This article is a part of our Celebrate Black Makers content series designed to spotlight the stories and perspectives that our Black-owned supplier partners bring to the home industry.
Home is a special place during the holidays - and at Wayfair, we recognize that home is oftentimes a reflection of who you, your family, and your traditions are. Every year as people around the world bring their own unique and special spaces at home to life for the holidays, Black-owned businesses Sunny & Ted and Black Paper Party are working to ensure that every parent, child and holiday-enthusiast - regardless of their background - feels represented and celebrated during this special time of year.
Growing up, Jasmine Williams and her family treasured the holidays but found it difficult to come by holiday decor that resonated with them and represented their values as a Black family. It wasn’t until Jasmine became a mother and started shopping for her own family when the problem resurfaced enough to inspire her to take action. “I would see these Santa mugs, but they didn’t look like me or my family, and I found it hard as a mother to watch my own child struggle to relate to it on a deeper level,” shared Jasmine.
Disappointed yet not discouraged, Jasmine made a career transition to launch her own business, Sunny & Ted, to address the lack of diversity and representation in the holiday decor industry. Primarily working with female artists and artists of color, Jasmine introduced her first line of holiday mugs and seasonal tableware to the market in 2020. Since then, she has been working to expand her business to include other seasons and recently launched The Merfolk Collection, a decor and housewares line featuring mermaids of color, inspired by Disney’s diverse cast from the remake of The Little Mermaid.
Sharing similar values when it comes to the importance of representation in seasonal decor, Madia Willis, Jasmine Hudson and J’Aaron Merchant, also saw a gap in the market when it came to diverse options while shopping for holiday decor. Leveraging their extensive background in retail, the trio transitioned from their careers and came together to launch Black Paper Party, creating seasonal holiday decor and gift products that authentically represented their diverse communities. Their products not only represent different skin tones, but also different hair types and clothing styles - ranging from character stockings with natural hair, to wrapping paper featuring elves of color and even their own take on holiday gnome characters called “Gnomies.”
Black Paper Party has built their brand by distinguishing themselves from other seasonal brands in the market - creating trend-based designs while also ensuring their products offer consumers an authentic representation of African American culture and Black families. “One of things we pride ourselves on when it comes to our products is the nuance of Black characteristics, for instance, hair texture. We have stockings where we were very intentional about the characters having soft curly hair,” shared Jasmine Hudson, Black Paper Party’s chief merchant. Black Paper Party’s commitment to authenticity has contributed to the brand’s popularity and led to significant growth over the last few years, positioning them to now partner with retailers like Wayfair who share their values as they explore the next stage of partnerships and growth for their business.