Updated: Jan 25
February not only features Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day, the superior counterpart to Valentine’s Day), it’s also Black History Month! So why not consider celebrating both by getting something special for bae from a small, Black-owned business this year?
Growing up, I wasn’t a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. My elementary school teachers would always make a big deal out of it: we were required to make and bring cards for every person in the class, which, to me, felt like a lot of pressure. In high school and college, I found Valentine’s Day to be a very polarizing holiday. When I was single, the holiday made me feel like I was missing out on some great love story. When I was in a relationship, there was so much expectation around February 14 that it was hard to just enjoy the day. It didn’t help that all these people were also showing off these extravagant gifts and gestures from their significant other on social media.
Me, as a kid, when I saw PDA on Valentine's Day:
In the last few years, I’ve come around to Valentine’s Day and, in many ways, appreciate it. It is a great reminder for us to show love to our friends, family, and significant others. While I find the roses and hearts to be a bit cheesy and overdone, I’ve enjoyed having my gal pals over for brunch and giving small gifts that spark joy. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on your relationships and enjoy fond memories together.
I also can’t help but think about the ways the pandemic will reshape Valentine’s Day this year. For one, we probably won’t be having larger gatherings with friends. We probably won’t be having a nice meal at a restaurant. Few of us will be getting couples massages or staying in hotels drinking champagne. Given how much time we now spend in the home, I’ll probably be getting little things here and there that will spruce up our living space or make our day to day routine just a little bit better. Here are some of my picks for #Vday2021:
1. Satisfy their sweet tooth with Lavender Honey from Zach and Zoe
Zach and Zoe is a Black family-owned bee farm located in the rolling hills of New Jersey.
This blend combines their delicious Wildflower Honey with Lavender, long known for its health benefits. Lavender is commonly known as a fragrant flower but it is also an edible herb. The herb also has a calming effect and is traditionally recommended as an alternative treatment for insomnia. Lastly, lavender is an excellent tonic for stress and anxiety due to its relaxing nature and wonderful scent. ($20)
2. Write beautiful notes for them on a Note Neutrality sticky note from Cloth & Paper
Cloth & Paper is a Black-owned stationery brand in Richmond, Virginia, known for their quality products and minimalist aesthetic. These 3x3 inch sticky notes give a sophisticated look to any working desk or love note. They come in other colors too, including linen, nude, and eeru. ($3.90)
3. Revitalize their mornings with a tea subscription from INI Sips Coffee and Tea
INI Sips Coffee and Tea is a veteran and family-owned company based in New Britain, Connecticut. They sell premium organic, direct trade coffee and flavorful blends of loose leaf tea.
How the tea subscription works: You choose whether you want caffeinated or non-caffeinated tea, as well as delivery schedule (every 30, 60, or 90 days). They'll send you (3) 1 ounce tea packs.
(2) teas from their current selection, and (1) brand new tea sample. ($10)
4. Treat them to an at-home spa day with Almond Cuticle Oil from Auda B Beauty
Auda B Beauty is a Black-owned vegan nail care brand that values and fosters diversity, inclusion and empowerment of beauty for everyone.
This Almond Cuticle Oil revitalizes and hydrates your cuticles and hands. The Almond Oil extract paired with safflower seed oil nourishes your nails and locks in moisture, which is especially great for dry days in the winter. ($23, use code GIFTGOOD10 for 15% off your purchase)
5. Lift their spirits with a Good Vibes comfy tee from Ivory Paper Co.
Ivory Paper Co is a family owned business that makes personalized planners & stationery by hand out of Columbus, Ohio.
This tee is cute and pairs well with jeans and loungewear, so good for a cozy day at home. Because many of their products are made by hand, I'd allow for longer shipping times with Ivory Paper Co. (at least that's what my experience has been!). But, their stuff is worth the wait because the packaging and quality are beautiful. ($36)
Comment below with some other ideas you have for this Valentine’s Day! And if you can’t choose for them or if they’re far away, consider getting them a gift card from one of the recommended shops.
Gift Good Co. connects people and organizations with remarkable gifts and gift cards from small-to-medium sized businesses owned by people of color. Our vision is to create a more diverse and inclusive economy, while strengthening relationships and spreading joy. Learn more by signing up for our email list (scroll down) or following us on Facebook or Instagram.