It’s the annual after Thanksgiving event, Black Friday. An event that has steadily evolved from the opportunity to gain a head start on Christmas shopping by scoring some excellent deals to what just seems like capitalism and commercialism. But it was those thoughts and feelings that lead to Small Business Saturday. The consumer can “stick to the shirtman” aka big box retailers and support the businesses in their community, the mom and pop establishments.
I like that notion. Big box has its place and purpose in the consumerist food chain. I LOVE Target! We will be forever friends. At the same time, because I have friends and family that are pushing and pressing to become significant forces, solid entrepreneurs, I enjoy the spotlight on small businesses.
In the midst of trying to take advantage of every deal and steal, I have a list of a few folks who would appreciate your support.
Let’s start with family:
- My brother – he’s an exceptionally stylist artist aka lyricist aka hope dealer and has merchandise. Visit githeartist.com and download some music, buy a hat or shirt. (@githeartist)
- My sister-in-law – she’s a marketing guru. Visit onedegreemmm.com. She has a marketing ebook that is an excellent guide for any and all small business, solopreneur, or those considering either. You might as well read her blog too while you’re there. (@onedegreemmm)
- My youngest brother is pushing as a personal trainer. Look him up @beballjones!
My lovely friends:
- I know a real-life chef! I call her my food guru aka Jimney Cricket. Eryka Perry (@notjustcatering) is extremely skilled and so happy to know her! She can cater private events and provide menu consultations. Visit notjustcatering.com.
- In today’s climate, it is vital to be well-informed about your body and health. Disparities exist more often than most realize. Being an advocate for all things children, especially 5 years and under, I have learned the importance of pregnant mothers having a doula. Fortunately, I know one, Nadia Gramby (@nadiathedoula)! Check all she has to offer here. I hope to join her in the profession one day! 😉
- Something that I wish I had the patience for jewelry making. I call myself a creative but I am not creative enough for that. I know someone who not only has a hand, but also an eye for perfect accessories. Jollof Boutique (@jollofboutique) has a beautiful selection of African inspired pieces.
- She is one of my favorite people and so talented. Candace Clark is a photographer, makeup artist and a maker of beauty products. Her CandiMelts are amazing!!! Ugh! Her work is under @139_photography_ on Instagram
- In addition to my brother, I also have a great friend who is a talented artist in his own right. The Real Joe Clark has released The Book of Joseph. I think my favorite track is Don’t Get Your Love. Buy wherever you stream or download your tunes.
- I am fortunate to know a few other artists – the beautiful 7even (@7evenrich) and the elder statesman Shaun Judah (@shaunjudahyo).
- Sonja Atkins owns a boutique! How incredible is that! Another hidden desire of mine is to own a bookstore/boutique. It would be nothing like hers – Betsy Moore Boutique (@betsymooreboutique). She has unique pieces and will help you find what you need for any occasion.
- DJ Rahdu (@bamalovesoul), a friend since college, has recently made his return to radio but has never stopped his love for music. He’s a writer, an illustrator, a deejay, and most recently a t-shirt designer. He houses all his many talents here.
- I also have this extravagant sister/friend who has just sold out her 1st show under her new name, Ursula Smith Dance (@ursulasmithdance). A Brown Sugar Nutcracker debuts Saturday, December 1st and I could not be more happy for her and all she has been able to accomplish as a dancer and choreographer. She chose to put her city of Birmingham on in a most impressive way. Showcasing dancers from across the city and county with a variety of genres ranging from African to jazz, Ursula not only crosses boundaries but destroys them by bringing the community together in wholeness through music and dance. In a syncopated natured, she captured the spirit of the holiday with her spin on this season’s classic. Visit her website for more information on her new brand and ways to support.
Honorable mentions (these are brands that I frequent but owners that I don’t know personally):
- Radical dream pins (@radical_dreams_pins). I LOVE pins and buttons, and this is my plug!
- Dear dope chick (@deardopechick) – it is a place for women to receive motivation and dope inspiration! She has merch and inspirational cards. @askproy is just one of my most favorite people that I have never met! (the power of social media)
- I found a place that feeds my love for A Different World. @thechipmunk_chronicles gives me my fix. He not only has merch from ADW but he has also included Martin. Great 90s tv still lives.
- @messinabottle is a brand that unapologetically savage yet beautiful. The creator and owner, Kalilah Wright is strong as she is talented. She definitely has a shirt for any message you need to put out there to the world!
- And I must mention @themanechoice not only because one my friends is the head stylist for the brand (@ebonybomani) but also because the owner is overwhelmingly generous. @courtneyadeleye is a dynamic force with unusual faith. They have a sale running right now!
Feel free to visit all the links listed above and add to the list by supporting those in your circle, your community, your family this holiday season.
Give love. Get love.