Presenting: Our ‘Resolutions’ Gift Guide!

Ten great holiday presents to help the people in your life enter 2016 feeling healthy, happy and energized.

The Story Exchange By The Story Exchange

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Looking for great gift ideas to make your clients, coworkers and loved ones happier and healthier? Look no further! We have selected 10 great women-made, women-sold products from around the world — just for you.

Our list includes everything from body balms and protein powders to all-natural teas and candles — the essentials for a more balanced life. Not only are these items great gifts, they could help the people you care about stick with their often-tricky New Year’s resolutions.

This line-up is the product of our call for gift ideas earlier this year, sent to women business owners the world over. Our sincere thanks to all who applied — you made the process of curating this year’s list incredibly difficult!

10 Presents for Anyone in Your Life Who has Ever Said…


Priya - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to maintain a healthier diet.”
 — Instant shake mix ($0.54 per sachet) from Priya Parab of Strombss (India)

Protein powders and healthy shakes are abundant at gyms, specialty shops, grocery stores and in many home kitchens. But how often does your smoothie help support a female entrepreneur halfway across the globe? Beyond the merits of supporting a woman business owner, Parab’s shake mixes are also quite yummy — our judges were especially fond of the strawberry flavor, though all tasted great stirred into a glass of milk or added to a morning fruit smoothie.

A Health Brand Created at Home: “Though I could not keep my kids away from the growing influence of fast foods, I could restrict their intake if I presented them with more interesting options,” Parab recalls. “Therefore, my kitchen became a hotbed of innovation.”


Leanne - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to exercise more, and take care of my body.”
HERO sore muscle and joint cream ($11.99) from Leanne Sedlak and Kim Brunton of SkinCatering (United States)

We’ve all made the resolution to exercise more, to cross a finish line or to take that aerobic dance class at the local Y. But getting back in shape can sometimes bring discomfort, even pain. Enter HERO, which soothes muscle and joint pain for those who feel a little sore after their morning yoga session or evening run.

Helping Athletes and Sufferers of Chronic Pain: “This was created for athletic clients, so they would have a non-toxic cream for pain management. A happy bonus is that non-athletes have been discovering how well it works for their lives, too! People with arthritis, fibromyalgia and cancer have also found relief with it,” Sedlak told us.


Funlayo - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to pamper myself.”
Intense moisture body balm ($50) from Funlayo Alabi of Shea Radiance (United States)

Skin care is important for people of all ages, especially in winter. Alabi’s body balm is a sumptuous delight that leaves skin feeling strong, smooth and ready for the season’s elements. Our judges especially enjoy the sweet, natural scent of the product. Plus, the sleek packaging makes it especially suited for gift giving.

Combating Winter Winds: “I created this product to give my customers a luxurious sensory experience in moisture. This product is perfect for the cold, dry winter months, because it is rich in shea and cocoa butter, and drizzled with kalahari melon seed oil,” Alabi says.


Krit - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to be more introspective and reflective.”
Handmade leather journal ($40) by Krit Pandya of Soothi (United States)

Keeping a journal — especially on a consistent basis — requires discipline, to be sure. But the opportunity for personal reflection can be very rewarding and sustaining, and our judges think this particular journal will make the effort a little easier. It is, in a word, beautiful. Repurposed leather gives this journal an almost antique feel, as though it were discovered in an old treasure chest before somehow making its home on your bedside table.

Creative Inspiration from the Past: “Successful people throughout history have kept journals. It helps maintain posterity and purpose,” Pandya says. “Oscar Wilde once said, ‘I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read.’”


Lisa - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to spend more quality time with my family.”
Mystery game set ($65) by Lisa Curshellas of Mission Unboxable (United States)

Finding time to relax with family can be tough, especially for you entrepreneurs out there. But Curshellas’ game is an easy and fun way to spend quality time with the kids in your life — time away from television, phone and tablet screens. Our judges think this would make for an especially creative Saturday night at home in the living room.

By Children, For Children: “Kid-created, sibling-tested and mom-approved, our Top Secret Missions are old-school fun that encourages creativity and imagination (with a hint of science!) in a world of always-on-the-go technology,” Curshellas told us.


Marjie - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to stop dropping my phone!”
Phone clips ($10) by Marjie Krupnick of Maxxable (United States)

A question for those of you who have never dropped your phone — how do you do it? Our judges have all experienced that brief moment of panic when a smartphone accidentally drops, hits the floor and shatters. Krupnick’s product offers buyers an innovative, easy way to keep their pricey devices from slipping away and getting damaged, without the added bulk of a large case.

Great for the Frugal: “It will help people save money by keeping their phone free of cracks, scratches, chips or dings,” says Krupnick. “It solves a problem that almost all smartphone users have — dropping their phone.”


Ciinndey - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to drink healthier beverages.”
Malaysian ginger tea ($15) by Ciinndey Wong of Rhymba Hills (Malaysia)

We admit it — we’re total tea lovers here at The Story Exchange. Still, our judges put Wong’s ginger tea through its paces, and found it to be light, fragrant and soothing. And according to the packaging, it’s an especially great, all-natural balm for folks who suffer from digestive issues.

Innovating from Experience: “Having overcome minor health issues, I am passionate about helping others to have good health by going back to basics,” Wong says. “The market is flooded with processed food, sugar, additives, coloring and more. Rhymba Hills’ ginger is sourced from the hills of Bukit Tinggi, making it the most aromatic and spiciest ginger in the world.”


Patrice - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to seek out inspiration — even in unexpected places.”
Patchwork handbag ($59) by Patrice Wynne of Abrazos (Mexico)

We don’t always have the opportunity to carry our inspiration with us — that is, unless you happen to be the owner of Wynne’s Frida handbag. It’s boldly colored and soft to the touch, with ample room for everything you need on the go. Our judges feel this would make for a bold and versatile addition to a wardrobe.

Choosing a Muse: “Frida Kahlo is one of the greatest role models, whose physical and emotional suffering did not hold her back from authentic self-expression,” says Wynne. “Her passion, creativity and zest for life could not be extinguished.”


Hannah - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to be more tolerant.”
Socks ($9-$20) by Hannah Lavon of Hooray Hoopla (United States)

Socks may seem like an odd medium for expressing openness and demonstrating solidarity, but Lavon has succeeded in using these whimsical, purposefully mismatched socks to convey a weighty message of inclusion and mutual understanding that’s sorely needed in these times. Bonus: The socks are thick, warm, and super-comfy.

“Defeeting” the Norm: “We want our products to be an extension of our beliefs — that befriending someone who seems different and classically opposite from you is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in life,” Lavon told us.


Corin - Gift - SMALL“I resolve to relax.”
Soy candles ($10-$25) by Corin Wright of Style Haven (United States)

Who doesn’t love to unwind by candlelight at the end of a long day? Wright’s all-natural soy candle is festively scented — think apples and cinnamon — and our judges are particularly fond of the solid mason jars in which her product is contained. It’s a great gift for the candle lover in your life or office.

A Treat for Multiple Senses: “I wanted to create [a candle] that not only smelled good, but made clients feel good. Soy is a natural wax that burns slow and clean. All of the oils we use are safe for skin, so it can also be used as a massage oil.”

Banner graphic by Michelle Ciotta. Credit for image of Funlayo Alabi (center row, right) – Glenford Nunez, Photographer and Jamaya Moore, Makeup.

Posted: November 24, 2015

The Story ExchangePresenting: Our ‘Resolutions’ Gift Guide!