The Garage Gift Guide 2018

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The holidays are here again, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in this year’s 2018 gift guide, we’re supporting Northwestern entrepreneurs and student founded startups. Here’s a list of some of our favorite gift ideas for your besties and your fam, 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 the easiest way to give back to causes that matter most to you, all Garage-approved.   


1. Something local through BOSSY Chicago or some BOSSY merch

(Photo Credit: BOSSY Chicago)

Co-founded by Northwestern students Samantha Letscher (McCormick, ‘18) and Isabel Benatar (SESP, ‘18), BOSSY Chicago is still going strong after the co-founders graduated in 2018. BOSSY 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 even rep their merch! 


2. Some yummy cold brew

Image of Lucas Philips

Now with two campus locations and the infamous coffee bike, BrewBike has only grown in the last year. They’ve even launching their second campus in UT Austin! Founded by Lucas Philips (SESP, ‘19), BrewBike has mastered cold brew coffee, and we think it’s time you try some for yourself. 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. Give the gift of giving back

(Photo Credit: @connectcareapp)

Co-founded by Matt Zients (SESP, ’20), Connect & Care is a mobile application created by students, for students. They are revolutionizing the way we give back to the causes we care about most through beautiful design and UI and fun quizzes that will match you with three nonprofit organizations aligned with what you’re passionate about. They’ve made the process of giving back incredibly easy, and this might be the perfect way to flex your philanthropic muscles this holiday season.


5. 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).


6. A Northwestern student-authored book

Chris Guo (Weinberg, ’19) always struggled to sit still. He channeled that restlessness; going from a skinny kid to a Division I swimming recruit. But instead of swimming in college, he decided to quit and focus on his studies. His goal was to become an investment banker since he was told that bankers make the most money out of college. Chris soon realized, however, that finance wasn’t his thing and instead started an e-commerce party supply company during his freshman year. Since then, he has been passionate about entrepreneurship and helping young people to discover what they want to do in life.


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