Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite Things List is back just in time for Christmas and this year the billionaire media mogul is making sure her supporters Buy Black this holiday season.
Oprah is known for putting her followers on to some amazing finds through her annual lists while also helping smaller companies get the exposure they need. As a decades-long champion for diversity and inclusion, Oprah used her 2021 list to help amplify the businesses founded or spearheaded by Black leaders.
Of the 22 products that made Oprah’s Favorite Things List, here are 10 we wanted to highlight to our readers.
- Melt Fit
Melt Fit is a size-inclusive athleisure brand created by mother-of-two Ashley Garner. The leggings have a high-waisted design for comfort and come in styles ranging from solid colors to bold animal prints. In addition to leggings, the line also includes sports bras, tanks, jackets, and accessories.
This family-run business was created by celebrity tailor Richfresh and his brother Chase. They answered the pandemic’s call for reliable PPE with a line of washable, fashionable origami-inspired face masks made for adults and kids. Their masks have been hailed in Hollywood donning the faces of stars like J.Lo, LeBron James, and Tracee Ellis Ross as well as being the official mask for President Obama’s birthday, The Emmy Awards, and the Oscars. For every mask purchased, a mask is donated to healthcare workers and families in need.
Created by the decorated American track-and-field Olympian Allyson Felix, Saysh is the byproduct of Felix’s previous sponsor who failed to protect her maternal rights. The sneakers are made to conform to the female foot including foot-pleasing features like foam cushioning and molded heel cups.
4. Omi Woods
Ashley Alexis McFarlane is paying homage to her Jamaican-Ashanti-Maroon heritage through her Omi Woods creation. The 18-karat-gold vermeil-coin necklaces celebrate the African diaspora are fair trade jewelry sourced from small-scale mines that pay fair wages and contribute to the miners’ health care, education, safety and living conditions.
5. Tote & Carry
Tote & Carry came about after designer Tony Dennis and fashion entrepreneur Tony Reyat joined forces to create vegan leather snakeskin-patterned travel bags. Since its launch, the brand has expanded to include clutches, backpacks, wallets, and laptop bags.
After serving as Oprah’s pedicurist for years, Gloria Williams used her nickname “The Foot Nanny” to spearhead her product line of foot care remedies. “Staying true to my mother’s traditions and keeping her recipes in mind, I’ve managed to develop my own line of Aromatherapy foot products,” Williams says. For her seventh year on Oprah’s Favorite Things, Footnanny is promoting their Olive Oil Pedicure Collection.
7. Wonderffle Stuffed Waffle Iron
Mike Bradford, a welding engineer turned software developer, came up with the idea for Wonderffle while on lunch break with his coworkers. It took one of his friend’s large portion of chicken and waffles to inspire Bradford’s idea of waffles on the go. “I realized there’s no easy way to eat waffles on the go—not with the things we typically eat with waffles.” Wonderffle is a cordless waffle iron with a large enough cavity to fill with any kind of stuffing from chicken to apple pie.
8. All of Us Crayons
It took Sabine Joseph’s daughter asking her to draw a picture of her grandmother for the mom to realize how challenging it was to find a crayon that matched her beautiful brown skin. The experience inspired Joseph to solve the problem herself and launch her All of Us Crayon company. The hand-crafted crayons are made with earth-derived, natural pigments. “Making sure every one of our children understands that they are perfect just as they are is what I have been put on this Earth to do,” Joseph says. “I hope these crayons can plant seeds of kindness, acceptance and unity—and most of all, friendships. Even if the friendships are just on a piece of paper.”
9. Orijin Bees
After Melissa Orijin noticed her daughter becoming less interested in African culture once she started school, Orijin was determined to help her child appreciate the beauty of her heritage. Not being able to find too many dolls that represented her daughter, Orijin created one herself. Orijin Bees baby dolls celebrate the beauty of diversity by creating dolls with different skin tones and hair textures. “They are a way for children to take pride in their heritage, celebrate their identity, and embrace their cultural roots,” Orijin says.
10. Mischo Beauty
Kitiya Mischo King came up with the idea for her line of nail polishes while pregnant with her son and on the search for chic nontoxic nail polish. Frustrated with the industry standard of chemical-filled polishes, King used her degree in chemistry and cosmetology licenses to create her own line of vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, gluten-free nail lacquer that is void of artificial fragrances.
The holidays are here and as you celebrate your loved ones with heartfelt gifts remember the importance of supporting our Black business owners and leaders.
Check out the full Oprah’s Favorite Things List featuring all Black-owned or Black led businesses HERE.