Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Make an impact in Baltimore with these holiday gift options

Here's a quick guide to gifts that support social entrepreneurs, makers and startups building in Baltimore.

The Innovation Works gift guide.

(Courtesy photo)

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:

Hygiene products

  • 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.

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.

Station North Holiday Market

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:

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.

Made in Baltimore Holiday pop-up shop

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:


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-
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