(Urban News Service) — For the second year in a row, Urban News Service presents its “Crafts for Christmas” list.
Like last year’s list, this list is no simple collection of online stores. This one is focused on makers – African-Americans entrepreneurs who have embraced the idea of creating change and community wealth by creating things with their own hands. Urban News Service scoured the web to find those businesses whose products reflect some combination of originality, innovation, ingenuity and a commitment from the owners to investing in their own communities.
Food and Wine
The Washington D.C.-based spice store offers a global blend of seasonings and botanicals for recipes and healing, from rare African bird peppers to Moroccan preserved lemons.
Winemaker Mark Thierry and celebrity business partner, Nicole Murphy, are taking on the hugely popular trend for sparkling wines on the sweeter side with two styles, Diamond (white) and Ruby (pink).
Mouton Noir Wines
In short order, Mouton Noir (Black Sheep) has grown from 3,000 cases a year to now more than 300,000, which makes it the most successful Black-owned winery in America. It’s all the vision of Andre Hueston Mack, the former sommelier at world renowned restaurant, French Laundry.
UncleBrutha’s Hot Sauce Emporium
The many awards given to Unclebrutha’s “Allsauce” shows a dedication to craft that has brought chef/owner Brennan Proctor national attention.
Launched and fully funded as a Kickstarter project just months ago, Asiya Sport takes the model set by Muslim-American Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and goes a step beyond, with a line of performance hijab and modest wear for athletes whose religion or beliefs call for an alternative to the usual skin-baring workout gear.
Sisters Darlene Okpo and Lizzie Okpo infuse their Nigerian heritage subtly into a women’s wear collection that manages to be global and American styles.
Free Negro University
Free Negro University offers a line of fashionable tees and hats that present a simple, yet powerful messages.
Osrick Ingredients Cricket
Anyone paying attention knows that the world’s most fashionable sport, on the field is cricket. Osrick is the world’s first cricket menswear brand, and like their inspiration, Ralph Lauren did for Polo, they’ve captured the spirit and lifestyle of the sport brilliantly.
From Canadian twin brothers Byron Peart and Dexter Peart, LesEssentiels is an extraordinary collection of high-end men’s and women’s leather goods -luggage, bags, shoes and fine accessories. For those thick with style, but not thin of wallet.
Spring Break Watches
Spring Break Watches offers a unique limited edition of sport and dress watches made from unique materials including wood, mineral glass and stainless steel mesh.
Ikere Jones Menswear
Ikere Jones Menswear provides a deft mix of vintage-meets-international clothing for men.
Another group of designers using wood and unconventional materials in unexpected places, Bohten Eyeglasses offers hot and stylish frames made from walnut, rosewood, ebony and more.
Rad Black Kids
For the daredevil in the family, Rad Black Kids offers a fun collection of handmade longboards, trick boards, tees, gear and all things skate.
Studio Maxe offers wall art for the serious man (or woman) cave.
Home, Kitchen and Bath
For the tastefully fancy home, AphroChic delivers high-style pillows, poufs and accessories.
A sharp knife is the single most important kitchen essential. Middleton Knives provides artisan-crafted knives to handle any culinary duty.
One of the largest and most successful Black-owned stores on the popular craft site, Etsy, Melaku sells a comprehensive range of natural and vegan body, bath and health products.