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Photograph: Khula
Photograph: Khula

Eight ways to treat yourself (or a friend) this festive period

Together with Google, we’re shining a light on fantastic Black-owned businesses in the capital. If you’ve got a friend who deserves an extra-special treat this year, you’ve come to the right place...

Written by Paula Akpan in association with Google
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If you’re feeling a little burnt out right now, then you’re not alone, pal – 2020 has been wild. That’s why we’re bringing you eight Black-owned London businesses selling products and services that might restore your energy and chill you out a little bit. Plus, there’s the warm feeling that comes from supporting local businesses… win win!


Photograph: Khula
Photograph: Khula
Photograph: Khula

1. Khula

Calling all bold earring fans, this one’s for you. Sophia Tassew’s handmade earring brand, Khula, has been shaking up (a fairly already shaky) 2020. These unique statement earrings fuse together uniqueness, editorial looks and inspiration from Tassew’s South African roots. Meaning ‘grow’ in Zulu, Khula’s collection is certainly growing into a firm accessory staple.

2. Okin Epidermis

Now that we’re firmly in winter, there’s no time like the present to stock up on skin and haircare from handmade, vegan and cruelty-free Okin Epidermis. Launched just a few months ago, the queer-owned business has already become a firm household favourite, with fans waxing lyrical about their ambrosial body butter, with shea and cocoa butter.

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Photograph: Harry Mitchell
Photograph: Harry Mitchell
Photograph: Harry Mitchell

3. Belly Full

We may have not been able to frequent eateries as much as we may have liked but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the legacy of Caribbean food in the UK from your home. Riaz Philips’ Belly Full book is back with a second edition, with glorious words and imagery celebrating the history of foods that many of us grew up with.

4. Kxmolo

We’ve all had to get creative with gifts this year and what could be a better gift to yourself than a commissioned piece of digital art? Freelance digital artist Kemi Oloyede, otherwise known as Kxmolo, has a style that has been described as dynamic comic and manga illustrations with a softer touch, with inspirations from Black LGBTQ+ communities. Grace that empty space on your wall with a framed digital version of yourself - frankly, you deserve it.

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Photograph: Black Girls Camping Trip
Photograph: Black Girls Camping Trip
Photograph: Black Girls Camping Trip

5. Black Girls Camping Trip

If you’re in desperate need for a break from your home once lockdown has eased, then Black Girls Camping Trip may be just for you. Founded by Tianna Johnson, the London-based outdoor retreat offers all kinds of activities in the great outdoors for Black women and non-binary people. Get back out into nature in a space dedicated to healing and vulnerability.

6. Pureté Nature

Nothing screams delectable self-indulgence quite like some brand spanking new scented candles and incense. Luckily, wellness brand Pureté Nature is on hand with a range of home fragrances for every mood, alongside bath and body sets and essential oils. Welcome in the new year with the scents of amber musk, jasmine and patchouli and black ylang wafting around your home.

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Photograph: Sweet Thang
Photograph: Sweet Thang
Photograph: Sweet Thang

7. Sweet Thang Zine

It’s been a long arduous year so the topic of healing for Sweet Thang Zine’s sixth issue couldn’t be more fitting. Treat yourself to a stunning compilation of words and images from Black women and non-binary folks on how they’ve sought to heal themselves through art, food, time and patience. Curl up on your sofa and lose yourself in an ode to peace and healing.

8. Reign x Shine

If you’re not too great at treating yourself or pretty indecisive, why not let Reign x Shine do it for you? This luxury wellness brand offers a bespoke gift box with all kinds of goodies from Black-owned businesses. Think candles, artisanal tea, silk satin sleep masks, the lot. If you’re trying to support as many Black-owned businesses as you can in one go, this one’s a gem.

Ashley Walters
Photograph: Udoma Janssen

Discover our Black LDN series

We’re all about championing the people, communities and businesses that make London such an incredible city. And that’s just one of the reasons why we’ve created this hub dedicated to some of the Black-owned businesses we love, in partnership with Google. Here you’ll find everything from profiles of business owners to a very cool interview with Ashley Walters – the guest editor of our latest mag, which is dedicated to Black-owned businesses. We think you’ll like it.

And remember: just because we may not be able to visit these businesses right now, there are still plenty of ways you can show your love. Click-and-collect, order takeaways, buy online and give them a Google review.

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