If you’re looking to shop local and support minority-owned businesses for the holidays, there are some pretty cool gifts to choose from for the book lovers to fans of sweet treats who are on your list.
Drama MaMa Bookshop
Give the gift of a $30 wooden or hardcover journal engraved with chakras or quotes from Audre Lorde. The handmade journals can also be customized with text, images, or logos. For $40, purchase The Vibe Within Journal and Virtual Yoga Session with Gab Cohen.Another item hot off the press is the $38 Book Box, which includes a complimentary Wine & Bind workshop via Zoom on how to bind your own wooden bullet journal.
Curbside pick up and shipping only due to COVID. Pick up location is in Mt Vernon and disclosed after purchase. Drama MaMa Bookshop owner Alisa L. Brock started journaling to process grief and to write inspirational affirmations.
Contact: 443-873-0749, info@DramaMaMaBookshop.com
Atlas Book Club
A subscription for Atlas Book Club will give the gift of travel from the comfort of home. Each month, explore a new part of the world with an immersive educational box filled with books, postcards and souvenirs based on age and reading level.
A monthly subscription starts at $37.99, with options to purchase a 3 month ($110.97) or 6 month subscription ($215.94) as a one-time gift purchase. Bunmi Emenanjo launched the Annapolis-based book club in 2017 to teach her Nigerian-American kids about their African heritage and to learn about other world cultures in the process.
Charm City Chocolate
Ranging from $7.50 to $55.00, Charm City Chocolate has assorted boxes of candies and other treats to chose from during their 12 Days of Delicious. Get into the spirit with the Baltimore Advent Calendar or make a fresh batch of cookies using a Signature Holiday Baking Box. For refined taste, try a 16-piece custom mix of eggnog and rum-flavored truffles in milk and dark chocolate.
The husband and wife owners, Todd and Michelle Zimmerman, handcraft gourmet chocolates in small batches from family recipes. Charm City Chocolate items are available online Monday through Thursday with curbside pickup available Friday through Sunday: mycurbsidechocolate.com
Address: 809 West 36th Street, Baltimore
Contact: 443-449-5164, email@example.com
From Baltimore-based stylist and fashion editor Zoey Washington, Fabric Fake Outs are iron-on heat transfers in trendy prints so that you can transform any light-colored fashion item into a runway-ready masterpiece. Each kit comes with three sheets of themed patterns (think animal print, fab florals, or no mess tie-dye), parchment paper, and a “zine-style inspo” guide. The kits are available in two sizes for $18 and $36.
Shop at sewsquad.com.
Salvadoran sisters Alejandra and Nicole Leiva opened Dulceology, an artisan Latin bakery in Federal Hill this year. Their signature product is the alfajor, a dulce de leche sandwich cookie with flavors ranging from powdered sugar to pumpkin spice. Buy a $27 St. Nicolas Assortment of alfajores, baked with pure vanilla extract and hand dipped in milk chocolate. Dulceology also sells $15 sweet empanadas, $12 coco hoops, and $6.50 Salvadoran quesadillas. dulceology.com
Address: 1138 S. Charles St. Baltimore
In-store hours: Sunday, Thursday-Friday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Contact: 301-273-4348, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jtbeezwax Greeting Cards
These greeting cards by East Baltimore visual designer Jermaine Táron Bell are bursting with Afrocentric pride. Bell got the idea for making greeting cards his senior year at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The graphic design major created a book and decided to make greeting cards with the characters from the book.
Find the greeting cards for $4 each at jermainetbell.com/jtbeezwaxshop/
Knits, Soy & Metal
Letta Moore has been operating her 1,100 square feet space in Clipper Mill since May 2019 and is known for her all-natural 100% soy candles. Scents range from the woodsy such as sandalwood and cedar wood, to sweeter including lavender, vanilla, and black currant tea. There are about 25 scents available at any given time. Find Knits, Soy & Metal’s Soy candles for $9 for 4 ounce and $18 for 12 ounce at the shop.
Address: 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Studio 123, Baltimore
The Evening Sun
Contact 443-278-3956, knitssoyandmetal.com
Sweet Fortunes Unlimited
Baltimore resident Angela Newman has tapped into her Black and Chinese heritage to launch her “cookie-preneurship” company called Sweet Fortunes Unlimited. She began the business in 2008, but restarted it during the pandemic. The customized, hand-made fortune cookies with personalized messages inside range from $3 for a two-cookie pack to $36 for a nine-cookie sampler: sweetfortunes.store
Contact: 443-253-9969, SweetFortunesUnlimited@gmail.com
Jessy DeSantis Art
Nicaraguan visual artist Jessy DeSantis mixes Central American imagery, magical realism, and Baltimore landmarks in her paintings. Her work is featured now at the University of Maryland Stamp Gallery and Greenmount W. Community Fridge.Ranging from $12.50 to $39, choose online from over 15 technicolor prints, including vibrant landscapes of the Patterson Park Pagoda and Highlandtown rowhouses. Twenty percent of proceeds from the prints have gone to family and community members affected by the hurricanes in Nicaragua.
Mexi Art by Ale
Baltimore-based Mexi Art by Ale was started in 2018 by Alejandra Martinez, a full-time mom who dreamed of owning a small business to share her love for Mexican folklore, culture and Indigenous traditions. Purchase $10 moon shaped or butterfly gold plated earrings traditionally worn for Guelaguetza, an Indigenous celebration hosted annually in Oaxaca, Mexico. For $28 and under, Huichol jewelery is handcrafted with beads or thread, bearing symbols tied to Shamanism and ancient legends of cosmogony. Other prized items include $35 cross body bags, $15 Christmas stockings and $10 face masks inspired by Frida Kahlo.
Available at mexiartbyale.online.