The IDEO Gift Guide for Creative Types

The IDEO Gift Guide for Creative Types

Crowd-pleasers for those who don’t follow the crowd
Heather Kathryn Ross
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

8. The Pet Pamperer

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

9. The Happy Homebody

In her free time, 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.

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.

11. The Avocado Lover

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

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.

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.

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Heather Kathryn Ross
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.
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