Supporting local entrepreneurs is what we do all year long, so it’s no surprise that we love to focus on local startups when it comes to our holiday gift-giving. The team at Ascender has handpicked unique gifts for everyone on your list from local companies affiliated with our entrepreneurial programming. All the companies featured on this list are fresh, local, and growing bigger than ever with Ascender’s support.
100-page Sunrise Large Journal; $25 from Gingerly Press
Make your list and check it twice in this hand-bound, gridded notebook. Printed using antique metal type and wood blocks on 100% recycled paper, it’s the perfect medium for recording and processing life’s adventures. Similar to Treecup Tea, one native tree is planted in a National Forest through the National Forest Foundation with your purchase!
Beer Enthusiast Box; $50 from First Sip Brewbox
Sometimes, you gotta go with the classic. We’re recommending their core product — a subscription box filled with beer-themed treats and swag for the brew lover in your life. Purchase a monthly or quarterly subscription.
Face Mask Duo; $30 from Nollapelli
Nollapelli is a textile company that has invented a whole new bed sheet out of natural and synthetic yarns to ensure that comfort and a good night’s rest don’t come at the expense of healthy skin and good hair. Since the start of COVID-19, they’ve adapted this technology into breathable face masks that don’t smother or cause frustrating maskne. If you’re like us, you’ve spent a lot of time searching for a face mask so comfortable that you can forget you’re wearing it. Well, here it is.
Is this graphic storage container a plant pot or a stylish catch-all for clutter? Either way, we love it. Responsibly sourced and sustainable, it also makes for a great alternative to traditional gift wrap.
Lavender Dry Shampoo; $14 from Lovett Sundries
Many of us have gone a little longer between showers in this all-virtual era, but that doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice good hair. Give this to anyone living that work-from-home life; they can dab on some dry shampoo and then shake out for a shortcut to a just-washed look. All-natural and made in the US.
Midnight Forest Collection Bowtie; $65 from Knotzland
This Wilkinsburg-based company has been making national headlines for their bowtie styles made from reclaimed textiles. (Also worth mentioning that they were voted Best Locally Design Mask in City Paper’s recent Best of Pittsburgh issue) Be quick, their specialized collections go fast; their last day to order for the holidays is November 30.
Primary Moosh Joggers — Black; $50 from Daily Bread
One silver lining of the pandemic is sweatpants are now work-appropriate. Grab these comfortable bottoms from the streetwear brand founded by Bill Niels of Mac Miller’s Most Dope crew for anyone who likes lounging in style.
Speckled Pour-Over Set; $48 from Stone + Sparrow
Your gift recipient’s coffee game is about to get next level, and so are the Instagram photos of this hand-made ceramic set in a cookies n’ creme finish.
Stash Pack; $140 from Clark Morelia
You can use this stylish bag every day for years. If you don’t trust us, then ask the makers — Jocelyn and Rob. The duo handcraft this versatile backpack using beautiful Harvest Brown and Ink leathers that offer a lot of contrast. Pick up this pack for that friend or family member that is always on the go.
Steel City Dad Hat-Yellow; $25 from Rebel Bred
You don’t have to tell corny jokes, love barbequing, and drink Iron City to get this cotton twill 6-panel strapback cap as a gift. As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to be a dad. Anyone will look good while repping this up-and-coming streetwear brand that incorporates fashion, diversity, education, spirituality, and social responsibility in everything they do.
Fishing is a pandemic friendly activity and a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but if you’re shopping for someone who is intimidated by all the odds, ends, and doodads of the traditional fishing rod, we recommend picking up Daggerfish Gear Company’s hand reel fishing pole. Not only is it great for beginners and easy to use, but it is stylish and compact too, fitting easily into your pocket or backpack.
The Porter in Fruitsnack; $149 from Moop
Who doesn’t love a good tote? The Porter is up there with the best of them. It is as stylish as it is versatile, ideally sized for both everyday use and weekend getaways. Bonus points for ‘Fruitsnack’, which perfectly encapsulates the color and aesthetic of the Porter and made us want it more.
If you’re looking for incense, art, and wares from communities throughout the African diaspora, then look no further. We especially love their singing bowl, which can be used for meditation and sound therapy. Get this gift for anyone. Literally, anyone, because who doesn’t need some extra calm in their life?
Toaster Pets Studio; $64.99 from Toaster Pets
This one is for the kids. Using augmented reality, Toaster Pets brings a whole movie studio to your tablet, enabling you and your kids to animate and voice your own cartoons at home. It’s great to see a product that not only encourages children to be creative and tell their own stories but also understands that technology and art are not mutually exclusive.
Treecup Organic Iced Tea 12-Pack; $35.95 from Treecup Tea
Treecup Tea plants a tree in Haiti for every bottle sold, and each bottle cap comes with a maple seed for you to plant one in your own backyard as well, making this tasty gift perfect for your eco-conscious loved ones. Peruvian Chai is our favorite variety and is brewed using a recipe created by the founder’s grandmother.
From fledgling tech companies, healthcare innovators, and nonprofits to makers, creators, services and shops, Ascender is for Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurs. We help businesses of all types in the Pittsburgh region start and build a business through education and connectivity. See how Ascender can help you.