Earlier this week, I got to head to DC to celebrate 5 years since one of my all-time favorite boutiques opened their doors! I’ve spoken a few times about Nubian Hueman when I’ve talked about the Black Love Experience, here, here and here.
Why Nubian Hueman Rocks!
At its core, Nubian Hueman “brings popular culture, and fair-trade to a modern brand experience by serving as a means to promote collective interaction, community development, and global responsibility through a fresh and artistic platform.”
They stock designers from around the world and sell a range of things that celebrate Nubians. From men, women and children clothing, to home décor, stationary, and more you’re sure to find things for yourself and loved ones in their store. Luckily, everything they sell is also available online.
“For me, Nubian Hueman exudes all things education, creativity and community in a really thoughtful and beautiful way.”
In addition to supporting Black businesses from around the world, Nubian Hueman frequently holds events that uplift and educate the community. From the Black Love Experience, to partnering with local artists and musicians for smaller events – you’re sure to always find something interesting going on in the Nubian Hueman community.
Best of all, the space and the people are beautiful inside and out! The whole Nubian Hueman team is exciting to work with and are all creative geniuses in their own right! So together, they’ve really got some awesome things going on! Located in the Anacostia Arts Center, the boutique is also just a great place to hang out for an afternoon, grab a bite and get some work done with a little retail therapy to finish off your day.
This is a big deal because South East DC is unfortunately an oft forgotten part of the DC community. But the presence of the Anacostia Arts Center and the efforts of businesses like Nubian Hueman are really changing those perceptions and bringing business and creatives to the community.
5th Year Anniversary Event!
Clearly, I’m a big fan of Nubian Hueman! So when the illustrious founder, Anika Hobbs, told me that she was having a week of events to celebrate 5 years of being in South East DC, I knew I had to come through. Based on our interests and availability, Chineme and I decided that we wanted to attend Tuesday’s event – which turned out to be a great idea because the rest of the week got cancelled due to the incoming Hurricane Florence.
Chineme, Mayowa and I spent the day in DC and invited a handful of friends to join us at the Nubian Hueman event that would highlight North & South Africa. Each of the different days highlighted a different region that helps make Nubian Hueman what it is!
I of course wore my Simply Cecily trousers that I talked about in this post, that Mayowa bought from Nubian Hueman, to the event. I paired it with a cute top I recently bought from the thrift store and my heeled oxford shoes, and my look was ready to go from day to night quite easily.
Moroccan Tea Tasting
The event started off with a little taste of Morocco lead by Risikat’s step-mom. We got a chance to learn about the proper ways to pour tea, sip on two delicious and aromatic teas and taste two yummy snacks: semo and almond stuffed dated sprinkled with sesame seeds!
I’ve been to Morocco before, but I definitely don’t remember tasting such amazing tea or seeing almond stuffed dates. The tea pouring reminded me of attaya – a type of tea people drink in Senegal – because you have to pour it at a certain angle that it foams at the top. I love the fact that the method of pouring is just as important as the method of preparation – it really elevates the experience of making and drinking tea into an art form.
South African Wine Tasting
As much as I love tea [and coffee], I’m also a huge fan of wine! Tahiirah Habibi, founder and sommelier of the Hue Society, lead a South African wine tasting that was hands down the best wine tasting experience I’ve ever had! Not just because the wines were delicious [and that Tahiirah was generous with her portions], but also because it was THE most informative and well thought out tasting I’ve ever been to! (I’ve been to three others before then….not sure if that’s a little or a lot).
The Hue Society was founded to “create a space for inclusion for women and people of color in the wine world.” This takes the form of not only educating people about wine, but also offering exposure to minority wine makers.
They are dedicated to educating people of color about wine so that they are ready for any professional situation where knowledge of wine could make or break the impression you leave. And they do this SO splendidly. Tahiirah really met people where they were and was encouraging with her teaching style and open with her answers to the wide range of questions!
I’ve always considered myself a bit familiar with wine, but I knew there is always more to learn and some basics I hadn’t quite yet covered! There were others in the group who also had varying levels of knowledge about wine and I think we all took something away from the experience!
The best part?! We got to learn more about the South African wine industry!! South Africa has been making wine since 1659, yet most of the wineries are owned by White South Africans – no surprise there! But! Ntsiki Biyela, was recently featured in Radiant Health Magazine for all the strides she is making as a Black woman in the South African wine industry.
Many of us might not be familiar with South African wine because during apartheid it wasn’t being imported at all. But now, we’re starting to see more South African wines being introduced to the international market. One grape that is unique to South Africa is the Pinotage. Tahiirah described pinotage as people either really love it or really hate it. I found it to be perfectly fine. Plus, I always love tasting the most local version of drinks and food possible!
Meeting up with Friends
As if getting to experience Moroccan tea (because it’s an experience) and take a tour of South African wine wasn’t enough! Attending Nubian Hueman’s anniversary event also doubled as a great chance to meet up with old friends and make some new ones!! I don’t get to go into DC often, so I knew if I was going to attend this event, I also wanted to bring along some friends I hadn’t seen in a while, who I knew would appreciate the experience.
I got to see college friends, friends I studied abroad with in Senegal and even a new friend that I invited out of the blue because I LOVED her beautiful and inspiring Instagram page! Check out Sofiyat’s blog, The Oddity if you are ever looking for advice about being a university student and just generally being awesome.
Overall, I thought the wine and tea tasting was splendid! And both made me want to travel to those locations immediately! Which makes the anniversary event a huge a huge success since the point was to highlight those two regions! So well done to Anika and the whole Nubian Hueman team!! And thank you to the amazing friends that joined me to celebrate this amazing business.
Do you have a favorite boutique or organization that just goes above and beyond in giving back to their community? I would love to check them out so leave a link below!