17 cool and unique gift ideas from small businesses we love

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

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  • COVID-19 has negatively impacted a significant amount of small businesses.
  • We rounded up a list of small businesses offering gifts ranging from tasty food to cool clothing.
  • Looking for more gift-giving inspiration? Check out all of Insider Reviews gift guides here.

COVID-19 has drastically reduced foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. Now more than ever, people have the opportunity to make a difference for these small businesses, all while scoring great gifts for ourselves and loved ones.

To make it easier, we put together a list of some of our favorite places to shop small. Many businesses on the list below have been started by single families, marginalized communities, and people passionate about advancing social issues. In fact, 20% of all small businesses are owned by minority entrepreneurs, a number that is continuing to rise.

We understand that it’s not always financially feasible to buy gifts from independent businesses – and that is totally okay. You can also support small businesses free of charge by following their social media accounts, as well as liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts to help spread their content, so that you may encourage someone else to look to these businesses for gifts.

Here are our favorite gifts from independent businesses:

A unique necklace for the city dweller

Talia Sari Necklace

Product Card (small)

If the city you love is somewhere you want to show off to the world, a custom Talia Sari necklace, ring, broach or earring set might be up your alley. Shoppers can pick out a pre-made map or have one custom-made for a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. 

An empowering sweatshirt

asian american girls club

Product Card (small)

Asian-American Girl Club is an apparel company that aims to uplift the AAPI community and redefine what it means to be a modern Asian-American woman. You can buy cute hoodies, shirts, and hats with messages of empowerment on its site. AAGC’s other goal, though, is fostering important discussions about identity through its social media community. Founder Ally Maki says of her brand, “I wanted to change the narrative of what a club should feel like, what a club can be for you, your self-worth, identity, and confidence.” 

Unique scents to spice up your house

Korean BBQ - Korean Soy Candle - Seoul Scents Candle

Korean BBQ – Korean Soy Candle (small)

The Korea-inspired candles from OhJoha Candles can make even your stinkiest of rooms smell great. The brand truly has a candle for everyone with options ranging from a floral Hydrangea Leaf Tea candle to a bold Korean BBQ flavored option. Candles and packages ordered from Etsy show up quickly and don’t clash with other smells throughout your house. 

A tasty tea box

Brooklyn Tea

Product Card (small)

Brooklyn Tea, a small tearoom in Bed-Stuy, is committed to selling high-quality and organic teas that taste good and benefit your health. You can find classics like chamomile and lemongrass tea in its online shop, along with eccentric blends that include Belgian chocolate rooibos and the bestselling Kyoto cherry rose sencha tea. Brooklyn Tea carries over 90 different tea blends, so if you’re having trouble picking out your own, we suggest trying the tea boxes that come with an assortment.

A subscription box for the fishing enthusiast

mystery tackle box BOX FROM THE OUTSIDE

Product Card (small)

Mystery Tackle Box offers a solution for fishing lovers at any level who are jealous of Birchbox and other monthly subscription services. These monthly boxes come with fishing lures, tackle, and information about how to best put them to use. 

A pair of custom, handmade shoes

Adelante Shoes

Product Card (small)

My Chelsea boots from Adelante Shoes are without a doubt my favorite pair of shoes. The company’s focus on sustainability, customization, and economic development in Guatemala (where craftsmen working on these shoes are located) shows through in the final product. I came across the brand at a street fair and was able to customize the front, back, pull tab, elastic, stitching, and sole on the spot because the company makes shoes to order, rather than exclusively selling what they have on hand. They are more expensive than the average Chelsea boot, but if you’re looking for a high-quality shoe, and okay with keeping up with the care, they are the perfect boot! — Lily Oberstein

Gifts that highlight Chinese designers

chop suey club gift bundle

Product Card (small)

Chop Suey Club is a New York City Chinatown boutique that showcases contemporary Chinese designers of clothes, jewelry, art, home goods, and pretty much anything else you can think of. At a time so plagued by xenophobia and racism related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chop Suey Club is doing extremely important work by making independent Chinese design accessible to the general public. So whether you’re looking for Mahjong tile-shaped ice cube molds, bougie fish red envelopes, or White Rabbit candy socks, Chop Suey Club is sure to have your latest obsession. 

Homemade vintage jewelry that helps the planet

Yam

Product Card (small)

If you’re looking for more gold to add to your everyday jewelry collection, Yam is the perfect place to start your search. These contemporary pieces with a modern twist are made with both vintage and upcycled materials, incorporating gold and brass with colorful beads and pearls. All items are handmade to order in Astoria, New York. 

A floating shelf to show off jewelry

wall-mounted jewelry organizer

Wall Mount floating Jewelry Holder (small)

This wall-mounted jewelry organizer lets me show off all of my favorite pieces in an elegant and organized fashion. I had a really hard time finding something that matches the aesthetic of my earrings, has space for studs and rings, plus is durable, and FigureGrain organizers have all three. Handmade in California, this organizer comes in 12 colors so you can be sure you are getting a color that complements your space, plus installation is easy with screws and drywall anchors included. — Lily Oberstein

Chili oil for the spice-loving foodie

boon sauce

Product Card (small)

If you’re looking for a gift for the spice connoisseur in your life, consider leveling up by ordering them some Boon sauce. This small-batch chili oil was created by Thai-Chinese chef Max Boonthanakit after he sought to add more flavor to the chili oils currently available on the market. Boon sauce was recently featured on the YouTube food show Worth It and is experiencing a well-deserved boon (!) of good publicity. Boon sauce is only available in batches, so be sure to grab some while it’s still available. 

A moisturizing bar of soap

Sallye Anders

Product Card (small)

Besides gracing you with pleasant and soft aromas, Sallye Anders’ Essential Soaps have an aesthetic that presents well on any soap dish. With the generous sizing, you can get plenty of use out of one bar. The brand also offers shampoo bars, shaving soap, skincare products, and baby products

Boldly flavored tea for the chai connoisseur

Spice Professors

Product Card (small)

In college, my best friend and I discovered the Spice Professor while visiting the shops at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. We loved using my electric kettle to brew cups of the Spice Professor’s loose-leaf tea, which comes in a unique variety of deliciously bold flavors. The Earl Grey Green was our favorite, and the Chocolate Lover’s Chai was a close second. 

The spices are just as rich and tasty as the brand’s teas and an easy way to level up your cooking. Sprinkling the Smoked Paprika over deviled eggs has been a real game-changer for me. — Sarah Toscano

Island-inspired beauty products

Balmyard Beauty

Product Card (small)

Balmyard Beauty carries an assortment of luxe skin oils, cheek tints, and bath treatments with ingredients sourced directly from the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Because of their ease of use and buildable but pigmented color, the brand’s popular lip and cheek tint rivals that of Glossier’s Cloud Paints.

To give back to those who influenced the brand, Balmyard donates a portion of its proceeds to Jamaican community organizations. 

Bright and intricate paper goods

worthwhile paper poster

Product Card (small)

This woman-led Michigan-based company creates beautiful screen prints and paper goods from eco-friendly materials. All of the prints are hand-drawn, and you can buy everything from posters to paper cards to stickers on the online store. I was gifted this 8×10 screen print over a year ago, and the colors remain as cheerful and vibrant as ever. — Allison Jiang

A pair of earrings made with hand-cut stones

Octave Jewelry Earrings

Product Card (small)

Octave Jewelry is the perfect place to find high-quality jewelry, with all pieces made from sterling silver and hand-cut stones. Plus, the Black-owned business offers 10% off your first purchase.

Long-lasting and cruelty-free nail polish

Image of a hand with nail polish from Triple O Polish

Product Card (small)

Specializing in shades for darker skin tones, Triple O Polish’s nail lacquers are high achievers in both color and quality. I own four of their polishes (Fon, Aja, Wassu, and Askia Musa), and they are by far some of the best I’ve tried, in both shade and longevity, making them a steal for only $10 each. All lacquers are handmade, and the company is Leaping Bunny certified (no animal testing here). — Shannon Stubbs

An all-natural, Instagram-famous face mask

GOLDE

Product Card (small)

Golde’s motto is “powered by superfoods,” using food and other all-natural ingredients to create clean skincare and powder supplements. You’ve probably seen one of your favorite beauty influencers wearing the Clean Greens Mask that detoxifies the skin with chlorophyll and spirulina. Alongside its Instagram-famous masks, the brand carries latte blends and powders that can be mixed into hot drinks or used for baking.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Homesick candles might not smell exactly like home, but we think they make great gifts anyway – here’s why

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

homesick candles diffuser

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyCandles (small)Reed Diffuser (small)

Scent is very closely tied to memory. That’s why when you smell cookies baking in the oven, you might feel like you’re back in your kitchen helping your grandma decorate cookies with icing and sprinkles.

But what about the scents of more abstract things like “home” and even geographic locations like New York?

Homesick candles range from the hilarious to the sentimental, with unique scents that may not smell exactly like home, but perhaps an idealized version of it.

What are Homesick candles?

Candle company Homesick polled people around the U.S. to find out what home smelled like to them to develop customized scents for each city and state, as well as experiences. The results range from the celebratory – like Let’s Toast, which includes citrus and Champagne grapes – to the more sentimental – like Love Letters, which includes notes of rose, jasmine, sandalwood, peony, red plum, and lemon.

Each candle is made from all-natural soy wax, which is then hand-poured into a glass container. The simple black and white labels are minimal, and let you know what candle you’re smelling. The candles come in cute, colorful packaging, making them ready to gift to anyone who wants a whiff of nostalgia in their home away from home.

Homesick’s candles are reasonably priced starting at $34, and orders over $59 will get free shipping.

What Homesick candles actually smell like

New York City Candle (small)

We tested a few of its candles and found that some of the scents transported us “home,” while others smelled lovely, but not quite like the places we imagined. Here are our team’s thoughts on each candle we tried.

New York City candle

As denizens of New York City, the Insider Reviews team typically remembers the malodorous smells we catch a whiff on the street rather than the candle’s idealistic “scents of spring days in Central Park, fine department stores, and concrete.”

Senior reporter Mara Leighton said it best when she described the candle as “what New York smells like in your dreams before you actually move here.” The candle smells a lot like Macy’s in Herald Square, and is infinitely preferable to the iffy smell of the city streets and the subway.

When I burned the NYC candle in my apartment, it smelled amazing. The gentle scent made my entire apartment smell great, and it burned evenly.

United Kingdom candle

Senior home & kitchen editor Lauren Savoie purchased the United Kingdom candle after a bout of nostalgia for her time living across the pond. The candle is advertised as smelling like bergamot, grass, rain, Earl Grey tea, apple crumb, toffee, vanilla, and sugar. While the candle smelled pleasant, Savoie said it didn’t exactly smell like how she imagined. “This one was much more sweet than it was hoppy or grassy like I imagine the U.K. to be. While it was lovely to burn, I can’t say it transported me back to my days stomping down London’s streets,” she said.

Ski Trip candle

Health & fitness editor Rachel Shultz owns the Ski Trip candle with notes of frosted air, cocoa, and warm amber. “As someone who lives in a ski town, it didn’t smell distinctly themed to me (but what does snow and fun smell like?), but it does smell delicious regardless,” she said.

Let’s Toast candle

Senior story producer Francesca Rea owns the Let’s Toast candle, which is packed with citrusy Champagne notes. “I actually really liked the scent but I did think it was pretty strong,” she said. Though Rea didn’t mind the prominent scent, others might find it a bit overpowering. We think this candle would make a great gift for anyone celebrating a special milestone like an engagement or promotion.

New Mexico candle

Travel editor Hannah Freedman is a New Mexico native, and while she enjoyed the smell of this candle, it didn’t quite hit all the marks of home. (“Where is the juniper or pinon??”)

South Dakota candle

This one was the biggest miss of the candles our team tried, with Freedman reporting it smells “like soap,” and not in a good way.

Flameless options

Reed Diffuser (small)

If you don’t like candles because of the fire risk, you may prefer Homesick’s reed diffuser. The glass bottle has four ounces of essential oils that saturate reeds for a lovely scent, and you can choose from several different Homesick oils that smell the same as the brand’s candles.

Should you buy Homesick candles?

While not all of us felt a sent of nostalgia associated with the Homesick candles we tried, we still think they make excellent gifts. Scent is deeply personal, and what smells like home to one person may not to another.

What we particularly like about Homesick candles is the sentiment they convey. Selecting a scent specifically for your giftee that acknowledges their current circumstances feels much more personal than choosing a generic candle. Senior story producer Francesca Rea gifted a Connecticut candle to a friend stationed in Germany when he missed his first Christmas at home and reports he was really moved by the sentiment. Even if the candle’s scent doesn’t transport your giftee home, the simple act of receiving such a curated gift will make them feel a connection to the place they’re missing.

What are your alternatives?

We’ve put together a full guide to the best places to buy candles. If you’re looking for transporting scents in particular, we recommend checking out Otherland candles.

The bottom line

At $34, Homesick candles are reasonably priced so you can gift them for every occasion. College students and new-ish grown-ups who are just getting started in a new city or state will love the nostalgia factor, and anyone who likes candles will appreciate how well made they are.

Shop all Homesick candles and diffusers

Read the original article on Business Insider

Homesick candles smell like home and make great gifts for any occasion

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

homesick candles diffuser

Scent is very closely tied to memory. That’s why when you smell cookies baking in the oven, you might feel like you’re back in your kitchen helping your grandma decorate cookies with icing and sprinkles. 

But what about the scents of more abstract things like “home” and even geographic locations like New York? 

Homesick candles range from the hilarious to the sentimental, with unique scents that somehow smell like how you’d imagine

Candle company Homesick polled people around the US to find out what home smelled like to them to develop customized scents for each city and state, as well as experiences. The results range from the celebratory – like Let’s Toast, which includes citrus and Champagne grapes – to the more sentimental – like Love Letters, which includes notes of rose, jasmine, sandalwood, peony, red plum, and lemon.

Each candle is made from all-natural soy wax, which is then hand-poured into a glass container. The simple black and white labels are minimal, and let you know what candle you’re smelling. The candles come in cute, colorful packaging, making them ready to gift to anyone who wants a whiff of nostalgia in their home away from home.

Homesick’s candles are reasonably priced starting at $34, and orders over $59 will get free shipping too.

What Homesick candles actually smell like

We tested a few of its candles and liked how the unique scents transported us “home,” whether that meant New York City or baking with our grandma in the kitchen.

New York City candle

As denizens of New York City, the Insider Reviews team typically remembers the malodorous smells we catch a whiff on the street rather than the candle’s idealistic “scents of spring days in Central Park, fine department stores, and concrete.”

Senior reporter Mara Leighton said it best when she described the candle as “what New York smells like in your dreams before you actually move here.” Still, we cannot deny that the candle smells a lot like Macy’s in Herald Square, or that the scent is infinitely preferable to the iffy smell of the city streets and the subway.

When I burned the NYC candle in my apartment, it smelled amazing. The gentle scent made my entire apartment smell great, and it burned evenly.

Holiday candle (currently unavailable)

The Holiday candle hit all the right notes with its scents of “freshly cut Pine trees and pomander balls; Mom’s sugar cookies and Grandma’s pies, warm from the oven.” The whole Insider Reviews team agreed that it smelled wonderful.

Just like the NYC candle, it burned evenly and beautifully all evening long in my apartment. When I closed my eyes, the gentle and aromatic pine scent reminded me of Christmastime at my Grandma’s house, which was surrounded by pine trees. The hint of cinnamon in there brought me right back to baking Swedish cinnamon buns with her too. It’s my favorite of the two I tried.

Homesick also makes a reed diffuser if you’re not into candles

If you don’t like candles because of the fire risk, you may prefer Homesick’s reed diffuser. The glass bottle has four ounces of essential oils that saturate reeds for a lovely scent, and you can choose from several different Homesick oils that smell the same as the brand’s candles.

At $34, Homesick candles are reasonably priced so you can gift them for every occasion. College students and new-ish grown-ups who are just getting started in a new city or state will love the nostalgia factor, and anyone who likes candles will appreciate how well made they are.

Shop all Homesick candles and diffusers

Read the original article on Business Insider

26 thoughtful holiday gifts ideas from Black-owned businesses

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

McBride Sisters wine
  • If you’re looking to support Black-owned businesses while shopping for the holidays this year, you’ve come to the right place.
  • Below, we’ve rounded up 26 of the best gifts from Black-owned businesses, big and small.
  • Check out all of our holiday gift guides for ideas categorized by budget and type. 
  • Shopping for more gifts? Read all of our gift ideas in this helpful roundup of all our gift guides.

The holiday season is officially here and gifts are on most people’s radar. This year, though, many of us are making a conscious effort to be more inclusive and supportive of diverse communities as we do our shopping. One way to do that during the holidays (and any other time of year) is to buy from Black-owned businesses.

In doing so, you’ll discover many new and interesting brands, and support under-represented small businesses that make some truly great stuff. Shopping from Black-owned businesses shouldn’t be the only effort you make to dismantle or address systemic racism, but it is one small choice that can have an impact. 

We rounded up 26 thoughtful gift ideas from Black-owned businesses ranging from small stores on Etsy to bestselling brands.

Take a look at some of our favorites, below. You’ll likely find something for everyone on your list – and yourself, too.

The 26 best gifts from Black-owned businesses:

Medium roast coffee beans

BLK & Bold Coffee

BLK & Bold Coffee, $12.99

If you’re shopping for a coffee lover, BLK & Bold’s fair trade coffee beans might be the perfect gift. The brand also donates 5% of its profits to initiatives that help sustain youth programming, enhance workforce development, and eradicate youth homelessness.

An indoor plant

The Nice Plant

The Nice Plant Blooming Energy Box, $43.99

Indoor plants are much more than an extra responsibility. They help purify the air, have been proven to reduce stress, and look good aesthetically. The Nice Plant’s Blooming Energy Box includes a small plant and a few other useful things, like a sage smudge stick, palo santo bundle, and room spray, to make their home more peaceful and relaxing. 

 

A satin-lined beanie

Kink and Coil Sink l

Kink & Coil Satin-Lined Beanie, $35.99

Most people with naturally curly and kinky hair avoid wearing hats to reduce frizz, but Kink and Coil’s Satin-Lined beanie solves that issue. Just like a silk pillowcase or a bonnet, the inside of the beanie is designed to protect your hair from frizz and damage. On top of that, the pom-pom can be removed, if you’d prefer to wear the hat without it.

We spoke with a trichologist to learn more about how satin- and silk-lined beanies can benefit anyone with curly or high-porosity hair

A vegan leather cardholder

vegan cork leather wallet

Vegan Cork Leather Slim Cardholder by mindthecork on Etsy, $25.20

If their old wallet is tired and tattered, this cardholder made of vegan cork leather is a gift they can put to use right away — and use every day going forward.

A simple skincare regimen for men of color

Ceylon

Ceylon Skincare Set, $34.95

Including a detoxifying face wash, a hydrating toner, and a clarifying moisturizer, this three-step skincare kit was designed specifically for men of color. If he isn’t one for hoarding skincare products, this simple kit can help him achieve healthier skin.

A timeless watch

Asorock Watches

Asorock Monolith Watch, $135

Founded by Nigerian-American Ben Iroala and Zambian-American Andrew Mutale, Asorock specializes in making elegant timepieces — and the Monolith Watch is a unique design that can elevate any simple outfit. 

Yummy organic popcorn

Major's Project Pop

Major’s Project Pop Organic Kettle Corn 2 Pack, $31

Made using organic ingredients, Major Project Pop Kettle Corn is a healthy, tasty snack anyone will enjoy. 

Hydrating hair products

Briogeo

Briogeo Merry Multi-Masking Kit, $36

Briogeo is one of our favorite haircare brands, and their gift sets are always on point. This kit includes Briogeo’s bestselling Don’t Despair, Repair! Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask and sample size containers of two of the brand’s other masks. They’re designed to work on all hair types.

Spices made by a professional chef

Chef Max spices

Chef Max Signature Spices, $9 each

Created by professional celebrity chef Maxcel Hardy, these spices are the result of years of culinary experience. Gift these to your favorite cook and they’ll be able to incorporate them into many new recipes.

An all-purpose serum for skin and hair

Glow Skin Deep

Glow Skin Deep Glow Serum, $22

Founded in New Jersey by Marshay Monet, Glow Skin Deep was originally created to address uneven tone, blemishes, and acne scars in her own skin. Now available for everyone, the facial serum makes a great gift for skincare fans, and can also be used as a moisturizing beard oil.

Rihanna’s bestselling Fenty skincare set

Fenty Skin

Fenty Skin All Four One 4-Piece AM + PM Skincare Bundle, $112

Rihanna’s bestselling skincare bundle from her brand Fenty includes everything you’ll need to maintain healthy skin. The kit includes a facial cleanser, toner, two-in-one sunscreen moisturizer, and a nightly moisturizer. Read our full review of the Fenty skincare set here.

A hair and beard trimmer

Bevel Trimmer

Bevel Trimmer, $199.95

Designed for men of color, whose facial hair and skin tend to be slightly thicker, the Bevel Trimmer will help the one you’re gifting maintain a well-groomed look without the razor bumps that traditional trimmers can cause. Read our full review here.

A wine gift set

McBride Sisters wine

McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Wine, starting at $19.99

As the largest black-owned wine company in the United States, the McBride Sisters Collection is the perfect place to find a gift for the wine lover on your list. The Black Girl Magic collection in particular is inspired by the resilience of black women and includes varieties from Rosé to Merlot. 

An Afrocentric-patterned face mask

Upenyu masks

Cloth face mask by Upenyu, $13.50

Featuring Afrocentric patterns, Upenyu’s cloth face masks are a great gift for when you’re feeling tired of wearing boring, solid-color masks.

Catchy stationery

Effie's Paper

Effie’s Paper Stationery Sets, $18

During times where we can’t always see our loved ones in person, stationery can be very useful for sending letters and thoughtful notes. Created by Kalyn Johnson Chandler, Effie’s Paper takes something as boring as stationery and makes it fun with cute and catchy lines like “Joy is not Cancelled” and “Good Things are Coming.”

A holiday candle

Southern Elegance candle

Shop Southern Elegance Holiday Candle, starting at $16

Southern Elegance has an array of holiday-themed scented candles that make for great gifts, whether you’re spoiling someone else or indulging in something festive for yourself. 

A pair of designer sneakers

fear of god blue suede 101 sneakers

Fear of God Blue Suede 101 Sneakers, $302

Shop all Fear of God products at Ssense now.

One of the most popular streetwear brands in recent years, Fear of God by Jerry Lorenzo is known for its comfortable approach to casual style. These sneakers are a perfect way freshen up someone’s footwear rotation.

Stylish eyewear

Coco and Breezy Eyewear

Shop prescription eyewear and sunglasses at Coco And Breezy 

Founded by twin sisters Coco and Breezy, this Black-owned eyewear brand has a great selection of fashionable sunglasses and prescription glasses. Each style is designed to be gender-neutral, so everyone can wear them.

Weatherproof Chelsea Boots

Baxter Wood

Baxter Wood Chelsea Boots, $125

Delivering a futuristic take on classic Chelsea boot style, Baxter Wood is also helping preserve the environment by using recycled and natural rubber for its waterproof boots.

A tin of green tea

Golde Pure Matcha

Golde Pure Matcha, $32

If the person you’re shopping for is looking for a healthy, energy-boosting alternative to coffee, matcha might be a good fit. One teaspoon of Golde’s Pure Matcha features more caffeine than a shot of espresso and they won’t experience that awful crash.

Beautiful art prints

SBrownArt

African American Wall Art by SBrownArt, starting at $26

Released as part of artist Stacy Brown’s Urban City Life Collection, this work of art is a great gift for anyone in the process of furnishing a new space. It comes in a range of sizes that can be hung on a wall or framed for tabletops.

 

Organic hair products

Mielle Organics

Shop all Mielle Organics products here.

Founded by registered nurse Monique Rodriguez, Mielle Organics is a natural haircare brand that caters to types three and four hair. The brand will help you learn about your curl type, factors like hair porosity, and most importantly, provide you with all-natural products designed to maintain healthy hair.

A silk-lined hoodie to protect natural hair

Kin Apparel Silk Lined Hoodie

Kin Silk-Lined Hoodies, starting at $54.99

Kin Apparel hoodies feature a silk-lined hood to help protect natural hairstyles. Even if the person you’re gifting isn’t too concerned about their hair, the hoodies are so comfortable, they’ll want to wear them daily.

A puzzle for kids

Puzzle Huddle

Shop in-stock puzzles, starting at $12.95

Founded by a father who struggled to find diverse puzzles for his children, Puzzle Huddle offers a variety of kids’ puzzles that showcase children of color. The theme of the puzzles includes important values like education, achievement, and culture. 

Clothes from a popular streetwear brand

Alife

Alife Collegiate Hoodie, $138

Alife is easily one of the most iconic streetwear brands in fashion — and it happens to be Black-owned. The brand delivers timeless staples that anyone can work into their wardrobe, whether they consider themselves to be fashion-forward or more of a casual dresser.

A moisturizing body balm

Golden Grooming Co. Body Balm

Golden Grooming Co. Body Balm, $5.99

Made from a blend of natural oils and shea butter, Golden Grooming’s Body Balm is a great alternative to lotions that dry down too quickly. Golden Grooming Company donates 5% of sales to programs that foster entrepreneurship in youth of color from underserved communities, in addition to providing financial support for students at HBCUs.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Homesick candles smell like home and make great gifts for any occasion – and they’re 20% off right now

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

homesick candles diffuser

Scent is very closely tied to memory. That’s why when you smell cookies baking in the oven, you might feel like you’re back in your kitchen helping your grandma decorate cookies with icing and sprinkles. 

But what about the scents of more abstract things like “home” and even geographic locations like New York? 

Homesick candles range from the hilarious to the sentimental, with unique scents that somehow smell like how you’d imagine

Candle company Homesick polled people around the US to find out what home smelled like to them to develop customized scents for each city and state, as well as more nostalgic experiences. The results range from the hilarious – like Jewish Christmas, which smells like “Buttered popcorn and a movie at the local theatre followed by an overindulgence of Chinese food with friends and family” – to the more sentimental – like Thank you, Mom, which smells like “Freshly trimmed flowers on the kitchen table. The smell of breakfast sizzling on Sunday.” 

Each candle is made from all-natural soy wax, which is then hand-poured into a glass container. The simple black and white labels are minimal, and let you know what candle you’re smelling. The candles come in cute, colorful packaging, making them ready to gift to anyone who wants a whiff of nostalgia in their home away from home.

Homesick’s candles are also reasonably priced starting at $34

What Homesick candles actually smell like

We tested a few of its candles and liked how the unique scents transported us “home,” whether that meant New York City or baking with our grandma in the kitchen.

New York City candle

As denizens of New York City, the Insider Reviews team typically remembers the malodorous smells we catch a whiff on the street rather than the candle’s idealistic “scents of spring days in Central Park, fine department stores, and concrete.”

Senior reporter Mara Leighton said it best when she described the candle as “what New York smells like in your dreams before you actually move here.” Still, we cannot deny that the candle smells a lot like Macy’s in Herald Square, or that the scent is infinitely preferable to the iffy smell of the city streets and the subway.

When I burned the NYC candle in my apartment, it smelled amazing. The gentle scent made my entire apartment smell great, and it burned evenly.

Holiday candle (currently unavailable)

The Holiday candle hit all the right notes with its scents of “freshly cut Pine trees and pomander balls; Mom’s sugar cookies and Grandma’s pies, warm from the oven.” The whole Insider Reviews team agreed that it smelled wonderful.

Just like the NYC candle, it burned evenly and beautifully all evening long in my apartment. When I closed my eyes, the gentle and aromatic pine scent reminded me of Christmastime at my Grandma’s house, which was surrounded by pine trees. The hint of cinnamon in there brought me right back to baking Swedish cinnamon buns with her too. It’s my favorite of the two I tried.

Homesick also makes a reed diffuser if you’re not into candles

If you don’t like candles because of the fire risk, you may prefer Homesick’s reed diffuser. The glass bottle has four ounces of essential oils that saturate reeds for a lovely scent, and you can choose from several different Homesick oils that smell the same as the brand’s candles.

At $35, Homesick candles are reasonably priced so you can get a different one as a gift for every occasion. College students and new-ish grown-ups who are just getting started in a new city or state will love the nostalgia factor, and anyone who likes candles will appreciate how well made they are.

Shop all Homesick candles and diffusers

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