The Garage Gift Guide 2017

The holidays are here, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in this year’s gift guide, we’re supporting Northwestern entrepreneurs (again). Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite gift ideas for your besties and family, including both current student founded products and companies, alongside some of the best of the best Northwestern alumni companies. We’ve got something for everyone, from cold brew coffee to pre-packed healthy lunches, to the infamous RompHim that broke the internet in 2017, all Garage-approved.   

1. Something local through BOSSY Chicago

Isabel Benatar and Samantha Letscher (Photo Credit: Chicago Reader)

Co-founded by Northwestern students Samantha Letscher (McCormick, ‘18) and Isabel Benatar (SESP, ‘18), BOSSY Chicago is empowering women business owners and encouraging us all to not only shop local, but to support women owned businesses through their online directory. They’re also storytellers, sharing the entrepreneurial wisdom and challenges of female entrepreneurs all over Chicago. You can also keep up with all things BOSSY and sign up for their newsletter here.

 

2. A BrewBike Gift Card

(Photo Credit: @brewbikecoffee)

Now a popular coffee spot on campus, BrewBike is providing Northwestern its caffeine fix in the most convenient way, every day. Founded by Lucas Philips (SESP, ‘19), BrewBike has mastered cold brew coffee, and operates not just a mobile coffee shop during the warmer months, but a real life coffee pop up shop in Annenberg Hall, frequented by staff, faculty, and students alike. Now, you can give the gift of yummy cold brew with a BrewBike gift card. 

 

3. An Unruled. Notebook

(Photo Credit: @beunruled)

Founded by a group of students in an entrepreneurship course in Fall 2016, Unruled. has turned into a full blown retail operation, offering their products around Evanston and online. Give the gift of visual thinking and endless possibilities with their flagship product, the Unruled. Notebook.

 

4. One less thing on a to-do list from Local

(Photo Credit: @local.technologies)

Co-founded by brother and sister team, Caraline and Collin Pham (McCormick, ‘18), Local helps you get things done by hiring college students to help with practically anything. Give the gift of some housework, yard work, or even running errands to someone you love. We’ve got our eye on shoveling snow.

 

5. A super fly outfit from Bonobos

(Photo Credit: Bonobos Guidebook)

Andy Dunn (WCAS, ‘00) co-founded Bonobos, one of the fastest growing online men’s clothing retailers, in 2007 because it was so hard to find pants that actually fit. Now, Bonobos has expanded their playbook, offering shirts and suits making shopping for guys painless and maybe even a little bit fun.

 

6. Wise Apple lunches

(Photo Credit: Wise Apple)

Co-founded by two Kellogg alumni while they were students, and former Residents of The Garage, Rebecca Sholiton (Kellogg, ‘16) and Nathan Cooper (Kellogg, ‘17) are offering busy parents a new way to give their kids healthy lunches through pre-packaged meals delivered directly to your door. Food is fun. Packing lunches isn’t, so give the gift of quieter mornings, less last minute trips to the grocery store, and nutritious, yummy food.

 

7. A RompHim

(Photo Credit @originalromphim)

Why romp alone when you can romp together? Founded by a group of Kellogg students (ACED Design) in 2017, these dudes broke the internet with their fully funded (and then some) Kickstarter campaign, with more than 3,000 backers pledging over $350,000 to bring RompHims to men trying to break fashion stereotypes everywhere. And don’t worry, they’ve expanded their line to include the RompSuit, so you can romp all winter long, too.

 

8. A little greenery from Welltended

(Photo Credit:  @welltended)

Founded by Carolyn Snider (Kellogg, ‘17), Welltended is a former Resident of The Garage, changing the way we buy and care for plants. We spend a ton of time indoors, so WellTended believes it’s important to cultivate a home that’s bright, fresh, and happy by bringing a little bit of nature inside. Welltended’s website is sleek and fun, and their planters and plant options can give any indoor space a vibrant makeover (plus, you can even sign up for watering reminders, helping even those of us who don’t have a green thumb live a Welltended life).

 

9. A yummy lunch at Viet Nom Nom

(Photo Credit: Viet Nom Nom)

Anyone who knows us knows our obsession with food. And Viet Nom Nom is one of our local favs. Co-founded by Noah Bleicher (Kellogg, ‘15), Viet Nom Nom is helping us to eat some seriously flavorful, healthy Vietnamese cuisine right here in Evanston.

 

10. A tin of tea from Bigelow Tea

(Photo Credit: Bigelow Tea)

Cindi Bigelow (Kellogg, ‘86) is president of one of the warmest gifts you could give this year, not to mention something everyone loves, Bigelow Tea. At The Garage, we’re stocked with Bigelow in our Cafe, so obviously we think everyone should have their own. Personally, we love this Merry and Bright Holiday Tin of Tea.

 

11. A Pinch & A Dash

Written by Sherry Katherine Vernon (Weinberg, ‘15), who now works with Alumi Relations and Development, this cookbook brings a little bit of gourmet to every meal. From blackberry sage pork chops to nectarine caramel upside-down cake, there’s something in this book for new chefs and seasoned home cooks alike.