LaunchHER Gift Picks :: Profiles of Women-owned Brands

Hello, Black Friday!

Here at LaunchHER, we are typically big shoppers. We love a bargain and truly enjoy the thrill of the hunt in the quest for the perfect gift to give. Sounds like Black Friday is the day for us, no? Not this year, friends. The exceptionally cold weather we’re experiencing here in Minnesota today has us putting an extra log on the fire and adding a few more marshmallows to our steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Instead of bundling up and braving the below-zero temps, we are shopping online today!! Read on to see our top gift picks for Christmas 2010 from women-owned businesses we love! The best part? Supporting small, indie and local business.

Kara says :: With two family birthdays in the week following Thanksgiving, there’s a whole lot of shopping going on at our house this time of year! Since one of my personal missions this year has been to declutter the house, my focus for gifts this year is to purchase only items that are truly useful and meaningful. While my boys may not initially appreciate the lack of toys under the Christmas tree, I know my picks for them will be getting daily use well into 2011.

1. birdzNbeez

My second grader is really into watches, robots and “cool guy” necklaces. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined finding a watch robot pendant! Only on Etsy, right?? An added bonus are the really great pendants for others on my list, too!

2. sarah + abraham

Finding the perfect gift for a soon-to-be 3 year-old isn’t as easy as one would think. Especially with my “no clutter” mantra this year. But since a certain little man in our house practically lives on Stonyfield Organic French Vanilla yogurt, I know this darling personalized bowl will get daily use. And since it is BPA-free, the good qualities of the organic yogurt won’t be canceled out by gross off-gassing.

3. Housewife Bliss

My mother has a gift for domesticity. She has turned every house into a home in seemingly the blink of an eye. Coryanne Ettiene has the same gift. Her charming site, Housewife Bliss, focuses on nesting and the finer points of domesticity. Love it! And her marketplace? Genius. I so enjoy all that Coryanne offers. These baskets (mom made!) will do a stylish job of corralling all of my mom’s Martha Stewart magazines.

4. Red Letter Words

My in-laws have the most amazing art collection. What makes it so amazing, I think, is that many of the pieces were purchased while my father-in-law was in the Army and moving, quite literally, around the world. But being born and raised in Chicago, it’s where he is “from.” I know the Chicago City Sights art print will be the perfect addition to their already-personal collection.

5.The Black Apple

Emily Martin’s unique and charming designs have come to life in a paper doll book. Oh my!!! I’ve followed Emily since practically her first day on Etsy. I was overjoyed the day she joined Martha to sew a doll. What girl doesn’t love a doll? Growing up, paper dolls were my favorite. So I am giving this wonderful book to my nieces. My hope is that they, too, will grow as fond of paper dolls as their favorite aunt has. And, it will be super easy to send to them across the miles. Now to work on getting a signed copy…..

6. Garnish

If you know me at all, you know that I love to bake. I mean, absolutely LOVE to bake. And I love to give. So naturally, one of our traditions is to gift bake goods to neighbors, teachers, and loved ones near and far. A few years ago, I searched high and low for attractive packaging that wouldn’t detract from the goodies inside. The search was difficult. this year? My search is over. I have found Garnish. Oh joy! I’m ordering these for my cinnamon raisin mini-loaves, these for the chocolate toffee fingers, and these for the dipped pretzels.

I’m going to jazz up the simplicity of the packaging with DIY printables from Anders Ruff!

Tie it all up with this darling twine and let the gifting begin!

7. Preppy Poppy

In addition to the home-baked goodies and a Caribou Coffee card, the teachers on my list will also get a reusable lunch tote, monogrammed, of course! The impeccable quality and style of Preppy Poppy’s goods are just so amazing! Teachers have been known to still use these darling bags years after receiving them. Now that is the sign of a great gift!

8. Perideau Designs

Bridgett’s personalized holiday treat bags will be my first purchase today! Not only is she offering a great discount on her site for today only, I can think of 100 different uses for these sweet bags! Perfect not just for actual sweets, but for trinkets and small items galore. And knowing my boys, they will use the bags to tote trinkets around for months to come.

9. Sarah Bohl Designs

I’m giving myself the gift of help this year. For just $49, Sarah Bohl is designing my fireplace mantel. Yep. And she’s not even stopping by my house! I just emailed a photo to Sarah, she works her magic, and sends me her ideas, complete with where to purchase recommended items, if I so choose. She’ll even work with decor you already have. This genius service of Sarah’s is just too good to pass up. I have struggled with the seasonal decorating of my dining room fireplace mantel for as long as I have lived here (8 yrs, to be exact). The struggle is over, people! Act now if you would like Sarah’s assistance, though, as the service is seasonal and is good only through the weekend.

10. Pink and Polkadot

My sister has been on a mission to spruce up her house. While she likes the lines and size of her current sofa and loveseat set, the plain cream upholstery could use an overhaul. Because she appreciates the ease of a washable slipcover as much as I do, (and who with small kids doesn’t, really?), I am getting her this wonderful e-book, The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Custom Slipcovers. Armed with her sewing machine and her basic sewing skills, I am confident she will have just the slipcovers she has always wanted. All without breaking the bank.

Sallisha says :: This year, we decided to put up our Christmas tree before Thanksgiving – this past Sunday, to be exact. At the time, it sounded like a grand plan (and it looks FABULOUS by the way!). But, what I quickly found was that the early-tree-set-up-of-2010 has the added… um… “benefit“… of giving my children extra days to ask me non-stop… “Mommy, what’s in this present?” or “Can we open this one and then re-wrap it?” or… my personal favorite… “Can we just take a peek? We won’t tell Daddy!” So far, I’ve stayed strong… but today, I’m thrilled to share with you some of the packages that will be under my tree this year! Shhh… don’t tell my kids! :)

1. Pure Belly Exclusive Maternity Products

Like many of you, this year I am shopping for so many dear friends who are expecting a precious little one. For these blossoming bellies, I am heading straight to Pure Belly Exclusive Maternity Products. They just launched this year, and their fab OB Endorsed Maternity Products have already become a go-to brand of the stylish mommy-to-be! Their Pure Comfort Backless Tank is my gift of choice to my pregnant pals… and almost makes me want to have another little one. Almost.
2. WH Hostess
Looking for the perfect hostess gift? Or custom social stationary? Check out WH Hostess (stands for Well Heeled Hostess… LOVE the name!). My bottle of wine hostess gift for parties we’re attending will be snazzed up with wine bottle labels this year… and I’m in love with these Party Theme ideas! And I’m gifting some fab friends with these Lucite Trays… well, unless I just keep them for myself. :)
3. Untamed Petals
A few weeks ago, I started the hunt for the perfect accessories to wear to our Holiday parties this year. I was especially looking for a beaded headband to wear with this amazing silver dress that I can ALMOST get into (as I eat sugar cookies while typing…). A Twitter friend of ours suggest I check out Untamed Petals… and right then and there, I found my new favorite accessories shop! So, here’s a very transparent hint to a certain DH that I hope to find the Leona – Crystal Flower Headband from Untamed Petals under the tree this year! :)

4. Dolce Vita Mia

One of the joys of being an aunt is getting to spoil your nieces and nephews! In my case… that means getting the chance to find super sweet gifts for my 9 little nieces this year – and Dolce Vita Mia has provided me with the ideal “handmade sweetness” to wrap for these darlings. I’m a sucker for hair accessories, and these are my absolute favorites this year. They are so reasonably priced, they would be a great stocking stuffer for your little angel, too! I can’t wait to see them on the girls!!
5. Bakerella
Have you ever had a cake pop? Oh my… they are my new infatuation. I had my first just weeks ago at the Maiden Minnesota event, courtesy of the ridiculously talented Cocoa and Fig (which, by the way, I TOTALLY want to use to cater an event at my home… but that’s another post!). Each year, our family delivers baskets of baked goods to our neighbors, and due to my love affair with the cake pop, I’m determined to make them this year! On the phenominal Bakerella website, I’ve found directions that will be sure to make me the favorite neighbor! :) And… not to spoil the surprise.. but my baking friends will be getting their own copy of the Cake Pops book this year, along with a few homemade tasty treats!
6. Nelle
Another brand I was introduced to at the Maiden Minnesota event, Nelle first caught my eye because I am personally always on the look out for an incredible clutch. (Am I the only one who thinks perfect clutches are practically impossible to find?) The Cherub clutch was my first Nelle love… and as I started putting together my gift list for my family, I realized that my sister would adore… and absolutely NEEDS the Chevron Handbag this year!
7. Vintage Pearl
You know those women you call when you’ve had a great day and want to celebrate? And how, if you’re lucky, they are the same women you call when you’re about to lose it… want to cry… or need a word of advice? This Thanksgiving, I am overwhelmingly thankful that my list of “go-to” women is long… and I have been blessed with a group of friends who have supported, encouraged, and inspired me over the past year. So.. what in the WORLD to get these ladies? I’m going with unique, sentimental jewelry from The Vintage Pearl. And, let’s face it – everyone loves a personalized gift!
8. J.J. Boyles

What do you get the man who doesn’t really WANT anything? (And does anyone else get frustrated with that!?) Well… this year, I’ve found the absolute perfect gift for a certain DH of mine. I love, love, LOVE the Special Edition One Year Diaries (with free monogramming – SCORE!). We journal to our children… so this is an ideal gift! I am so excited about J. J. Boyles that I already sent the link to DH… who is now going to pick up gifts for his staff from this fab shop. Yep, the Armours are now J. J. Boyles groupies.

9. Illume Candles

Now, what to get the many teachers and instructors who impact my life (and my children’s lives!) every day? I like to put together a Holiday giftbag including a personal, hand-written note, a Caribou coffee gift card, and a “little something extra.” This year, the “little something extra” is a Monogram candle from Illume Candles. Another local brand, these celeb-favorite home fragrances are a perfect, personalized addition to a gift to say thank you and Happy Holidays!
10. Ona Jean’s Children’s Boutique and PinkyBlue

Anyone else have a 4 year old boy? Is this not the perfect age? He still thinks you’re the greatest thing EVER, has more energy than the rest of the family combined (okay- that’s a mixed blessing, I’ll admit), and still lets you dress him. :) The latest rage for my son is Robots. So, I’m putting together a Robot-themed gift that will include his favorite toy from the big-box shop and robot-themed, handmade apparel! Checkout this adorable hat and robot shirt, from two great Etsy finds. ´╗┐Guaranteed to get this mommy lots of hugs and kisses!

Happy Black Friday shopping!! Please support local, indie and women-owned businesses this holiday season.

The businesses profiled here and items picked are the sole opinions of LaunchHER. Kara and Sallisha were not compensated in any way, shape, or form for their gift picks. These truly ARE the gifts that the gals of LaunchHER are purchasing this holiday season.


  1. Sarah @ Sarah Bohl Designs says:

    What an amazing list!! So honored to be a part of it.

  2. Well deserved, Sarah! Such a wonderful service that you offer!

  3. Sweet Harper says:

    So many FAB choices ladies! I will be adding a few items to my holiday shopping list.

  4. Swinging on by to say thanks for the Garnish shout out! What a fabulous list…we are among great folks.

    BTW…chocolate toffee fingers?! Sure hope you share that recipe!!

    Garnish + Enjoy,

    – Suzanne

  5. Thanks, ladies! So glad that you enjoyed our Gift Picks! We know our friends and family sure will. :)

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