Help Woman-and-BIPOC-Owned Small Businesses!
Want to spread cheer with quality presents, AND do good? I don’t usually write gift guides, and have a problem with gifts… but this year there is a set of items so fabulous, that I am passionately compelled to recommend them.
Most of the companies on this list are small, woman-owned businesses that are local and use ethical practices. I think you’ll truly enjoy them — either as gifts for yourself or others. Some links here are affiliates, meaning I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Now let’s shop!
1. Amazing Leggings from Wanderbabe
Do you or someone you know want to get compliments left and right for having the most show-stopping leggings around? Look no further than these purple moon pants!
Wanderbabe is a small, woman-owned company started by a fellow writer. The company’s clothes are created using renewable energy, and 10% of all their profits are donated to organizations that help women.
Can you tell by my backbend how much I love these pants? (Yes, I was a high jumper in college.) See more of these pants in action via my workout photos and video here. The high waist is key to avoiding accidental nudity! (Note: I also love these armor leggings — also by a woman-owned small business.)
2. Cute Compression Socks by VIM & VIGR
I am very thankful for my pregnancies because they produced two lovely children, but a symptom of pregnancy that hasn’t been so delightful is varicose veins. To address this, several years ago I began wearing compression socks ago to support my legs during teaching and workouts. It’s sometimes hard to find fashionable and supportive compression, however.
Enter VIM & VIGR: a company founded by an Asian-American woman who wanted to help keep legs healthy during long periods of standing (like we teachers do), sitting (as many do at work or during air travel), or working out. The designs are adorable, and they come in all different materials and compression levels, all of which I’m finding mighty comfortable.
3. BLM Shirts to Teach History
The beautiful BLM shirt pictured above was created by my friend Joshua for his Black-owned company, Constant Elevation Clothing. I recently gifted one of the shirts to a friend, and she marveled at the many symbols hidden within the words. How many can you identify?
4. Educational Black and Latina Dolls
Click on over to this full interview with my teacher colleague, Maritere, to see her phenomenal dolls of Kamala Harris, Frida Kahlo, Sojourner Truth, and more! Each is hand-sewn and has historical facts on the back. Support this BIPOC-owned business, and share knowledge (and cuddly toys) in the process.
5. Feminist Dresses from Leota and Princess Awesome
If you’ve spent any time on this site, you know that my all-time favorite clothes are the soft, stretchy, and washable dresses made by my friend Sarah from Leota. I got that delicious print pictured above during one of their big sales, and can’t wait to wear it out into the world! See their site here.
Another feminist dress company started by a college classmate of mine (Brown University raised us well!) is Princess Awesome. Rebecca’s company makes dresses (and now leggings) for girls and women with patterns championing math, STEM, dinosaurs, and other scrumptious prints that are rarely put on female clothing. Every time I see kids at school wearing the train twirl skirt I squeal.
Rebecca also has a wing of the company called “Boy Wonder” with male clothing decorated in classically “feminine” topics and colors. Love it so much!
6. Nutrition from Shaklee and Workouts from Beachbody
Multilevel marketing can be frustrating for some people, but the fact is that many people — women especially — make a good living from it, and some MLM companies sell wonderful, life-changing things.
Case in point: Shaklee products (click through to see my husband’s site) which are healthy nutrition, cleaning, and beauty products that our family has been adoring for over a decade. (You can even see our Shaklee water bottle in the corner of a photo in my recent gingerbread house article.) These snack bars and this protein powder have been instrumental in helping me manage my fitness and eat well.
Another MLM I think is doing great work is the online workout program Beachbody, and I’m happy to connect you with friends who are coaches so you can sign up “under” them at no extra cost to you, to support their businesses. Giving the gift of fitness — to yourself or others — makes THE difference. (I just finished the #mbf Muscle Burns Fat program on BOD and highly recommend it.)
7. Insight Timer for Meditation
No article about mindfulness is complete without a mention of meditation! Thus I must share the app which has finally got me meditating every single day, and changed everything for the better: Insight Timer. The good news is that it has a free version, so an easy gift is to get a friend to download it with you and positively peer pressure each other to dive into it every day!
Reflecting on Mindful Gifts
Mindfulness is about being truly present to what is needed, and what is needed this year is for us to support local small businesses — ideally those which are owned by women and BIPOC — and to match those gifts with people who will truly use and appreciate them.
I hope this guide helps, and don’t hesitate to suggest other brands and entrepreneurs that we could all benefit from knowing about! Do share…
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!