I feel right now, in some way that I really don’t have words for, like I am waving a little (hell)o to you, from Philly. It, feels insufficient.
If there is a white woman (yup, I’m one of those and this is me writing) catch-phrase of the moment, that feels me-ish, I guess it’s the simple: I understand, that I will never understand. However, I stand. This also, to me, feels insufficient.
Standing, actively listening, learning, sharing and adjusting. Between the tears and frustration. That’s where I am, right now.
In addition to listening to the voices I’m so freaking blessed to be surrounded by, I’m also reading a sh*t ton. You too? Currently: Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God. Again. This is my third or fourth time around with this one, and it won’t be my last. And then I’ll go back to the more recently released book list/pile. But I needed to pause and recenter first. Like some people go to the Bible, I go to modern classics, especially African-American female authors, and especially anything Harlem Renaissance era, to get whole, and strong, so that I can do better, so that my energy is set straight, so that I am reminded. So that I can listen actively, and know when to speak, and when to just STFU, turn up the volume, and listen more and learn more.
Weekly Favorite Finds In Home Decor: Black-Owned Businesses (+ Allies) Edition
My heart and mind are, in so far as a weekly sales post goes right now, here: Black-Owned Businesses, and a few that stand with them. I’m not feeling a sales section this week. Sometimes, somethings gotta give to make more room for what matters more. Instead, in addition to my favorite finds, I’m spotlighting a few others I’ve newly discovered and instantly fallen in love with. It’s a small thing, but it’s a thing, at least, still. See what I mean? Insufficient. But working on it.
This will evolve. I will evolve. We will evolve. And we and it will all be better for it — I do believe that. For this week, this is a small set of work in progress, that will progress. I’m not sure it will ever feel sufficient. I kind of hope it doesn’t. That insufficient feeling, can be mighty motivational when applied well, and once you get moving on it, after a long, deep listen.
1/ Sage That Ish — Ignite Your Peace is the name of this shop. And Sage cleanses all the negative energy — so there’s that. We absolutely NEED that, yesterday. When I wrote this post, this candle was available. As we’re about to post it, I’m seeing a note from the maker, I’ve seen a few times on a few Black-Owned Small Business sites today, something to the effect of “…taking a break or At Capacity!…thank you for the recent support over the past 48 hours…” I don’t know Kierra, but heck yes you are at capacity in less than 48 hours—For GOOD overdue reason. I’ve put my email on her update list, she thinks she’ll be able to take more orders in three weeks. I’ll repost here again as soon as I get the email that she can take more orders. I’m not letting go of this, I need some sage burning, and I’m getting mine from Kierra, when she’s good and ready.
2/ Serve It Up — So here’s a little something I learned in my own research deep dive on Black-Owned Business in home goods this week…that there are successful people who have done beautiful collaborations with or collections for larger corporations—and some of that might have gone unnoticed, by me at least. So while Bed Bath & Beyond isn’t a Black-Owned Business, they are one that was wise enough to do this: B.Smith was the first African American woman to have a home goods line featured by a nationwide store. Good on you, B. Smith, and good on you Bed Bath & Beyond for being wise enough to partner. This is a thing in business, this bringing up and rising to the forefront diversity in leadership and partnering. I appreciate that this happened in this instance. And, queue my tears for the 100th time today in this 30 second segment: friends, she passed away on February 20th of this year. Rest in peace B.Smith. Thank you for going before and paving a way. And friends, do you know how many times I’ve bought this tiered bowl serving set for clients and as a gift, without even pausing to think for a minute about who designed it? I’m learning as I go, learning as I go.
3/ Mug Shots — Yes I said that. On purpose. And I’m sticking to it. And carted one of these, because like I said, it’s mostly black women writers who I seem to have always turned to for grounding—and to them that I’m returning now. So yes, I’ll take a mug with 20 of their beautiful faces on it, please.
4/ Say My Name — If I could have one piece of giant art that screams our times and current events at me, it’d be this. Art isn’t always easy to look at. It’s not all meant to be pretty. Art is often a response to events, to a feeling, to an experience. It is meant to make you uncomfortable, to think and to feel. It is meant to be provocative, or it just is provocative in its own right. This my friends, is what one decade of their names look like graphically, today. They (this non-comprehensive list of names of black people who have died at the hands of police, in the US, since 2014) don’t fit on a t-shirt. They don’t fit on something compact. They take up this much space, so far. But let me ask you this, if you were to try to make art of this, on which day would you print? Would you feel safe printing it today? Tomorrow? Would you rest assured that another name wouldn’t need to be added in the next 24 hours? This isn’t a piece of art that’s for sale. We can’t buy it. It’s a graphic representation, for an NPR Code Switch Episode. You can’t buy it, but you can listen to it. For free. It’s a 22-minute listen. Take 22 minutes. The code doesn’t switch itself.
5/ Perspective T-Shirt — When the sh*t hits the fan, I do not run out and buy t-shirts. Nope. Not my first response. But whilst doing a deep dig on Black-Owned Businesses, I happened upon this one, that is NOT from a black-owned business, but I felt it. I carted it. There are in fact things on absolute fire right now, a lot of them. This is just a short list, yet a very important one. I got a note that shipping is delayed, there’s apparently a lot going on right now. I wrote the Etsy vendor back and said, I’m not going anywhere. You take your time. The shirt will surely still be relevant—for better and worse. Context is everything sometimes.
6/ Ghandi Quote On Glass Art — The Future Depends On What We Do In The Present. I personally like to keep notes to myself in the form of art as reminders. Without a total sappy over-read, this one speaks to me because it’s on glass; we can both look forward through it, and given its natural properties, it reflects. Oh Bapu, if we don’t need to both reflect and look forward, right now, well then I’m just not sure what we need to do. It’s not made by a black business owner. It’s made by an independent Etsy shop owner named Dan, a white man in CA. Who seems to me, in his life’s work, to stand with. For here, for now, that’s sufficient enough — he seems to both get and send the message.
7/ Power (Puff) to the Young Women People — Hey there, Malaysia! True story, I had a hard time choosing among your work, many of your pieces spoke to me—they are powerful and they are beautiful. I chose this one for here, because I personally think the most important representation right now, is what we represent to our children.
8/ Super Heroines — Hello, Trini Gee! Trini Gee’s tagline is, Products Infused With Melanin and Culture. Her goods, are so GOOD, that I’d like to be infused with all she’s got. She’s also from whom I ordered the mug above. So that wish might be coming true real soon.
9/ Marcus Garvey Pillows from Don’t Sleep Interiors. Their tagline is There’s Comfort in Consciousness. Well hello, Awakening. That pillow sold out. Good. Same narrative as above — high demand this week. I like this part of this narrative. Let’s keep it going. They’ve got other goods, check them out. Or message them for a restock on that one. We all need a little patience partnered with our unrest. For pillows, we’ll be patient.
10/ Vintage Rugs — SF Rugs through Houzz. The shop owner’s number is on the Houzz site. With rugs, unique, one-of-a-kind, vintage, I like to call with an approximate size, and dominant colors and ask for their guidance. Always worth it.
Black-Owned Business, Home Good Spotlight — Bole Road Textiles
Hello, Hana. In all the things I’ve seen this week, the one I most can’t unsee—in a good way—is your beautiful work. You can read about Hana here. She produces the most beautiful pillows I’ve laid eyes on in some time. Brooklyn-based, Ethiopian born, and a thoughtful design genius if ever there was one. And for all those who’ve been asking how to make a bed? If you want a serious answer, Like Hana does, right here:
Black-Owned Business, Home Good Spotlight — Clare
Hi, Clare! And actually, Nicole, the brains behind it all. Paint shopping simplified, for a happy home. What gets better than that? Nicole’s picks, I can’t decide which I love — the color or the name of — most. Right now though, I think my own favorite is Current Mood. Enough said. I’m short-listing this site, right now.
Stand. Wherever you are, find the strength, find your way and just find the strength to actively stand, because we’ve got a whole lotta people we collectively need to hold up right now—they are justifiably tired AF and have stood stronger than can even be imagined to date. Time’s up on this too. Just Stand there and actively hold them up. Listen to them. Learn from them, learn about them, and Stand with them, in solidarity.
PS: Follow along with me on Pinterest for more Home Inspiration and other random distraction via pretty visuals. xo, A