Mah Melanin Offers Unique African American Gifts and Products | Red
When Ardean Miller-Marbley remembers the holidays as a child, she remembers being disappointed by the lack of diversity in greeting cards, gift wrap, holiday decorations and more.
Even at a young age, the New Sarpy native knew that performance matters, especially during one of the happiest times of the year.
“Growing up as a child, it was difficult to find characters, toys and products that looked exactly like me and those that looked like me,” Miller-Marbley said. “Not only did they not look like me, they didn’t look like the African American community and culture.
“At Christmas, the Santa Claus African Americans dreamed of was nowhere to be found. Instead, we stuck with what was available to us, family photos and gift wrap. It left a void for so many families and made Black Santa a fantasy. “
With that in mind, Miller-Marbley recently created “Ken, the Black Santa Claus,” gift wrapping paper. Ken’s image is featured on gift wrap sold by his company, Mah Melanin.
“Mah Melanin aims to bring diversity and inclusion in areas that are needed, such as gift wrapping for the holidays,” Miller-Marbley said.
The company, which sells African American gifts and merchandise, claims the image of Ken with his gold chain and matching shoes, along with other characters called the Kulture Kids.
“Mah Melanin is the brainchild of an 8-year-old Ardean. As a young child, I vowed to create products that would accurately embrace the beauty of ‘mixed’ people,” Miller-Marbley said. .
Mah Melanin, she says, is the result of this 8-year-old girl’s promise.
Gift wrap is Mah Melanin’s most sought after item. The company also sells clothing, notebooks, backpacks, tote bags, shower curtains, blankets, wall art and more, featuring Ken, Black Santa and the Kulture Kid characters.
“My gift wrap for all occasions is also one of my favorite items,” Miller-Marbley added. “There are pictures of beautiful African American children, because children should be celebrated too.”
The gift wrap features clear images on heavyweight paper that is 40% recyclable. The water-based ink also makes it environmentally friendly.
The availability and easy access to the company’s products and various gifts, especially during the holiday season, is a sense of pride and joy for customers, according to Miller-Marbley. She thinks the customers are happy to have the choice and that Mah Melanin is filling a void.
“Ken made it very easy for different cultures to discuss diversity and cultural awareness. I’ve received boxed messages thanking me for this creation, ”Miller-Marbley said. “Customers have informed me that being able to purchase this gift wrap allows their child or a family member to be reflected.”
Miller-Marbley is thrilled with the feedback she receives from clients, including some celebrities. “Percy ‘Master P’ Miller said he would wrap all of his gifts in our gift wrap and asked everyone to do the same,” Miller-Marbly said. “Actress Denise Boutte also said the same thing. I have also been featured on ‘Master P. Reviews’ and received recognition from actresses Calah and Rose Lane, who recorded a video review stating that they love the notebooks we sell.
New designs will be released soon with Santa Sacks, Miller-Marbley said. “If you want them, I suggest you get them early, we will only produce 300 this year.” The bags are really strong and you can wash them and use them year after year.
Mah Melanin wrapping paper is available on LOWES.com and Walmart.com. Miller-Marbley has also showcased its products on the QVC and HSN buying channels as part of its product research program, The Big Find, which seeks to uncover entrepreneurs with unique products.
For a complete list of Mah Melanin products, visit the website at www.mahmelanin.com. Wholesale purchases are also available. To place an order, send an email to [email protected]