The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped every aspect of our lives, including how we spend our money. This holiday season, we’ve created a gift guide featuring wallet-friendly stocking stuffers from WashU student- and alumni-owned businesses. Look no further than these fantastic companies and products for the perfect gift! From food to fashion, we’ve got you covered.
WashU sophomores Justin Reiling (BSBA ‘23) and Drake Shafer (BSBA ‘23) founded Gallery 314 in response to what they perceived as a lack of street-level retail in the STL metropolitan area. A wide variety of locally-made items, many by WashU students, can be found on the shelves of Gallery 314 in celebration of creativity, entrepreneurship, and the STL community.
Perfect for: your loved one who has an appreciation for old-fashioned paper and ink. Complement any gift this year with a heartfelt, personal card. Your friends and family will appreciate it. We promise. $5
Olin Business School student Cam Loyet (MBA ’21) founded Honeymoon Chocolates in 2016, when he and co-founder Haley Loyet decided to officially turn their dorm-room kitchen hobby into a business. In addition to producing delectable bean-to-bar chocolate, the company aims to address the decline of honeybees and decreasing supply of cacao nationwide.
Perfect for: your environmentally conscious friends with a sweet tooth. These chocolates are sweetened entirely with raw honey. The best part? When you buy them, you’re supporting research to protect honeybees! $10
WashU student Max Levine (BU ’22) co-founded Modbars with a group of high school friends in 2016. ModBars offers tasty, nutritious snack bars made with premium ingredients that cater to people with dietary restrictions. The company’s mission is to help people develop a healthy and sustainable relationship with food.
Perfect for: your outdoorsy, hiking-obsessed roommate. Got dietary restrictions? These snack bars come in high-protein, nut-free, and vegan varieties, with gluten-free options soon to come. $20
Made By Blu was born when WashU student Fiona Blumin (BSBA ‘21) took advantage of quarantine to perfect her baking skills. Naturally sweetened and baked with coconut oil, Blumin’s creations are delicious and healthy(ish).
Perfect for: your one friend who always has room for dessert. Perfectly crunchy and filled with toasted marshmallows, this granola proves s’mores aren’t just for campfires! $12
Inspired by her experiences growing up in Guinea, West Africa, founder and WashU student Fanta Kaba, (MBA ‘21) founded Golden Roots Essentials to promote ideals of self-love and self-care. The company’s products are designed to maintain beautiful skin and promote well-being.
Aloe Euphoria Body Love Butter
Perfect for: anyone and everyone in your life who needs a lil’ extra self-care these days. Curated with all-natural ingredients native to Africa, these products will nourish tired skin and have you glowing in no time.
Wabbani collaborates with indigenous communities in South America to create culturally authentic home décor items that transform IKEA furnishings. Co-founder and WashU alum Paul Dinkins (MBA ’18) is adamant about making a meaningful impact on both his customers and the indigenous communities in which Wabbani’s unique products are crafted.
Perfect for: your decor-obsessed friend whose boho dreams are dashed because she’s renting. She can upgrade the kitchen cabinets with these handcrafted river-clay knobs, then take them with her when she moves. $16.99
From selling ties in his dorm room to operating a legit fashion business, WashU MBA candidate Lloyd Yates (Class of ‘22) has a passion for empowering people to be their best selves. Since Tylmen’s inception in 2016, the business has expanded from a single product to a full line of finely crafted accessories such as exclusive neckties, cashmere scarves, and, of course, face masks.
Perfect for: that well-dressed man in your life who believes the devil is in the details. Bonus: These face masks, made from recycled fabric, double as pocket squares! Stylish and versatile. On sale! $10
And finally, if you’re feeling a little splurgier, consider giving the gift of minimalist style:
Fashion brand Entireworld was founded by designer and WashU alum Scott Sternberg (AB ’97) in 2018. His first label, Band of Outsiders, dressed celebrities. With Entireworld, Sternberg decided to direct his talents in a new direction: focusing on sustainable and stylish items to complement anyone’s closet.