5 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas to Give Your Favorite Fashionista

[Photo source: Vogue.In]

by Neha Shah Instagram

Last minute gift shopping can be a stressful event. You never know what people really want, and if you’re anything like me, you don’t really have a set plan or list before you go shopping. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the stakes are even higher when it comes to Valentine’s Day gift ideas. It’s all about picking out the perfect item for your special someone, for a day that celebrates love. 

But not to fear, Brown Girl is here! I’ll be walking you through some of the best gifts for your favorite fashionista(s). You can express your love and appreciation to anyone — whether it be your wife, girlfriend, mom, your best friend, a coworker, these are presents that everyone will love.

Let me begin with telling you that your fashionista doesn’t always want clothes; we’ve all given, and received, many clothes, so I wanted to add something new to the regular list. And the best part? You don’t have to have planned weeks in advance, and you definitely won’t be breaking the bank! Just a few last minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas that every fashionista will appreciate. 

1. Glitter 16-ounce Glass Water Bottle

valentine's day gift ideas
[Photo source: Nordstrom]
A water bottle is a basic necessity, so why not add some glitz and glamor to it? This glitter water bottle will be something that is going to be used every day, and there’s a convenient carrying loop as well as an outer cover that provides a nice cushion for the bottle. This one is for every woman who is on the go, wants to stay hydrated, and that too, in style!

2. An Oversized Clutch

valentine's day gift ideas
[Photo source: Macy’s]
Take it from me when I say that ANY oversized clutch is highly appreciated. It works with any street fashion outfit, fits everything you want into one place, and is cute and trendy. An oversized clutch is also the perfect transitional piece. Bae can take it from her afternoon meeting straight into happy hour after work!

3. A Statement Necklace

valentine's day gift ideas
[Photo source: Macy’s]
I’m going to be honest here. If I had to pick one accessory to have for the rest of my life, it would be a statement necklace. Statement necklaces have transformed my look from drab to fab so many times. They take a simple outfit and make it glamorous enough for any event. They are perfect for the office or a day out with your girls.

[Read Related: 10 Unique Gift Ideas for the Fiercest Women in Your Life]

4. Running Shoes

valentine's day gift ideas
[Photo source: Nordstrom]
Have a fashionista on the go? These shoes are perfect. They go with leggings and jeans and are super comfortable for a day out or a day of errands. They’re long-lasting, as well and will be the perfect gift if you know someone who is constantly moving. Not to mention that these WILL become her staple sneakers for the epic gym look! 

5. A Glittery Throw Pillow

valentine's day gift ideas
[Photo source: Amazon]
A touch of glitter in any home will likely transform the room and make it the most desirable piece ever. With this throw pillow, there is so much you can do. And the more, the merrier, right? Give your fashionista two or three of these glittery throw pillows to really transform their space. I think glitter just became a millennial thing. 


Neha is currently studying at the University of Pittsburgh. She has a love for sharing her knowledge of fashion, beauty and everything in between.

By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›

BySimran: On a Mission to Make Minimalist Desi Jewelry for Everyone

desi jewelry

While growing up in suburban Pennsylvania, with little to no outlet to connect with her desi culture, Simran Anand always strived to stay true to her Indian roots. Fashion, which is almost the easiest medium to incorporate his or her culture, is something she and her mom enjoyed exploring. “Beauty needs no ornaments,” her mom always says. Beauty is something that is innately within us, and we can only enhance it with desi jewelry or clothing, makeup, compliments or “ornaments.” That is one of her favorite quotes. It serves as a building block for her personal style and the nature of her brand. 

desi jewelry
Simran Anand, founder of @_bysimran, wearing the iconic ‘Baby Jhumkas,’ ‘Moksha’ anklets, and ‘Just Pretty’ necklace.

As a fashion enthusiast, she often found herself scrolling through Etsy and Amazon to find the perfect desi accessories to match her Western outfits. While there were abundant options displaying intricate jhumkas to chand-balis, none quite matched the vibe she was on the hunt for. 

And, what was that vibe? 

“Versatile, indo-western, comfortable. I truly wanted pieces that reflect western minimalism and desi maximalism. I am on a mission to create the ‘desi girl aesthetic.'”

Where, oh where could she find those? Sure, the mini jhumkas are a cute addition to a Lucknowi kurta and jeans. But, what about putting a South Asian twist to the perfect white dress for your European vacation? Or, something minimal to pair with maximal Indian outfits?

That’s exactly when her ever-so-supportive fiancé encouraged her to make them! Desi jewelry that is made for both sides of our identities, South Asian and American, “because that’s who we are.” Easier said than done, of course. The quality had to be on par with the daily jewelry we are used to wearing. Since she wanted pieces that were wearable daily, creating jewelry that is nickel-free, tarnish-free, and hypoallergenic was the goal. 

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After countless hours of designing and kickstarting her brand, she received her first batch. Staying true to her mission of producing wearable desi jewelry, the original clasp on the jhumka was a bit too thick and that was something she was not “300%” proud of. Now, her pieces fit more like a “paper-like stud.” The material was one hurdle. The other ordeal was dealing with her imposter syndrome. Dealing with the fact that she started this venture, which to some, may seem like “just selling jhumkas” was something that she needed to overcome. 

So, how did you overcome that? 

[Read Related: Accepting my Cultural Identity Through Jhumkas and Bharata Natayam]

The universe has its way of having your back. “When I posted a video on TikTok, I literally woke up from a nap to see it go viral.”  As the feedback came in, her confidence skyrocketed. “Every no is a yes you do not know about,” she promises. Sales started pouring in and Simran noticed that many felt the same need for such pieces as she did. 

Months after her launch, Simran aims to build ‘BySimran’ stronger each day. Soon enough, she would like for it to be a household name and a lifestyle brand. We can definitely see her “Hailey Bieber Meets Desi Girl” jewelry brand on every girl’s aesthetic Pinterest boards. 


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Pro Tip: 

If you are a mono-chrome girly like herself, get a white button-down basic shirt with some medium-washed high-waisted jeans, and pair them with some kitty heels and a matching purse. And, do not forget to finish the look with the micro-jhumka if going out for brunch or running some errands. If you’re getting ready for a dinner date, go for the baby jhumkas. Do not miss the Sapna anklets, which come in a pack of 2, the true desi way.

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By Shezda Afrin

Shezda Afrin is an aspiring physician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of four, it was quite normal of her … Read more ›

Khushey: Fashionable Blouses Without the Suffering


While growing up, the only complaint I had when wearing desi clothes was that the embroidery on the fabric would always end up scratching my skin. As beautiful and intricate the details were, putting on an embellished blouse meant wearing an inner or a comfortable t-shirt underneath. Fortunately now, many South Asian brands are changing the game; focusing not only on the quality and intricacy of the embroidery, but also on comfort and wearability of the blouse itself. One such small business is Khushey.

Khushey is a one-stop shop for “buttery soft” performance blouses that don’t compromise on comfort for fashion and pair just as well with any of your mom’s saris as they do with your newest lehenga. In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, founder Neha Seelam talks more about what inspired her to launch Khushey and what the brand has to offer.


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Why did you want to start a brand that specializes in South Asian/Indo-Western blouses specifically?

I wanted to specialize in blouses because blouses are really the only part of Indo-Western clothing that I found a specific ‘problem’ with — one I thought I could solve. I absolutely love everything else about our clothing — with the variety of patterns/styles/cuts available, I feel that you can easily find the perfect piece out there.

But the part of South Asian clothing that my friends and I found to be a perpetual challenge was the blouse. They’re usually gorgeous, but by the end of the day you can’t wait to take them off. Also, it’s so hard to find a fit that looks seamless and beautiful — usually the chest, underarm or sleeve just wouldn’t fit the way you want it to with the heavy material and traditional tailoring.

I wanted to start off with basic colors but in shiny/formal-looking material that I could mix and match with all the different colors and styles of South Asian clothes that I already have in my wardrobe. The goal is that the blouses can be used multiple times with different outfits, are ideal for long nights of partying, and feel great against the skin.

What’s the story behind the brand’s name, Khushey? 

The English word “cushy,” which means comfortable, actually originates from the Hindi word ‘khushi’ (happiness). I thought that the origin story was very sweet and resonated with the idea of comfort and happiness I had for my label. That’s how I chose the word Khushey — slightly adjusting the spelling so I could snag the right URL! 

What is your number one priority when it comes to your blouses? 

Formal wear that’s actually comfortable! I would love for women to be in the moment at their celebrations, and not feel constrained, itchy, or uncomfortable in their blouse.


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Who is your target customer? 

South Asian women! Customers, from recent graduates all the way to stylish moms, have loved the product — especially moms since they typically value comfort and movability if they have to chase down kids at events!

How do you think Khushey allows South Asian women to embrace their love for South Asian fashion? 

Over the last decade, I’ve seen women repurposing crop tops from Zara and H&M as sari blouses, and while I think that’s awesome and creative, I wanted to create an option for South Asian women where every detail was oriented around recreating the perfect sari/lehenga blouse. The shine is intended to be appropriate for formal wear, the cuts were inspired by some of my favorite blouses from when I was younger that wouldn’t have bra straps showing from underneath and were versatile for saris or lehengas, and the embroidery is intended to add a desi flair.

You’ve mentioned sustainability on your website. How are your blouses sustainable?

I plan to donate five percent of profits every year to a sustainable organization. Once I get enough interest from the public, I would like to fund new product lines that use eco-friendly materials that were prohibitively expensive for me to launch with. But I am eager to incorporate recycled spandex/nylon and metal into my pieces once I can afford to!


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What sort of designs do you plan on incorporating into your label in the future?

I’ve thought of so many designs that I can build on. Starting with colors; I’d like to have all of the major colors available in my basic sleeveless blouse and then create a more modest version of that blouse with a variety of basic colors as well. 

I’d also love to expand the patterns and embroidery options on the blouses. I hope to create seasonal collections that enable me to tap into the vast array of style/color inspirations that South Asian wear includes.

[Read Related: Walking the Journey Through Time with The Saree Room]

Khushey promises to offer comfort and style, all packaged into one performance blouse that you can reuse with a variety of desi outfits. Like Neha said, ditch your Zara crop top for a design that actually complements your desi look. Make sure to keep your eyes out for her latest designs!

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By Shezda Afrin

Shezda Afrin is an aspiring physician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the age of four, it was quite normal of her … 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!


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


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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 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 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’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



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


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


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


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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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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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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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 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.


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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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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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 ›