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In honor of Black History Month, we're calling attention to just a few of the incredible black-owned businesses on Etsy—everyone's favorite digital marketplace for independent creators. These shops, run by self-made makers around the world, are perfect for those in search of a unique gift for someone who appreciates the one-of-a-kind quality you can only get from handmade. But don't stop here! When we support and empower black-owned businesses every day, we create more opportunities for all people of color—not to mention a beautifully diverse and far more enriching handmade gift shopping experience for all!
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Natalie Manima, a Londoner of Ghanian descent, calls upon her cultural heritage, her love for sewing, and her expertise as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist to create beautiful African-inspired housewares that aim to uplift the spirit. As she states on her Etsy page: "I recognised the importance of one's home environment, in coping with issues such as anxiety and low mood." At her shop, BespokeBinny, you'll find stunning lampshades, cushions, table linens, and bedding that would make standout housewarming gifts.
Candice Luter, a fiber artist based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa turns rope into structurally magnificent wall-art. Sure, we all love 70s-throwback macrame wall hangings and plant hangers, but Candice's exquisite pieces just take fiber craft to the next level. These versatile hangings will appeal to both your boho and modern decor loving friends, and each work is meticulously made to order.
Kingsley Thompson is a self-taught craftsman who turned his love of leather goods into his full time trade. But why leather? In an interview with Etsy, Kingsley explained, "Leather really tells the story of its owner...I'm very drawn to the tactile feel and the smell, and I love the way leather ages over time." If you're looking for a handmade item for a dapper gent or lady in your life, check out KingsleyLeather where you'll find handcrafted leather cufflinks, belts, wallets, and more.
Ilana Mayes, a woodworker based in Los Angeles, creates minimalist, customizable shelving that's elegantly understated and entirely practical. At her shop, TheCraftySwirl, you'll find hanging shelves in several configurations, all characterized by a modern two-tone finish. She also offers geometric shadow box shelving and wooden trays—including those handy trays that hug sofa arms to create an even surface for setting a book and a warm cup of tea.
Few decorative items can make a house feel like "home sweet home" more than a custom, hand-embroidered piece of artwork! So if you're looking for a personalized housewarming present for a craft-loving friend, be sure to check out Natalie Gaynor's hand-stitched embroidery hoop art. What sets her craftsmanship apart is her emphasis on customization. She told Etsy, "Sometimes when I'm working with someone I'll say, 'It's totally up to you, but would you like to tell me more about this piece?' If I can get an understanding of what it means to them, I can translate those feelings and details into my work." And if your gift recipient is a crafter themselves, Natalie also offers DIY embroidery kits that could teach them a skill to last a lifetime.
Annie, a certified aromatherapist, learned early on about the "nourishing, healing power of oils and herbs" as a child growing up in Jamaica. Today, she's turned her love for natural healing into a business, offering bath and body products as well as clean-burning, hand-poured scented soy candles printed with empowering affirmations to boot. Shop NaturalAnniEssential products for all-natural gifts that nourish the skin and the soul!
Give your giftee a spa experience at home with handmade, all-natural, eco-friendly self care products. Brie Anna Fae, owner of Shaneawithlove based in Littleton, Colorado, makes scrumptiously-scented shower steamers that are not only all natural, but are ethically sourced, cruelty free, and packaged with compostable materials. Now that's an indulgence your gift recipient (and you!) can feel extra good about!
Bridal designer Daniela Tabois, based in Brooklyn, NY, creates ready-to-wear—and outside-the-box—designs. (Bridal jumpsuit, anyone?) It's only fitting that she's introduced a collection of bridal face masks into her eponymous Etsy Shop when the 2020 pandemic hit. These eye-catching, ornate beauties made from luxurious brocade fabric and dangling beads would be perfect for any socially-distanced special occasion!
Coletta Peterson turned her lifelong love of crafting into an Etsy business—A Touch of Blu Designs—specializing in crocheted dolls, doll clothes, and crochet patterns of her designs so that fellow crochet enthusiasts can create and customize their own. And why dolls? Coletta writes: "Doll making gives me the freedom to be all of the things [I] wanted to grow up to be: a ballerina doctor who is also a firefighter and a veterinarian." Aside from the personal fulfillment, she also found an even larger purpose for her work. She states: "Being a Black woman who makes primarily Black and Brown dolls, allows me to showcase the beauty, style, talent and creativity of a group of people that society sometimes overlooks."
10. Osime Home
Though June, owner of the Etsy Shop OsimeHome, was born and raised in the UK, she writes that her childhood home was "a treasure-trove of African textiles, accessories and products that reminded me of my cultural heritage." When she moved out, however, she realized how difficult it was to find household items in the UK that reflected her diversity and cultural identity. So she began creating her own, with the goal of adding "colour, style and joy" into everyday living. If your gift-recipient's home could use a splash of color, visit OsimeHome where you'll find an array of vibrant textile products including fabric plant pots, tote bags, cushion covers, and face masks.
More to Explore
Let me tell you, it was tough choosing just ten of the many outstanding Black-owned Etsy shops for this list. Definitely check out Etsy's Black History Month editor's picks where you can find many more handmade products by incredible artisans. Together, we can support greater diversity among the handmade community—and far beyond!