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The IDEO Gift Guide for Creative Types

Nov 30 2017

Design snobs are hard to shop for. But don't despair: We wrangled our favorite craftspeople for Wunderfaire, our annual winter celebration. The party is sold out, so we're sharing a sneak peek of gifts you can nab online.

More than 60 food, clothing, jewelry, and art vendors—including 25 IDEO designers—are stocked up to serve, while also raising money for the non-profit La Cocina. There's a little something for everybody, even...

1. The DIY Gardener

Plant your own succulent garden in a glass terrarium, or stock your home bar with cocktail mixers, artisan bitters, and local honey, courtesy of Radish.

Wunderfaire Radish

Image by instagram.com/radishpetaluma

2. The Girl Who Has Everything (She doesn’t have this.)

Jessica Hannah makes small-batch perfumes inspired by Hollywood classics and even the smell of worked leather. She also hosts regular workshops to help people craft custom scents from plant essences.

Wunderfaire Jessica Hannah

Image by jhannahco.com

3. The Craft Brew Obsessive

You’ve tried microbrew, but not like this. IDEO designer Sean Hewens combines homebrewing with making fantastical maps—charting a fictional submarine race across the San Francisco Bay, for example—to create Bean Brew. Lucky drinkers (just 16 per micro-batch) answer a survey about the map on their Bean Brew bottles, and Sean turns the results into a one-of-a-kind poster.

Wunderfaire Beanbrew

Image by Sean Hewens

4. The Jewelry Minimalist

Angular and understated, the gold-filled trinkets from Batsu Maru might be right for the best-dressed woman in your life.

Wunderfaire Batsu Maru

Image by batsumaruxo.com

5. The Upcycler

Waste not, want not. So says The Consistency Project, which sells vintage and customized clothing that’s been given a second chance.

Wunderfaire Consistency Project

Image by theconsistencyproject.com

6. The Recent Transplant

Bare walls? Why not fill them with whimsical, colorful, and soulful art from IDEO designer Felicia Chiao and illustrator Yoshi Yoshitani. Prints, postcards, art books, and coloring books are more than enough to liven up your space.

Wunderfaire Felicia Chiao

Image by Felicia Chiao

7. The Makeup Maven

Blood orange vanilla. Rose cardamom. Peppermint Eucalyptus. These aren’t flavors of bon-bon; they’re lip balms from METTA GOOD. The balms are made from beeswax and jojoba, coconut, and avocado oils, and METTA donates one percent of its proceeds to nonprofits.

Wunderfaire Metta Good 2

Image by instagram.com/mettagood/

8. The Pet Pamperer

Make your pooch look as posh as you do with colorful bandanas, bowties, and leash bags from The Foggy Dog.

Wunderfaire The Foggy Dog

Image by instagram.com/thefoggydog/

9. The Happy Homebody

In her free time, IDEO.org senior designer Nicole Kraieski loves to throw down on her pottery wheel. She describes her tasteful tableware as, “ceramics made of clay by the Bay” in San Francisco.

Wunderfaire Nicole Kraieski

Image by Nicole Kraieski

10. The Eco-Chic Toddler

Apila Designs crafts organic cotton clothing—from beanies to onesies to leggings—for fashionistas ages zero to six. The screen-printed pieces are made in and inspired by Northern California.

Wunderfaire Apila

Image by apiladesign.com

11. The Avocado Lover

Pretty prints with a hint of snark—such are the whimsical greeting cards from Coffee n Cream Press.

Wunderfaire Coffee N Cream

12. The “Nasty Woman”

Give young women the gift of leadership by hosting a workshop with Girls Driving for a Difference. IDEO’s Katie Kirsch co-founded Girls Driving for a Difference in 2015 with the goal of helping middle- and high-school girls use design thinking to boost their self-confidence and improve their communities. The group offers a “workshop in a box” to get you started.

Wunderfaire Girls Driving For A Difference

And remember, if you can't find anything off the shelf, there's still plenty of time to make your own gifts. Here's an impassioned plea for doing just that.

  • Heather Kathryn Ross

    IDEO Alum
    As a lifelong storyteller, Heather has crafted articles about the legacy of civil rights abuse on North Carolina factory farms, the trillions of helpful microbes living in the human body, the wild art of Japanese butoh, and the ancient history of cheese. A jewelry maker, photographer, and amateur archaeologist, Heather can often be found on the lam with her camera or biking through San Francisco en route to the California Academy of Sciences.