Buy Black This Holiday Season

Still got some last-minute shopping to do? Consider these black-owned businesses for unique gift ideas:

Mahogany Books: I met the wife of this husband-and-wife entrepreneur duo at a black business expo last year in Woodbridge, VA. According to their website, Mahogany Books, located in Washington, D.C., is a local independent bookstore that believes in social entreprenuership. “We take a leadership role in the African American community by promoting reading, writing, and cultural awareness as tools to improve self-esteem, self-love and ultimately our communities to enrich the lives of motivated individuals,” says Ramunda and Derrick Young on their website. Read more about their vision, their mission and their story at and visit them in-person inside the Anacostia Arts Center at 1231 Good Hope Rd., S.E., Washington, D.C. 20020. Their phone number is (202) 844-2062.


Koto, LLC: I have it on good authority (his wife!), that Chris Bickersteth has been in the factory lately making fresh batches of his signature fried pepper sauce. According to the Koto, LLC website, the company was established in 2009 with a mission to introduce the world to the highest quality of hot pepper sauces and spices native to the west coast of Africa. “Our recipes are authentic and have been in use for generations. We employ traditional production techniques and use the highest quality ingredients available in manufacturing our products,” says Chris on his website. Order this unique and tasty product for yourself or as gifts at Want to buy in-person? Click the “Locations” link for stores in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina that carry this product.


Sheawoman Soapery: I was rushing out of Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, VA, when this entrepreneur’s friendly smile and beautiful cart display caused me to stop and shop. I ended up with three wonderfully scented bath bombs. But Lynn Harris’s Sheawoman Soapery offers so much more! According to her website, “Sheawoman’s goal is to ensure people have access to the highest quality, least expensive, all-natural cleansers, moisturizers and aromatherapies — free of all the chemicals that work against health — for the daily care of their persons.” Visit her stand-alone
shop at Potomac Mills Mall (sorry, can’t recall which neighborhood!) or on the web at or contact her at 703-399-9131 or

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