardy nature, they’re well suited to modern city living.” Check out Prick’s collection of plant pots too, including small, contemporary terracotta ‘Prick Pots’ and handmade ceramic pots by local artists.
Collectable Christmas Cards
Complete your gift buying with our new collection of unique, collectible, Caribbean-inspired Christmas cards – designed to be forever keepsakes, as well as the perfect way to send festive wishes far and wide. These are not just cards, these are cultureCARDS© by Gifts & Tings© for Museumand, The National Caribbean Heritage Museum. Join the conversation on social media and let us know your top tips and recommendations for inspired gifts and inspirational black businesses.
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