#blackout friday

picture it. it’s black friday 2003, and wal-mart has dvd players on sale for $20. these were the pre-netflix days so a dvd player priced under $75 was a huge steal.  like dedicated shoppers across america, i woke up at dawn to rush my local wal-mart.

all hell broke loose when somebody’s uncle jumped on a stack of boxes and started throwing dvd players to nearby customers. i caught one like odell beckham jr. and ran for my life. you would have thought i was carrying baby jesus.

fast forward to 2015. not only do i try to abstain from shopping at wal-mart due to it’s anti-worker practices, but i’m also working hard to align my spending with my principles. with the murders of so many black men, women and children, i’m in no mood to celebrate a capitalist system that devalues black life.

this holiday season, my mission is to support black-owned businesses who deserve love year round. on friday morning, i’ll be shopping online from the comfort of my bed while eating leftover sweet potato pie.


  1. nubian hueman
  2. ekineyo
  3. dopeciety
  4. nubian skin
  5. gloss rags
  6. nomad yard collectiv (dc area)


  1. peace images jewelry
  2. venus visuals
  3. rachel stewart jewelry
  4. lost queens


  1. coloured raine
  2. ginger + liz
  3. black up cosmetics

skin & haircare

  1. pooka pure & simple
  2. oyin handmade
  3. curlkit
  4. qhemet biologics


  1. andrea pippins
  2. thepairabirds

good reads & writes

  1. salt by nayirrah waheed
  2. teaching gold mah how to heal herself  by bilphena yahwon
  3. shapeshifters by aimee meredith cox
  4. vagabroad journals
  5. effie’s paper

health & well being

  1. little urban tea
  2. afro-vegan cookbook
  3. the spice suite (dc area)

check out quirky brown love for a list of over 200 black-owned businesses.


crush of the week: penelope toop darling


penelope toop darling is home to the creative whatnots by princess myers.  she creates the best paper goods you’ve ever seen and party hats that will make you celebrate even when it’s not your birthday.  i had the pleasure of interviewing this self-described lover of pretty things — her thoughts on the creative process and her designs:

how would you describe your paper goods? they’re art to me, but I’m wondering how you would label your creative process.

i would describe my paper goods as “personal artistic or creative expressions.” simply put, prin’s art, ha ha i like pretty things, or what i view as pretty things and through my eyes, what i create is an extension of that.invite1

do you dabble in any other mediums?

 i honestly feel like the skit from in living color, “hey mon” because i try my hand at anything. if it grabs my attention and i think it’s something that i may be able to do, i will grab the materials and get to work. i’ve tried my hand at jewelry making, sewing, painting, letter pressing and honestly the list goes on and on and on and on!

what/who inspires you?

anything that grabs my attention and makes me gasp and/or swoon is as inspiration. we’re surrounded by so many influences (culture, art, words, paintings, photos, jewelry, music and so on), so whatever captures you or sparks an interest is inspiring. if I had to choose a person, i would say anna bond of rifle paper co. in my mind, she and I were separated at birth, ha ha her designs are so colorful, feminine, effortless and playful, i literally get the giggles when i see her work, it’s simply beautiful.

your invitations and party hats are top quality.  where do you source your materials?

oh thank you so much! PAPER SOURCE! i believe that i should purchase stock in this company or be their ambassador, because i literally LIVE in this store. i have gone into every single one in my area and i promise you someone from each store knows me by name. there are limitless possibilities regarding how many things you can make from their products and supplies.

invite2what other creative outlets are you interested in learning more about or pursuing?

i would definitely love to learn more about letter pressing. it’s such a beautiful yet time consuming art, but the end products are completely worth it and simply amazing. i took a class a few years ago, and i still have the itch to take another one and incorporate this technique into some of my own paper goods.

is there something else you’d like people to know?

i would encourage anyone to try your hand at a variety of things and see where your passion lies, once you find it, run with it and make it fun. i’m still learning and figuring things out as each day passes. let your art be YOUR art and YOUR expression, there is no right or wrong.