Alumni have gone on to start businesses in various fields, which makes turning to their businesses for holiday gifts easy.
No matter who is on your shopping list, these six companies run by alumni are sure to have the perfect gift.
American Cocktail Company
From entertaining droves of relatives to putting their baking ability into overdrive, every holiday host deserves a stiff drink once the festivities have ended. Show your gratitude with one of American Cocktail Company’s drink mixers. Christopher Wirth, who graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and international economics, founded this award-winning company that also sells various cocktail accoutrements like a copper shaker ($25.99) and a long handle bar spoon ($5.99). Skip the gingerbread and earn some brownie points from a boozy but refined gift recipient, who will love the Spicy Ginger Mule’s zesty combination of ginger, lime and mint ($11.99 for 16 ounces).
The holidays can be especially hard for those on a gluten-free diet, as they often entail eating copious amounts of seasonal desserts. Rather than skipping the tin of Christmas cookies altogether, treat your loved one to a case of Chocolate Chip Madness bites ($19.99 for six bites) from Berg Bites, a health food company created by 2018-graduate Daniel Berg. The gluten-free and vegan treats are self described as “sinfully delicious.” Other flavors include banana and cinnamon, almond butter and jelly, sunflower and white chocolate in either “bite” or “bar” shapes ($29.99 for 12 bars). These delicious confections are guaranteed to please anyone with both a sweet tooth and a restrictive diet.
As a kid, the idea of getting socks for the holidays was truly horrifying. But now a finely-crafted pair of merino wool socks under the Christmas tree is more and more appealing. Brought to life by Turner Swicegood, who graduated in 2009, the sock brand Penance Hall offers several different colors and three different sizes of a classic dress sock silhouette ($35 a pair). These socks would make a great addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe, especially those new to the world of business attire.
We all have that friend who loves to stay on trend, no matter what the cost. The fashions provided by Bassigue are simple yet effortless, with athleisure silhouettes. Gamze Keklik, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in economics and marketing, took her business’ name after “basic” and “vogue,” and the simple yet sleek stylings exude this dichotomy. For edgy friends, you can give them a t-shirt ($35) that reads “another boy, another problem” in embroidering or a pullover ($95) with “lawbreaker” written in bold lettering.
“Making Friends” by Kristen Gudsnuk
For the young relative in your family who can’t keep their eyes off electronics, give them a compelling comic that deals with middle school relationships. Kristen Gudsnuk, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, crafted the graphic novel “Making Friends,” which was released in July, about a student who creates an imaginary friend and gets into mischief. She has another book, “Modern Fantasy,” that is set for a January release. For those looking for a slightly more mature read, Gudsnuk’s webcomic “Henchgirl” was released through Dark Horse Comics last year.
Not all comic books are created with representation in mind, but Roye Okupe, who graduated with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science, made inclusion his mission. Beginning with his own comic series, “E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams,” (23.99 for two volumes), Okupe centered his comic universe on native Nigeria. The newest addition to his comic library is called “Malika” ($24.99 for two volumes) and features a teenage warrior queen from 15th-century West Africa drawn in vibrant hues.