Holiday Gift Guide

by Debbie Baer December 02, 2016

There are 2 reasons I'm shopping small this year:

1. I’m one year into owning my own small business.
I bet most small business owners are as obsessed with top quality and value as I am and, like me, offer a superior product to what’s available in the mass market. It’s hard to break through the noise and get my wares out there and I want to support other small businesses like mine.

2. Now more than ever, where you shop matters.
It’s nearly impossible to tell where your hard earned dollars go when you shop big brands. Are the people making the actual products being paid and treated fairly? What’s the environmental footprint of the company? What kinds of causes do they support? If you’re going to shop, make the choice to support companies whose values align with yours.

To make it easier to shop small, check out this excellent list of brands and products I’ve discovered over the past year. If you’re like me, just the idea of all these awesomely talented, hard working and value-oriented people making things in the world will make you smile.

  1. Okay, I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug The Willary first! Our wardrobe of durable, stylish, functional and versatile clothes for women is truly like nothing else available. A great gift idea is our Cozy Merino Layering Top, the only layering piece you’ll need this winter. Naturally odor absorbent, moisture wicking and heat-trapping you can wear it all season long. And it looks SO GOOD under our Core Dress!
  2. The Girls Ring from Upper Metal Class: I was shopping for earrings for my better half and ended up buying this for myself (along with earrings for her!) Extra bonus: proceeds go toward supporting women experiencing domestic violence.
  3. Heartell Press: Rachel Kroh is the talented and thoughtful artist behind these prints and cards. They’re like a silent hug. Really, take a look. I’m happy I know her and that her art is in the world.
  4. I just discovered this jewelry collection made from artist Laurie Franck’s line drawings of lovely nudes and I love them all. I’ve never really wanted a tattoo but when I read she’s a tattoo artist...
  5. Cleverhood! I’ve admired Susan, the owner for a while and finally got to meet her at the Philly Bike Expo. She’s as boss as I thought she’d be and her smart and stylish rain ponchos are everything. Made in USA too!
  6. Saddle, Sore: Got this great book about how women can bicycle more comfortably for my better half (I really hope she doesn’t read this, I’m giving away all my secrets!) Everything from pads vs tampons to finding the right saddle. Molly is a boss writer and cyclocross rider and LOVES her Willary Core Dress!
  7. Super Fit Hero: Athletic wear for women from size XS-3XL and made in the USA. Another boss owner I’ve admired from afar. Get it, lady!
  8. Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History: Continuing on the fitness tip. This book about the unsung accomplishments of female athletes is on my holiday wish list. You should follow the instagram too, it’s super inspiring.
  9. Kirrin Finch: Got a Dapper Dandy in your life? Check out these gender-defying button downs, bow ties and pocket squares. Co-founders Laura and Kelly have generously offered advice and resources and am happy to see them killing it.
  10. The Democratic Cup: Activism one little conversation at a time around a cup of coffee or tea. My eye is on the RBG mug.
  11. Handyma’am Goods: I’m the proud owner of their Drapron! True workwear for women, made in the USA. So so good. (And I wear mine with our Cozy Merino Layering Top!)
  12. Valeria Molinari: I'm obsessed with her embroidered illustrations. I dream of having one of her pieces hanging in my office–a perfect mix of inspiration and beauty.
  13. Quiet Creature: I’m lucky to know Jane, the talented illustrator who creates these prints. I ordered her The Future is Female print because it’s beautiful & I dream of having an art-filled office AND proceeds from the sale go to Girls Inc. Way to go Jane!
  14. Many Flowers Medicine: This is so cool–Marissa is a customer! She lives in Oakland but took time out of a trip to Philly to come by the office (and she brought a friend!). I bought her delicious chamomile bitters for my better half. Extra bonus: Marissa made healing ointments to send to the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. Our customers really are the best.
  15. Patagonia: Okay, so this is a big brand, but wow, talk about future goals for The Willary. In case you don’t know, they donated 100% of their Black Friday sales to environmental causes. They were expecting to make $2 million, they ended up with 10 and donated it all. What an awesome example.
  16. Po Campo: Maria, another smart, savvy and successful business owner, thoughtfully designs excellent bags. And she put together her own list of holiday shop small ideas. Check them out! (And thank you for the shout out, lady!)

Bonus idea:

Subscriptions! Support the independent press! Better yet, support independent feminist press! Give the gift of a subscription.

Bust: I've been reading Bust since college, when the print edition was in black and white. I still love it. 
Misadventure Magazine: I love outdoor adventure and am inspired by tales of women's adventures in the woods. 
Got a Girl Crush: Just found them on instagram and I love their feed–part inspirational, part activist and all badass ladies. I'm excited to check out the magazine.

Wow! That was really fun. Hope you found some great gift ideas! And if you like the list, please share!

Debbie Baer
Debbie Baer


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