Ülrika's Top Ten Gifts of 2018: Vendors Who Give Back!

Each year, when asked to compile our 10 top list, I try to narrow down the focus on the items that managed to stand out over the past year. As the gift buyer I wanted to strictly focus on the gift items and, more importantly, the vendors we carry that give back to the community. It’s important for me to buy from smaller companies and companies that focus not only on supporting the communities around them, but on being socially responsible as well.

Calyan Candles were brought to my attention by Thu and Mark while they visiting Fort Worth. Besides the fact these wonderful soy candles fill the room (as well as the entire store, which you will notice if you stop by during the holidays), 10% of their profits help to fight human trafficking. They partner with local nonprofits to provide funding for prevention, prosecution, or restoration.

Each of their scents is amazing and it was difficult to find one for the list; however the lavender & bergamot tumbler ended making it to my #1. Each of their tumblers burns for approximately 45 hours and the glass tumbler can be recycled or used again as a cocktail glass or regular drinking glass.

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Brazos has been carrying Out of Print before I even became the gift buyer. Established in 2010, with every purchase they donate books to support literacy programs around the world. One of my favorite items from Out of Print is their incredible socks. This year they have expanded the line to include kids' sizes! 

Two of my favorites are the adult Book Nerd and kids Library socks. For the kids' socks, the "return dates" on the bottom are actually grips.

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Thu and I discovered Musee while we were in New York for the gift expo NY. I not only fell in love with their amazing line of bath balms, soaps, and candles but also their philosophy regarding helping their community. Musee Bath is a natural bath and candle company in Madison County, Mississippi. Mussee Bath hires women in recovery, individuals with disabilities, and people that haven’t had the opportunities to receive an education. Each of their bath balms features either a fun surprise or a reusable water activated light. The candles come in amazing packages that features a great quote; when burned, the scent fills a room. The soaps are made from essential oils that not only smell great but also leave your skin moisturized.

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For years Ooly has created some of our favorite gift items and we’re always excited to see what’s coming out each year. Besides being a woman-owned business, Ooly works on a national level with AdoptAClassroom, which helps to empower teachers in providing supplies and classroom materials. The Radiant Writers Glitter Gel Pens gives anything you're writing a little sparkle, from letters to your journal entries. The Girl Power Journal features 8 lined pocket journals featuring empowering statements that are wonderful for anyone at any age. Fab Fountain Pens are a great everyday fountain pen, as well as a wonderful starter for anyone who has wanted to add fountain pens to their collection.

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eeBoo is a woman-owned and -run company that features educational games and gifts. They have 100% original artwork, which means they’re able to commission the artwork from well-known children’s book illustrators! Crazy Kitten Puzzle is by far my favorite item of the holidays for kids. Featuring artwork by Monika Forsberg, this portable puzzle contains 20 jumbo pieces –– a perfect size for little hands. The cord handle makes it easy to take anywhere, anytime.

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