Sure—the Black Friday deals over at Target, Walmart and Amazon sound fire or whatever, but how about putting money toward a small business this year? From clothing to cookies, we’ve rounded up some small businesses you can support after Thanksgiving with the fam.
The Peralta Project
You may recall this lifestyle brand from our interview with founder M. Tony Peralta last year. Offering an assortment of dope prints and streetwear (Alicia Keys and Desus and Mero are supporters), The Peralta Project was birthed from a love of politically-motivated art and a desire to uplift Latinx identity.
“We live in a time now that America loves showing us that we’re not American,” Peralta told CASSIUS. “It forces us to be a lot more united and identify with our culture…we don’t have to assimilate anymore.”
Specializing in jewelry “for fluid men and women,” Aziza Handcrafted boasts eye-grabbing adornments designed in the home studio of the highly regarded Aziza Nicole. Aziza’s been crafting since she was young—a result of her mother encouraging her to make the things she desired herself. Now, she’s settled into one of the things she loves most (she’s also a painter, sculptor and builder), creating everything from cuffs to cuticle rings.
“Pretty much, I took a stencil, drew it on metal, cut it out, sanded it—cut myself—polished it using certain tools, and I made a cuticle ring,” she explained to Nylon during a studio tour in January. “An adjustable cuticle ring out of a sheet of metal.”
Get yourself something nice at AzizaHandcrafted.com.
Green Box Shop
Remember Frank Ocean’s Panorama t-shirt that had social media clamoring? You know, the one said read, “WHY BE RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC OR TRANSPHOBIC WHEN U COULD JUST BE QUIET?” Yeah, that one. He got it from Green Box Shop, which is owned by owned by Kayla Robinson, who identifies as Afro-Latina and bisexual, according to The FADER.
“It’s very exciting to see a queer icon like Frank Ocean giving a voice to marginalized groups and using his platform to raise awareness about social justice issues using one of our shirts,” Robinson told FADER around the time of all the buzz. “My business is essentially my life message. I want other companies to know that they can use sustainable/ environmentally friendly business practices (fair trade and/or organic fabrics) and still thrive as a business.”
The Very Clean
Wanna know how we know The Very Clean is legit? Because our very own Michael Wade has their pieces on deck (peep the photos below). The clothing brand’s products are 100 percent hand printed in Oswego, NY. “With influence in Japanese culture & urban New York City lifestyle,” they share on their site, “we try to attract young adults from both sides of the world.”
Take a look at TheVeryClean.com.
Mr. Cory’s Cookies
Cookies are always great, and if eating them means supporting the hustle of a young entrepreneur, they taste even better. Cory Nieves, better known as “Mr. Cory,” became the owner of Mr. Cory’s Cookies at the age of six. Since then, with the help of his mother, he’s grown his brand into a full business that’s worked with everyone from J. Crew to Mercedes-Benz.
“Why cookies? Cookies helped me provide a clear pathway for my son,” Lisa, Cory’s mother, explains on the Mr. Cory’s Cookies website. “Cookies will give my son a chance to go to college. Cookies taught me business. Cookies taught me to change my perspective on life. Cookies kept my son off the street. Cookies gave me focus. Cookies allow me to get through the most challenging moments.”