The holidays are upon us, and if you’re anything like the majority of the population, you’re once again stuck trying to figure out what gifts to get last minute. What’s even worse is if you’re looking to do home decor gifts — while it’s always a safer choice (who doesn’t love a gift for their home?), it can ultimately be more tricky. What do you get for the friend whose apartment looks straight out of a West Elm catalog? Or how do you know if you’re ruining their aesthetic or color scheme with what you bought? Don’t fret — we’re here to make the home gifting experience easier to narrow down with some of our favorite picks from Latine-owned businesses so that you could also support entrepreneurs within our communities. Win-win. Below, you’ll find these gift ideas for the home decor aficionado to consider this holiday season:
Wasi Clothing is a Bolivian-American-owned small business whose mission is to “represent Bolivian culture in an innovative way as well as creating a safe space for people of color and allies to shop.” Founded and owned by Vanessa Acosta, Wasi clothing creates ethical and sustainable products and believe in fair and equal wage for everyone, so what’s not to love? The word Wasi, according to their website, is a Quechuan term that means home translated by Acosta’s abuelo before he passed. The Selva woven blanket looks like the most comfortable covering ever to put on while watching Netflix or reading on the couch. Still, if your friend has that covered already, it can definitely be used as a radiant wall hanging.
Cosmic Grounding is a small, Texas-based, Mexican-American-founded shop filled with gorgeous vela creations, wax melts, and bath salts. Many of their products are hand-poured into beautifully painted vessels from Mexico, including mugs, crock soup pots, and cazuelitas, all handmade in Mexico. Creator Grecia Alfaro hopes to bring vibrancy and positivity to homes through her candles. Based on her wonderful selection of them, there’s no doubt that they can, with their painted details and addition of leaves and flores, all gentle reminders of Mexican culture and the nature that surrounds us. The Cafe De Olla-scented cazuelitas combine the smell of that much-needed early morning coffee with cinnamon, star anise, and espresso. Once the candle is (sadly) gone, the cazuelita can be used for food, general storage, or even a decorative addition to any humble abode.
Decór Ate Me
Headed by Mexican stylist Teresa Alvarez, Decór Ate Me Studios is the home decor branch of Restyled Vintage, an online vintage apparel shop also founded by Alvarez.
Decór Ate Me is “focused on sourcing mindful, ethical handmade products, vintage & pre-loved decor that is cool, retro and elegant.” The Carita sculpture, one of the many pieces in their collection, is a minimal and modern piece that’s hand-mixed and poured and comes in different neutral tones that can go with a variety of color schemes. The zen facial expression on the sculpture can be a gentle reminder to your friend to take the time to chill TF out, which could be needed, given everything.
Vela Negra was founded by Aisha Cort, an Afro-Latina professor at Howard University and a language coach. With her hand-poured candles — made from 100% vegan coconut soy wax in the signature black color and ethically-sourced wicks, fragrances, and dye — she creates candles of various sizes that emanate scents reminiscent of her Afro-Cuban and Guyanese heritage. There are also touches inspired by places she’s called home, including Puerto Rico and Cuba, which are found in the tamarind, honey, palo santo, chinotto, sage, coconut, and vanilla bean. Cort explains on her website that the reason she pours her candles with black way is that the color “absorbs and dispels negative energies and provides new beginnings and clarity as to when the light of the vela appears, the darkness is illuminated.” The Wepa candle, in particular, has notes of papaya, cremé de cassis, fruit, and a bit of vanilla, which would take anybody’s senses to the magical Isla de Encanto without having to book a flight, and the candle itself is gorgeous on top of everything.
Ceramics always add a touch of more homeyness to any space, and Colombian and Chinese-American artist Catalina Cheng makes unique and whimsical ceramic items in addition to her art. On her website, Cheng says the following about her work: “I am proud to be a Colombian and Chinese American and aim to create art that captures the dichotomy and duality of these parts of myself. I consider all of my works to be self-portraits, each illustrating a different facet of my personality.”
So much of their ceramic work touches on both of her cultures beautifully while also having the influence to make somebody chuckle: Remember the song many of our grandparents sang to us when we were hurt? Sana sana colita de rana? The brand has a shirt and ceramics with frogs and tadpoles inspired by the song, and they’re phenomenal. One of the many ceramic items Cheng has created is the Gold Moth Wall Hang, which has gold detailing on a painted majestic moth that would effortlessly gleam on any wall.
One of the first items we think of for home decór is art. Hanging art on bare walls of a home can truly change up the space, and Dominican artist Stephanie Vidal creates stunning art that regularly features women of color as the focal point under the New York-based Vivid Vidal. The women in her pieces radiate confidence, ferocity, and vibrance and her print titled “Self Care” is no different. The description Vidal pairs with the listing perfectly describes the vibes coming from the piece: “This piece is a reminder that in the midst of chaos & uncertainty, it is important that one takes the time to do the things that bring peace and calm. This piece illustrates a woman enjoying a Saturday morning breeze with her journal and cafecito beside her. Just imagine the smoothest tunes playing and kisses from the sun warming her skin. Her favorite time of the day.” Honestly, an ideal Saturday morning for us.
What’s a home without some plantas to scatter around, and what’s a planta without an aesthetic vessel to put it in? Los Angeles-based Concrete Geometric, founded by Krizia Flores in 2013, is a design studio that grew out of her love for minimalism and geometric objects. In an interview with VoyageLA, Flores discusses how her studio began and how it kicked off: “Concrete Geometric sort of started as an accident. I have always been into photography and plants. A few years ago, I wanted to expand my portfolio into product photography but was too shy to ask any makers for their products. I had a concrete DIY pinned somewhere because I had wanted to make some pots for my plants. I made some geometric forms and shot them. I was really inspired by architecture, minimalism, and geometric art at the time. When I posted them, a friend thought they were for sale and showed them to a store in Silverlake. Within a few weeks, I was started to produce more and ended up creating a web store for my objects.” Included in her lineup of items in her shop are organizers, DIY kits, paperweights, and plant pots. The Geo Earth Plant Pot gives earth tones that vary since each pot will end up with a unique design due to different concrete pours. Paired with the sleek shape of the pot itself, it gives modern plant mom/dad/parent vibes, and we’re here for it.
Casa Brixe comes to the rescue with authentic Mexican artisanal rugs for the amiga with the bare floors missing a little something. Run by Francesca and her husband John, Casa Brixe works directly with artisans and socially responsible collectives to bring the real deal when it comes to their rugs, not any mass-produced imitations. “We at Casa Bríxe support authenticity. In sharing the culture of Mexico, we want to make sure you get the real thing, not an imitation made in another country. Buying imitation goods is a missed opportunity to support the people who keep these traditions alive. You shouldn’t have to compromise what you believe in, even when decorating your home,” their website states. A standout piece has to be the Estrella accent rug, which includes beautiful autumn colors within a cascading diamond design. It’s hand-dyed in Oaxaca, woven by hand, and is direct trade, making the piece something of an heirloom. Like the traditional way it’s made, this rug will hopefully be a gift that’s passed down to future generations.