Whether standing in line, ordering online, or shopping small is your vibe, we at Black Rosie Media have the ultimate gift guide for you! We have listed three Black women-owned businesses you should support this holiday season and beyond.
Besides being owned, operated, or inspired by Black women, each brand or product has a vital mission and approach to changing the sports entertainment world. From hockey meet-ups to signature basketballs to sportswear designs for and by women athletes, you will find the perfect gift while making a bold statement.
Further, I have been in conversation with all the women on this list. Each of them inspires me in their way. I hope you and your loved ones find joy and empowerment in their work, just as I do.
If you're like me, you can't get enough Playa Society merchandise! Esther Wallace has done a fantastic job building her brand.
The company started with an iconic "judged by achievement, not gender" design. I would see Esther running booths at Boston Pride games at Warrior Ice Arena. She has collaborated with Ari Chambers (more on her later) and worked with Athletes Unlimited, all while being a solopreneur.
Wallace talked about her unique journey in a recent TEDx Boston series for Title IX at 50. Although art and design were always a passion, Wallace put those to the side, she told me in an interview for Forbes, because she didn't see Black women in the arts or fashion design. Eventually, she had to manufacture her own hope and return to her passion.
These days, not only is Esther no longer a one-woman show, her company is officially licensed to create merchandise for the WNBA. Talk about a full-circle moment!
Playa Society announced today they have re-relesed their popular All-Star collection! It was dope to see Esther doing her thing in Chicago this year.
On Tuesday, the brand is launching a powerful design to show support for Brittney Griner, a U.S. Olympian detained in Russia for over 280 days. In addition, NCAA head coaches Dawn Staley (University of South Carolina), and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford) were seen wearing Playa Society design for a nationally televised game earlier this month.
If you want to show your support for BG, sign-up for the Playa Society mailing list.
Black Girl Hockey Club
This non-profit defines itself as a "community space for Black women in hockey and the folks who love us." I have volunteered with BGHC for several years now, and I cannot speak enough about their role in making hockey and the greater sports community a better place.
This week, BGHC re-launched its online store. You can find fun hoodies, stickers, t-shirts, and more online. In addition, BGHC hosts virtual and in-person events hosts a leadership program for folks interested in careers in sports and provides scholarships to young girls wanting to play hockey.
I have often referred to Black Girl Hockey Club as "the balm" or a soothing aide as we (read Black women) navigate hockey and society. Although I am not a hockey player, I am a hockey reporter. Renee Hess, the founder of BGHC, has been in my corner since we connected on Twitter several years ago. The community she and her staff have cultivated is building something unique and necessary.
Support this small, Black woman-owned business and help make hockey a welcoming place for Black girls, women, and the people who love them. While you're there, take the #GetUncomfortable pledge.
Ari Chambers x Wilson Basketball
Few are doing what Arielle Chambers is doing for women in sports. Ari has a special knack for storytelling, and her passion is uplifting women in sports. While she is best known for saying, "The WNBA is so important," she has branched beyond basketball.
As the founder of Bleacher Report's women's sports vertical, HighlightHER, Ari has showcased women's soccer, hockey, softball, and everything in between.
This summer, I was honored to witness Ari's limited edition collaboration with Wilson Basketball. The design by Chambers is a perfect blend of chic style, unwavering faith, and her love and joy for her community.
The Raleigh, North Carolina native is using her platform to give back to the women's sports community and her hometown. Following the release of her basketball, Chamber brought the program that inspired her slogan – and WNBA Twitter commercial – to her high school when the Jr. NBA program #HerTimetoPlay landed at Southeast Magnet High School.
Once again, Ari raised the bar for herself and the rest of us following in her wake. What I love most about Ari is that she lifts as she climbs. There are endless girls and women of all ages who can share a specific moment when Ari showed up for them. Unfortunately, this continues to be the exception in the industry, though it is the standard operating procedure for Ari Chambers.
Hit the court or spruce up your zoom background with this lovely black and rose gold WNBA regulation-size basketball by Wilson. If you buy one as a gift, purchase one for yourself while supplies last.
Black Rosie Media
I will round out my list with the re-launch of Black Rosie merchandise on the Black Rosie Media website. After a great run with PWRFWD, the company has changed its business model. Therefore, my classic Manifest.Win.Repeat, #TeamAuntie, and Black Rosie designs have migrated to BlackRosieMedia.com.
As an independent journalist, I initially launched these designs to help offset the cost of traveling to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. I wore a few of my design while in Beijing reporting on Black athletes. It was also around this time I began the Builders + Backers Idea Accelerator program. 90-days later, Black Rosie Media officially launched.
These designs are meant to inspire, especially melanated people in sports media. So when you purchase from Black Rosie Media, you are helping support our mission to empower Black women and melanated creators.
The store includes our limited edition Black Rosie pins created by Coloring Pins, another Black woman-owned business you should support this holiday season. We are offering 35% off through November 30th with code HOLIDAY22.
Buy From A Black Woman
This suggestion expands beyond the sports and entertainment world. Buy From A Black Woman is an amazing non-profit company helping Black women entrepreneurs thrive. Through a partnership with H&M, founder Nikki has established multiple pop-up shops that feature Black woman-owned businesses. BFABM also has free online resources for entrepreneurs, social media consultation, and its own 7-week accelerator program.
Check out their Business Diretory here.
Well, that rounds out our list of Black women to support while shopping this holiday season. If you're like me, you struggle with the attention given to consumerism around this time of year. Well, the good news is we can use this time to lift up Black women and melanated creators. Cosider, as Nikki says, Buying From A Black Woman this holiday season, and every day.
We will be on the lookout for more creators to highlight. Feel free to leave a comment if you have a Black woman-owned sports brand we should highlight next.