Inspired by my city’s, Birmingham, AL, #BuyBlackBham campaign, I wanted to spotlight small, black-owned businesses run by my family members. They offer perfectly unconventional gifts for this holiday season. Even if you do not make a purchase, visit their social media pages to like, follow, and share because that’s always free!
Chic Gems Thrifted is a carefully curated collection of fabulous frugal finds. Sonja Jones is a dancer, teacher, early childhood professional, and mom with unique fashion taste. If you have perused her Instagram page or seen her in these streets, you know her style always has a where did you find that vibe. Visit her site to find one-of-a-kind pieces like this black blazer with pearl buttons for $40.
Go shop my sister’s store now! Thrift and consignment stores are full of hidden treasures. Sonja is the best at finding the diamonds in the rough because she learned from the best! 😉
Before I speak on my brother’s new highly successful podcast hosted by him and 3 other Auburn crazies (proper University of Alabama alumna here!), Isaac Jones is known as GI Magus in these streets. From Battle CATS (Christian Artists Terrorizing Satan) to becoming a solo artist, GI is a word and analogy assassin. I’m not a hip-hop head, but Isaac is one of the most real out there – bias aside and bias included. He consistently manages to say things that make you run it back to be sure you understand the comparison. You can tell he has fun making rhymes and giving you something to not only think about but, most importantly, something to vibe to. Stream & download his latest Non-Monolithic at https://gimagus.bandcamp.com/album/non-monolithic-unmastered. You can also visit githeartist.com for more of his music and his merch!
Isaac has chosen to use his voice towards his unyielding enthusiasm for Auburn football. The War Rapport, a podcast consists of himself, one of his best friends, Bryan Wilson, a friend from middle school and the Plains, Ceasar Walker, and Michael Gittens, a friend he met through a campus ministry. In the South, football is king. In the state of Alabama, only two teams exist and you must choose a side, Alabama or Auburn. Knowing our nation’s history, having four educated black gentlemen speak passionately about football in the South is rare. Yes, there are many conversations and debates in the barbershop, church parking lots, at watch parties, or FunnyMaine’s YouTube channel that champions the correct team: THE University of Alabama. But creating a recognized and respected platform on sports here in Birmingham, AL is an accomplishment worthy of praise.
Search The War Rapport and stream on your preferred service. Subscribe and share their YouTube channel, and like and follow @thewarrapport on all social media channels. Simple ways to harmony in a state where the opposite is easier to exhibit.
We all know how valuable information is. If anything, this pan-seared pork chop (aka the Pandemic) has taught us that we are capable to do more ourselves than we imagined. So if you signed up for the Great Resignation of 2021, you learned that making or starting your business or brand is only half the battle. Views, customers, and clients turn into dollars and cents. Marketing boost sales, increase subscribers, helps you earn sponsorship deals, and teaches you how to structure your business for profitability. Instagram made so many changes this year, several specifically targeted to small business owners, so do yourself a favor and get in the know! The Elevation Academy, created by The Jacqui Jones (GI’s wife), is The Know and your one-stop marketing resource & community for entrepreneurs ready to ELEVATE. Join the academy for yourself or sponsor/gift your friend/cousin/mom that has made the brave choice to dive into the world of self-employment or being their own boss! There is a monthly or yearly payment option and a library full of free content. This is the time to glean and grow!
Progress is the only goal for my baby brother, Brian. He has taken all of basketball passion and knowledge to create BeBall Jones. His podcast and social media channels provide basketball drills and tackle mental health topics. His ability to retain and regurgitate basketball numbers and figures always amazed me. Brian’s efforts and training are mainly for middle school basketball hopefuls, but anyone wanting to learn more about the game should follow him on all social media channels – @beballjones. He shares hosting duties on his youtube channel with our cousin, Nelson Haskin, a power forward and center for Columbus State Men’s Basketball.
My beautifully determined and destined cousin is A Woman of Purpose. Beginning with a blog and moving towards merchandise, Jocelyn’s mission is to encourage women to walk boldly into their God-given purpose. Her blog peels back the layers of her flesh to reveal the joy, tears, and pain that her purpose requires. Now she has t-shirts, phone cases, journals, and water bottles that provide you the opportunity to showcase your path towards purpose. Shop small! Visit Jocelyn’s Women of Purpose store now or follow and share @_womenofpurpose on Instagram and Women of Purpose on Facebook. You’ll especially want to purchase this lovely hot pink t-shirt that reads Blogger Bae adorned on the brown-skinned beauty with the gorgeous, winning smile!
Alexys is a testament to turning a passion into profit. Her love for animals birthed The Grooming Gals in Dallas, TX. She along with her friend and business partner, Hayley weathered COVID and successfully managed to keep all the doggies looking adorably cute cuddly. I admire the bravery it took to start a business during the panorama, but by the grace of God, she did it and did it well. But at this point, I don’t know which my cousin loves more – tattoos or animals! But if you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, look them up and allow your pup to be pampered! See their gallery of grooming on their Instagram page.
Baking is not an easy feat. Ask all the amateur bakers on one of my favorite Netflix shows, The Great British Baking Show! But pound cakes seem simple enough – butter, sugar, flour, eggs! But no! You risk the cake being too dry or too thick or even burnt!! My cousin, Anthony, has taken his mother’s recipe and fancied himself a baker. Pretty Tony’s Pound Cakes are in demand every holiday season and every place he is employed. I think he likes to experiment with new flavors on the family using us as his tasting guinea pigs. Peruse his Facebook page and order specialty pound cake for Christmas today!
I am incredibly grateful that God has allowed my dad, Harvey Jones, to be MY dad. He’s becoming a Septuagenarian on December 26th, and he is very much of sound mind and body. None of those mentioned above (minus my cousins) would be fathomable without him. He has amassed many titles in his lifetime, but who would have thunk that author would be one. I am my father’s child in so many ways, so to think I would have gained my writing prowess from him is nothing I could have imagined. Released in 2019, his book Behind the Cross: Is This Christ’s Ministry or Yours? challenges you to consider how you present Christ to the world. My father has worked in various capacities of multiple ministries, so he has the authority to speak on what he has seen, heard, felt, and questioned. He is very passionate about his beliefs. This book should motivate you to do the same. Find him on Facebook and order your copy on Amazon.
Give love. Get love.
Psalms 45:1 …my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer