Gift Guide: Support Makers and Designers of Color

This month, we’re putting together a series of feminist gift guides. They're a way to highlight fun stuff we love and creators we're excited to support. 

The holidays in the U.S. is unabashedly about consumerism—Black Friday and Cyber Monday lead to In-Debt December. Though the season is framed as a time to “give,” in reality it’s very much about buying. So why not think more intentionally about who you’re giving your money to? From social justice art prints to fancy eco-conscious jewelry, this gift guide features things created by makers and designers of color. Shopping with independent businesses owned by artists of color is a tangible way to support their valuable work. And it totes beats whatever random thing you were going to pick up at the drugstore on Christmas eve.

Pottery by Osa’s understated ceramics designs make me want to have a different mug for each kind of tea that’s in my cupboard and a terracotta pot for all of my baby succulents. The fangirl in me would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Osa Atoe is more than just a talented ceramics artist, she’s also the creator of the zine Shotgun Seamstress (which is “by, and for, Black punks”) and was in the punk band New Bloods where she played the violin. As I typed that last thought, I realized that you could put together the ultimate Osa Atoe gift collection and just buy all of the things that she’s put out!

Favianna Rodriguez is a perennial fave who was also featured in my gift guide for social justice warriors last year. Her art speaks so much to empowerment and strength in vibrant colors with a distinct style. Favianna wrote about her work: “Our imagination has the ability to go far beyond the limits imposed by inequality, in order to visualize a truth much bigger than our gender, our race, and our place of origin.” Yes—a thousand times, yes. 

Kat Blaque’s cutesy yet bold illustrations can now be found on all surfaces that are printable. You can sip out of the “true tea” mug, snuggle under a problematic throw blanket, or shower behind a big ol’ “Toffy pug” curtain. The popular YouTube vlogger is also well-known for boosting trans visibility, and who wouldn’t want to support an artist like her? Just look at these emo ice cream cone leggings!  

 

VOZ Collective have an eye for combining rich colors on a wood palette with their line of jewelry. Their wood crystals and daggers are so much fun and feel like wearable art with hand-painted geomertic designs. Bonus: wood grain goes with everything.

Lilyemme is for those of you with a bit of a higher budget for eco-conscious jewelry. The above one-of-a-kind labradorite ring was covet-at-first-sight. Even if I have no idea what that stone is, it looks like it’s magic. Pro tip: The rose gold bar necklace can be personalized to read, you know, the name of your favorite independent feminist media organization!

Cristy C. Road’s Next World Tarot card deck can be the gift you give yourself while supporting a project in progress. Pledge your monies to pre-order this gorgeous DIY reimagining of a tarot deck or specific prints of the deck art. Cristy C. Road’s singular art and zines have long been a staple of the punk community, particularly queer punks of color and her Next World Tarot project is one worth backing. 

by Amy Lam
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Amy Lam is Bitch Media’s contributing editor. Find her at @amyadoyzie.

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