Since I want to save my December money for all of my Christmas adventures, I start my holiday shopping in early November. I am kind of particular about how I spend my money, and one of my favorite things about holiday shopping is knowing that I found a gift for someone that will be loved and is also working in some small way to make the world a better place. I love any gift that has high value but it also eco-friendly, socially conscious (this is a fancy term I read once which means for every product sold, someone less fortunate recieves something or money is donated to charity) or from a small or local business.
It seems like the market for this is getting better each year. I think I did a pretty good job of finding gifts that make me happy to of purchased them that will make the recipient equally happy to have them! I'll be sharing my top gifts for different groups throughout this week, starting with the guys today. Who says it always has to be ladie's first?
(Descriptions Below are Clockwise Starting with Top Left)
Bike Chain Photo Frame - So many of the guys I know love to ride bikes, so I think this is a great frame for their bedside tables or office desks that can have a fun family or travel photo without the usual girly stigma of a frame. The frame is sold at Ten Thousand Villages, an online fair trade retailer (with a store on Congress if you live around Austin!) and is made by women in India from recycled bike chains.
Dowdy Studio T-shirt - Dowdy studio is a local Dallas company made of two darling young marrieds who design and make t-shirts, jewlery and home items. I am purchasing this shirt for my very rock and roll brother-in-law and am glad that the money is staying in Dallas to a small business that loves attending community events in their Dowdy Wagon and supprting local business themselves. You can find their wagon storefront at some upcoming Dallas events or buy from their Etsy site!
Out of Print ebook jacket - I love Out of Print t-shirts, fleeces and accessories. I got theWalden tee on our recent trip to Seaside, Florida, and my Catcher in the Rye fleece is so soft. I love wearing it! My favorite part about the company is that it gifts a book to the Books for Africa non-profit with every item purchased. I love the ebook jackets and iphone cases for my cousin who loves a good gadget!
TOMS sunglasses - I think we all have a pair of comfy TOMS by now, the shoes that give a pair to someone without every time a pair is purchased. Fear not do gooding gifters, for TOMS now sells sunglasses! It's the same concept but with eyewear, and I love the designs. Someone a little Longhorn obsessed on my gift list can play Maverick in these Top Gun aviators and keep the love for their team with the orange tips behind the ears.
Tie the Knot bow ties - Maybe we should just congratulate the men in our life for wearing anything besides their college fraternity tees at all. I however, think the gift of a bow tie is one that keeps on giving. We have a few winter weddings on the calendar and I think the dear husband is going to look like a classic movie star with a little something special around his collar. The best part is, the proceeds from these fun bow tie designs go to Human Rights Campaign to fund initiatives for marriage equality in our country! More legal weddings = more excuses to dress our men in bow ties! Win, win.
Corbett Sparks print - This artist used to live in the Dallas area and is now in Massachusetts, but it is a small business for handmade goods and I think this print is awesome for a guy's apartment or office! We have one of Corbett's watercolors and the detail is amazing (ours is an octopus and when my mom saw the picture of it on my phone she thought I had bought a real octopus - WTH moment aside, I think this can also serve as a testimony to the work). How invigorated will the guy on your shopping list feel each morning when he stares into the mouth of a white tiger as he drinks his coffee? Do it.
Who says guys are hard to shop for? (Ok, I still do.) Stay tuned for equally do gooding gifts for girls and kiddos later this week!