Happy Holidays from DCI
As we wrap up another year of unexpected challenges, hybrid work environments and daily lessons in resiliency, taking time to refresh, renew and relax is essential as we head into a new year. One of DCI’s core values is “Pursue Happiness: Make Time for Health, a Life Outside of Work and Doing Good,” which is the theme we used to compile this list of holiday gift ideas to share with you. We carefully selected these items — all of which come from Black- or minority-owned businesses, supporting our agency’s commitment to DE&I — to help you or someone on your holiday shopping list feel good, while also doing good. We hope you’ll review our recommendations and then pick out a gift for yourself or that someone special! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you!
Senior Account Executive
Plan to pursue happiness this holiday season by giving the gift of a fresh start with Oui the People’s Big Mood Bath Soak. If you’re looking to take the edge off after a long year, the bath soak has you covered (literally) with a mixture designed to intensify the relaxing effects of a warm soak. The perfect gift for the people you care about most, Big Mood Bath Soak uses a detoxifying mix of magnesium, potassium, and calcium to send any tension down the drain.
My idea of what pursuing happiness looks like has changed over the past couple of years. I now see the joy that comes from doing good, and how it can snowball into something that can affect the lives of people you didn’t expect. That’s why I chose this beautiful, handmade bracelet from Heads Up Trading Co., a Black-owned business from Cincinnati that works with indigenous cultures and empowers them to be economically independent. I hope you’ll feel more connected to the world around you with this great gift!
President, Economic Development
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a planner and a journaler. As an agency leader, a wife, a mother of four and involved in my community, my days are full – even in the midst of a pandemic. Having a beautifully designed and well-organized planner or journal that allows me to not only organize my days but also my mental state brings me great happiness. This multi-layered planner or journal series created by busy, involved, creative and high achieving women is the perfect gift for those of us pursuing that much-desired balance of organized busy and thoughtful calm. Consider this as a gift for yourself, or for another busy, focused, organization seeker on your holiday list!
Wine = Happiness! Enjoy a Maison Noir Wines (MNW) “Other People’s Pinot.” According to the website, “The 2020 Other People’s Pinot Gris is like juggling apples, pears and peaches while dancing to Pharell’s ‘Happy.” MNW was founded by Andre Hueston Mack, one of Oregon’s first Black winemakers. He left a comfortable desk job with Citicorp to become a sommelier and ultimately built his own winery in McMinville, Oregon.
Senior Account Executive, Economic Development
This holiday season, skip the traditional popcorn packs and elevate your snack game by indulging in Pipcorn’s Truffle Popcorn – a gift so great, it was included on Oprah’s Favorite Things list four times in the past nine years! This guilt-free snack has 40% less fat and 10% fewer calories than traditional popcorn brands, offering foodies a decadent yet healthy snack alternative.
Carly Steele Johnson
Senior Account Manager, SEO & ABM
Nothing makes me happier than some self-care time after a long day. This shower box includes handmade soap, lip balm, and shower steamers, which turn your everyday shower into a relaxing, therapeutic paradise. We hope this small gift helps you to have a happy and restful holiday.
Senior Account Executive
If you have never tried goat’s milk soap, make 2022 your year! Your skin will thank you. The all-natural products are great to stock up on for your home, and after a year of solitude, soap is back on the hotlist. The Colorado-based company also sells shampoo bars and vegan soaps. A great self-love gift or small wellness gift to share with family or friends.
Associate, Digital Paid Media
Inner Strength Candles by Valerie Way
These inner strength candles are made by Valerie Way, a Black New York native who created her small candle business right out of her city apartment! I love the quotes and feel it fits perfectly into this year’s theme.
Karyl Leigh Barnes
After being apart from my four sisters for nearly two years, nothing brought me greater joy than a weekend reunion this summer. My “pursue happiness” highlight reminded me of the McBride sisters’ happy reunion years ago. This dynamic duo went on to create the affordable — and tasty — Black Girl Magic wine label — the perfect hostess gift. Today, these sisters do more than just make great wine — they help Black women-owned businesses make the necessary adjustments to propel growth during the age of COVID-19.
Happiness comes in many forms, of course, but one of the most traditional ways to find happiness is by doing a little something for yourself. A simple smell, taste, or feeling can be the difference between a good day and a bad one. With this self-care kit, we can remind our clients that they do amazing things, they help so many people in the community, and they deserve to give themselves the gift of happiness. Using a soothing soap or a hydrating body butter goes a long way in reminding ourselves that we matter.
Executive Vice President
During the pandemic lockdown, our two golden retrievers brought us great joy. They nudged us to walk, gave us unconditional love and restored our souls on more than one occasion. These merino-wool tug-and-chew toys by House Dogge will give your pup something to be happy about too!
Senior Account Director
We could all use a little positive energy as we head into 2022. These candles by MicroWorksStudio out of Detroit are a little something to brighten your day. And the fact that they’re meant to bring love and wealth (and smell superb) can’t hurt, right? If like me, you’re sensitive to smells or don’t like bringing chemicals into your home, this is a candle you can feel good about. They are allergy-friendly and clean-burning, with colorful flowers and raw crystals. What’s not to love?
When I think about what ‘Pursue Happiness’ means to me, it’s an inside job and there are aspects to my self-care that help me achieve that. My grandmother always used hand cream and would constantly get compliments about how soft her skin was and that’s something that as an adult is a part of what makes me feel beautiful. This whipped shea body butter from a small Black-business business is the perfect $25 gift for you to ‘Pursue Happiness’ as well.
For me, one of life’s simple joys is a fresh cup of coffee. And when that cup of coffee does some extra good, well that’s just an amazing bonus. If you’re also one who delights in caffeinated happiness, BLK & Bold’s coffee may be the perfect gift. Their small-batch coffee is made with fair-trade certified whole beans. Plus, the company is committed to supporting at-risk youth both locally and nationally, pledging 5% of its profits to initiatives aligned to sustaining youth programming, enhancing workforce development, and eradicating youth homelessness.
As cliché as it might sound, over the past year, fitness has been critical to my mental and physical wellbeing. It keeps me grounded, helps me manage my stress, and helps me focus. The NYC-based Yoga studio HealHaus is a Black-owned yoga studio offering classes for all levels and styles. Kick start or continue your fitness journey with an online class today.
Glo Through It is a Black-owned small business born in 2020. The owner, Kandace Florence, turned her candle-making hobby into a business in the middle of the pandemic. Her mantra is, “You don’t have to go through it, you can glow through it with patience, self love and confidence.” She combines fragrances and affirmations/quotes. All her products are 100% eco friendly. My favorite one is courage. For me, the pandemic meant moving three times in one year, and anytime I had to settle in a new place, a found a candle would be a small detail to make a room feel more like home. The word ‘Courage” is because we all had to face a lot the past (almost) two years, and it takes courage to look forward and find a way to be your best self and do what’s best for you even if the world seems to go the opposite way.
Senior Account Manager
Aromatherapy can be a powerful mood booster. Lavender is used to promote wellness and calmness and to reduce stress and anxiety. Tucking a sachet into my sweater drawer ensures I’m calm, collected, and ready to take on each day! Use a few sachets as stocking stuffers for anyone on your list who could use a boost. Plus, if anyone on your list loves Wampum jewelry, check out Marcus’s other Etsy listings – he’s truly a master with these gorgeous shells.
Senior Manager, Creative Content
An artist and maker myself, I’m continually inspired by other creatives. Unable to visit museums as often as I’d like – or hop in a gallery after work, I’ve been gravitating towards those I can follow online and, when possible, I have been adding to my personal collection one small original piece – or print at a time. These are just a few of the artists I’ve been following and enjoying this past year: Aurelia Durand, Sean Qualls, Kaylee Reynolds and OlivetheGiant.
Vice President, Digital and Brand Strategy
Focusing on mental health has been a big part of my pursuit of happiness over the last year. Finding little moments throughout the day and the week to focus on myself and my wellness – whether it’s a run in the park, cooking a new recipe or something as simple as lighting a candle – has been part of my pandemic survival guide. I love this Brooklyn-based, Black woman-owned candle company, Moods by Yemmie, for its delicious scents and fun themes that “help you create moments of self-care & intention.” Pick up an “It’s been a DAY!” (Cashmere & Vanilla) or maybe a “Just cleaned my apt” (Orange Blossom & Fig) candle to make your 2022 a little brighter.
Nkechi Olisemeka Mitchell
These kits are handcrafted and created by infusing simple fruits, spices and herbs, so everyone can enjoy a great cocktail or mocktail at home. Part of happiness is being able to connect with loved ones over food and drinks. Now that we are gathering again it could be nice to have a few of these kits on hand during a holiday gathering or to pass on as a gift.
Senior Account Executive
I have been following Marcella Gomez, owner of Oh Comadre Candles, for over three years. I recommend the Pink Snowflakes, Tres Leches and Peppermint & Eucalyptus. These candles are organic veggie soy candles with a cotton wick, and she is currently battling breast cancer and shares her story and process on her Instagram account.
Account Coordinator, Economic Development
Ekobo Rectangle Bento Box – This bento box is perfect for a picnic at the park or a meal at the office! I would gift it to that friend who loves cooking and meal prepping, or who’s trying to cut down on spending and curb those office lunches out.