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The Only Gift Guide You Need This Holiday Season

Eric Hiss

From colleagues and coworkers to friends and family, this gift guide has you covered for all your gifting needs. And best of all, you’ll be supporting independent artists, craftspeople … even Mother Nature.

Ah, the holidays … the parties, the presents. And the panic. As in, who are the friends, family and colleagues you need to make sure are on the gift list this year? And then — what to give them? Of course, you want to be creative and show you’ve got great taste and style, but you don’t want to break the bank either. And nothing against the Big Boxes and mega-retailers, but we thought it would be a great idea to name-check some smaller outfits you can support directly, as well as options that connect you to independent businesses. Scan our list below and we’re sure you’ll find something for everybody from the music fan and fashionista to the home decorator and garden-lover. Let the gifting begin!

Turntable Lab

Music fans, put your lighters up for Turntable Lab. This website is online heaven for vinyl nerds, audio-gear geeks, or anyone looking for great deals and cool finds without spending hours scouring through record bins. From the latest Kendrick Lamar release on colored vinyl to bookshelf speakers to record cleaning and storage solutions, it’s all here. If you’re gifting big for the music-lover in your life and looking for a turntable, you’ve definitely come to the right place. The mix of models is epic: Choose from entry level models up to DJ standards like the Technics SL-1200. Other options include cool branded merch like hoodies, caps and totes as well as music-themed books.


If you’re stumped on what to give this holiday season, we have a suggestion: Go to Etsy, type “Holiday” in the search field and prepare to be overwhelmed with choices. What would take you half a day of walking the malls and shops can now be accomplished in the time it takes you to drink a mug of hot chocolate (by the way, mugs and kitchenware are huge on the site). Since Etsy is powered by thousands of crafty independent designers and makers, you can let your imagination run wild — or simply use the “gift finder” filter on the site, which lets you select from a wide range of categories like Pizza, Camping, Indoor Gardening, Pets, and Do It Yourself.


Verishop’s slogan is “Discover Something Different” and that’s exactly the point of this site, which hosts a global mix of independent brands and creators. Verishop does a great job of helping you navigate categories that tend to be very on-trend and include everything from fashion and beauty products to tableware and more. Since it’s the holidays, you could go directly to their curated Gift Guide section, but make sure to also check out their V-Edit. Here you’ll find some really fun and frivolous filters like Barbie Core (for those who think pink, naturally), as well as some really timely mission-driven categories that let you sort selections with filters such as AAPI, BIPOC or Female Founders.

Society 6

The proposition with Society 6 is that every purchase pays an artist. The company collaborates with a worldwide network of artists, transforming their creative visions into a vast array of consumer goods too numerous to list here. A sampling includes expected items like framed art and posters, but you’ll also find everything from apparel to home décor and essentials like bedding, shower curtains, rugs, towels and more. For the office, explore desk mats and trays and all manner of creative and colorful ways to skin your mobile phone, tablet and laptop. The site also stands out for the way you can filter their gift guide by price (categories include $25, $50 and $75-and-under items) and offers access to themed collections featuring artists’ interpretations of iconic Disney, Pixar and Star Wars imagery.


If you know someone who needs some color in their life, drop by Drool’s online art marketplace. The site oozes hip and cool, but in a very curated way, so as you browse the main categories of Illustrations, Photography and Paintings, there’s a good chance something will catch your eye. You can also dive into some additional themes such as Bold, Muted or Monochrome to get more granular in your searches. And since the site primarily represents emerging artists, you’ll find selections are surprisingly reasonable, with some pieces for as little as $29. Considering the company prides itself on using quality processes and materials such as giclée printing on fine art paper, we think that’s a pretty good deal. For extra credit, Drool is also committed to eco-friendly production practices, including using water-based inks, and wood and paper from sustainably managed forests. And yes, they have gift cards.


Stepping up for the planet, reducing waste and crushing it as a gardener all come down to one new essential activity — composting. So if Subpod’s mantra of “feed the soil and feed the world,” resonates with you or anyone on your gift list, take a closer look at its innovative system designed to take the smell, mess and hassle out composting. Launched just few years ago on Indiegogo, this small Australia-based company makes it easy to get started with a ton of video tutorials to help your green thumb flourish. And if that’s not enough, they have a super-engaged community of more than 20,000 customers around the world you can check in with if you have questions. If you’re concerned about space, the standard unit is the size of a Yeti cooler (but not as expensive), while the Subpod Mini is perfect for apartment dwellers limited to a balcony space.

Written by Eric Hiss

November 25, 2022

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