The average American will
spend nearly $1,000 on gifts this year, and holiday retail sales are expected to add up to $682 billion once all is said and done. But when you're hunting for the perfect gift, you have a unique opportunity: buying from black-owned businesses during this holiday season. Black-owned businesses are more likely to fail in the U.S., which is attributed to lower education rates, less managerial experience and not having prior family business ownership, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. An article in earlier this year examined why black businesses have disappeared across the U.S. Author Brian S. Feldman wrote, "The last 30 years also have brought the wholesale collapse of black-owned independent businesses and financial institutions that once anchored black communities across the country. Reflecting these developments, working-age black Americans have become far less likely to be their own boss than in the 1990s." Washington Monthly
We have the power to change these trends and support Black entrepreneurs, and it all comes down to where we spend our money. There's even a
smartphone app that lets people know when they're near black-owned businesses. I've curated a list of some black-owned companies deserving of your holiday money this year, but there are thousands I couldn't include. If you're searching for awesome gifts for yourself or the people you love while helping out businesses that deserve it, look no further. 2 Noa Personalized Jewelry Rose Gold Signature Name Necklace, $77, Noa Jewelry
Noa offers the perfect stocking stuffer for the monogram lover in your life. Not only can you get a traditional monogram or name necklace, you can also get your signature made into a necklace. Very cool.
3 Pipernilli Couture Cookie & Sweets Company 4 Beauty Bakerie Coffee and Cocoa Palette, $38, Beauty Bakerie
Beauty Bakerie's products are any makeup lover's dream. This palette, which can be used for highlighting, contouring, blush and eyeshadow, was created with darker skin in mind. According to a quote on the product page, Beauty Bakerie's founder Cashmere Nicole first made the palette for her daughter.
5 LilyEmme Jewelry 14K Gold Diamond Drop Necklace, $350, LilyEmme Jewelry
Lovers of delicate jewelry, this one is for you. These gorgeous jewelry pieces are handcrafted in Seattle. I'd tell you to buy this for someone you love, but let's be real: you'll be tempted to keep it for yourself.
6 Nubian Skin Full Slip, $58, Nubian Skin
Nubian Skin is already
well-known for being inclusive of all shapes and skin shades, and you should definitely keep them in mind as you do your holiday shopping. Their lingerie is targeted toward women of color and comes in a range of gorgeous hues. 7 BeeLux Goods Sea Witch Whipped Soap, $18, BeeLux Goods
This is a one-stop shop for gift goodies. Seriously, they have everything ranging from makeup to soap to hair products to shower gel. You can't go wrong with the luxurious-sounding whipped soap, which promises to moisturize and fight acne at the same time.
8 Tees in the Trap Maxine Waters Pin, $12, Tees in the Trap
Tees in the Trap creates products that are both hilarious and super cute. This Maxine Waters pin serves as a fantastic reminder to
always reclaim your time. 9 Pipcorn Mixed Four Pack, $20, Pipcorn
If you've ever had to deal with the annoyance of picking popcorn out of your teeth, Pipcorn is for you. The company makes miniature popcorn, hence the name. Not only is it adorable, but it also looks delicious.
10 Lauren Napier Beauty 15-Count Cleanse by Lauren Napier, $20, Lauren Napier Beauty
I have to be honest: I'm guilty of going to bed without taking off my makeup beforehand. Apparently, that's
terrible for my skin and also pretty gross. Thank God for Lauren Napier Beauty: These makeup wipes are so gorgeously packaged that I'd probably look forward to makeup removal. Stocking stuffer, anyone? 11 Gregory Sylvia Cora Wristlet, $110, Gregory Sylvia
Gregory Sylvia was founded by a husband and wife team, and the company offers high-end leather goods and handbags. I'm drooling over everything on the site, and if you're looking for a luxurious gift to get someone, this is a great place to start.
13 Just My Jammies 2-Piece Jersey Wrap Set, $85, Just My Jammies
If you're searching for a posh outfit to chill in, look no further. Whether a gift for yourself or someone you care about, these loungewear items and pajamas look incredible.
14 Moonlit Knits Co. Double Brim Hat, Knit Slouchy Beanie, $36, Etsy
I stumbled upon this Etsy shop in my search for awesome businesses, and I'm obsessed with these super cozy beanies that are hand-knit. There aren't a ton of options, but you can definitely find a gift for a friend who lives in cold weather from what's available.
15 ButterMeUpGoods Apple Crisp Sugar Scrub, $12, ButterMeUpGoods
These made-to-order face masks and body scrubs are to die for. Just reading the product names has me hungry, and the descriptions seal the deal. One product description promises that you'll "smell and look like a snack" after using their body scrub. I'm sold.
16 GaBBY Bows GaBBY Sweet Pea Style, $3.99, GaBBY Bows
What were you doing when you were 7 years old? Probably spending most of your time on a playground, but Gabby Goodwin started a business at an age where most kids are in first or second grade. These bows are adorable, affordable and perfect for any little ones in your life.
17 My Filibo Turbanista Set, $25, My Filibo
These pins are so cool that I feel like I'm probably too nerdy to pull them off, but I'm still tempted to play an order. The company's
Etsy shop offers even more variety.
With the holidays quickly approaching, it's time to think about patronizing businesses of color. It may not feel like a huge deal, but you can actually help make a difference in someone's business — and get awesome goodies in the process.