What To Buy Your Favorite Geek-Chic Startup Founder This Holiday Season


I’d never write a title that long, but I stole it – from the insightful Danny Boice at Tech Cocktail – because I would hate for any of my family, friends, or clients to think I need an old-school, hot-lather, straight-razor shave anywhere. 

So I present, without criticism or malice, my personal wish list – just in case your favorite geek-chic startup founder is, well, a she!

Lush Bath Bombs. ($3.95 to $6.65, in stores and at lushusa.com) Arguably the best thing about being a girl is that no one judges you for taking bubble baths. The second best thing is that you are allowed to smell like fruits and vanilla all the time. The third best thing is that you are awesome at being a founder. That last one has absolutely nothing to do with gender, but we all still need a reminder from time to time. Celebrate her awesome sweet-smellingness with a delightfully fizzy bath bomb from this Vancouver-based company with a groovy, co-ed, multiple-pivot and socially conscious startup story.

Evernote Smart Notebook($24, amazon.com) What’s stylish, portable, syncable, and comes with a three-month Evernote Premium membership? This little guy! Available in squared, ruled, and sketchbook, serving those who like to think “outside of the box” as well as those who refuse to acknowledge that boxes exist.

Roll-Up White Board($29.99, thinkgeek.com) Got a napkin-scribbling, idea-generating, nonstop-facilitating friend? Give her the gift that lets her ideate on the go!

Chalk Tablet and Stand from Peg and Awl. ($30, Fab.com) Sometimes, even digital people need a dose of the tangible. Let her doodle, make pretty lists, and live for a precious moment in the pre-digital age with this sexy chalk tablet. Who knows, it might even inspire her to make a grocery list and whip up a home-cooked dinner, just like her foremothers!

One Year of Pandora One($36, Pandora.com) Who has time to make playlists anymore? Let her skip all the tracks she wants, tune out her naysayers, and free herself from the constant deluge of ads and pitches with a twelve-month subscription to the online streaming service.

Coin. ($55, onlycoin.com) Nothing says, “I’m ahead of the game” like getting in on a pre-order. Plus, clumsy founders are always forgetting which card is for their personal expenses and which one they’re supposed to use for business. Help your favorite founder keep the IRS happy with this uber-cool solution.

Isotonic Indulgence pillows. ($59.99 for two, Bed Bath & Beyond) Ever really notice your pillows? No? You must have a job that lets you sleep! These divine pillows will do their best to lull your founder back into the dreamland she lived in when she decided to launch this venture, where all she does all day is give TED talks and respond to fan mail. Failing that, at least she can stay up all night in total neck comfort.

Julep Extraordinary Gift Box($225, julep.com) Because your she-founder is so busy doing all that founder stuff that she never has time for a manicure (though she knows VC’s will judge her if her nails don’t look just-so)! Support Seattle startup Julep and your founder with gifts that make her feel as pretty as she is smart. BONUS! It includes a glittering mini nail polish with a fabulous name.

Gift Certificate to LloydMartin(variable) Does your founder need to get away, but can never manage to take a whole weekend off? Send her to the top of Queen Anne hill – so close to the rest of Seattle, yet so far away from the worries of startup life. While head chef Sam Crannell whips up your founder a meal worth putting her phone down for, expert bartender Tyler Kingdon will make a cocktail for whatever profile suits her palate – from “exuberant like your first angel investor” to “bittersweet like acquisition.”

Complete Hub Membership($4740 for 12 months) Your founder will never have to pay for coffee again! Unlimited caffeine, fresh fruits, and friendly hosts are just part of the package at this extraordinary co-working space and community in Pioneer Square. The wi-fi is high-speed, the meeting rooms are budget-friendly, and the basement showers include towel service. The Complete membership comes with a mailbox, storage, an unlimited ORCA pass, and the occasional gingerbread house-decorating party. It’s the place to be this holiday season and the whole year to come!


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