This year, I thought it would be fun to put together a woman owned and woman operated holiday gift guide for 2019. If we’re going to spend money on holiday gifts, why not support women and small businesses in the process? I’ve got all kinds of fun stuff here from home fragrances and candles, to dog treats and even lingerie. All of these brands are owned by (or co-owned by) women, and run by women. As you get ready for Women Led Wednesday (November 27, 2019), give these gift ideas a look!
Skeem Design – Can you really ever go wrong with candles and room sprays? I think not! These Skeem Design products are beautiful to behold and the scents are divine. You must check out the vintage-chic Burn Brightly Apothecary Match Bottle (so cute! $26), winter-forest scented Sweet Balsam Room Spray (soooo good if you don’t have a real tree but want that holiday scent – $32) and Candle ($30), and good-vibes-only Palo Santo Room Spray ($36) and Candle (earthy and delicious scent – $32). Available at Skeem Design, Nordstrom, Terrain, and many shops across the US.
Founded by a couple, Suji Meswani and Geoff Weiser. Suji Meswani ditched the corporate world in order to pursue a different path: launching Skeem Design, an indie company that designs beautiful, useful items such as match bottles, candles and incense sourced and made in America. Popular collections include Palo Santo, Citronella and CBD. The name is a play on “scheme.” Finding a way out of the corporate grind in an effort to fully realize her creativity and entrepreneurial spirit was the goal.
Women’s Bean Project
Naughty or nice, our furry family members are one of the most important parts of our lives, and deserve the best. Denver-based social enterprise, Women’s Bean Project has partnered with Wagster to bring your furry friend chef-inspired treats that are made with all-natural ingredients, human-grade, vegan, and selected for their healthy benefits. The Dog Treat Gift Box ($18.95) is the ultimate gift for your pup, featuring sweet treats like Peanut Butter & Molasses, Banana & Toasted Coconut, and Apple & Almond. Not only will your pup LOVE you for it, but you’ll be supporting two social enterprises, Women’s Bean and Wagster.
Women’s Bean Project is a women-run social enterprise on a mission to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty by putting women to work producing gourmet packaged foods. Pooling a workforce of impoverished women with backgrounds ranging from organized crime to histories of incarceration and addiction, WBP has given thousands of women a second chance at life over the years.
MamaP – MamaP (whose name is inspired by the Incan goddess Pachamama, whose popular nickname is Mama Pacha) specializes in creating natural products to replace household plastics. MamaP’s bamboo toothbrushes ($7 each) are fully compostable and feature recyclable bristles. And each one celebrates a different cause (of which a portion of the proceeds is donated), such as ocean conservation, women’s rights, mental health and even saving the bees!
Suzan Hernandez is MamaP! Suz is a dreamer, a creator, and an explorer. About launching a collection of bamboo toothbrushes that give back, she says, “If you have an undeniable feeling inside you, a vision, don’t overthink, just go for it. Listen to people’s advice, but ultimately, follow your gut and light that fire.”
A Girl’s Gotta Spa!
Soar rollerball perfume is one of my favorite Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free perfume scents! It has a spicy, citrusy, floral blend: Meyer Lemon, Wild Orange, Ginger, Geranium, Rose Absolute, Green Tea, Fig, Spice, Amber, and White Musk (fragrance oil) in grapeseed oil.
A Girl’s Gotta Spa!, a cruelty free personal care line with an emphasis on encouraging and empowering women, was created by solopreneur, Shannon Smyth. Initially a mental health professional helping children, Shannon shifted her focus to staying home and raising a family (which eventually became 6 boys.) A true extrovert and always looking to take on new challenges, she launched a beauty blog in 2005 to give women (mainly moms) straightforward reviews when they are short on time or simply hiding in the bathroom for some sanity. She never imagined the game changer it would become.
Her journey has led her to speak at the HBA Expo and Cosmoprof North America, among other expert panels. In 2013, after countless reviews of beauty products and helping other beauty start ups, she launched an extension of her blog with her own product line. Shannon firmly believes that You Deserve to Be Pampered and A Girl’s Gotta Spa! promotes this mission.
Figleaves – One-stop (easy) online shopping for pajamas, lingerie, loungewear, active and swim, including Figleaves’ own-brand of on-trend winners. Available at Figleaves.com and Amazon, retail prices range from $45 for a chemise, to $60 for a PJ set, to $312 for a cashmere robe. Pictured – the beautiful Harper Bralette ($36) and Juliette Lace Bralette ($31) – available in a wide variety of sizes for all shapes.
Female CEO and 100% female design and buying team. With women in key positions such as garment technologist, software test manager and senior designer, Figleaves believes that every woman, whatever her shape or size, should enjoy the transformative power of great fitting lingerie and swimwear. Figleaves is truly for every body.
Verloop – Bold and chunky knits for her, him and home, including hats, scarves, (tech) gloves, slippers, bottle covers, pillows and more. First of all – how genius is this pack of THREE Pair and Spare Touchscreen Gloves ($32 – show in Black Marl)? If you lose a glove, you always have a spare! And for the fashionista who has everything, the Scarf Scarf Scarf ($87) is sure to please. Who doesn’t love a good slouchy winter hat? The Fair Isle Hat ($34 shown in Wine Red) is perfect for those cold winter nights. There are lots of bold colors as well as neutrals to choose from. Available at Verloop.com, Nordstrom and Anthropologie, among others.
Verloop is woman owned and operated. When Ella Lim received her MBA, the plan was never to apply it to starting her own business. With an interest in art, she thought a good way to segue into design would be to work on the business side first. After working for an industrial design company for a few years, Ella decided to switch gears and go back to her roots—specifically to her family’s knitwear factory based in the Philippines.
Trvl Design – Designer Irene Herold’s new collection, TRVL Design, offers an array of accessories that will keep jet setters organized whether traveling by train, plane or automobile, or simply to the office on foot. ($28 to $54). The gorgeous, lightweight quilted weekender Overpacker bag ($118) is perfect for a gift OR for your own holiday travel road trip or carry-on! Featuring durable web handles, a padded/detachable shoulder strap, three large interior pockets, a mesh wall pocket and trolley slide with zip pocket – it will keep your necessities at the ready! Everything you toss in this bag will have a home!
Woman owned and operated. Irene Harold, an industry veteran who designed for other accessory companies, launched TRVL design in 2019 with one goal: create the most convenient, travel-friendly, affordable accessories in exclusive colors and patterns for women like herself – BUSY.
Catskills Provisions – Epicurean treats and spirits infused with 100% raw wildflower honey harvested in New York. Founded by Claire Marin who left publishing to pursue her passion, beekeeping. Claire is one of a handful of female distillers in the US. Catskills Provisions’ kosher honey is raw and never heated, which maintains all of the antioxidants and amino acids that are lost in large-scale produced honey. Their New York state artisan maple syrup is heated at 180-200 degrees and double filtered through natural paper. This helps eliminate “syrup sand” and boosts clarity. Their gourmet apple cider vinegar is made with non-GMO NY State Apples that are fermented and aged for 8 months in steel. They blend the vinegar with their own wildflower honey and infuse an herb blend from renowned spice blenders, La Boite. Products range from $7 to $49.
Woman owned and operated. Born in Madrid and raised in New York City, Claire M Marin, proprietor of Catskill Provisions had already attained success in the corporate world as a national magazine publisher. After discovering the Catskill Mountains, she took up beekeeping as a hobby and found herself drawn to the bees and how they work in easy harmony with each other and their surroundings. Inspired by their example, she began building her own business, drawing upon the local natural resources of Upstate New York. Today, Claire tends to over 300 beehives in Delaware, Sullivan, and Madison Counties in New York State in cooperation with other local beekeepers to create 100 percent raw, small batch, hand-packed honey harvested several times a year.
BFFs & Babes
BFFs & Babes – How cute is this Dog Mom Tie Dye Tote Bag ($28)? Perfect for the dog lover in your life! BFFS & Babes was founded by Chevy Berndt. Using her experience in fashion PR and her obsession with everything tie-dye, she created her first set of tie-dye totes for her bridesmaids in 2019. Since then the line has expanded on Etsy to offer a variety of tote bags, apparel and giftable accessories. Every item is hand tie-dyed and personalized with love!
We Are Paradoxx
We Are Paradoxx – A cruelty free and vegan hair brand created by Irish hairstylist, Yolanda Cooper. We are Paradoxx is infused with ingredients native to her homeland, including botanicals such as moss, hops, whiskey, clover, seaweed, Celtic salt, and more. The brand is environmentally responsible, socially conscious, and makes damn good hair care products. My hair feels thicker and shinier, and less damaged after using the Super Natural Shampoo ($22) and Secret Weapon 3 in 1 Conditioner ($25). Seriously though – these products have made my hair shinier than any other products I’ve ever tried! I have fine, wavy hair, and although this line is on the heavier side, I feel that it gives my waves more heft and takes away any frizz. Plus, the hair oil ($35) comes in a metal flask – how cool is that?
Soji Crystal Bottles
SOJI Energy Crystal Water Bottle – For the free spirit friend who loves taking pics for Instagram (hey – it’s okay – most of us do it)! The crystals used for SOJI Crystal Water Bottles ($94) are mined ethically all over the world. SOJI Energy has partnered with the WaterisLife foundation, which helps brings clean, safe drinking water and other hygienic solutions to communities in need. SOJI donates a portion of each sale to this endeavor in hopes to cycle that positive energy back into the earth. The glass bottle is dishwasher safe – everything else (especially the crystal!) is best hand-washed.
SOJI Energy is a company founded by Rebecca Coon. Her team’s mission is to create unique wellness products that cultivate a daily reminder for us to slow down, take a moment and trust the journey. Being a team of mainly women they really wanted to revolutionize the beauty and wellness industries. Creating products that would change how we go through our day. Making us all more mindful from our beauty routines to our many daily responsibilities.
Dreambook & Planner
Dreambook Planner – Sure, we have the calendar on our phone and computer, but that can turn into a never-ending list of scrolling to-do’s. Limits and life balance are needed to intersect the need-to-do from the want-to-do’s. Here’s a glimpse of what you (or your friend) will work through within the Dreambook planner ($48):
- Exercises to figure out your unique values, gifts and purpose to better figure out what it is you truly want.
- A tested and proven system to define clear goals, break those goals down into action steps, and get them scheduled.
- Impactful self-care and life-balance practices to keep you healthy and focused, plus incorporated reminders so you don’t forget to do them throughout each week.
- A space to set an intention for each day and a space to reflect on the things you are grateful for.
- Strategically asked questions that prompt weekly reflection to make sure you are still on the right path.
Perfect for busy people who have dreams of being accomplished in work and life, the Dreambook Planner, created by Briana Borten, founder of The Dragontree Spa and Apothecary, simplifies the process of setting and achieving your goals alongside robotic daily tasks. Since its release in 2016, the Dreambook Planner has been an integral tool to more than 50,000 people who have been able to reach their dreams, prioritize their passions, and deliberately create exceptional lives. The book is relaunching in a new and improved edition to get ready for a new year.