It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Right now, we all need to be creative in the ways we tell our loved ones “happy holidays,” since so many of us are doing it from afar. What better way than a thoughtful gift supporting a Northwestern student-founded startup?
Here’s a roundup of our favorite holiday gifts this year (in no particular order) – all unique, all innovative, and all with ties to Northwestern or The Garage.
1. A stylish Wallace White sports watch
Co-founded by Eli Wallace, Weinberg ’18 and Michael White, Weinberg ’18, Wallace White was Eli’s project while a student at Northwestern and a participant in The Garage’s Tinker Program, with the first prototypes crafted in The Garage’s Makerspace. See some fun footage of Eli as an undergrad talking about his watch concept here.
Today, Wallace White makes vibrant, colorful, unisex watches in nine colors and three sizes that are stylish and sustainable. Designed to fit seamlessly into everyday life without complicating it, these watches are durable and perfect for anyone.
2. A personal skin care regimen built by experts
Bottlecode, co-founded by Drishay Menon, McCormick ’10, is the first ever platform that guides men through the skincare landscape, building personalized regimens and offering expert guidance. This bespoke service will level up the skincare for any man in your life with trusted, curated products. Plus, we think the intersection of technology and skincare is pretty cool, too.
They’re offering gift certificates right now, and once the giftee takes a short quiz, they’ll get curated and personalized products shipped right to their doorstep and you’ll get a big thank you!
3. An inspiring children’s book written by a thoughtful father
Kwabena Yamoah, originally from Ghana, is a Tinkerer at The Garage and a graduate student pursuing his second Master’s degree at Northwestern. Penned as a letter to his own two daughters, Kwabena has now expanded his perspective to a book for all daughters.
A Letter to My Daughter: A Father’s Blessing to be Great is about the experiences that life will bring every daughter, and the role fathers play in growing alongside their children. Filled with affirmation and dedication, this timeless and inspirational book has rave reviews online.
4. A new kind of power source to charge your devices
Co-founded by Vishaal Mali, McCormick ’20, PedalCell aimed to create a bicycle powered cell phone charger. We remember Vishaal best as an eager freshman, 3D printing pieces for the prototype of his idea over and over again until getting it exactly right. PedalCell outgrew The Garage before Vishaal even graduated, and became a member of the community at mHUB, the nation’s largest hardtech innovation and manufacturing center, based in Chicago.
Perfect for an avid cyclist, PedalCell mounts on a bicycle and generates power for all kinds of devices from smartphones to lights to GPS through pedaling. We love that this gift is sustainable, smart, and fun.
5. Simple, elegant, personalized jewelry
Founded by Kinsey Hart, Kellogg ’21, Alva is your online personal jeweler. Kinsey has a passion for design, and built Alva after wanting to reward herself with a gorgeous piece of jewelry. Unable to find exactly what she wanted without a fully customized and expensive piece, she developed a simple way to shop for exactly what you have in mind at an affordable price.
Customers can choose their metal, gems, and more and preview it all online before buying – and right now, you can get 10% off your order when you sign up for emails through Alva’s website.
6. More than just coffee – an immunity boost, too
Xiao Zhang, Kellogg ’20, aimed to put her experience as a PharmD and her expertise in herbal wellness to develop Amasu – a line of products harnessing natural herbs to boost immunity and integrating it into our everyday routines through coffee.
From single serve cold brew to beans, Amasu’s lineup of coffees is a perfect blend of health and deliciousness. Amasu is also donating 10% of all sales to food banks across America serving those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
7. Second hand style with Ciclo
Co-founded by Alyssa Marazzo, Kellogg ’21 – Ciclo has a super trendy aesthetic in their curated second hand clothing website boasting brands like Zara, Everlane, Rachel Roy, and more. Truly clothing worth loving again, Ciclo offers menswear and womenswear in an easy to shop format. Personally, we love browsing their Instagram for style inspo, too!
8. Every sip for students
ICYMI: Brewbike, one of The Garage’s earliest incubated startups at The Garage, co-founded by Lucas Phlips, SESP ’19, is still going strong (surpassing 100,000 cups of coffee sold) and recently rebranded with a new mascot, Bean, who we think is pretty cute.
Alongside Bean and their new branding, Brewbike launched new cold brew coffee flavors (think peppermint!) that they can ship straight to you to continue to support students across the country while their campus shops and bikes are closed during COVID-19. Brewbike is also offering a grant program to student-run businesses, which your purchase helps support.
Plus, right now you can unlock 20% off your order!
9. Sustainably sourced fashion finds
Founded by current Northwestern student and participant of the Propel Program, Anna Lise Ericson, School of Communication ’22, Cerer is dedicated to sustainability and creating a brighter future in fashion – which means you can “shop until you drop and feel good doing it.”
10. A simple notebook for creative thinkers
Jacob Morgan, McCormick ’18 (currently working as a product design engineer at Catch Co) and Bennett Hensey, McCormick ’18 (currently working as a software engineer at GrubHub) are still running Unruled, a notebook company they co-founded at The Garage, on nights and weekends.
With perforated pages, no lines for flexible note-taking, and the promise to plant a tree with each purchase – this is a great gift for anyone who is currently attending classes online!