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  • Writer's picturePardesi

Pardesi's Guide to the 25 BEST Gifts by South Asian Owned Businesses 2021

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Introducing Pardesi's guide to the 25 best gifts by South Asian owned businesses.

All prices were accurate at time of writing (22nd November). None of these links are affiliate or sponsored links.

1. Sunrise Glow + Sunset Restore Serums by Inde Wild, £54.00 (set)

Diipa Khosla, the iconic desi influencer, launched her skincare brand Inde Wild earlier this year. A love letter to Diipa's Indian upbringing and own struggle with self-image, Inde Wild combines Ayurvedic remedies with modern science to create a skincare line that celebrates the individual using it.

"We’ve especially formulated our Sunrise Glow Serum and Sunset Restore Serum to work around the clock, nourishing your skin from day to night. As a set, your skin is pampered with the brightening, rejuvenating goodness of our AM Serum and then hydrated and de-stressed with our PM Serum"

Perfect for: The skincare-obsessed friend who is looking to incorporate Ayurvedic remedies in their routine.

You can buy the Sunrise Glow and Sunset Restore serums separately or as a set. Purchase here

2. Statement Sun-Chand Earrings by Anisha Parmar, £105

Anisha Parmar's jewellery is gorgeous.

"Our Statement Sun-Chand (moon) earrings are the ultimate bold accessory, inspired by our cosmic connection to both radiant beings; layered with intricately etched and hand painted mahogany wood, gold mirror acrylic and turquoise acrylic. We make jewellery for the bold, confident & badass woman, designed with traditional Indian motifs in mind with a modern, graphic twist."

Perfect for: The friend who is known for their statement, one of a kind approach to accessorising.

Purchase here

3. The Most Y2K Desi Bestie Phone Case by ZHKDesigns, $30 CAD

This phone case by ZHKDesigns is ICONIC. You can live out all of your desi Y2K dreams through her latest collection of prints and accessories.

Perfect for: The best friend who is a little too y2k obsessed

Purchase here

4. South Asian inspired, nostalgic all-natural soy wax candles by Kishmish, $30 USD

Who wouldn't want the comforting aromas of kashmiri chai wafting in their homes on demand?

Kishmish products are a playful nod to the anecdotal traditions and nuances of the culture both of the founders both grew up immersed in. They have a wide range of products, including stationary and cards, but we are particularly obsessed with their hand-poured, soy wax candles inspired by comforting South Asian smells.

Perfect for: Honestly? Everyone.

You can purchase them here

5. Bombay Baby Eyeshadow Palette by Meera Beauty, $25 USD

High-pigment, melanin friendly eyeshadows? Sign us up!

Meera Beauty are an LGBTQ+ POC founded beauty brand with gorgeous makeup collections, including eyeshadow palettes and water activated eyeliners. On top of that, one of our favourite arty duos, @dewyapricot designed the packaging!

Perfect for: The friend who is known for colourful, high-impact bold eyeshadow looks, and who rocks up to brunch in purple glitter.

Purchase Bombay Baby here

6. JEENAA Bags, £70 +

Whilst we are very shook that a brand owned by a South Asian woman, with a punjabi name and that supports education in Punjab doesn't feature many (if any) South Asian models on their instagram (we had to scroll FAR to find this customer photo), Jeenaa bags have become a popular accessory with South Asian stylists.

Their classic shapes, vegan leather and earthy colour palettes make these bags durable and stylish staples in your wardrobe.

Perfect for: The minimalist friend who only wears neutral colours.

Purchase here

7. Soweto Towers Hoodie by Askari, £49.99

If you love streetwear. but haven't checked out Askari yet, then you're missing out.

Influenced by the founder's African-Indian heritage, Askari clothing is a streetwear brand that aims to create high quality, comfortable clothing.

They recently released their Fall 21 collection just in time for the holidays, and you can purchase their new items here

Perfect for: The friend who takes off their "inside" hoodie to change into their "outside" hoodie.

8. Scrunchies by Garmi, £8 each

Collectively, we have decided that boring, black hair ties are OUT and fun, colourful scrunchies are IN.

Not only are scrunchies better for your hair, but through Garmi you can buy handcrafted, sustainably made scrunchies!

Perfect for: The friend who loves to trial out new hairstyles they saw on tiktok.

Purchase them here

9. Tea Drops by Tea Drops, $15-17 each

Tea Drops was born out of founder Sashee Chandran's frustration in not being able to find environmentally friendly and high quality teas. By making an assortment of bagless, organic and whole leaf teas, Tea Drops has 15% less waste than traditional tea bags.

They have a variety of flavours including: Boba, Rose Earl Grey, Thai Iced Tea and so many more!

Perfect for: The friend who has an entire cupboard dedicated to just tea.

Purchase here

10. Tanvi Collection by Anju, all pairs are $24 USD

Anju Jewelry's beautiful, South-Asian inspired jewellery can be paired with lehenghas/saris/other South Asian clothes or even with jeans and dresses for a fun South-Asian fusion 'fit!

The Tanvi collection is influenced by intricate South Asian designs and is made of brass and silver plated brass to make the collection more accessible and affordable.

Perfect for: The friend who prefers more subtle but beautiful accessorising. It's all in the details...

Purchase here

11. Handcrafted South Asian Inspired Chocolates by Madhu Chocolate, $9 USD

Masala peanut flavoured chocolate! Need we say any more?

Madhu Chocolate is a true labor of love - based in Austin Texas, Madhu Chocolate create beautiful chocolate bars inspired by the South Asian flavours the owners grew up with. This would be the perfect addition to any care packages you are sending this winter!

Perfect for: Well, everyone!

Purchase here

12. Huestick Trio by Livetinted, £30/ $39.50 USD / $56 AUD

Livetinted has become every South Asian woman's holy grail brand. This holiday season, they've curated 3 shades into a kit, priced at 50% off RRP! That's right - HALF OFF.

Included in the kit:

✨True : leading with integrity and remaining authentic to our cultural identity

✨Purpose : striving for more meaningful representation and creating solutions with POC-first in mind

✨Change : creating a space where diversity and inclusion are standard

(+ bonus smudge brush!)

Perfect for: The friend who does their makeup in 5 minutes by smearing their lipstick over their cheeks, eyelids and lips.

Purchase here

13. Ayurveda inspired haircare products by Shaz and Kiks, prices vary

Shaz and Kiks is a beauty brand created by two sisters, inspired by their shared love of the ayurvedic practices of their grandmother. They have a selection of haircare products with natural ingredients, which would make the perfect haircare ritual for your weekends.

Perfect for: The friend who has been meaning to try more natural haircare products, but hasn't been able to tear themselves away from their drugstore shampoos.

Purchase here (US)

Purchase here (UK)

14. LadkiPower x Scrumptious Wicks Candle, $21 USD

"This limited time LadkiPower x Scrumptious Wicks candle will take you on a journey through South Asia. Sweet yet subtle notes of coconut milk are blended with earthy, woody sandalwood to give you a feeling of nostalgia. Never done before is the addition of BrownGirlMag's bindi pack --a beautiful nod to our culture while paving the way for the next generation of empowered women."

Perfect for: The friend who loves to bring out new candles for every occasion.

Purchase here

15. Travel Size Ritual Discovery Set by Aavrani, $49

Aavrani skincare products honour founder Rooshy's experience of growing up Indian-American. Her vision is "for all women who struggle with their dualities to embrace them instead. To celebrate their conflicted, immense, breathtakingly unique identities that make them who they are."

This travel size of Aavrani's popular complete rituals set gives you 21-days' worth of product!

Perfect for: The friend who loves to travel, and will always take their entire skincare routine with them wherever they go.

Purchase here

16. Indian Fashion Baisti Kuri Prints by WeAreMushStudio, £20+

These posters of colourful, badass South Asian women by UK-based duo WeAreMushStudio are gorgeous. Pick one up to liven up any room!

They regularly release new products with their designs, including pocket mirrors, scarves and even doilies.

Perfect for: The friend who's house is an explosion of colour and bright energy.

Purchase here

17. Cashmere Shawls by Pechaan

Simply, wow.

'Pehhchaan' - 'Identity' in Urdu, is a London based social enterprise that sources handcrafted as well as machine embroidered and woven shawls, scarves and dupattas from across the Sub-Continent.

Pehhchaan's core mission is to highlight the rich heritage and craftsmanship of the region through the magnificent art, textiles and unmatched skills of its artisans, all the while giving back to society by donating 10% of their profits every month to organisations working to eradicate illiteracy in Pakistan.

Perfect for: The friend who seems to already have everything.

Purchase here

18-20. Cookbooks:

Sugar, I Love You by Ravneet Gill

The queen of desserts herself, no wait... the granddaughter of Biji, the real queen of desserts, has released her second book "Sugar, I Love You".

This book has quickly become one of my favourite cookbooks, combining Ravneet's knockout dessert recipes with stories of her childhood and inspirations. Of course, there are also LOTS of photos of Biji.

Perfect for: The friend with a BIG sweet tooth

Purchase here (UK)

Available worldwide, so check your local bookshop :)

The Modern Tiffin by Priyanka Naik

"Self-taught Indian American chef Priyanka Naik loves to travel just as much as she loves cooking! So when she set out to write a cookbook, she knew it couldn't be just one cuisine-it had to feature a world of plant-based flavors. Drawing on her heritage and her travels, Chef Priyanka introduces you to a world of mouthwatering vegan dishes in The Modern Tiffin."

Perfect for: The friend who is a big foodie and has been trying to go meat-free.

Purchase here

Available worldwide, so check your local bookshop :)

The Roasting Tin series by Rukmini Iyer

Rukmini Iyer's Roasting Tin series have become a household staple. Selling over 1 million copies to date, her books are busting with one-pot recipes for a mess-free but flavourful meal.

She has released a wide variety of different books, including: The Sweet Roasting Tin, The Green Roasting Tin, The Roasting Tin Around the World, The Green Barbecue.

Perfect for: The friend who loves the idea of cooking, but hates the cleanup.

Purchase here (UK)

Available worldwide, so check your local bookshop :)

21-25. Books

Stories for South Asian Supergirls by Raj Kaur Khaira, £12 / $15

The best-selling book, Stories for South Asian Supergirls, tells the inspirational life-stories of 50 famous and under-celebrated women from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, including Noor Inayat Khan, Mindy Kaling, Indra Nooyi, Jayaben Desai, Jhansi Ki Rani and many more...

Each biography is paired with a portrait drawn by one of the ten South Asian female artists from around the world who illustrated for this project. This is a book for all ages.

100% of author's royalties go to charity.

Perfect for: Your younger cousins to inspire them

Purchase here (worldwide)

The Boy with Fire by Aparna Verma

Aparna Verma is only 23 and she is already a number 1 bestselling author on Amazon. Her new book, The Boy with Fire is the first in The Ravence Trilogy, and has been described as:

"Dune meets The Poppy War in Aparna Verma's The Boy with Fire, a glorious yet brutal tour-de-force debut that grapples with the power and manipulation of myth in an Indian-inspired epic fantasy."

p.s., it is also Keerti Tadimeti's (our Community Outreach Coordinator) favourite book right now!

p.p.s. we love Aparna's online presence - normalise South Asian women backing themselves and celebrating their work and successes pls.

Perfect for: Anyone who loved reading YA fantasy when growing up, and has been looking for South Asian representation in fiction books.

Purchase here

Available worldwide, so check your local online bookshop :)

Unprepared to Entrepreneur by Sonya Barlow

Sonya Barlow, a British-Pakistani entrepreneur, public speaker and radio host, has created the ultimate guide to side hustling, freelancing and entrepreneurship.

"Times have changed: you can launch a successful enterprise with your phone, sell through social media and tap into a whole world of opportunities.

Unprepared to Entrepreneur is an honest guide to launching your own business, sharing real stories from real people who have tested, failed and won at business. It profiles the underdogs, those who brainstormed ideas whilst travelling on the bus, started a business from their phone and managed to create three income streams whilst maintaining a full-time job in the city to show you that you can do it too. From a working Google doc as your business plan, to ideation strategies that live and die off Instagram engagement; they won't teach you this at business school."

Perfect for: Your friend who is a budding entrepreneur

Purchase here

Brown Girl Like Me by Jaspreet Kaur

Okay, so this book may not be out until February 2022, but you can pre-order it now! We had the chance to read an Advanced Reader's Copy and honestly we wish we had this book growing up.

"Brown Girl Like Me is an inspiring memoir and empowering manifesto that equips women with the confidence and tools they need to navigate the difficulties that come with an intersectional identity. Jaspreet unpacks key issues such as the media, the workplace, the home, education, mental health, culture, confidence and the body, to help South Asian women understand and tackle the issues that affect them, and help them be in the driving seat of their own lives.

Interviews with brilliant South Asian Women of all walks of life as well as academic insight show what life is really like for brown women in the diaspora. Part toolkit, part call-to-arms, Brown Girl Like Me is essential reading for South Asian women as well as people with an interest in feminism and cultural issues, and will educate, inspire and spark urgent conversations for change."

Perfect for: Your South Asian female friends who grew up in the diaspora.

To give you an insight into our feelings about this book, check out this DM Kaneeka sent to the author, Jaspreet Kaur:

Pre-order here

What Would the Aunties Say?

In 2022 we are focusing on being our most authentic selves.

"What Would the Aunties Say? A Brown Girl's Guide to Being Yourself and Living Your Best Life" is a groundbreaking book for South Asian women. Beauty influencer and podcast host Anchal Seda explores the shared experiences of British South Asian women growing up in a world that is very different to their grandparents and parents.

This book has been flying off shelves all over the UK, and when Kaneeka got her hands on a copy, she couldn't put it down for hours. The feeling of being heard, seen and represented in a book that you could purchase from a mainstream bookstore is unmatched, and honestly, forget the gift - buy this book for yourself.

Perfect for: You.

Purchase here

Available worldwide, so check your local bookshop :)


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