The holiday season is upon us and retailers are busy at work, serving customers eager to cross off every name on their shopping lists. But what if you wanted to stand out and gift your friends and loved ones something special?

We’ve looked thought the submissions of women-owned business that came into our 1000 Stories Campaign, and compiled a list of options that can help you do just that. Each gift from the list below comes with an inspiring story and many are helping to make a difference somewhere in the world.


Jewels for Hope — Gift this handmade jewelry and support a cause you’re passionate about. Jewels for Hope donates a portion of their profits to major charitable organizations. (Read more about the founder’s journey to starting Jewels for Hope.)

Earrings by Kyler by Joy O
Alexis Gopal JewelryAlexis Gopal left her medical career to spend more time with her family and started following her passion – jewelry making. She’s sold out of chic Madison Avenue boutiques and had her jewelry in the gift bags at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

The Didi Jewelry Project – From the slums of India comes affordable jewelry that puts food in the hands of women and their children. Laurel Gunnarson started teaching jewelry making to women who are working in brothels, are HIV positive, widows or facing extreme poverty to help them get a better future.

Alison Blair Jewelry — If your loved one is into vintage jewelry, check out Alison Blair. Her designs use all natural gemstones, hand-knotted on silk cord to create a vintage style with a modern edge.

Kyler by Joy O designs modern eco-friendly jewelry for women. Recycled materials such as steel are combined with precious metals to create heirloom-quality pieces which celebs like Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz and Eva Longoria wear.
Watch our video profile of Joy Opfer.


Mercado Global — Buy a hand-woven Mercado Global bag, scarf, or clutch this holiday season and help Guatemalan moms send their daughters to school.

Cassaundra’s Custom Boutique – Find the dress to fit all your curves perfectly. Cassaundra Bourne created her online store CCB to provide flattering options for plus size women.

Tanya Heath Paris – This French patented brand of shoes offers multi-height shoes with removable heels, turn one pair of shoes into several.

Sorrell Custom Boots – Passed on by generations before her, Lisa Sorrell took up the crafts and produces custom-made cowboy boots.

Haralee.Com — Sleepwear also known as “Cool Garments for Hot Women” is cooling sleepwear invented by a cancer survivor, who spent many sleepless nights drenched in sweat as a side-effect of her chemo-therapy. Also recommended for menopause symptoms.

GiveLoveCycle — Know any bicycle lovers? Businesswomen cyclers Mariana and Debra, created bags that attach easily to any bike and then convert into modern purses.

feNa – Sustainable and stylish handbags, created by architect turned designer Kellyn Timmerman.


Spark Box Toys – Educational toys, by age, shipped to your home and then returned when the child grows out of them. Alice Wang & Pegah Ebrahimi started their online store to give parents an exhaustive resource for educational toys without all the clutter.

Culture Baby – Help your children meet the world with these international clothes, toys and accessories. Natalia Rankine-Galloway started this global online children’s boutique in Morocco to provide everything kids need from birth to the age of 6.


VidaAire — Give the gift of clean, non-toxic and freshly scented home with the organic sanitizers created by Deborah Olivo. Watch our video profile of Deborah Olivo.

Charleston Cookie Company – What’s an American holiday without a batch of cookies? Judith Moore searched for the ‘perfect cookie’ and when she found it, she started her company.

Marianberry Cookies — When woman entrepreneur Marian, discovered a delicious Oregon hybrid blackberry, she immediately fell in love. She created her own line of cookies with a special twist, that make the perfect holiday gift for any cookie-lover. Packed in stylish jars and wrapped in white boxes with purple ribbons, you can choose from varieties like Chocolate Chip, Marianberry Shortbread and Almond Biscotti.

Photographs – Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes of mkc photography offers art photography at reasonable prices.


Jimmy Beans’ Learn to Knit Kit
Jimmy Beans Wool — Want to give the gift of knitting this holiday season? This beginners’ kit includes all of the basic knitting information that a new knitter could want or need, plus colorful yarns, pattern sets, and eight straight needles. Jimmy Beans Wool startup story is coming up on our website early next year.

Booty Parlor – Aphrodisiac lip glosses, sexy lingerie and “flirty” bedroom accessories are on offer at the company started by Dana B. Myers, which she told us she started to inspire a woman’s “sexy confidence.”

Kind Notes – Gift someone with a smile whenever they need it with a jar full of 31 ready-made or custom messages by Kind Notes. Created by Linda Tong, this creative gift delivers a dose of inspiration, one note at a time.

Greeting Cards – A Little To The Left produces cards for gay and lesbian couples, created by mom Sandi Timberlake after she couldn’t find the right card for her son and his partner.

Slip-On Dancers — For anyone into Zumba or any other dance, this special band created by dance instructor Katie Hughes transforms running shoes into dance shoes.

Jar of Kind Notes


RosieMADE – Shopping at this online store, you will find a variety of gifts, accessories, clothing and children products made in America and by “women-friendly” businesses. The brainchild of Alicia Vanderschuere, the RosieMADE Foundation gives a portion of all proceeds into resources for women-owned businesses. – Pick a gift from this online store featuring a variety of women-made products. Founder Donna Haghighat donates 1% of all purchases to non-profits advancing women.

**The Story Exchange is looking for women business owners for their 2013 video profiles. If you’re a woman who started a business, join the 1000 Stories campaign and inspire others. Your story will appear on The Story Exchange website and will be used to find candidates for future videos and blogs.