Meet the three Black women who combined their 25 years of experience in retail, product development, and creative design to launch an inclusive collection of holiday essentials celebrating Black culture.
Black Paper Party is the premier destination for Black-focused holiday items like wrapping paper, gift bags, and ornaments. Created by Madia Willis (chief executive officer), J’Aaron “Jae” Merchant (chief product designer) and Jasmine Hudson (chief merchandising officer), the trio came together to create a solution for the underrepresented Black families during the holiday season.
The product line is known to sell out fast during the holiday season. With their collection of wrapping materials and ornaments, Black Paper Party uses award-winning illustrations of Black people with trend-relevant print & patterns to craft totally unique holiday products.
“Having spent about ten years working in corporate retail and design, creating graphics, print, and pattern, it’s often a struggle to advocate for Black characters that you see on products,” Willis told AfroTech.
As an alum to retail, Willis saw firsthand how products highlighting Black culture have long been put on the back burner due to biases and stigmas within a mainstream market. The experience is what led the Black-woman-owned company to launch specially designed products with the Black diaspora in mind.
“The reasoning is, ‘That will not sell’ or, there is just not even enough people at the table to advocate for diversity in products, especially in the seasonal market,” Willis explained. “Being a person of color working in retail was one of the reasons to create the products we are launching now because it is an underserved and untapped market.”
In addition to selling their products online, Black Paper Party items can also be found in Target stores and their company website. Customers can keep their Christmas decor in sync with the company’s multipack bundles that include some of their most popular gift wrapping papers.
“We want to be a part of making those memories and helping families enjoy time together, which became even more important because of the pandemic. With everything going on in the world, we are happy to make products that delight in Black families and Black children,” Willis said.