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Lifestyle Management Resources

Holiday Gifts Your Employees Will Actually Want

Don't let the season catch you by surprise!

It’s nearly that time again. It’s time to agonize over what gifts to give your employees during the holidays. And you want to get something special. They work hard. They also work in makeshift closet-sized offices or on part of the dining table, next to the kids’ homework folders, tangrams and permission slips. Or they work in a perfectly nice home office on a quiet street where they rarely see another human. They’re tired and stressed and reconsidering many of their life choices. They deserve thoughtful gifts – not the office equivalent of stopping at the drugstore on the way to the holiday party.

If you’re like us, you don’t just worry about the gifts themselves. You also worry about where those gifts come from. If shopping – and researching companies – is your bag, then great! If, however, if the thought of spending more time online or venturing near a mall makes you feel like a vampire at the beach, take heart. We’ve gathered a collection of gifts from women-owned companies to help make your staff feel appreciated, amused and seen. You’ll even get to support women-owned businesses. Huzzah!

Always Fits

Always Fits offers quirky, irreverent cards, mugs, gifts and desktop toys to help employees smile, laugh and de-stress. Ashley Judge calls herself Head Gal at Always Fits. She founded the Boston area company in 2010 and fills her online shop with offbeat items featuring Dolly Parton, Leslie Knope and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The stickers, games and fun fridge magnets will help brighten up your employees’ or your boss’s day. There are a few NSFW items on this site, so tread lightly or risk a visit to HR.

Stats: Woman-founded, woman-owned

Caroo

Caroo provides curated boxes of healthy snacks, company swag, tech gifts and team-building games and exercises for employees or families.

Some of Caroo’s partners are Feeding America, the Equal Justice Initiative, Girls Who Code, American Forests and the Trevor Project, among other charitable organizations. Each purchase directs money to these organizations. When you choose one of their Amplify boxes, Caroo fills each box with items from BIPOC- or women-founded brands and donates 5 percent of the proceeds to socially conscious groups.

Choose set boxes or use their concierge service and pick individual items for a more personalized box.

Stats: Co-founded by one woman and two men

Confetti

If there’s enough swag in your bags, you might try an experiential gift for your team. Confetti began in 2017 as an event-planning platform. Conference planners can choose from among many vetted companies and then Confetti handles the coordination. The company offers a variety of virtual team-building events like trivia contests, mixology classes, paint nights, origami lessons, cookie decorating classes, laughter yoga and deskercise parties. They also offer family-friendly events and cater to small or large virtual groups.

Stats: Co-founded by a woman and a man

Happy Box

Happy Box began in 2017 when Ariel Redmond got dumped and Hannah Redmond, her sister, wanted to cheer her up. Hannah sent her a box of special items, which made her smile. Now, you can send boxes to encourage self-care, celebrate occasions or just show someone you’re thinking of them. Happy Box offers foods, adult beverages, personal care items and sends a hand-written note in each box.

Stats: Co-founded by two sisters

Innovation Women

Bobbie Carlton founded Innovation Women in 2015 after attending a conference. This conference, like many others, featured a lineup of all-male, all-pale, all-stale speakers. It seemed like no one was making an effort to look outside the men’s room for speakers. Years of seeing the same folks on the dais inspired Carlton to create the Innovation Women online speakers’ bureau. Now, women can create a speaker profile on the site. Joining gets you access to a plethora of speaking opportunities as well as the event planners themselves. The planners can find and make offers to speakers through the site, based on each speaker’s profile and keywords.

If you want your women employees to know you value their expertise and want them to grow professionally, giving them an IW profile is one more way.

Stats: Women-founded, women-owned

Mouth

Mouth started in 2011 in Brooklyn, New York and sells individual food and alcohol items as well as curated boxes. You can choose items by dietary type or limitation or even by the state where they were produced. They offer cheese, cocktails, snack foods, relishes and sweets from all over the US, Canada and Mexico. You can even subscribe and receive a monthly Mouth box.

Stats: Co-founded by a woman and two men

Packed with Purpose

Packed with Purpose offers gift boxes for employees, customers or family members to include food, wine and spirits, puzzles and games, branded items and glass and barware. They sound like typical curated gift boxes until you read of their enormous charitable impact. Founder Leeatt Rothschild founded the Chicago area company after mission-driven roles with large companies and a stint in the Peace Corps.

Packed with Purpose sources products from minority, women and BIPOC companies, individuals with disabilities and B-Corp companies. The items are from independent companies, made in the USA, eco-friendly and produced in small batches. The company donates to animal rights, workforce development, social justice and environmental causes.

If you want to give employees gifts to brighten their days, choosing products that will brighten the days of many is a nice option.

Stats: Woman-founded, woman-owned

Spoonful of Comfort

Spoonful of Comfort sends care packages to help an employee, college kid or friend going through a tough time. They can also welcome a mom home after delivering a baby, or just make someone smile. The company sends chicken soup –other kinds, too, but I love chicken soup– rolls and cookies. Now I’m really hungry!

Marti Wymer started the company in Utah in 2008 after losing her mother. She wanted to bring her mom some restorative soup while she was ill but lived too far away. Now, distance doesn’t matter. Spoonful sends comfort food for one person or a family, and offers the option of sending a fluffy blanket, too. Sigh.

Stats: Woman-founded, woman-owned

What’s nice about the way these companies work is that you don’t have to send everyone on your team the exact same thing. You can pick and choose individual items or work with a concierge to help design the perfect holiday gift package for each person on your list. Happy holidays!

Read a feature from Greentop Gifts CEO on Thriving During COVID. And stay tuned for more Lioness gift guides coming soon!

About the author

Kerry Fristoe

Kerry is a mom, a daughter, a dog mom, and a writer. She loves learning new things and communicating them to the world. She may have too many hobbies.

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