Valentine's Day is coming! So I guess it's time to spend money on those we love. Why not show that love in a way that economically empowers the communities you love, too? Here are a few of my personal favs, and some tips on how we celebrate Valentine’s Day in The Empowerment Experiment (EE). EE is my family’s historic yearlong stand and study only supporting Black businesses and professionals and buying only Black made products for an entire year… and the movement it is inspiring.
Do what I do! My husband and I support quality Black businesses providing luxurious spas and B & B getaways, flowers, bath and body products, cosmetics, gifts for little girls, wine and spirits. Please see below for my gift ideas, favs, and resources for you... DELIVERED WITH LOVE!
1. If you are going out to eat for Valentine's Day, how about choosing a Black-owned restaurant?
2. If you are buying flowers, at least try to find and support your local Black-owned flower shop.
3. How about treating your wife or girlfriend to a spa day at a Black-owned spa? Get a gift certificate! In Chicago, I just love Veola’s. https://www.veolasdayspa.com/ Full service. FANTASTIC service too!
4. Buy your sweetie a gorgeous designer purse or clutch from my sister, Alexandria Ali, at F&W Style (https://www.fwstyle.com/)!
5. If you are going to go all-out, why not spend a night or two at a Black-owned B&B or hotel? Here are my fav B&Bs…Six Acres in Cincinnati (http://sixacresbb.com/), owned by the Kristin Kitchen, sophisticated style and service all the way! I also had a fabulous stay at Thee Matriarch B & B, THEE place to be in SC. http://theematriarch.com/ I love the owners, Rachelle and Chef Fred, a beautiful couple that supports and employs from our community.
6. Staying in? Celebrate with Black-made wines and spirits. In my house, we love Heritage Link Brands wines (Black-made African wines, https://www.heritagelinkbrands.com/), McBride Sisters wines, Savile Rum Cocktails (https://www.savilecocktails.com/), and Uncle Nearest Whiskey. In Chicago, you can find all these and more Black-made wines and spirits at Kimbark Beverage Shoppe, our liquor store, owned by a giving, committed, brilliant entrepreneur, Jonathan Swain. If you are in Chicagoland, get your wine, champagne, etc from here!
7. Stop by your local Black-owned bookstore. You can find lots of cultural gifts, frames, cards, candles, etc. My local favorite is Afriware Cultural Books and Gifts, owned by one of my best friends and businesses from our historic year living off Black owned businesses, Nzingha Nommo. https://www.afriwarebooks.com/
8. And you can get your V-day cards from Black firms too!
9. How about starting an account at a Black-owned bank for your loved one or college-bound youth?
10. You can give the women in your life Black-made make-up, hair products or fragrances. I like LAMIK Cosmetics, out of Houston. This business is owned by Kim Roxie, who uses her Houston store, her success to lift up Black women and girls. I also use Hayah products, out of Birmingham. And if you are in Birmingham, you must visit their store. Sean John's Unforgivable (I wear this fragrance everyday!) is available at Macy's and Macys.com. And we have tons of Black owned hair care companies. See them on my other website, dedicated the bringing the Black hair care industry BACK TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY! I support Shawne Morgan, my friend, and her It’s Yours hair care line (https://www.itsyours.net/); Bernard Bronner and his family’s iconic company, Bronner Bros (https://www.itsyours.net/); Mystique Natural (https://mystiquenaturalhair.com/), owned by my friend and partner in the Black Owned Hair Care Challenge, Allyson Springett, and TGIN – Thank God Its Natural, owned by Harvard sister and cancer survivor, Chris Tia Donaldson. Top quality. https://mystiquenaturalhair.com/ FUBU!
11. How about something for your daughter? Pretty Brown Girl apparel offers the cutest empowerment gear for girls of color! https://prettybrowngirl.com/
12. And don't forget that my book, "Our Black Year" makes for a great gift too! Buy it from my site and I'll sign it for you! https://authormaggieanderson.com/buy-my-book
My Valentine's Day gift in 2017, a gorgeous purse from Black owned F&W Style!
BANKS – bankblackusa.org/banks
BANKS – blackoutcoalition.org/black-u-s-banks/
BLACK WOMAN OWNED – https://www.buyfromablackwomandirectory.org/
HAIR CARE – BLACK OWNED HAIR CARE CHALLENGE – Maggie’s educational and empowerment campaign to bring the Black hair care industry back to the Black community. I’ve aggregated all the best lists! Hundreds of Black owned hair care companies! – blackownedhaircarechallenge.com
HOTELS and B&Bs – Natl Assoc of Black Hotel Owners Operators & Developers – nabhood.net
NATIONAL DIRECTORY OF BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES, RESTAURANTS, ALCOHOLIC BRANDS AND OTHER RESOURCES. Fantastic site, includes many upscale, updated businesses and resources – https://imbibemagazine.com/resources-for-supporting-black-beverage-professionals-and-black-owned-businesses/
OPEN TABLE – The largest online restaurant directory is creating a list of Black owned restaurants. Growing everyday. https://blog.opentable.com/2020/black-owned-restaurants-united-states/
PURSES – F & W Style – https://www.fwstyle.com/
RESTAURANTS – YELP – Yelp collected the Black owned restaurants across the country with the highest reviews. Growing everyday. https://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/black-owned-business-to-watch-yelp
ATLANTA RESTAURANTS – https://www.atlantaeats.com/blog/29-black-owned-restaurants-in-atlanta/
BALTIMORE RESTAURANTS – https://www.willdrinkfortravel.com/posts/black-owned-restaurants-you-need-to-visit-in-baltimore
BAY AREA RESTAURANTS – A list of lists of Black owned restaurants! Broken down by area, cuisine, organizations, etc. Awesome! – https://sf.eater.com/2020/6/4/21280530/black-owned-restaurants-san-francisco-oakland-east-bay
BOSTON RESTAURANTS – https://www.boston.com/food/restaurants/2020/06/02/black-owned-restaurants-in-boston
CHICAGO RESTAURANTS – https://secretchicago.com/black-owned-restaurants-chicago/
DC/ MD/ VA RESTAURANTS – https://www.feedthemalik.com/restaurant-directory
LOS ANGELES RESTAURANTS – https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2020-05-31/black-owned-restaurants-in-los-angeles
MIAMI RESTAURANTS – https://www.theinfatuation.com/miami/features/miami-black-owned-restaurants
Open an account at a Black bank for your partner or child! That's LOVE! OneUnited is one of my favs.