Gift Guide 2017: Make it a Merry Holiday with Products Made by Michigan Ross Alums (and Some Special Discounts too)
Don’t you just love that feeling of giving a *really* good gift? The unexpectedly awesome kind of gift that they didn’t even know they wanted? Well, we’ve compiled a list of 12 Michigan Ross alums’ innovative products and services we think will make great gifts this holiday season. Several alums even offered special discounts exclusive to the Michigan community.
With these one-of-a-kind gifts at special prices, prepare to win the holidays this year while also supporting fellow Rossers!
Jump directly to a category
Do not doubt Grandma Duda! Her original recipe has led obsessed strangers to call the Duda family for her pickles for years. So Rob Duda, EMBA ‘15, launched Duda’s Dills in 2016.
Grandma Duda not only created the recipe, but she also crafted an entirely new kind of pickle that “combines the crunch of a new-style dill and the ‘all the way through’ flavor of an old-style dill.” Who needs a sandwich on the side — we’ll just take the jar.
Available: Duda’s Dills are available at Argus Farm Stops and Cantoro Italian Markets.
Energy bars don’t have to taste like chalk or chemicals. Instead, Dosha Bars are 100 percent organic, made with unsweetened fruit and seeds, and contain no preservatives, powders from a lab, or flavorings.
Josh Ehrenfried, MBA ‘03, crafted these bars that can also can balance your dosha, one of three "mind-body" types as defined by an ancient healing system (find your dosha via a quiz on their site). You can choose the best bar for your dosha — or just order the variety pack, because all the flavors sound scrumptious.
Available: Dosha Bars are available in some Whole Foods Stores, a growing number of health food stores across the country, online at doshabar.com, and Amazon.
This “freedom from sour cream boredom” is so tasty it’s been featured on CBS and NBC. Prayani’s Indian yogurt sauces, also known as raita, add an abundance of flavor without an abundance of calories.
Harinee Sampath, MBA ‘15, even provides recipes for the sauces so you can spice up your dinners with an authentic Indian raita.
Available: Prayani Indian Yogurt is available at grocery stories on the east side of Michigan.
Snack lovers rejoice: deliciousness.com offers innovative snack options that are not only tasty, but healthy too. With tons of gluten-free and peanut and tree-nut free varieties, most Deliciousness snacks are safe for those with food sensitivities. There are plenty of great vegetarian and vegan options as well.
Matthew Coffer, MBA ’11, is the founding partner in Spinning Wheel Brands, the parent company of deliciousness.com.
Available: All Spinning Wheel Brands snacks, including Mozaics, CrrrunchBites, and VeggicopiaTM dips, olives, and pita chips, can be purchased at deliciousness.com, Amazon, and grocery stores across the country.
Special offer for the Michigan community: 25 percent off with coupon code MICHIGANROSS25.
Säpp Birch Water
Tap into the forest. Säpp is mineral-rich water naturally filtered by birch trees and enhanced with Chaga, a substance that grows exclusively on birch trees and helps balance your immune system.
Co-founded by John Kavchak, BBA ’09, Säpp’s four flavors are made using only organic ingredients and are low in sugar.
Available: See a list of stores available on Säpp’s website.
Special Offer for the Michigan Community: Get 25% off your first Amazon order by entering promo code SAPP2017 at checkout.
Shelly Sahi, MBA ‘16, is a savvy scientist-turned-CEO who loves makeup and decided to create a brand that truly complements different undertones for ethnic skin tones.
Her breakthrough makeup brand, Sahi Cosmetics, has attracted more than $250,000 in funding from business competitions and funds over the past year alone, and it was recently given a glowing review by Marie Claire. Choose among lipsticks, eye shadows, foundations, bronzers, blushes, and more for your favorite makeup-obsessed friend.
Available: Place your order online at sahicosmetics.com.
Special Offer for the Michigan Community: Use the code GOBLUE for 25% off until Jan. 1, 2018. Discount applies to Holiday Sets as well!
Every parent knows that bathtime can be a struggle, but Fresh Monster is here to get kids clean “without toxins, tears, or breaking the bank.” Products include a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner, detangler, and shampoo-and-bodywash combo.
The all-natural, non-toxic hair care for kids was founded by two moms, including Irena Todd, MBA ‘07.
Available: Fresh Monster can be purchased in a variety of stores across the country (Meijer, Whole Foods, Walmart, etc.).
Special Offer for the Michigan Community: They're offering a $1 off discount on Amazon on select products through the end of December: click here.
JoJo Drops provides all-in-one haircare for all hair types, whether it’s frizzy, damaged, or thinning due to heat styling or aging. Even better, it’s easy to tote and easy on the environment, as each product is created with sustainable packaging material.
This magic elixir for manageable hair and a healthy scalp was recently launched by Joy Xing, MBA ‘17.
Available: Place your order online: www.jojodrops.com
Bring the Aloha spirit to your holidays with Mai Ties — handmade bow ties that are upcycled from vintage Aloha shirts. The brainchild of Jen Anderson, MBA ‘08, you can shop for this unique, stylish, and unforgettable gift online.
Available: Order your one-of-a-kind tie online.
Special Offer for the Michigan Community: Use discount code GOBLUE for 15% off.
Dan Friedman, BBA ‘12, and his twin Mike were known as the “Twin Towers” for their height growing up, but that nickname would take on a different meaning when they lost their father to the Sept. 11 attacks (they were only 11 years old).
The brothers, who each turned out to be nearly seven feet tall, launched TallOrder.com in September 2017 with the mission of helping men with big feet finally find socks that fit — and also helping Tuesday’s Children, an organization dedicated to assisting communities affected by terrorism and traumatic loss.
When you purchase a pair of the bright, colorful, comfortable socks, know that ten percent of the profits are going to Tuesday’s Children, making both you and your gift recipient “Fit to Stand Tall.”
Available: Select among dozens of patterns and colors in the Tall Order online store.
Special Offer for the Michigan Community: Use the discount code UMRoss20 for 20% off your first order.
Levy Jewelers has been in operation for four generations — that’s 116 years of service to Savannah, Georgia, and beyond.
Lowell Kronowitz, MBA ‘92, is now in charge, so you know that when you’re purchasing from Levy, you’re also purchasing a long tradition of service and quality.
Available: Swing by the Savannah store or place your order online.
Love DIY projects? Get craftsy with craftsy.com, a clever site from John Levisay, MBA ‘97, that provides video tutorials for tons of unique projects. You can sew, cook, knit, paint, photograph, and bake to your heart’s delight.
Available: Wherever you have an internet connection.
Special Offer for the Michigan Community: Get started by treating yourself to a Craftsy class for only $14.99 (a huge discount from the usual cost of $40): just pick your favorite class, add it to your cart and use coupon code ROSS at checkout.