For some people, gift-giving is a joy. It’s a pleasure to pick things out for others and an important way to show love. For others, it can feel more like a chore. How can you possibly know what someone else will want and when are you supposed to find the time (and money) to shop?
No matter where you fall on that spectrum, one thing is certain — we talk with our wallets. How and where you spend money is a way of transferring power. So in this, the gifty-est of seasons, we’re highlighting women-owned businesses your friends and family might enjoy to help you use the holidays to boost the economic power of other women.
If you love a good statement scrunchie or scarf (we do!), Silk Diaries is for you. As a child, founder Kylee Barnard used to rub the silk trim of her baby blanket on her face to soothe her anxiety. She started Silk Diaries to create accessories for women that are beautiful, natural and calming. She uses natural materials (leaves, flower petals, berries, etc.) to dye Habotai silk for scarves, scrunchies, pillowcases and kimonos. If you have dried flowers flowers from a wedding or other special event, you can send them to her and she’ll use them to dye a pillowcase set, kimono or scarf for you (or your loved one).
If there’s someone in your life who loves neon and glitter, check out BuriedDiamond. They sell colorful handmade charms, keychains and combs for playful gift-receivers of all ages. AND, founder and designer Martha Porter has a blog where she documents her creative process and stunning photos of the clothing she sews herself.
Warning: this line of clothes for exercising and “doing things” (their slogan) is so adorable and addicting you might develop a minor obsession (cough, Sarah). Their stuff is super high quality, matches with almost everything and is fantastic if you’re into wearing real clothes as little as possible (again, cough, Sarah). They make stuff for dudes too!
This 100% Native-owned and operated business sells all things calming and good-smelling. The Medicine Woman Bath Bomb is one of their most popular products. The company just released a new soap called Jingle Dress that it describes as a sweet and soft mix of raspberry, red currant, tulip, freesia, heliotrope, rose, cashmere musk, vanilla and amber. Mmmm!
This queer, womxn-owned fashion company calls itself a “band of badass babes,” not a brand. Especially beloved for their menswear-inspired fashions designed to fit the female body (no more boob gap!), they’ve also got that Wild Feminist t-shirt that you — er, the people you’re buying gifts for — need.
If you need a gift of the sexier variety, check out Babeland. Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venningstar started the company 25 years ago in Seattle, where they saw a lack of female-friendly sex shops. With a mission “to promote and celebrate sexual vitality by providing an honest, open and fun environment; encouraging personal empowerment, community education, and support for a more passionate world,” what’s not to love? For some super alpha-female vibes check out this vibrator you can also wear as a necklace.
Women-owned publishing companies
Books and other written works are always a great gift option, especially when so many people are trying to cultivate healthier screen habits. And if you’re like us, you can’t get enough stories by and about womxn. There are several women-owned publishing companies and projects that promote authors who are women or nonbinary. You can purchase books, gift cards and/or subscriptions from them for the bookworm in your life. Here are just a few options to get you started: Feminist Press, Emily Books and The Second Shelf.
On a mission to preserve the history of handmade textiles, founder and artist Zanny sells handwoven fiber necklaces, earrings, bracelets and hatbands. Zanny also sells handmade weaving tools and kits for the creative DIYer in your life. (If you’re ever in TX, she offers an intro to weaving class at her studio in Austin.)
Touted as the “Sephora for CBD,” this cannabis apothecary offers all sorts of goodies for people in your like who are looking for new ways to help them relax. And because Fleur Marché specializes in CBD (the other organic compound found in marijuana that doesn’t get you high), not THC, their products are legal in all 50 states. If you’re picturing smelly joints, think again — the new wave of CBD includes everything from oils to face masks to period relief patches.
For the people on your list who are impossible to shop for, consumables are a great option. Everyone likes candy, and Keep Austin Spicy is one of a kind. Imagine the strong pucker of a Sour Patch Kid. Then cover it in chili powder. The result? The most delicious flavor explosion we’ve tasted in ages. Impressively, sisters Ana and Ximena Davila are students and running this business on the side. They have all sorts of sweet and spicy goodies and you can order directly from them via Instagram.
There are other great gift guides out there if you need more ideas or are looking for something different. We like the ESSENCE #BuyBlack gift guides and Dough’s daily newsletter featuring products from women-owned brands.
We weren’t sponsored by or otherwise paid for writing about any of the companies featured in this article.