Last-Minute Gift Ideas from Up-and-Coming Startups

December 19, 2013

1:00 pm

For all you last minute shoppers out there (I won’t name names–you know who you are), there’s still time! Whether you’ve been too busy to shop or have been procrastinating on those who are impossible to shop for, I am here to help make this stressful time of year slightly less so.

Here’s a list of unique gifts that will not only impress your favorite giftees, but also support startups around the country. So really, it’s like giving two gifts in one.

Winestyr is a Chicago-based “craft wine” marketplace that gives exclusive access to over 300 independent, small batch, artisanal wines from over 50 of the best craft wine producers in the country. Just in time for the holidays, Winestyr is offering two fun ways to find the perfect wine as a gift: a wine quiz that matches a bottle of wine to an individual based on personality traits and a Gift Finder feature that gives suggestions based on  recipient, wine type, occasion, and price.

Umba is a Las Vegas-based startup that curates high quality handmade goods from artists all over the world. A favorite gift option is an Umba Box subscription that is a monthly surprise of women’s accessories, home goods, jewelry, stationery, and bath products. You can choose from either the Delight Box (the higher end of the two) or the Discover Box. If you’d rather choose your own gift there’s also the Umba store, which carries a large variety of products including men’s and children’s.

Tie Society  is a monthly subscription service for designer menswear accessories. The idea was conceived as an alternative to the overpriced and stagnant neckwear retail model. They provide higher-quality, better looking neckwear and cufflinks for less by circumventing traditional supply channels and allocating their costs more efficiently. You can gift a Tie Society subscription to the dapper men in your life for as little as $60 a month for a three-month subscription.

Robot Turtles was created by Dan Shapiro of Seattle, Washington. It currently holds the title of the most-backed board game in Kickstarter history. It teaches kids as young as three-years-old how to code. An initial 1500 copies were put up for sale on the Make Magazine Store, and they sold out in eight hours. At the moment, there are still copies available on Amazon, but who knows how long they’ll last.

Ministry of Supply was launched in 2012 out of MIT with the mission to invent the future of business apparel. They combine advanced, proprietary materials with innovative product design and high quality manufacturing. They test their high-tech apparel in labs to guarantee the perfect blend of comfort and function. Anything in their apparel line would make a great gift for a guy who appreciates well-made clothing with a touch of high-tech. Gift cards are also available.

Blue Apron is an NYC-based meal delivery service that provides you with the ingredients and a recipe, but lets you do the cooking. It’s as much for convenience as it is an educational product. Once a week they will send you everything you need to prepare three meals for the amount of people you choose (2-6). This would please everyone from a single foodie to a working mom of three. You can purchase a gift subscription for a single week or up to a month.

I know we’re cutting it close on time, so I cannot guarantee Christmas delivery from any of the above-mentioned companies. But even if your gifts don’t arrive inon time to go under the tree, remember, it’s the thought that counts!

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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy

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