Welcome to the EQ Gift Guide
Ironically, with most of the year spent online rather than outdoors, it can be harder to discover all the glorious gifts created on your doorstep. So, to help get your gift buying going (and momentarily divert the default setting of shopping on Amazon between meetings on Zoom), EQ has compiled a list of St. Louis gift ideas created by local entrepreneurs and makers.
We’ve got good gifts for teams, cool gifts for employees, and even gifts for the entrepreneur girlfriend or boyfriend in your life. We hope you’ll enjoy all these creative gifts from St. Louis as much as we enjoyed making this list.
Be An Angel (Investor) In St. Louis
As our readers know, “cash flow is king” when it comes to building a company, supporting innovation ecosystems and driving local entrepreneurship forward – and that’s what we’re all about at EQ.
Buying from this list financially supports local business and boosts morale among local creators and makers, meaning you’re doing good while keeping the dollar in St. Louis – hey, that makes you some kind of angel investor!
Get Listed in the St. Louis Gift Guide
Scroll down for a diverse list that should provide you with plenty of gift ideas now! But do check back often as we’ll keep updating this list of St. Louis gift ideas as we research and discover more of what’s out there.
You can help us spread the word by telling all the makers, creators and entrepreneurs in your life to register here to get their products included for FREE in EQ’s St. Louis Gift Guide.
Cool Gifts for Employees
Flipstik is the “As Seen On Shark Tank” phone accessory that has all of St. Louis buzzing in 2020. Based on NASA technology, Flipstik lets you stick your phone to virtually any flat surface for hands-free use anywhere.
Flipstik is a technology company that uses NASA’s adhesive research, to create consumer goods, beginning with their namesake product The Flipstik, which allows you to stick your phone to… well, almost anything. This enables hands-free selfies, zoom conferences, hands-free Youtube or Netflix viewing on planes and trains, and hands-free GPS use while in any vehicle.
Designed and developed by Akeem Shannon, an entrepreneur born and raised in St. Louis, “The Flipstik” is a customizable kickstand that attaches to your phone cover and allows you to stick your phone to nearly any flat surface for hands-free use by utilizing their trademarked “Synthetic Setae” adhesive. It holds up to 2 lbs and can be cleaned with soap and water or alcohol pads, making it reusable and washable 1000s of times!
What we love: Akeem created his reusable “Synthetic Setae” adhesive from NASA research, which was based on the feet of geckos – how cool is that? Even cooler, Akeem is a Shark Tank Winner.
And even cooler than that, Snoop Dogg had his mind blown when he saw it, calling it “The Sticky Phone”. With its innovative gravity-defying features, we are sure Flipstik will delight you and your family just as it has done for Celebrities and Sharks!
Flipstiks can also be customized by businesses and organizations as a branded gift. Use the code EQ for 20% OFF 1 or 2 Flipstiks.
In a world that’s competing for your clicks, likes, shares, recommendations and streaming binge-time, perhaps the rarest gift you can give yourself is your own undivided attention.
Inspired by her own mystical experiences, personal conversations and Co-Active coaching principles, St. Louis boomerang, Cady Macon created compass cards™ to help others do self-guided coaching work on themselves.
The cards are shuffleable, reiki-infused, and a sharp addition to any bookshelf. The open-ended questions and the signature compass methodology help you to find your own truth — and makes you proud to be a local.
What we love: The gilt edges make unboxing these cards extra special. (Disclosure: yeah, we got some and we love their plush and posh look and feel.)
We also just love the whole concept, —a lot— as executive coaching is transformational but expensive work. Cady is democratizing access to powerful executive coaching tools at a fraction of the price – compass cards is a true labor of love.
Good Gifts for Your Team
The müvbook is designed for strategic planning, allowing you to prioritize and focus on what is most important so you can be the best version of yourself, both personally and professionally. It provides a systematic approach to goal-setting, prompting you to determine priorities, identify limiting factors and focus on solutions.
It is designed to assist you in focusing your energy and unleashing your full potential. When your energy is focused, your momentum builds, moving you closer to achieving your goals.
Created by the director for the local startup grind chapter for the last couple years, Lisa Adewusi is the founder of Müv, marketing company in St. Louis that works with innovators and companies with a mission for change. She also is a founding member of What Drives Winning, a national movement around character development and high performance in sports.
What we love: The müvbook is a tool to help you take control of the present and master the art of productivity. It is more than a planner or a notebook; it is a formula for success.
We love Lisa’s concept that it’s not a book… it’s a space. The müvbook is a place where you can declutter your mind, break down your vision and goals, and incorporate them into your daily life.
Isn’t it shocking to pick out a greeting card these days and see they’re all upwards of $7 each? And for what…a piece of paper? Enter Sweeter Cards: the first-ever greeting card with gourmet chocolate tucked inside.
Founded in St. Louis in 2019 by Stacy Stahl, Sweeter Cards celebrates more than 20 different occasions throughout the year with a bar of sea salt caramel dark chocolate that is actually to die for. The idea brings innovation and taste to the gift-giving world all for under $9.
This year, enjoy 5 different holiday designs that make for the perfect card, stocking stuffer, teacher gift, client appreciation, and more. (Disclosure: We got some and we were really impressed by The Dream Team Energy Bar as an idea for fun gifts for your team – especially as there’s room to enclose some cash, a check or a gift voucher which is what employees want the most, let’s be honest!)
What we love: On top of being a sweet, creative and delicious way to send love, Sweeter Cards’ chocolate is proud to be Fair Trade certified too. They also use only the finest, natural ingredients, and the chocolate has no artificial flavors or colors, no preservatives and no hydrogenated oils. Did we mention it’s also the best chocolate we’ve ever had?
The Leadership Push
According to Bob Ramsey, one of our EQ Leadership Labs seminar leaders, boredom and apathy persist in most employees. “They lack real meaning in their life,” he explains.
They want for love, adventure, riches, and other stuff like that. But what they need is meaning.
Leaders can help them find that in their work. And this book, The Leadership Push is teaches you how to do just that.
What we love: Father-son entrepreneur team, Bob and Daniel show you how to make life so meaningful for workers they will run through brick walls to help you win. It’s the Köhler Effect. It isn’t magic but is sure seems like it when you see it.
At EQ, we love the simplicity of The Leadership Push process and the insightful and down to earth approach Bob teaches around managing people. We can speak from our own experience when we say that we’ve gotten great results from just a 15 minute meeting with Bob Ramsey, which he’s also offering free to EQ readers.
If you’d like the sound of all this, book a meeting or grab the book!
Did you know that through positive reinforcement and modeling, children can be taught social and emotional skills in much the same way as they learn to read and write? The catch is that most adults need tools and guidance to accomplish this.
Arch Grant Recipient, Generation Mindful (GEN:M) creates tools, toys, and programs that nurture emotional intelligence through play and positive discipline.
The Time-In ToolKit is a guided resource that nurtures social and emotional skills in children and adults alike via play and positive discipline. The many play-based activities in the ToolKit are easily adapted for use in diverse settings and with children of diverse neurological abilities.
What we love: It’s a product borne out of personal experience. As Suzanne Tucker, Founder of Generation Mindful, explained to EQ, “When I got my strong-willed child, time-outs were ineffective. I needed a different method. I needed something in a box, with instructions, a video, and a community to hold my hand.”
Personalized Gift Box Startups
Getting a handwritten letter in the mail is a rare joy these days. Greetabl has taken the magic of snail mail and created a well-designed gift that is a perfect solution for a ‘thinking of you’ this holiday season. In their own words, they have, “solved that awkward problem when a greeting card is not enough and flowers or a traditional gift is too much,” which they call The Gifting Gap.
The ‘Greetabl’ is a fold out gift box that’s customizable with a print, photos, and a message. You also get to pick a small gift to fill your Greetabl. Gifts range from candles to nail polish and the starting price point comes in at around $15.
What we love: Their Holiday Gift Guide is full of pre made suggestions to make gift giving simple and easy. The Warmest Wishes Greetabl comes in a merry everything print with a cup of cocoa inside, making his is an ideal gift to send a friend, co-worker, or anyone to make them feel extra special this season. We already have our eye on the nautical crew socks and the brass flask for some of our favorite elves.
Bold Xchange is an online shop with a curated selection of products from black-owned brands. Every order comes with guaranteed 3-day delivery.
Shop across great black-owned brands: everything from face masks and personal care products to coffee and tea. Check out the curated holiday gift boxes for everyone on your list – each one includes a handwritten gift note with your custom message.
What we love: Bold Xchange’s founding team are new to St. Louis via Arch Grants! Co-founder Danielle Deavens explained to EQ that the team personally tries every brand before it gets listed on Bold Xchange, “sometimes with the help of the growing Bold community.” She also mentioned a Bold community rewards program that means “special rewards make every purchase more special than the last”.
Gifts for Gamers
Hive Jump is a sci-fi action platformer for 1-4 players blending run ‘n gun gameplay with strategic campaigns. Available on Switch, Playstation, Xbox and Steam, Hive Jump is made by St. Louis based video game developers, Graphite Lab.
You and your friends assume the role of JUMPERS, and blast your way through subterranean alien hives in chaotic run-and-gun 2D platforming action. Up to 4 Players band together to kill aliens, avoid traps, collect treasures and lost relics. Win the final battle against the hive queen to save the galaxy!
What we love: Remember Contra? Or Metroid? Hive Jump pays homage to those classic video games by mashing them together and using procedural generation for limitless mayhem. It’s a frantic and fast paced four-player fun that will have you quoting movies like Starship Troopers and yelling like Corporal Hicks in Aliens, “Game Over Maaan! Game Over!”
Crashlands is a procedurally generated adventure-crafting RPG driven by an epic story arc which can be played 1-player or 2-player couch co-op. Available on Switch, Steam, Android and iOS, Crashlands is made by multiple award-winning St. Louis video game company, Butterscotch Shenanigans (who also developed Levelhead, which is also a great St. Louis gift idea but we’ve not had a chance to play it yet).
From the moment gameplay begins “you’ll be thrust PELVIS-FIRST into an insane tale complete with a cast of personality-bloated characters.” Break down the resources of the planet, discover new recipes in the process, and BUILD ALL THE THINGS. Craftables get ever more elaborate and ridiculous: harvest using bombs, put your pet on a Laser Leash, and flip your lid on enemies.
What we love: It’s honestly very funny, which is a rare thing for video games these days. The scripted dialogue is amazing and will have players chuckling to themselves at ‘stoopid’ and goofy jokes like an immersive game of The Simpsons or Rick and Morty.
Gifts for Your Entrepreneur Boyfriend
Melio’s JUICE solar charging backpack adjusts to today’s mobile lifestyle with a premium but sustainably-sourced brand that’s always ready for adventure. The JUICE backpack provides excellent organization, accessibility, and mobile power.
The durable solar backpack expertly protects your belongings, while eliminating the anxiety of keeping your electronic devices charged while traveling. Melio engineered this solar backpack to keep your devices charged on-the-go, whether your exploring your own neighborhood or trekking far from it.
What we love: Spacious, clever, intuitive storage that’s all made from recycled materials! It’s got a padded laptop and tablet sleeves with multiple access points so you can just keep following your nose (and inspiration) on your remote working adventure. And an expandable water bottle pocket and adjustable hip belt for a proper outdoor getaway.
Boosa Tech, a consumer tech company run out of Chris Reimer’s house since 2017, offers a power bank external battery (Lithium-Poly Ultra High Capacity 10000 mAh) housed in a sleek looking form factor for under $30 dollars.
The idea came to him when he noticed a growing trend in consumer behavior: an increase of phone use draining batteries faster than ever and the anxiety users feel about it. “There’s even a word for it,” Reimer told EQ, “nomophobia- the fear (irrational or otherwise) of losing connectivity or power in one’s cell phone.”
What we love: The founder’s entrepreneurial journey. Reimer’s first tech product was built using the global supply chain of Chinese factories.
By leveraging existing technology, he was able to start shipping in only 10 months of product development. Now Boosa offers an entire product line of portable power banks to charge any and all of your devices.
The Normal Brand
Like all good startup stories, there’s usually a garage or a parent’s basement that plays a leading role in the formation of the company. The Normal Brand is a casual wear lifestyle brand started by a group of brothers from the Midwest —in, you guessed it, their parent’s basement.
The inspiration was born out of a need for ‘a normal shirt’ that was both casual, stylish, and could hold up to the occasional hunting trip. With styles ranging from sweaters to lightweight plaids, they offer the perfect laid back style for the men in your life.
What we love: The Henley, which comes in multiple colors is a great everyday shirt that’s both casual and stylish. The plaids come in all colors and offer a more fitted look. During the holiday season, The Normal Brand offers bundles handpicked by the designers to make shopping easier while saving the buyer 20%.
WEPOWER cohort company, Cervantes Designs is a brick and mortar Custom Furniture and Home Decor design and fabrication studio. They use naturally felled tress and ethically acquired natural materials for furniture production, and use on demand 3D product printing to reduce waste while using materials that will biodegrade.
Ideal for your home office, this modern 3D printed vase combines modernism with utilitarian design, offering a sleek three-sided slope that would look stunning any contemporary setting – perhaps sitting on the bookshelf in your Zoom background? As the vase prints, layers build upon each other, creating a unique beautiful ridged texture, and just like the PLA plastic it’s built from, this vase is durable and lightweight yet will stand the test of time.
What we love: The founder’s focus on low-impact entrepreneurship – printing on demand lowers land usage via stock requirements and reduces overhead. Each vase is specifically printed for the customer at purchase, and despite it being a “replicable” design, each 3D print has a unique “fingerprint” in how it is layered.
What’s more, if ever disposed of, under the right conditions the 3D print will biodegrade, the glass tube is recyclable and one tree is planted in the customers name through a partnership with OnetreePlanted.org.
Gifts for Your Entrepreneur Girlfriend
St. Louis based direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand, Summersalt, offers giftable loungewear, activewear, pajamas and sweaters for everyone on your gift list! Serial entrepreneurs Lori Coulter, Reshma Chamberlin and team bring you wardrobe essentials that are comfortable enough for the journey, and stylish enough for the destination.
Summersalt launched in 2017 with swimwear made from recycled materials at a $95 price point — designer quality swimwear without the designer price tag. Since then, the brand has launched multiple categories including loungewear, knitwear, sleepwear and activewear.
In the few short years since its founding, Summersalt has built a loyal following of customers, influencers and celebrities, while garnering praise from leading fashion media including ELLE, Vogue and People, among many others.
What we love: Like all good modern fashion startups, they’re big on data. Summersalt took over 1.5 million body measurements from 10,000 women to inform their sizing fit.
We also love how future-forward they are in using recycled materials to create the fabrics and product packaging – closet impact entrepreneurs in every sense!
Lux & Nyx
Confidence. It’s in the bag.
Founded by Lisa Hu, who jumped ship from the cold world of finance to jump start her own fashion brand on Kickstarter, Lux & Nyx is a company that’s “women operated with a lot of heart.”
In her own words, Lux & Nyx offer “damn good bags for the rockstar woman who’s out making a difference in the world.” Ideal for women who want products that are made with care and thoughtfully designed, as well as a cool meaningful backstory.
What we love: Secret functions and compartments to boot. Like, seriously, when are they gonna make one of these for dudes?
But most of all, we love that we’ve been following Lux & Nyx from the get go and gotten to watch Lisa build her brand from one couture backpack to an entire product line. High five grrl!
Traditionally, Islamic art is used to inspire contemplation. Through stimulating reflective thought, Mahnal founder Shayba Mohammed creates a pathway towards embracing a slower, more intentional life.
Mahnal is a collection of contemporary brass jewelry that studies natural forms and elements to inspire contemplation. This includes silhouettes in nature, the repetition of lines in architecture, or how light plays against texture.
The collection is made exclusively of solid brass, which in its beautiful yellow aged tone “pays homage to the adornments of antiquity reimagined for modern woman.” Brass metal oxidizes and develops a patina with time as it’s worn that takes on an almost ‘living’ finish, and the durability of brass further echoes its inherent ability to transcend time.
What we love: With the Arabic naming and organic imperfections, each piece is imbued with an identity all their own. Mahnal sheds light on the gentle, insightful, and poetic beauty of Islam and the Arabic language and each piece has a meaning inspired by research and meditation to bring a message of encouragement, positivity, and enlightenment to carry as a reminder for the wearer.
Creative King is a small clothing brand created by an upcoming architect in St. Louis. The Creative King store features a dozen mens/womens/unisex sweatshirt and T-shirt designs, and it’s 25% off everything with an email sign up.
In their own words, “We create the waves, start movements, and build up brands. Historically, everything we put our focus and motivation into turns gold. We have a legacy to pass down. Our culture is constantly growing and evolving and it’s important to capture it in specific moments. When something is inevitably taken from us yet again, we’ll have a record that we did it first. We are the culture and we are creative.”
What we love: That Creative King is a proper side hustle brand in the midst of development and they’ve already got a customer centric focus. Founder, Kris Wells told EQ, “I’m building my brand from the ground up, so the relationship between myself and new customers is important. I’m open to suggestions, feedback and constructive criticism.”
Gifts for Creatives
Shine In All Shades
Shine In All Shades Empowerment Coloring Book is all about shinin’ with you and for you with powerful affirmations, diverse images of queens like you and the fun and creative self-care vibes you didn’t know you was missing. Their best-selling Coloring Book empowers you to create as you relax, PLUS, you can color it, cut it, and frame it!
This WEPOWER cohort company has partnered with Blick Art Materials and HelloPureVibes.com to bring you the ultimate relaxing holiday gift set. Grab one yourself or someone special, as they are offering FREE Priority Shipping with all bundles, which also includes a coloring pencils and a frame and a bunch of other stuff so you can properly give and get some creative shine this holiday!
What we love: Shine In All Shades is truly a one of a kind empowerment coloring book series that UNAPOLOGETICALLY shines a light on the full spectrum of diversity in our communities, specifically women of color.
Magic Room Brand Music Supply
The Magic Room Brand mission is to fearlessly inspire musical creativity with a focus on high-quality products, design-forward thinking, and social responsibility for musicians who care about how they make what they make.
First and foremost, their drumsticks are made with 100% bamboo grass and guitar picks (a composite of bamboo and other plant fibers) are built to sound amazing. These are the tools musicians use to improve the world, so it’s a big deal to Magic Room Brand founder Vijoy Rao that they’re designed and crafted with the same care you put into every beat, every note.
“Musicians are hard to shop for (sorry, not sorry),” he explained to EQ, “When you’re doing something you love, you shouldn’t have to compromise. Sound. Strength. Sustainability… because deforestation is dumb and that plastic mountain in the ocean is terrifying, all MRB gear is made out of natural materials that are 100% biodegradable.”
What we love: It’s pretty rad that all Magic Room Brand gear is 100% biodegradable and environmental impact is front and center to their product. Gift that musician in your life a monthly subscription of drumsticks and/or guitar picks, or hit up the one-time shop. This season, get them something that reflects them as much as their songs.
Gifts to Pamper
Did you know that nail polish is toxic? But not DEMIblue, which is 10-Free and Vegan Friendly so she is safer for you and your kids.
Created by Michelle Robinson DEMIblue Vegan-Friendly Nail Polish Collection is here to shake up the nail care industry. She offers you a healthier alternative to conventional nail polishes known to contain toxins linked to cancers.
She explained to EQ that, “DEMIblue nail polishes are considered long-lasting and do not require the use of UV energy or drills that DESTROY the nail. We offer over 28 alluring colors as well as top coats, soy removers and cuticle & nail oil pens…all enriched with vitamins to promote nail growth.”
What we love: Michelle founded the company in response to her mom’s experience with cancer. After learning of how many toxic materials, like Formaldehyde, were used in nail polish, she founded DEMIblue as both a call-to-action and a way to create a legacy for her family.
ArtiCyn Goods pouches are made to carry face masks in style: they are cute, simple, clean, and purposeful. This one of a kind pouch is handmade from a fun pvc vinyl and perfect for keeping your facemask clean and free of debris.
Best of all these water resistant vinyl allows for easy cleaning with a moist towel or sanitizing wipe. Throw it in your purse or bag, carry it inside your coat pocket or simply clip it on to your keychain!
What we love: Maker Cynthia Monreal is just starting out! Sharing her growth mindset with EQ she explained, “ArtiCyn Goods is only a few months old and for my very first product I wanted to create and provide something purposeful, easy to handcraft, and trendy. At the time I thought about the idea there wasn’t anything in the market quite like these pouches at an accessible price.”
Maven Bath & Candle Co.
Maven is your local go-to for bath bombs, face masks, lotions, soaps and more! If you are familiar with Lush, this is the local equivalent with superior ingredients and products. The best part is it’s reasonably priced, homemade, and all-natural.
These gifts make perfect stocking stuffers or, even better, round up a mix of candles, soaps and lotions to customize your own gift basket. There’s even a men’s line, with the bearded gents getting special attention with mustache wax and beard conditioning oil.
What we love: This store is a must for gifts and stocking up on all things bath and body. The soaps are all made in-house and come with names like ‘Winter is Coming’ and ‘My Boyfriend’s Shirt’. The candles make the perfect gift for just about anyone, and the new holiday scents are just what your home needs to smell like the season.
Pure Vibes Peppermint Body Cleanser is infused with botanicals. Washing with the thick gel, produces a light, soft lather and the minty herbal perfume is a great way to focus and bring awareness to what your body needs.
What we love: Pure Vibes is a worker owned Co-Op! Pure Vibes creates essential products that are intended to help you live well, feel well, and they live up to their co-op mission by focussing on the collective of People, Community and Planet to make a larger impact on the world around us.
Gift Ideas for Pets
Even your four-legged friend deserves a special treat this season, right? Riley’s Organics makes USDA certified organic treats that will make Fido the envy of all the dogs in the neighborhood. They even went the extra mile and have them baked in a Human Grade US bakery.
According to their website, “These treats are so good and so healthy that we can eat them ourselves. If we would not eat them, why should our dogs?”
This means zero guilt when your kid accidentally helps himself to your dog treats! Winning at parenting just by buying only the best for your dogs.
What we love: Man’s best friend deserves the best! This Arch Grants company has been churning out their top of the line treats since 2012 and Riley’s can be purchased at local Schnucks, Dierbergs, Lucky’s Markets or online.
Native Pet is an Arch Grant recipient company focused on clean eating for pets. They told EQ that “they never compromise on what goes into it, which is why your dog will get the most out of it.”
Their pet food product is developed around 3 things: taste, nutrition and limited ingredients. Native Pet only use 7 ingredients (or less) in their formulas because “our pets deserve to eat clean.”
They make sure pets get that rich, protein-forward flavor they love. They partner with leading vet nutritionists who ensure their whole food formulas pack a punch when it comes to benefits.
Their probiotic supplement gets real results when it comes to your dog’s digestive wellness and gut health. It’s a powdered mix of probiotics and organic prebiotics that help promote good gut bacteria.
What we love: Native Pet keep the ingredients to a minimum and source from the USA and Canada. Fewer ingredients. More benefits. The founding team noticed a lot of fillers in their pets’ food…and decided to do something about it.