Lux Tea Mint Mojitos are the Way to Your Heart This Holiday Season

luxtea

The following post is brought to you by Lux Tea Company—a New Jersey-based company providing the finest premium whole leaf teas, pyramid tea bags, teaware, and accessories. They offer free shipping on orders $15 and up! Use code ‘BGM10’ for 10 percent off all items.

Let’s talk mojitos, friends. Honestly, I’ve never really liked them. I tend to stay away from rum because it’s too sweet for me and I’ll be real with you: I get really bad hangovers. But why should I have to give them up when I can still drink them without the rum? My ‘mint tea mojito’ recipe is so simple and very festive for the holidays! You can actually serve it all year round, especially in the summer when you need something refreshing, but I think it’s perfect as a starter for your next holiday dinner.

I was actually very excited about this recipe because I received the cutest little package from Lux Tea Company, and one of the flavors was Moroccan Mint. You all know I love Morocco, and if you didn’t know… I also LOVE all things mint! I tried out the tea and it was strong. A little product goes a long way, and I knew it would be delicious in more than just hot water.

For those of you who don’t know about Lux Tea Company—it’s a New Jersey-based company that began on the love of teas by a husband-wife duo, and together they sell every type of tea you can imagine. I mean, they actually have EVERYTHING—loose teas, blooming tea, instant chai, herbal blends, black tea, oolong teas, and much more. You can find so many unique flavors including a Purple Lychee, if you are into something fruity, or Chocolate Chai, which is exactly what I’m into (with pieces of rich dark chocolate). 

[Read Related: The Husband-Wife Duo of Lux Tea Company Prove You Can Have it all—Love, Biz and Lots of Chai]

This recipe requires you to make a quick mint tea-infused simple syrup with some lime juice, club soda, and a handful of mint leaves. Easy, right? Since this is a mocktail, it’s enjoyable for all ages! If you want to add some liquor, I recommend adding 4-6 shots of your favorite white rum!  

I hope you guys enjoy my mint tea mojito recipe—courtesy of Lux Tea! 

luxtea

Mint Tea Mojito

Course: Drinks

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

luxtea

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp mint tea
  • 2 whole limes, juiced
  • 6 cups of club soda
  • 6-8 sprigs of mint leaves
  • Ice cubes

Directions

  1. On medium heat, mix the sugar, water, and mint tea together until all of the sugar has dissolved to become a syrup.
  2. Strain out all of the mint tea. Mix the simple syrup with the lime juice.
  3. In a pitcher, mix together the simple syrup and lime juice and the club soda.
  4. Add in ice cubes and the mint sprigs.
  5. Pour into glasses and serve!
By Megha Patel

Megha Patel is a vegetarian foodie, an extreme travel bug, a self-confessed shopaholic, and somewhere along those lines, a simple … Read more ›

Chef Devan Rajkumar: Bringing Indo Caribbean Flavors to South Asia and Beyond

Chef Dev

Passion is something many claim to have, but few truly possess. Whether it’s hobbies, professions or romances, it’s the secret ingredient we all crave but is quite difficult to come by. But on meeting Chef Devan Rajkumar — aka Chef Dev — it takes just a few moments to understand true passion. For the Indo Guyanese chef from Toronto, passion has always been food and its power to connect, nourish, excite and represent. 

[Read Related: 5 Indo Caribbean Food Experts you Need to Know This Winter Season]

It was there, as a child, when he followed his mother and grandmother around the temple, getting daal stains on his kurtas

Today, he’s used it to become a TV personality on Canada’s “Cityline” and Food Network Canada’s “Fire Masters,” to collaborate with renowned caterers The Food Dudes, develop his own line of signature soups and host pop-up events around the world. 

 

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Whatever the outlet, Rajkumar feeds his mission to be an ambassador for modern, West and East Indian cuisine. I recently sat down with him to talk about this and the experience of bringing Indo Caribbean flavors to South Asia and beyond.

Feeding a passion for food

“The sights, the sounds, the aromatics. The excitement of the kitchen has just always appealed to me,” he began. “Food moves me in a certain way. I want to nurture and nourish. I’ve just always wanted to do for others.”

As he sat back in a ‘Guyana vs. the world’ tank top, Rajkumar’s energy was palpable.

“I’ve always lived and breathed food, all day, all night. Like I’m talking about food right now. I’m constantly talking about food.”

To Rajkumar, food is education — one of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to learn, teach and explore the world — and he credits his older brother Jai for inspiring this mindset. Jai was the first to introduce him to different cuisines, teach him to be curious about the world and show him how to challenge the norms of a “typical brown kid.”

Despite this encouragement, however, a culinary career wasn’t Rajkumar’s first instinct. The son of a businessman, he initially jumped around universities and career paths. He also struggled with substance abuse and grief after Jai’s passing. Through all the challenges, food remained a constant, and the sense of community it created was a powerful draw.  

“At a very young age, I recognized how food made me feel if I was in a bad mood and how it made others feel,” he shared. 

He’s always looked forward to sitting around a table with friends and family, enjoying a nice meal, and how everybody could share their stories or just forget their troubles.

“Food is a very powerful vehicle for transporting someone.”  

In 2009, Rajkumar finally followed his passion and joined a culinary school. He realized he had a knack for creating this experience for others.

“I realized I had the power and the gift to nourish and nurture someone else in this way,” and it became irresistible. 

A cook with no boundaries, Rajkumar didn’t want to limit the number of people he reached to just those in Canada. 

 

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For many, success in the culinary world is having a thriving restaurant, but after spending six months opening one with The Food Dudes in 2015, Rajkumar realized this route wasn’t for him. 

“I wanted more culture,” he explained. “I wanted to learn and not so much get my ass kicked, but to be a sponge. I knew I needed to travel to broaden my horizons.”

So he did. Rajkumar spent months cooking in India, London, Peru and Dubai. He shared his experiences on social media and people back home took note.

“When I returned to Toronto,” he continued, “that trip had established me as a cook who had no boundaries. As someone who wasn’t afraid to explore and get out of their comfort zone.” 

And get out of his comfort zone he did. 

“From catering to a pop-up abroad to filming ‘Cityline and speaking engagements, every day is different,” he explained. “I’ve had my bouts with imposter syndrome, but ultimately, I’ve gotten to make more of an impact than just opening a restaurant.” 

That impact has especially been prominent in South Asia. 

 

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“Mad Love” in the Motherlands

Rajkumar embraces not only his Caribbean culture, but his South Asian roots as well. 

The temple he grew up in was a blend of Guyanese and East Indians, so he knew foods from a typical Guyanese household like alu curry and saijan but also East Indian favorites like dhokla and malai kofta

“Ultimately, we came from India,” he declared. “I embrace the culture and I am very comfortable leaning back and forth into it. It’s in me. It’s who I am.”

In fact, Rajkumar noted his career became much more defined and successful when he really began to identify as not just a chef, but as an Indo Guyanese Canadian chef. 

Hearing this, it was no surprise that Guyana, India and Pakistan stand out as some of  his favorite destinations. 

“Guyana is hugely impactful for me,” he shared, having visited his parents’ homeland frequently. “As soon as that door opens [at the airport], you smell Guyana. You smell the sugarcane burning from rum factories. I have all these wonderful sights, sounds, smells and flavors from those trips.”

His sentiments for India are similar.

“Incredible India is incredible India,” he referred to the country’s tourism slogan. “Every 100-200 kilometers, the menus can change completely. I can live in India for the rest of my life and never see it all.”

Pakistan, however, is in a class all its own.

“There’s something special about Lahore,” Chef Dev explained. “I was told Lahori hospitality rivals the best in the world and I got to experience that. I was interviewed on national television by Mustafa Shah. I explored Old Lahore with Ali Rehman. I got to cook my own chicken karahi at Butt Karahi. Anything I needed, I had. I’ve never met kinder people in my life.” 

 

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Rajkumar’s first trip in 2020 was only nine days long, but its impact stayed with him. 

He couldn’t have been more excited to return for a month, earlier this year, and host what his friends there dubbed the “Mad Love Pop-Up,” after one of his signature sayings. 

He filled the menu for the 18-day event with global dishes like ceviche and scotch eggs but infused them with West and East Indian flavors like masala, jerk and cassareep — a rich extract of the bitter cassava native to Guyana. Before he left, he even prepared Guyana’s national dish of pepper pot, a hearty meat stew, for the staff meal. 

“My whole thought process was ‘let me give these people — my family there — an experience they’ve never had before,” he detailed. “Any time I give someone pepper pot or cassareep, they’re just so shocked. It’s so unique.”

Rajkumar is always excited to share the flavors and culture of Guyana with new people, but with his roots in South Asia, bringing them to Pakistan was that much more profound. 

“In India, maybe it’s different, but in Lahore, most people don’t know about Guyana or where it is. That’s another reason why I did this. That’s why I do all the things I do. That’s why I’m wearing this tank top — to raise awareness about my culture and how beautiful it is,” he said. 

Time in South Asia has also helped Rajkumar gain a deeper appreciation for the origins of many Indo Caribbean dishes and reinforced his love for them.   

“Guyanese cuisine doesn’t just have Indian influence, but so many dishes in some way, shape, or form come from there. Like when I’m eating sada roti, I can tie it back to which type of flatbread it came from in India. I feel like a better-equipped chef at the end of the day. I’m more connected to my Guyanese roots and to the culture overall.” 

Rajkumar wants to foster a deeper understanding and relationship between both heritages. He wants his food to build connections, not disparity. 

Bringing the world back home

Rajkumar has visited over 20 countries, but Pakistan remains one place he’ll cherish his entire life. He is grateful not only for the opportunities he’s had there, but also for the chance to offer a fresh, alternative view of the country from what is often shown by the media.  

Chef Dev Rajkumar
Chef Devan Rajkumar wants to use his culinary skills and experiences to bring people together.

“When people saw me posting content from Lahore, they were like, ‘Oh my God, this is Pakistan?’ This is not what we expected. This is not what we thought we’d see.’ They were shocked at how beautiful, kind, and welcoming everyone was.”

Reactions like these are Rajkumar’s ultimate goal.

A cookbook is due next year. He has aspirations of launching merchandise and cookware, traveling to South East Asia, and continuing his pop-ups, but ultimately, he concludes,

“I just want to stand for something. I want to continue to learn, remain humble, represent my Western and Eastern cultures and spread mad love. I want to be an ambassador to that world and be someone who’s dedicated to his craft, bettering himself and those around him.” 

“I just want to continue to grow as a person,” he added with sincerity as he touched on his sobriety and what it’s taught him about achieving your goals. 

“That might sound cliche, but it’s new to me. I’ve spent the last two years learning about myself and being vulnerable about how I feel, my healing journey and what I’m going through. If I excel and continue to invest time and discipline in that arena, everything else around me will flourish. I believe that goes for anyone.”

Rajkumar is going far literally and figuratively, but no matter where he lands, you can be sure he’ll bring something back for his supporters, whether it be a new view of the world or a concoction like a ceviche pani puri on one of his menus. 

“That’s my travels to India, Pakistan and Peru all in one bite!” he exclaimed. 

Chef Dev’s journey has not always been an easy one, but it’s a powerful example of the success one can taste with hard work, embracing authenticity and following true passion. 

To learn more about his work visit his website or follow his Instagram for real-time updates, recipes, and all the ‘mad love.’ 

Photos Credit: Alec Luna

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By Ramona Sukhraj

With a B.S. in Marketing from the UCONN School of Business, Ramona has made a name for herself publishing over … Read more ›

Diwali Dhamaka 2023: A Gilded Gift Guide Worth Shopping From

diwali gifts

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a time for joy, togetherness, and celebration. As we come together with family and friends to honor the victory of light over darkness and hope over despair, we also exchange heartfelt gifts to show love and to honor those we hold dear. It’s a time to clean and brighten up our homes, dazzle in festive fashion, share and pass down customs we choose to honor with our kids, and savor delectable treats with loved ones. The essence of Diwali lies in the thoughtful exchange of gifts that symbolize affection, appreciation, and blessings. Now, let’s explore our carefully selected brands to help you find the perfect Diwali gifts and beyond (so be sure to bookmark for many desi-centric holidays).

[Read Related: 17 Ayurvedic Beauty Brands on our Radar Right Now]

Illuminate Your Space: Diwali Home Delights

Casa Amarosa

If boho is your vibe, you have to check out Casa Amarosa. Be sure to check out their eco-friendly gift collection for some great gift ideas this Diwali.

Kaapus Co.

Kaapus Co. needs to be on your list if you’re looking to shop for home linens. Shop block-printed cotton goods for your home. Sustainably handcrafted with love.

Marble Lotus

Infuse some South Asian influences into your home decor with the Marble Lotus collection. We are sure you’ll find something here for everyone!

 

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Arjuna Design Studio

Arjuna Design Studio is your one-stop shop for everything home-related. From linens to kitchenware to art. You’ll find it all here.

Scrumptious Wicks

Want your home to smell divine for your guests? Scrumptious Wicks has you covered. Their Diwali candle trio sounds like a dream. We can’t wait to try it!

 

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Shop Lavica

Candle and mithai, together? Never heard of it, right? Shop Lavica’s festive candles will be sure to add that quirk to your Diwali decor! Just don’t confuse them for actual mithai!

Home Bound Decor

If you’re looking to personalize your festive season gifts this year, be sure to check out Home Bound Decor!

Shop Aditi

Let their candles transport your senses through time!

Pyarful

If you’re looking for greeting cards or cute home goods with some South Asian flair, look no further than Pyarful!

 

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Vrsa

Home goods curated from designers in India, that you’d love in your home, no matter where in the world you are!

 

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Glow and Behold: Beauty Essentials for Diwali

Live Tinted

LiveTinted’s Huesticks are a versatile solution for all your makeup needs, including color correction, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick.

 

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Shaz & Kiks

Shaz & Kiks, a South Asian haircare brand, should find a place on your beauty shelf ASAP. Their Hair Pre-wash offers all the benefits of a deep hair oil massage without the hassle of greasy strands.

 

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Ranavat

Indulge in luxury and Ayurvedic wisdom this festive season with Ranavat.

 

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Ghlee

Your mother’s wisdom comes to life in Ghlee’s products, harnessing the goodness of ghee. Their lip balms are a godsend, especially during the harsh winters.

 

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Umm Skincare

If you want to pamper yourself or create a relaxing retreat in the comfort of your home, Umm Skincare allows you to curate your own experience without breaking the bank.

Kulfi Beauty

Kulfi Beauty products perfectly blend fun and elegance. Their award-winning Nazar No More Eyeliner will keep those inquisitive aunties at bay, especially during the festive season.

 

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Squigs Beauty

A fun, Ayurveda-rooted beauty brand is sure to make a fantastic gift and spread positive vibes. We adore their Double Shot Face Serum and Gooseberry Delight Hair Oil.

 

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Sahajan

Sahajan harnesses ancient Ayurvedic wisdom to create evidence-based skincare products.

Did you know Sahajan products are available at 400 Marriott hotels worldwide? We recommend trying their Golden Milk Cleanser.

 

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Of The Root

Of the Root offers gender-neutral, naturally sourced skincare products that tap into the power of eastern herbs native to Sri Lanka.

 

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Fable & Mane

If you’re seeking some TLC for your locks, Fable and Mane has you covered. Their HoliRoots Hair Oil has gained a cult following for good reason.

 

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Inde Wilde

It’s the perfect fusion of natural formulations and scientific backing. Founded by Diipa Khosla, Inde Wilde products have gained massive popularity globally.

 

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Asna Beauty

Asna provides a range of clean and sustainable products that empower you to reach your full potential for beauty and wellness.

Did you know that the amla in their products comes from their own family farm? How cool!

 

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Aavrani

Aavrani takes ancient rituals and adapts them to modern-day skincare. This brand has a dedicated following, a testament to the quality of their products.

 

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Blume

Blume’s vegan, certified clean, climate-neutral, and plastic-neutral range allows you to look and feel good, thanks to its all-natural ingredients. Their TikTok-trending product, the Meltdown Gel Cream with Ceramides, is in our cart — how about yours?

 

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Diwali Dazzle: Fashion for the Festive Diva

Jewelry

Maabae

Maabae is your go-to source for heritage jewelry inspired by the nomadic tribal communities of Rajasthan.

 

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Studio Kiyan

Shop handmade accessories for the maximalist in you. We love their Evil Eye Earrings.

 

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Surmeyi

Surmeyi is a lifestyle and accessory brand that crafts objects that evoke a sense of belonging. We adore their Qalam Pen for your journaling needs.

Nath Jewelry

Your destination for urban interpretations of South Asian classics. We’re particularly fond of their Twin Jhumki.

 

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Sonu Company

If you’re looking to indulge in some sonu (gold) this festive season, check out Sonu Company for their fine jewelry. As seen on the latest season of “Indian Matchmaking,” they even offer bespoke engagement rings to help you drop a hint to that special someone. This brand is 100% Seema Aunty approved!

 

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Lakdawala

Lakdawala demonstrates that sustainability and luxury can coexist in fine jewelry made from fairmined gold.

 

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Roz

For high-quality baubles that complement your everyday wear collection, Roz’s pieces are versatile, bold, and functional.

 

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Hyperbole

Hyperbole belongs on your list for fashion jewelry to elevate your festive looks. Their latest Dvaar collection is inspired by the doors of India.

Maalicious

A woman-run brand that crafts quirky, handmade jewelry responsibly sourced from materials like clay, wood, silk, and more.

Reemat Designs

Reemat Designs fuses the classic and contemporary to create high-end fashion jewelry that’s a great addition to your festive collection.

 

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Clothing

Mor Collections

If you’re searching for timeless fashion essentials and statement pieces that can be mixed and matched to create unique looks, Mor Collections has you covered.

 

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Recover Season

Inspired by the colors of sunsets, Recover Season creates garments that employ differently-abled artisans and prioritize ethical production practices.

 

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Maars Market

Maars Market brings the best brands from Pakistan to your doorstep. Whether you’re in search of Western silhouettes, footwear, or accessories, they have something for you.

 

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Tilted Lotus

This brand turned heads during NYFW this year with its first-ever show. — now it’s time to bring the runway to your (or a loved one’s) closet! Their bold designs are true conversation starters.

 

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Shop Merakhi

A slow fashion brand that strives to keep the magic of traditional artisanship alive. Their designs are ideal for your upcoming Diwali parties!

 

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Shop Transcend

A brand that crafts everyday wear pieces with South Asian aesthetics. If you love floral prints, you must check them out.

Tega Collective

Tega Collective empowers indigenous communities in India and creates stunning pieces that can be dressed up or down, depending on your mood.

 

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Pali (@wearpali)

Pali offers small-batch collections of contemporary, everyday wear rooted in traditional crafts. They also have great options for the men in your life.

 

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Shop Raga

RAGA reimagines classic silhouettes with vibrant textiles and beautiful bohemian prints, inspiring authentic self-expression. Whether you’re looking for options for menswear or womenswear, they have something for everyone.

 

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Jamil by MD

Jamil by MD’s designs are a fusion of South Asian and American culture and fashion. Their ‘Modern Muse’ collection offers versatile options that can transition effortlessly from day to night.

 

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Amotha

If you’re looking for pieces from Indian brands, look no further than Shop Amotha.

 

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Shop Sakhya

Want to add some pre-loved items to your wardrobe this festive season? Then be sure to check out Shop Sakhya.

 

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Footwear

Lilith

Lilith is a luxury footwear brand for women that creates with intention. We adore their Kali Blue Sneakers; they make a bold statement.

 

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Kivvi

Kivvi infuses Indian ethnic prints into vegan footwear, offering a wide range from sandals to loafers to shoes.

 

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Little Lights, Big Delights: Diwali Kids’ Picks

Modi Toys

A household favorite, Modi Toys offers delightful gifts for your little ones that will surely light up their eyes with excitement.

 

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Every Girl Dolls

Every Girl Dolls was created by two moms who wanted to find affordable, fun dolls for their kids that also celebrate South Asian culture and diverse skin tones.

Vichaar & Prem

Looking to gift something educational to your little ones? Vichaar and Prem’s Visual Stimulation cards and mini print postcards make an ideal choice.

 

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Bhaasha Basics

Help your kids embrace and celebrate their culture this festive season with Bhaasha Basics.

 

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Kulture Khazana

Kulture Khazana’s products are sure to make Diwali a memorable occasion for your kids. Their interactive and engaging products aim to share Indian cultural stories with children through play activities.

 

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Bolo Bolo Baby

Immerse your children in our rich culture through language with BBB’s products. They promote hands-on learning and spark curiosity in our little ones.

The Heritage Supply Co.

Connect your children to their heritage with toys, educational tools, and sensory play products.

Feast Mode On: Diwali Foodie Faves

Kola Goodies

Satisfy your latte cravings with Kola Goodies’ product range, which includes vegan lattes and Masala Chai, all made with ethically sourced ingredients from South Asia and crafted in the USA.

Neeshi

If you suffer from painful cramps during your menstrual cycle, Neeshi offers great products to help balance your hormones with natural treats.

 

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Diaspora Co.

Add some spice to your life this festive season with Diaspora Co’s freshest, heirloom, and single-origin spices directly from farmers in South Asia.

 

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Eat Doosra

Looking for snacks or nibbles to share with your guests at your Diwali party? Check out Doosra’s non-traditional take on classic Indian chai-time snacks.

 

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Malai Icecream

Explore Malai’s Diwali special edition pints, inspired by South Asian desserts, to impress your dinner guests this festive season.

 

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Vahdam

Recommended by the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, Vahdam sources premium teas directly from India and delivers them to your doorstep.

 

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Kolkata Chai Co.

If you’re craving authentic chai that tastes just like what you’d get back in India, check out Kolkata Chai Co. Their “Aunty Approved” masala chai is a must-try!

 

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Paro

Move over Trader Joe’s Chilli Crunch. Paro’s Tarka oil is here! Share South Asian comfort food with your guests with ease this festive season and take the hassle out of entertaining.

 

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Brooklyn Delhi

With delicious condiments and sauces inspired by our spices, Brooklyn Delhi is a must-try and offers an instant connection to our culture.

 

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Two Brothers Organic Farm

A family-run certified organic farm that produces incredible products from desi cow ghee to moringa powder to healthy snacks like Ragi and Rice Krispies and Nachni laddoos.

 

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Madras Tiffin Co.

Looking for catering options for your Diwali parties? Madras Tiffin Co. has a delectable menu that is sure to impress

 

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As we celebrate Diwali and exchange gifts symbolizing affection and blessings, let’s also remember the importance of mindful giving. Supporting smaller South Asian businesses during this festive season is a wonderful way to strengthen communities. However, let’s buy thoughtfully, within our means, and prioritize meaningful gifts over extravagance. The essence of Diwali lies in love and togetherness, and by doing what works best for you, we can keep that spirit alive.

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By MihikaShivkumar

Mihika Shivkumar is a program manager in the tech industry, leveraging her expertise to drive innovation and efficiency. Beyond her … Read more ›

A Very Merry Holiday Small Business Gift Guide to Shop from Today

holiday small business gift guide

Dashing through the aisles, in a festive shopping spree, in the air, there’s a feeling of glee! The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and what better way to spread joy than by curating a gift guide that celebrates diversity and creativity. Jingle bell, jingle bell, it’s time to share the cheer! Join us on a sleigh ride through the realms of home, fashion, beauty, food, and kids, as we showcase the brilliance of South Asian and minority-owned brands. The holiday season is more than just tinsel and lights; it’s a time to embrace the spirit of giving.

[Read Related: Diwali Dhamaka 2023: A Gilded Gift Guide Worth Shopping From]

Culinary Carols for the Feast of Seasons

Laumiere Gourmet

Dive into a world of premium artisan dried fruit-based products, seamlessly combining gourmet excellence with a commitment to a healthy lifestyle — 100% natural, preservative-free, and without added cane sugar. Elevate your festivities with these exquisite, guilt-free indulgences.

Malai Icecream

Celebrate the holidays with Malai Icecream, where each handcrafted scoop is a gift of South Asian flavors, perfect for sharing joy with loved ones.

 

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The Chutney Life Cookbook

Explore the culinary magic of ‘The Chutney Life Cookbook‘ this season, a perfect gift for busy moms and curious cooks alike. A culinary treasure trove filled with anecdotes, love notes, and time-saving tips. Share the joy of flavorful journeys inspired by travels and Indian-American cooking traditions.

 

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Milk & Cardamom Cookbook

Savor the joy of the season with the ‘Milk and Cardamom’ cookbook — infusing every occasion with bold, unforgettable desserts inspired by Indian-American heritage. From Ginger–Chai Chocolate Pot de Crème to Gulab Jamun Bundt Cake, each bite is a celebration worth sharing. Get it here!

 

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Cumin Club

Bring home the flavors of India with The Cumin Club’s ready-to-eat meals — a diaspora-inspired solution, crafted by expert chefs using regional ingredients for an authentic taste of comfort; perfect for the busy holiday season.

 

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Kolkata Chai Co.

If you’re craving authentic chai that tastes just like what you’d get back in India, check out Kolkata Chai Co at either of two city New York City location or order from their online store. Their “Aunty Approved” masala chai is a must-try!

 

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Kola Goodies

Sip the spirit of the season with Kola Goodies’ teas — crafted from high-quality, directly sourced ingredients that not only bring freshness to your cup but also empower the communities they hail from. Share the warmth of conscious sipping this festive holiday.

 

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Chai Box

Are you a chai lover? If so, you need to check out The Chai Box’s fantastic tea blends! From the aromatic Masala Chai to soothing Green Tea, each hand-crafted blend takes you on a flavorful journey through the diverse regions of India.

 

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Transcendence Coffee

Fuel your day with Transcendence Coffee, a brew that breaks free from traditional limits, merging specialty beans and all-natural flavors for a truly unique and exotic coffee experience. It’s not just coffee; it’s a flavorful journey connecting cultures and countries worldwide, starting with the founders’ roots in India and Algeria.

Kasama Rum

Embrace the sunshine spirit with a 7-year-old rum from the Philippines. Infused with tropical vibes, it boasts flavors of sweet pineapple, a hint of vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt — here’s some island bliss for the holidays.

 

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Podi Life

A queer-owned, PoC mom-daughter team from Atlanta, GA, bringing South Indian pantry treasures to your kitchen — sharing the warmth of heirloom recipes with the world!

Naagin Sauce

Ignite your holiday celebrations with Naagin Sauce — an authentic tribute to India’s spice culture. Free from purees and high fructose corn syrup, these hot sauces are a versatile, high-quality blend, perfect for the true Indian palate. Bring the warmth and flavor of India to your festive table.

Vahdam Tea

Sip into the holidays with Vahdam Teas, a favorite of icons like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres. Indulge in premium teas sourced directly from India, elegantly delivered to your doorstep, making for the perfect gift or personal treat this festive season.

 

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Madhu Chocolate

Delight in the holidays with Madhu Chocolate, a small-batch, award-winning chocolatier crafting unique Indian-inspired flavors. Indulge in handcrafted chocolate made with cacao from India and Colombia. Support a 100% LGBTQ+ and 50% BIPOC minority-owned business from Austin, Texas, making for a sweet and inclusive holiday treat.

 

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Paro

Simplify your holiday hosting with Paro’s Tarka Oil, a perfect swap for Trader Joe’s Chilli Crunch. Elevate your South Asian comfort food sharing with ease and delight your guests this festive season.

 

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Diaspora Co. Spices

Spice up your festive season with Diaspora Co. — bringing you the freshest, heirloom, and single-origin spices directly from South Asian farmers. Elevate your holiday cooking and add a touch of authentic flavor to your celebrations.

 

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Ministry of Kaapi

Wake up to the holidays with Ministry of Kaapi! This woman-owned, wildlife-friendly coffee haven is all about fine Indian coffee. Sourced, imported, and roasted with love — their super slow-drip Decoction proves that good things, especially coffee, take time. Cheers to festive sips!

 

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Theobroma

Savor divine indulgence with Theobroma —’ Food of the Gods.’ From brownies to breads, their heavenly treats spread smiles nationwide. If you find yourself in India this holiday season, don’t miss the joy at Theobroma Patisseries!

Essie Spice 

Spice up your life with Essie Spice — crafted from a love affair with spice that spans generations. Essie’s globally inspired sauces, like the divine TamarindOH, promise bottled joy in every jar.

 

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Fly by Jing

Ignite your taste buds with Fly by Jing — the first 100% all-natural Sichuan chili sauce, born in Chengdu. Hot, spicy, crispy, numbing, and irresistibly savory, it’s a flavor explosion in every bite!

 

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One Stripe Chai

A woman-owned South Asian brand crafting small-batch masala chai concentrates and DIY blends. Elevate your tea experience with direct-sourced organic and biodynamic goodness.

Omsom

Add some noise to your holiday cooking with Omsom, a Vietnamese phrase for noisy and riotous, just like our unruly childhood car rides. Crafted by two first-gen Vietnamese sisters, Omsom brings delicious sauces and saucy noodles in collaboration with iconic Asian chefs. Get ready for a flavorful riot!

 

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Our Place

Up the ante in your kitchen with Our Place, where kitchen essentials meet connections made across the table. Begin your culinary journey today with their Heirloom dinnerware, creating moments that last.

 

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Brightland

Bask in the golden goodness of Brightland — consciously crafted extra virgin olive oils and vinegar from California, containing nothing but fruit, love, and sunshine. Explore their mini bottles, the perfect stocking stuffers that bring a taste of the Golden State to your holiday season.

Driftaway Coffee

Awaken your taste buds with Driftaway Coffee — offering personalized, farmer-focused, and eco-friendly subscriptions, delivering a unique tasting experience. Keep an eye out for their Indian-origin coffee, adding a touch of warmth and flavor to your holiday sips.

 

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Urja

Elevate your hydration game with Urja — 100% real coconut water straight from Kerala. Cold-crafted to retain all the nutrients and flavor, URJA is your go-to for pure refreshment. Stay hydrated and refreshed this holiday season!

 

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Asha Pops

Snack guilt-free with Asha Pops — offering healthy, vegan, and paleo low-calorie treats made from popped water lily seeds, known as makhana. These plant-based delights are not just low in calories but also delicious.

Spicewell

Elevate your well-being with Spicewell’s clean and delicious pantry essentials, blending ancient Ayurvedic wisdom with modern science. Their commitment to non-GMO, vegan ingredients ensures a guilt-free indulgence.

 

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Confusion Snacks

South Asian-American fusion snacks made with guilt-free ingredients? Yes, please. Their holiday box comes with their staple offerings: Black Truffle Masala, Chili Chaat Popcorn, Mint Chaat Popcorn, and a bag of their Black Truffle Masala-Oven Roasted Peanuts and Chili Chaat Oven-Roasted Peanuts.

Fashion Fantasia: A Winter Wardrobe Tale

Chaa Latte

Step into style with Chaa Latte, a fashion brand elevating modern womenswear through artisan craft. Discover chic silhouettes infused with the perfect touch of intricate detailing.

 

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GoldStories

A love letter to fine jewelry with a story, blending thoughtful design and conscious sourcing to create timeless pieces destined to be your future heirlooms.

Kosh-a Footwear

A slow fashion handmade brand that brings timeless elegance to your holiday season. Crafted using traditional methods, their durable sandals are inspired by the classic Kohlapuris’ blending of conventional and modern designs for a unique touch.

 

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Snows Designs

The pioneers of Desi food-inspired jewelry — from jalebis to pani puri — their quirky-themed earrings make the perfect holiday gift for co-workers or your secret Santa group. Add a sprinkle of fun and flavor to your festivities!

Reti Swimwear

A small batch, Indo-Western swimwear boutique bringing you unique, desi-inspired designs crafted for beach comfort. Make a splash this holiday season with distinctive swimwear that stands out on the shore.

Tia Bhuva

Tia Bhuva is a pioneer in game-changing saree silhouettes that offer maximum comfort, efficiency, and effortlessness. Beyond sarees, they curate great ethnic options with the intention of helping you look and feel your best, hassle-free.

Bedi

A clothing brand reinventing traditional South Asian apparel for the modern cosmopolitan individual. Embrace a fusion of tradition and contemporary style, upping your fashion game this holiday season.

 

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Whatismoire

Experience the fusion of Bangla style and streetwear with Moire.

 

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Sarjaa World

Elevate your style guilt-free with Sarjaa World — a brand crafting sustainable, high-quality plant-based, and vegan leather bags from fruits and plants.

 

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Jamil by MD

A brand where designs seamlessly blend the best of both worlds: South Asian and American cultures!

 

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Navaa

Discover sustainable style with Shop Navaa, an exclusive collection of meticulously chosen products sourced from circular labels.

House of Naveda

Indulge in the bohemian-meets-couture lifestyle with House of Naveda, a women’s wear brand blending ready-to-wear, custom couture, and styling.

Cuyana

Embrace the philosophy of “Fewer, Better Things” with Cuyana, a brand offering timeless apparel and accessories crafted with premium materials and impeccable craftsmanship.

 

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Tilted Lotus

Houston-based slow fashion studio merging South Asian art with contemporary design to create bold and beautiful garments. Seize the opportunity to add their unique pieces to your collection this holiday season!

Wear Transcend

Infuse South Asian aesthetics into your everyday wear with Transcend, a brand that embraces floral prints and traditional block printing techniques.

State Cashmere

Wrap yourself in the warmth of State Cashmere — crafted with generations of expertise from Inner Mongolia’s cashmere heritage. Improve your winter style with luxurious pieces that bring comfort and sophistication to your holiday season!

 

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Amaaya Jewelry

A female-founded small business offering distinctive 925 sterling silver and 24k gold-plated pieces that you’ll reach for again and again. A great treat for yourself this holiday season!

 

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Maalicious

If quirky is your vibe; Maalicious is the answer you’re looking for. A woman-run brand that crafts handmade jewelry responsibly sourced from materials like clay, wood, silk, and more.

Tega Collective

Explore the cultural richness of Tega Collective, a brand co-creating with Adivasi (indigenous) communities, celebrating their craft and knowledge in each unique collection.

 

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Dagne Dover

Founded by three in 2013, Dagne Dover creates problem-solving bags – for all the problem-solving humans out there. An eco-friendly brand, Dagne Dover bags keep up, stay organized, and look good doing it.

 

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Warp

Dive into the unique world of Warp, a Pakistani-made contemporary brand reshaping fashion norms with high-quality, abstract forms, and minimalist accessories. Discover non-conformist aesthetics and support the reinvention of leather craftsmanship.

 

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Tigra Tigra

A Los Angeles-based brand, intricately weaving traditional Indian textile techniques. Crafted in Gujarat by local artisans, their designs are not just stylish but also embody fair labor practices, time-honored craftsmanship, and a touch of holiday flair!

 

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My Morni

An innovative brand founded by a mother-son duo, seamlessly blending traditional craftsmanship with modern technology. Morni’s subscription-based platform revolutionizes the fashion landscape, promoting supply chain transparency and radical self-expression.

 

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Gundi Studios

Explore the intersection of sustainability and luxury with Gundi Studios, a brand redefining the connection between traditional Indian textile techniques and contemporary silhouettes. Crafted by women for non-traditional women,.

 

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House of Masaba

This is a brand that epitomizes contemporary chic with a touch of traditional elegance. Gift the joy of bold prints and fashion-forward designs to your loved ones, encapsulating the spirit of celebration in every outfit. And calling all brides-to-be, don’t miss out on exploring Masaba’s first-ever bridal collection that debuted this fall — a blend of modern sophistication and timeless charm for your special day!

 

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Sonu Company

If you’re looking to indulge in some sonu (gold) this holiday season, check out Sonu Company for fine jewelry. As seen on the latest season of “Indian Matchmaking,” this brand is 100% Seema Aunty-approved!

 

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Samara

Utilizing cutting-edge materials such as apple-based leather, castor-based sunglasses, and recycled ocean plastics, Samara crafts pieces that redefine sustainable fashion.

 

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Harago

A Jaipur-based fashion haven enriched with the essence of rural India’s historical textile techniques, HARAGO seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. By crafting contemporary clothing, this brand contributes to the preservation of ancient crafts, empowering traditional artisans to share their legacy with a global audience.

 

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Rastah

A Pakistani streetwear sensation rooted in authenticity and urban vibes, Rastah blends contemporary fashion with cultural expression.

Sani

A brand crafted with a vision to amplify the artistry of South Asian craftsmanship — and operating between the vibrant streets of Delhi, India, and North Carolina — Sani brings to life clothing and accessories inspired by the rich cultural tapestry of South Asia.

 

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Maars Market

Maars Market brings the best brands from Pakistan to your doorstep. Whether you’re in search of Western silhouettes, footwear, or accessories, they have something for you this holiday season.

 

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Amotha

Are you looking to indulge in some retail therapy this holiday season? Look no further than Amotha — a curated platform of some fantastic Indian brands!

 

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Shop Sakhya

If you’re looking to add some pre-loved items to your wardrobe, be sure to check out Shop Sakhya.

 

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Monday Chill

Get ready to chill in style with Monday Chill! They’re all about bringing you the comfiest bamboo loungewear that’s both budget-friendly and downright luxurious. Say hello to effortless everyday coolness!

 

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Mixed by Nasrin

Embrace the in-between, live on the edge of your many identities, and step into a palette of daring colors and bold prints that define your unique style.

 

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Deck the Halls and Unwrap the Joy

Banyan & Birch

Handmade linens, crafted by skilled Indian artisans, seamlessly blend tradition with modern elegance. Transform your home into a haven of style and sophistication with their curated collection.

House of Amu

Add a cozy touch to your space with House of Amu’s exquisite cushions. Plus, enjoy a free 30-minute consult to discover the perfect pillow combination that suits your style and elevates your home decor.

The Kushie

If you’re feet are constantly cold, The Kushie keeps you warm year-round.Available in picture worthy prints like plaid, chenille, rose and blush, you can be sure to find one for you or someone you love. 

 

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Casa Amarosa

If boho is your vibe, then you have to shop Casa Amarosa. Be sure to check out their eco-friendly gift collection for some great gift ideas!

Marble Lotus

Infuse some South Asian influences into your home decor with Marble Lotus’ collection. We are sure you’ll find something that you like!

 

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Shop Vrsa

Home goods curated from designers in India, that you’d love in your home, no matter where in the world you are!

 

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Nayana Design Studio

Celebrate the season with Nayana Design Studio, where each hand-illustrated pattern is a whimsical blend of global inspiration and Indian tradition. Gift joy, magic, and meaning with their unique and vibrant creations.

Shop Kishmish

Unwrap the essence of South Asian culture with Shop Kishmish’s hand-poured candles and thoughtfully designed paper goods. Each product preserves the charms of tradition, offering relatable and nostalgic delights for the festive season.

 

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Rayt

Toast to the festive season in style with Rayt’s vibrant glassware, adding a pop of color to your celebrations. Crafted with high-quality materials, these glasses are perfect for clinking in joyous moments that last a lifetime.

 

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Desi Favors

Sprinkle South Asian charm onto your Christmas festivities with Desi Favors. Their Christmas ornaments promise to infuse extra joy and cultural flair into your holiday decor.

 

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Caftari

Caftari’s carefully curated collection of fragrances aims to create a sensory experience that promotes bliss and balance.

Kaapus Co.

Kaapus Co. needs to be on your list if you’re looking to shop for home linens. Shop block-printed cotton goods for your home, sustainably handcrafted with love.

Pyarful

If you’re looking for greeting cards or cute home goods with some South Asian flair, look no further than Pyarful!

 

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Jungalow

Your go-to destination for bohemian-modern home decor: Jungalow. Dive into a world of vibrant colors, playful patterns, and jungalicious delights to infuse your space with a wild, eclectic vibe!

 

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The Sill

Your ultimate online plant shop, catering to plant enthusiasts of all levels. Whether you’re a budding plant parent or searching for the perfect green gift, The Sill has you covered with a variety of plants, resources, and delightful merchandise!

 

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Lolly Lolly Ceramics

Each piece is a unique, functional masterpiece that blurs the lines between ceramics and art — perfect for adding a touch of creativity to your holiday gifting.

 

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Jingle All the Way to Toyland: A Tiny Tots Adventure

Hamesha Project

Dive into the world of cultural crafts with Hamesha Project’s enchanting kits. Each kit is a celebration of slow regional crafts from South Asia, offering a mindful and joyful crafting experience for kids and beyond.

Kulture Khazana

Kulture Khazana’s interactive and engaging products aim to share Indian cultural stories with children through play activities. Great gift for your little ones.

Vichaar & Prem

Looking to gift something educational to your little ones? Vichaar and Prem’s Visual Stimulation cards and mini print postcards make an ideal choice.

 

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Modi Toys

A household favorite, Modi Toys offers delightful gifts for your little ones that will surely light up their eyes with excitement.

EveryGirl Dolls

Created by two moms who wanted to find affordable, fun dolls for their kids that also celebrate South Asian culture and diverse skin tones. A great gifting option for kids.

The New Delhi Company

Bring the little ones in your life closer to their mother tongue by giving them the gift of The New Delhi Company’s Learn Hindi Flashcards and Learn Punjabi Flashcards.

Radiant Beauty, Mistletoe Ready

Lion Pose

Setting the tone for clinical skincare with their product, a dermatologist-developed serum that visibly reduces the look of hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and dark spots in two weeks.

 

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Blume

Founded by the sister duo Taran and Bunny, the brand was created to make self care easier and healthier, while destigmatizing normal things like acne, puberty, periods and sex ed. We’re here to protect and nurture, and shift the narrative away from perfect skin and towards healthy skin.

 

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Aavrani

Powered by science, backed by tradition, AAVRANI honors the founder Rooshy Roy’s beauty and celebrates her duality by uniting my worlds: clinically-proven, modern-day routine and ancient, all-natural rituals.

 

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Mango People

Gift a touch of beauty and luxury with Mango People’s multifunctional essentials. Infused with Ayurvedic adaptogens and botanical oils, these products add a festive glow to your celebrations.

Teak Beauty

Spice up your holiday gifts with Teak Beauty’s lip products, a nod to the beauty of South Asian traditions. Crafted by Telugu sisters Nupoora and Pooja Reddy, these lip essentials bring a touch of glamour inspired by the intricate Teak wood doors of our homes. Perfect for adding a pop of color and culture to your festive season!

 

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Samreen’s Vanity

This luxe cosmetic line celebrates South Asian beauty and culture, empowering you to embrace your authentic self.

 

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Forest Essentials

Treat yourself — or a loved one — to the beauty of Ayurveda with Forest Essentials. Indulge in organic facial, body, and hair care for a truly rejuvenating holiday pampering. Stock up on these cult favorites for a luxurious and wellness-filled season.

 

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Ghlee

Your mother’s wisdom comes to life in Ghlee’s products, harnessing the goodness of ghee. Their lip balms are a godsend, especially during harsh winters, and make for the perfect gift. Not to mention, they smell divine!!

 

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Ranavat

Transform your skincare routine with Ranavat, uniting luxury and Ayurvedic wisdom. With a cult following, their Mini Rituals Set is the perfect gift for a skincare enthusiast, promising indulgence and radiant results this holiday season.

 

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Fable & Mane

If you’re seeking some TLC for your locks, Fable and Mane have you covered. Their Holi Roots Hair Oil has gained a cult following for good reason.

 

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Sachi Skin

Discover thoughtful beauty crafted with deep understanding and care for diverse skin types. With a goal of promoting healthy skin for all, Sachi Skin brings you skincare solutions that cater to your unique needs.

 

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Soma Ayurveda

Indulge in the goodness from the Indian forest with Soma Ayurveda. As featured in VOGUE, ALLURE, and VANITY FAIR, their products offer an intimate way to experience fragrance and embrace each season with skin that shines.

 

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Kanya Life

Experience inside-out nourishment with Kanya. Their products, rooted in ancient yogic Chakra Balancing and Aromatherapy, go beyond skincare. They leave your skin supple, hydrate your body, elevate your mood, and work on internal imbalances through distinct chakra-focused essential oil blends.

Pure Alchemy Beauty

Immerse yourself in the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda with Pure Alchemy Beauty. Rooted in this 5,000-year-old Indian healing system, their handcrafted products embrace every Ayurvedic principle, ensuring a holistic approach to skincare.

Mudita Earth

Redefining beauty standards, Mudita Earth is on a mission to bring clean beauty to women of color. Embrace skincare that empowers without compromise, providing a toxin-free path to glowing, confident skin.

 

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Nopalera

Ever wondered how to make your daily skincare routine more exciting? Enter Nopalera! Their body products, infused with prickly pear and cactus, add a touch of Mexican freshness to your self-care game. give it a try!

 

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Habit

Infuse your routine with sun-loving vibes using Habit, a creation by Mexican-Pakistani entrepreneur Tai Adaya.

 

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Plantkos

Seeking a skincare routine that caters to diverse skin needs? Plantkos has got you covered! Their clinically-inclusive range addresses common concerns, ensuring effective results for all skin types and tones.

 

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Live Tinted

LiveTinted’s Huesticks are a versatile solution for all your makeup needs, including color correction, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick. Who wouldn’t love to receive this as a gift?

 

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Shaz & Kiks

A South Asian haircare brand that needs to find a spot on your beauty shelf ASAP! Their Back To Your Roots Scalp and Hair Pre-wash offers all the benefits of a deep hair oil massage without the hassle of greasy strands.

 

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Kulfi Beauty

Unleash the perfect blend of fun and elegance with Kulfi Beauty! Stand out with their award-winning Nazar No More Eyeliner —your secret weapon to keep those inquisitive aunties at bay.

 

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Squigs Beauty

Unveil the fun side of beauty with Squigs! Rooted in Ayurveda, this approachable brand is the perfect gift to add a positive mood to your skincare routine.

 

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Sahajan

Dive into skincare enriched with ancient Ayurvedic wisdom! Sahajan’s evidence-based products found at 400 Marriott hotels worldwide, bring a touch of holistic beauty to your routine.

 

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AKS SKin

On a mission to bring the wisdom of her foremothers, the secrets they held dear, and the natural ingredients they trusted, each tube of Aks Ubtan is a testament to this legacy. Enriched with Ayurveda’s power, their skin polish is a harmonious blend of nature’s most potent ingredients, such as Turmeric, Honey, Lactic Acid, and Jasmine Flowers.

Eadem

Celebrate your unique beauty with Smart Melanin™ Beauty! Created by women of color, for women of color, Eadem offers science-backed, inclusive skincare that embraces, rather than alters, your natural tone. Redefine beauty standards with skincare made just for you.

 

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Let’s make this season merrier by supporting these unique businesses and delighting our loved ones with thoughtful treasures that reflect the rich tapestry of our world. Happy holidays, and may your festivities be as bright and beautiful as the gifts you give!

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By MihikaShivkumar

Mihika Shivkumar is a program manager in the tech industry, leveraging her expertise to drive innovation and efficiency. Beyond her … Read more ›