The Ultimate Immigrant-Owned Gift Guide
Immigrants are widely perceived to be entrepreneurial. Elon Musk (Tesla), Arianna Huffington, (Thrive Global), and Rihanna (Fenty Beauty) are only some famous immigrants today. A Harvard Business School study shows that immigrants are great entrepreneurs and the ‘immigrant mindset’ is a major asset even in corporate settings. There are many amazing/well-known immigrant entrepreneurs and we love to celebrate and be inspired by their journeys. However, for every prominent immigrant entrepreneur, there are thousands others doing the hard work to build and scale their businesses in the new countries they call home.
Here are 30 immigrant-owned businesses to shop from this season and all year. This list was carefully crafted, there’s something for everyone regardless of background. The products by these founders make excellent gifts, and I’ve either purchased a few of them or many of them are high on my wish list. Please enjoy (within budget), save, and share this immigrant-owned gift guide!
1. UK – Lagos Travel Guide
I love a good travel guide, and sometimes they make great coffee table books. I’ve never seen a travel guide about Lagos, the city that raised me, and so I was quite excited when Funke Ogunkoya (Sassy Funke) released THE Lagos Travel Guide.
Product: Lagos’s combo of grit and (chaos) is bound to mesmerize all those keen to explore its vibrant culture, intense parties, charismatic souls, rich history, and fabulous food. Lagos Travel Guide is a personal, honest, and engaging perspective of the wondrous city from the eyes of the top changemakers. This guide will serve as your handbook to help you build a bond with the heartbeat of Africa. It makes a great gift, and I know I’ll be ordering mine!
Purchase Lagos Travel Guide on Amazon
2. Canada – The Ufuoma’s E-book
Jessica Ufuoma’s feed on Instagram will immediately transport you to whatever destination she’s exploring. What’s more, she shares tips to empower you to participate in your life through travel! Ufuoma says that while there are many things she loves, travel is one of her biggest passions. Ufuoma has so far visited over 40 countries and lived in four continents. When not traveling, she likes finding new spots around town in her new home of Toronto and sharing cocktails and moments with friends. Follow along on her adventures on Instagram here
Product: Ufuoma released a 70-page e-book with 100 of her best travel tips and hacks. The e-book promises to help you travel the world, see amazing new places, visit your dream destinations, and cross items off your ever-growing bucket list. Because YOU can. This e-book makes a great and affordable gift for the traveler or aspiring traveler in your life.
The E-book is available for purchase here.
3. USA – Dame Traveler
Nastasia, originally a Labor & Delivery nurse turned travel blogger, has leveraged her passion for travel, photography and has founded Dame Traveler, a curated women’s travel blog where solo female travelers can inspire, and connect with, one another. Her work has been featured in publications such as Travel & Leisure, Fodor’s, Vogue and more. 55+ countries into her journey, her passion for the world has led her to create a sizeable community of female travelers where her mission is to empower them to travel more, do more and be more.
Product: The Dame Traveler book, released in March 2020 is a breathtaking celebration of Instagram’s premier solo female travel community, featuring 200 striking photographs—most of them all-new—plus empowering messages and practical tips for solo travelers. The book can be purchased on Amazon here.
4. 13 Weeks Of Travel
Bolupe Maborukoje founded 13 Weeks of travel in 2020. 13 Weeks of Travel is a luxury travel company creating epic luxury escapes and championing Black family luxury travel.
5. USA: Kulture Games
Created by Africans living in the Unites States, the founders realized that representation matters. Kulture Games celebrates this cultural diversity and creates fun memories through games and stories. What’s even better? 10% of sales go toward educational and community development initiatives in the African countries celebrated in the games.
I found out about ‘You Know You’re African When?’ on Instagram in 2019 and purchased it on Amazon to play with friends on my birthday. It was such a hit! I can’t wait to try the other games in their repertoire!
Product: Pick up any of their seven games on their website or on Amazon as gifts or for your next get together. Ships worldwide
Follow Kulture Games on Instagram
6. USA – Afrocontigbo Dance Studio
In 2014, Korma Aguh-Stuckmayer, a Nigerian immigrant, identified a need for a dance and fitness company in Minnesota that catered to the West African culture. Since then, the company has served hundreds in the area. But Afrocontigbo is more than dance; it is a community and a movement! Catch Korma on weekly dance fitness classes via zoom or in person (post-COVID).
Product: Register for or gift a loved one a month-long online dance fitness pass here. We can’t think of a more fun way to break a sweat! There’s more! Hire Afrocontigbo to perform at an event virtually for now and in person post-Covid.
Follow along on Instagram
Fashion & Clothing
7. USA -Ejona Label
Adejoke founded Ejona in August 2019. The mission at Ejona is to bring a timeless wardrobe essential into every woman’s wardrobe. The styles are created with every woman in mind; modern yet stylish, loose-fitting to allow for unrestricted movement, comfortable enough for sleeping, lounging, and everything in between. Pieces are designed and shipped from Houston, Texas.
Product: The silk pajamas sets look great, but I’m also loving the newly released Seyi silk kaftan. Shop Ejona Label here
Follow on Instagram: @Ejona_label
8. USA – Ruva Afric Wear
Established in 2015 by an Ethiopian and Zimbawean couple, RuvaAfricWear is a lifestyle brand that celebrates African History and Heritage through everyday functional clothing and accessories.
Product: I’ve seen their workout wear and I especially love those! Shop online at Ruvafricwear.com.
Follow along on Instagram @Ruva_Afric_Wear.
9. Canada: AhemaGold
Another gem I found on Instagram this year, Ahema Gold makes modern African jewelry inspired by Ghana’s Gold Coast. Created by a Ghanaian Immigrant to Canada, and inspired by her mother, the collection is timeless and stunning and the packaging is to LIVE for!
Not going to lie, I purchased 3 pairs of earrings for myself during their most recent sale and I can’t wait to get my pieces! Get yours at www.ahemagold.com.
10. UK Grassfields
I’ve known, followed, and have been a Grass-fields customer since 2016. Founded by Christelle and Michelle Nganhou, twin sisters from Cameroon, Grass-fields was created with a simple aim to put the love back into African print clothing again.
They want to give you a shopping experience that excites you, makes you feel good and provides you with unique handmade African print dresses which you will treasure from season to season. The products are made in Cameroon, Nigeria, and the UK
Products: Dresses, tops, pants, blazers, headwraps with sizes up to UK24/US20. They ship worldwide! Shop their site at grass-fields.com.
11. USA – Beolori
After moving to England to study, the seed for Olori was planted when Tomide Awe began to look for ways to share her rich culture with her non-African friends. She merged her love for fashion and her Nigerian heritage with her mission of empowerment and Olori was born.
Olori means queen in Yoruba, my native language. It represents what the team believes about every woman’s worth. Beolori was established on the belief that women are inherently powerful, that every woman wears an invisible crown and is worthy of a full life, free of deprivation and discrimination.
Products: I stumbled on Beolori on these Instagram streets in summer 2020 and their bags are at the top of my wish list. In partnership with women-owned businesses and local artisans in Africa, they make handbags and accessories that are the ultimate symbols of empowerment; every product sold pays tuition for girls in under-served African communities.
Shop Beolori here https://www.beolori.com/collections
12. Canada – Ofuure
Ofuure is a Canadian based size inclusive business that makes African-inspired pieces to keep your stylish. Their pieces are stylish as hell!
Products: Shop their stylish clothing and swimsuit collection at ofuure.com
13. Exin Car Detail
Founded in 2020, Alberto wanted to create a valuable, convenient, high-quality service for the Phoenix metro area, work for himself & build a legacy for his family.
Product: Exin Car Detail offers full-service custom mobile car detailing from the exterior to the interior of your vehicle. For your convenience, they come to you! Services can be purchased and gifted! Phoenix-based folks, check them out!
Follow along on Facebook and Instagram @exincardetail
Food & Drinks
14. USA – Veeyon Cakes
Veeyon Cakes was established in Minneapolis USA in April 2020 by Amina Adeyemi. Amina makes custom cakes and cupcakes to celebrate life’s special milestones. The products are made to your specifications I.e. size, flavor, fillings, and design.
15. UK – DVees
DVees is the magic that was birthed when four sisters; The Aghoghovbia Girls channeled their love for food and their West African heritage into the creation of unique products.
Products: Their products range from drinks to condiments, to tea. Their signature Chapman recipe takes me back to my childhood in Nigeria. It is home in a bottle.
Small Business/Creative Entrepreneur Support
16. USA – The VOGuide Content Coach
Vivienne Okafor is the content strategist that every content creator needs! Vivienne says that clarifying your brand story is one thing, communicating it is another, and she helps you do both! Vivienne’s goal is to help you see and articulate the uniqueness in your brand story so that you can build the connection with your audience. When you’re clear, confident and have a strategy in place to connect with your ideal person, then her work is done.
Product: Vivienne created a 90-day content calendar to take the stress out of content ideas. I’ve bought the calendar myself and I can testify to it and guess what, there are actually 110 content ideas within the package! Talk about over-delivering!
17. USA – Legally Set
As an attorney and publisher with over a decade of experience in the creative industry, Kunbi knows how life is on both sides of the creative spectrum. She knows that owning a small business can be overwhelming AF so she created legally set to empower business owners with attorney-drafted contracts, policies, and templates.
Product: Shop with peace of mind at an affordable price, and go legit with Legally set!
Follow along on Instagram @legallyset.
Self-care & Lifestyle
18. USA -Chiemela Beauty
I stumbled upon Chiemela Beauty (formerly House of Chiemela) on this year and I want one of their beauty bags! Hop on over to their website for beauty essentials with a touch of #Afroglam!
Product: This African print makeup bag is perfect for everyday in-home use or travel. The bag comes in two colors and features 4 collapsible and removable makeup bags perfect for storing everything from foundations, lipsticks, eyeshadows, bronzers to lotions, contacts, and all your other beauty essentials. Shop the site here
Follow on Instagram @Chiemelabeauty
19.USA – FORVRMOOD
FORVR Mood is a lifestyle brand founded by Nigerian-American beauty content creator, US Army veteran, and makeup artist Jackie Aina. After years of creating content using beauty and self-care products, Jackie has acquired a unique aesthetic and wanted to create products that flow with it. If you follow Jackie, you know… the taste always just JUMPS out!
Products: I haven’t tried the products yet but my friend swears by some of the candles and the silk pillowcases. Yes, this is on my wish list as well! Shop or gift the collection here:
Follow along on Instagram @FRVRMOOD
20. USA – Deniel Footcare:
Dr. Eji Shobowale (DPM), a Nigerian immigrant, founded Deniel footcare in 2018. She is dedicated to offering quality foot and ankle care to all her patients. In these times of social distancing, Deniel provides tools to help you care for your feet at home.
Product: Pick up this electric callus remover to help deal with the dry, cracked heels in the safety and comfort of YOUR HOME!! It buffs away the dead skin to bring your sophisticated skin and beautiful feet without having to go to the Spa. Shop or gift the callus remover here.
Follow along on Instagram
21. USA – Clever Girl Finance Books
Would it really be a list by me if we didn’t talk about money? No, it won’t! Clever Girl Finance is one of my absolute favorite personal finance platforms! Founded by Nigerian American, Bola Sokunbi, the platform offers more than 30 FREE financial courses and serves millions of women through their website, Instagram, and the Clever Girls Know podcast. I Stan!
Product: Bola’s recently released a second book that’ll make a great gift to the newbie female investor in your life. I’m reading my copy and gosh, I wish it existed 10 or even 5 years ago. Buy or gift a copy to an investing newbie here on Amazon.
22. Investing Latina
Jully-Alma Taveras is the founder of Investing Latina, an online community for financially powerful Latina women and women of color. She is a writer and producer and you can also find her on YouTube where she creates videos to educate women about personal finances, investing, and entrepreneurship.
Product: The Investing Workshop is a workshop on Index Funds & ETF’s: the most popular and highly recommended funds broken down, so you can make a more informed decision and start investing and build your million dollar portfolio. With a workshop purchase, you get 1 hour pre-recorded lesson, a 1 hour Q&A session, and a private 1-to-1 session with Jully.
Follow along on Instagram @Investinglatina
23. UK – Rudorwaishe Ltd
Tanaka Adeyemo founded this business in July 2020 after being inspired by her daughter who is of mixed Nigerian and Zimbabwean heritage. She created tools to help families of the African diaspora teach their families the languages of their heritage. I don’t know about you but I know I need these for my nieces and future minions!
Product: Flashcards and printable at home downloads. Shop the collection here.
Follow along on Instagram @rudorwaishe_shop
24. USA – Ara by Dede’s World:
Ara is the story of a little girl and her grandma. It teaches the importance of positive affirmation and how changing perspective can help us see the good in every day. In this debut children’s book, my girl, Tolulope Ajayi, pens a story she is all too familiar with as a Nigerian-American living in America. Ara, the wonder child, steals our hearts as she navigates her world. Her story is heartwarming and beautiful and will inspire you to see the wonder in each day.
Product: Buy Ara on Amazon for any young boy or girl in your life and to diversify your home library.
Follow along on Instagram @ Dede_sworld
25. USA – Ade & Ayo
Temidayo Adedokun is a Nigerian Canadian living in the USA. As a first-time expectant mum, she excitedly started working on Ariyo’s nursery and wardrobe. She searched for nursery decor and baby clothes that would remind her of home and introduce him to the beauty of Africa but her search revealed a huge gap.
She could not find clothes in her traditional colors and patterns that would be comfortable enough for daily wear, and any “African-inspired” nursery decor she could find either equated African design with a “safari” theme or was too expensive. “Ade + Ayo” combines the Yoruba (Nigerian language) words for “crown” and “joy,” reflecting the pride and happiness children bring to their parents’ lives.
Product: Bibs, headbands, onesies, silicone bibs, and wall décor all available at affordable prices for all the babies in your life! Shop Ade & Ayo.
Follow along on Instagram: @AdeandAyo
26. UK – Colour Celebrations
When I heard about Colour celebrations, I thought it was wild that there weren’t many companies like it! Colour Celebrations is the only company offering baby milestone cards and luxury gifting for Black and mixed race babies. It’s products intentionally celebrate babies’ skin colour, and provides an alternative to the current “colour blind” baby gifting options available today. Colour Celebrations empowers parents to celebrate both baby milestones and cultural milestones, such as naming ceremonies and baby dedications.
Product: Shop for milestone cards for black and mixed race kids on the colour celebrations site. Worldwide shipping available
Follow along on Instagram
27. UK – PhillynFriends
Inspired by the her daughter whose nickname is Philly, the founder wanted to create a children’s character kids everywhere can love and identify with. One who is strong, confident and happy, goes on adventures, as curious as George, laughs from within and loves wholeheartedly with tight hugs and lots of kisses.
In 2017, there weren’t many quality children’s books that featured a black or minority ethnic main character. At the time, less than 1% of children’s books in the UK featured a Black main character.
Philly & Friends is an award winning black owned children’s lifestyle brand with a strong purpose at its heart. They aim to add a drop of colour in the sea of children’s products while supporting underprivileged kids around the world. Their products are designed to instill confidence, inclusion, and self-love through the power of representation.
Follow along on Instagram
28. Sheni and Teni
Sheni and Teni Ltd is simply a celebration of African cultures. They’re passionate about creating an avenue for children to learn all about African cultures while playing. They believe this stirs up questions about diversity, ethnicity, heritage and culture thus expanding their horizons. We do this by creating unique, exciting, good quality products that you and your Littles of all races can bond over.
Products: Books, puzzles, printables, and wall art. Shop the Sheni and Teni collection.
Follow along on Instagram
29. Canada – By Fopsy
Fope Nkwocha, or as her friends like to call her, Fopsy is a multi-passionate Nigerian-Canadian with a strong resolution to find joy in all of life. She launched ‘By Fopsy’ in 2020 for the joy of gifting and to make individual and corporate gifting stress free.
Product: Each gift box is thoughtfully curated to balance aesthetics with functionality to meet your individual and corporate gifting needs. The boxes are curated for Canadians, by Canadians. When you buy a gift box, you are supporting local Canadian businesses. Shop the site here.
Follow along on Instagram
30. UK – Craft By TT
Tolani built Craft by TT around her passion for intentional gifting and being able to select quality thoughtful items that bring smiles to the recipients’ face. Craft by TT’s mission is to ensure you love what you gift as the giver and the recipient is absolutely delighted over what they receive.
Product: Curated box gifts, Christmas boxes, and Letterboxes specially curated with intention. Shop the giftboxes.
Follow along on Instagram
There we have it!A comprehensive list of 30 immigrant-owned gift guide with great products that are bound to make amazing gifts year round. Were any of these businesses on your radar? Let us know in the comments below. Need help with saving for gifts? Don’t forget to check out this post on the important of sinking funds. Thank you for your support of immigrant-led businesses.