Gift Guide 2019: Make the Season Bright with these 10 Products from Michigan Ross Alumni
It’s that time of year again and holiday shopping is in full effect. We all know that it can be tough to decide on the right gifts, so with just a few days to spare, we’re here to offer a helping hand.
We’ve compiled a list of the great products and companies led by Michigan Ross alumni. From unique clothing designs to companies with a cause, these gift options are sure to paint the town blue!
Here are our top 10 picks for 2019:
Andrew Kamhi, BBA ‘15
Sardel is a direct-to-consumer kitchen brand. Their mission is to improve and disrupt the kitchenware industry by creating luxury products sold at an honest price through an engaging customer experience.
“We challenged ourselves to create a line of essentials that would provide the upgrade our kitchens so desperately needed – products that are beautifully classic in design, crafted with high-quality materials, and vastly more attainable in price than the high-end brands we were accustomed to seeing,” according to the company.
“We also wanted to create a cookware brand that actually helps people in the kitchen, encouraging people to feel comfortable with their cookware and how to properly use it.”
Jim McElroy, BBA ’76/MBA ’82
Based in Ann Arbor, Drinkmate proclaims to be “the world’s first home carbonation system that allows the customer to directly carbonate (their own) beverages.” The drink machine can create carbonated juice, tea, cocktails, or even healthy alternatives to traditional soft drinks.
Drinkmate comes in various finishes, colors, and kits, offering customers limitless possibilities to create any drink their heart desires.
Peiman Raf, BBA ’16
A lifestyle and streetwear brand co-signed by Cardi B and Gigi Hadid aiming to spread positive, inclusive, and unique messages in a typically exclusive fashion world. Driven by their mental health mission, Madhappy creates products and experiences to uplift people, and offers “an optimistic approach to the Millennial generation”, as described by Forbes.
Madhappy places social good at the forefront of the brand by building an inclusive community and safe space for its supporters both online and through pop-up events around the U.S.
The company says that everyone can interpret “Madhappy” differently. “It’s recognizing that everything isn’t perfect because it shouldn’t be,” they continue. “It’s realizing that the lows make the highs.”
Christine Kwon, MBA ’13
These spirited, original prints and designs are perfect for anyone on your mind this holiday season. And the best part? You don't have to sacrifice ethics for style. Mata partners with fair-trade artisan cooperatives in India and Nepal where members promise fair wages, safe working environments, access to childcare, and workshops on topics like computer training, finances, and nutrition. In many cases, it means artisans are able to send their children to school, helping to break the cycle of poverty.
Special Offer: Use discount code GOBLUE for 20% off your first order!
HOLLY KEITH LINGERIE
Holly Meyers, MBA ’19
Large-bust lingerie expertly crafted for true luxury. After years of research, Holly Keith Lingerie invented a new bra-sizing system with real women’s bodies in mind. The system allows women to focus on fit instead of standard sizing labels.
“Women should feel confident in their lingerie, no matter their size.”
Elliott Darvish, BBA ’11
“Be you. Do you.” That is the mantra that Switch uses to empower their customers to discover and express their best selves. How so? By becoming a Switch member. Switch is a jewelry membership service that allows you to access curated jewelry collections, including iconic fashion houses like Hermes and Chanel, couture brands, and emerging designers.
The membership grants customers boxes of jewels that they can enjoy for as long as they like, and “switch” when they’re ready to make an exchange for something new. Each month, they also earn credit toward buying pieces at special member prices.
Plans start at $29/month.
GIFTS & STATIONERY
GRANDPA SHORTER’S GIFTS, INC
Jennifer Shorter, BBA ’96
Since 1946, this family-owned shop has provided unique, Michigan-themed gifts and Petoskey stones for all occasions. An array of gifts including hats, shirts, signs, and more keeps customers searching for their next perfect selection each holiday. With special orders, handcrafted local items, and personalization options, you’re sure to find something for even the toughest recipient on your list.
TRUE BLUE AUSTRALIA
Daniel Gordon, BBA ’07
True Blue Australia is one of Australia's largest manufacturers of postcards, greeting cards, and locally-produced souvenirs. The company produces glass and clay jewelry in-house, and also offers glass art, books, cards, accessories, and beautiful canvas art that is sure to add flair to any space.
THE BUSINESS CASUAL YOGI
Vish Chatterji, MBA ’05
This book puts a spin on modern wellness using ancient yoga traditions to create powerful new processes – perfect for the business professional in your life. The Business Casual Yogi stands on the premise that “as yoga pervades mainstream society, its philosophies, frameworks, and techniques are proving increasingly relevant to the modern business world’s obsession with personal leadership development.”
The book offers physical and mental exercises, personalized guides for diet and lifestyle, and tools such as meditation and breathing exercises.
“This practical guidebook provides accessible methods to leverage the yoga tradition as a tool to unlock one’s fullest creativity, leadership potential, and overall well-being,” the company says. “The simple framework will help you attain greater happiness, balance, and success.”
Michael Wieder, BBA ’10
Lalo is a modern baby and toddler brand built for today's families. The company offers minimalist high chairs and stroller designs derived from their commitment to education, honesty, safety, and quality.
“Our products are thoughtfully designed to fit right into your life,” Lalo says. “While our design philosophy is less is more, we bundle our products to give you more for less. We're also committed to making family life better by donating a portion of sales to nonprofits focused on issues of fertility, perinatal care, and education.”