The holidays are upon us, and there are plenty of ways to shop local. That includes buying from a Baltimore maker or social entrepreneur.
Here’s a gift guide with both products and events to keep your money circulating in the Baltimore community and benefiting the neighborhoods that are often the first to support a new business.
Gifts to uplift
Social enterprise resource network Innovation Works, curated a list of Baltimore businesses from its pipeline. With a mission to create sustainable neighborhood economies, Innovation Works provides mentorship to social entrepreneurs.
Here’s a look at the gifts, with info in the descriptions provided by Innovation Works:
- Fancy Free Hair & Skin is a Black female-led enterprise selling chemical-free, all-natural hair and skin products.
- Hon’s Honey is a female-run social enterprise selling honey-based goods. It has a mission to employ, equip, and encourage women survivors so they can experience the hope of healing.
- Oyin Handmade, a Black female-led natural hair and skin product brand specifically geared towards textured, natural hair.
Clothing and Apparel
- Switch Purse, a female-led social enterprise that creates and sells reversible, cross-body purses, manufactured in partnership with Lifting Labels. It also offers clutches, and handmade masks.
- Loyalty Is Love, a clothing line that dedicates proceeds to local after-school programming and college scholarship funds for Baltimore youth.
- Creative Nomads, a community with a merchandise store that works to provide access to arts, music, and cultural programming to youth and families.
- Jazmine Kionna offers luxury high heels that are designed to be both trendy and comfortable. They are made of vegan leather material using recycled plastic.
- HeARTwares sells gifts, jewelry, and housewares. The retail store of the nonprofit Art with a Heart, social enterprise retail store, merchandise is created by participants in the org’s workforce development program, with proceeds shared between Art with a Heart and the artist or community partner.
- The Cavanagh House is a nonprofit offering free trade and apprenticeship programs to help individuals gain financial stability. Community members can submit a reupholstering, alteration or custom home decor project to be completed.
Looking for gifts that make an impact this holiday season? Look no further! We have compiled a list of local products from the social entrepreneurs in our pipeline to meet all of your holiday shopping needs 🎁
Check out the full 2021 IW Holiday Gift guide: https://t.co/ckPQ9bM4zw pic.twitter.com/4bNzErIwI7
— Innovation Works Baltimore (@iwbmore) November 22, 2021
More gift ideas:
- Legacy! Card Game exposes all players to investing concepts and career possibilities. It’s designed to celebrate diversity and offer lessons on how career and financial choices impact legacy and wealth.
- Thread Coffee is a women and queer employee-owned fair trade coffee roasting company based in Baltimore. It embraces a transparent model that supports farmers locally and internationally. Thread is selling coffee, as well as a variety of coffee-making equipment and accessories.
- Made@Dent, the marketplace for all things made by Dent Education students, is selling bags, stickers, water bottles, face masks and other products created by Baltimore youth.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, the pop-up market will be at the Ynot Lot and sidewalk in front of the North Ave. Market from 1-5 p.m. It’s a chance to meet community hubs in the area like makerspace Open Works,workshop Station North Tool Library, board game venue No Land Beyond, Baltimore Jewelry Center and Baltimore Print Studios to see the work that’s created inside their spaces. The lineup lincludes dozens of vendors, including artists, makers and nonprofits. Click through to check out their goods for gift ideas:
City Arts resident artists
The market also boasts musical guests Salem Kamalu on the piano, DJ T. Rexx on the ones and twos and Bedlam Brass performing rain or shine.
Open Works will be setting up shop in one of these awesome temporary structures we built for the the Station North Holiday Market tomorrow, from 1-5pm. We'll have wide variety of Open Works made items!https://t.co/Q7k9h2ughM pic.twitter.com/8UN2kCsyQ1
— OpenWorksBmore (@OpenWorksBmore) December 10, 2021
At Remington Row (2700 Remington Ave.), browse items from local makers spanning apparel, bath, home, food and more. The store is open through Jan. 19, 2022. Stay tuned for a closer look at what’s available in a future post.
Here are a few more local companies with gift-worthy spots:
- Fearless Sports, the local apparel company built around the idea that Baltimore social impact leaders can inspire the same following as an athlete or celebrity. With all purchases from its BLM Collection, 10% of profits go to social impact orgs around the country.
- Hunt a Killer, the Baltimore-based company that provides murder mystery games shipped straight to your home. In 2020, the company was number six on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately owned companies in the nation.
- M.A.P. Technologies, a local spot to check out for the video game enthusiast in your life. It’s now at a new location downtown at 322 W. Baltimore Street.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.-30-