accessories

Support Immigrant-Owned Businesses With These Gorgeous Artisanal Gifts

There are presents, and then there are gifts. You know the latter when you see it, fluttering into that special corner of your heart next to Black-owned businesses and the Always Pan. A present is, say, White Elephant cute (no shade, we love), but an unforgettable gift hits differently. It's a gesture of something deeper — like solidarity. That’s precisely where the New American Economy Festival comes in hot this season, presenting dozens of incredible goodies from immigrant-founded and supporting businesses in the United States. It launches this Giving Tuesday, in the year of Our Goddess 2020, and will offer a glittering feast of empanada subscriptions, fair trade treasures, and so much more.
 
The festival is the latest initiative by New American Economy, a bipartisan New York-based organization that advocates for immigrants on local, state, and federal levels by fighting for policies that support their livelihoods in the US. “There are more than 3.2 million immigrant entrepreneurs across America who have given a part of themselves to build our economy,” says Katherine Steinberg, NAE’s Director of Content Strategy, “[and we] want to share their stories and show our support for small businesses and artisans.” And as the work (and shop) from home life continues, the power of our wallets to directly impact that support is amplified.  
 
Look to the following selection of festival vendors (full list, right this way) to keep you and yours warm, stylish, and well-read this winter. Help them help you to decolonize your diet, provide jobs for women refugees, and foster a sense of unity stronger than any border line. Because “as we've seen time and again,” says Steinberg, “the more we pull together, the stronger we are.”

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Takkussanu Senegal


Rooted in a sense of family pride and tradition, Takkussanu Senegal is a purveyor of handmade Senegalese basket goods, started by dream team Jasz Dio and Cheikh Biaye. "Throughout my life, I have faced my share of adversity, and have always found strength within the diverse community of other women who have rallied around me," says Jasz, "My goal with Tackussanu was to start a business that would not only give me and my three daughters a sense of pride and stability, but that would help female artisans in Senegal access the global market."
Takkussanu Senegal Black or White Confetti Basket, $108.00 Buy
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Natali Koromoto


We would give anything to crawl inside the bright, imaginative brain of Natali Koromoto Martinez, an "illustrator and designer, born and raised in Venezuela, now living in NYC." Her namesake brand turns out all the clever, feel-good vibes we crave (and if her work looks familiar, it's because you might've seen it on Nickelodeon or in the NY Times).
Natali Koromoto Sharptooth Beret, $42.00 Buy
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Olla Express Café


Café de olla is a traditional way of making coffee in Mexico, and it's one of the things Andrea Ley does best. As the founder of Olla Express Café, Ley incorporated her grandmother's recipe into the heart of a company that became her home-away-from-home. "Having just a cup of that Mexican elixir, I would feel better," she says, "Talking to myself, I was thinking: why don't you make it for you and for others that feel the same way you do?"
Olla Express Cafe Pocket Pour Over Cafe de olla, $15.00 Buy
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Sara Patino Jewelry


Did you know gold can be recycled? Sara Patino is the founder and artisan behind her eponymous jewelry company, which integrates ethically sourced gems and recycled metals into delicate and empowering designs. "I'm from St. Louis and travel back to Colombia, South America to visit my extended family," she says of the road to jewelry design, "Even as a kid, at the end of my trips I'd come home with handmade purses, belts, and jewelry from artisans. It planted an appreciation for nature, cultures, and a love of travel. This was my first hands-on understanding of accessories we enjoy; they come from the earth and made with intention by actual people."
Sara Patino Jewelry Joy Earrings (Small), $68.00 Buy
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Feast


Cookbook author Louisa Shafia is a second-generation Iranian immigrant with a passion for sharing "the new Persian kitchen" for newbies and seasoned chefs alike. Her platform, Feast, is an incredible resource for anyone looking to learn more about Iranian cuisine and looking to scoop everything from her recipes to spice kits.
Feast The New Persian Kitchen, Signed Copy, $25.00 Buy
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Lux & Nyx


"We equip the rockstar woman going places and making a difference in the world," says Lisa Hu, founder of Lux & Nyx. The fashion brand's versatile accessories (peep that five-in-one Fan Bag) incorporate ethically-sourced materials and work to uplift women through both design and by giving "back to women empowerment organizations, and women-led initiatives throughout the world" with every purchase.
Lux & Nyx Fan Bag, $225.00 $180.00 Buy
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NEOCOCO


NEOCOCO is a dreamy apparel and accessories line that empowers (and employs) refugee women. "We partner with resettlement agencies," says their team, "to train and enable women to work in a safe environment and contribute to their families and society. 100% of our revenue is directed back into the company to hire and assist [them]." The designs are a beautiful reflection of that commitment, and almost always include artful nods to the women's strength.
NEOCOCO Mother & Child Scarf, $59.00 Buy
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Iber! Naturals


"Pronounced ee-bair, "iber" is a statement used to express the meaning "you are beautiful," says Grace Kinda, founder of the skincare company Iber! Naturals. When she came to the US from Kenya in 2008, Kinda had a difficult time finding products that worked for her. "It was disorienting to see the beauty industry mainly catering to white hair and skin needs," she says, "something I was not used to coming from Africa [...] I created Iber! Naturals as a way to bring visibility to Africa’s natural gifts [and] knowledge in skin and hair care."
Iber! Coffee & Kaolin Clay Soap, $7.99 Buy
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Zee Bee Market


We could spend hours browsing Zee Bee's digital emporium. The ethical retail store was started by Julio Zegarra-Ballon, and sells "a curated collection of handcrafted, Fair Trade and sustainably produced gifts as well as fairly traded coffee, chocolate, tea and other treats." You never know what you're going to find (enter: cat bookends).
Tara Projects Black Cat Palewa Soapstone Bookends, $48.00 Buy
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Quebracho Charcuterie & Pies


As we continue to work, play, and munch from home, something like Quebracho's monthly empanada subscription feels even more mouthwatering. "We specialize in charcuterie and pies, but celebrating family and friends and replicating the experience of a family Sunday in Argentina is what truly lies at the heart of our business," says founder Belen Rodriguez, "I come from the Argentine Pampas —like most families in the region, mine has a business in the beef industry. Growing up in this environment and seeing my dad grill almost every weekend [...] My heart was in the kitchen." (Veggies, don't fret: there's something for you, too).
Quebracho Charcuterie & Pies Seasonal Empanadas (3 Pack of Squash and Bacon), $15.00 Buy
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