So, You Waited 'Til the Last Minute? 15 Great Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Entrepreneur.
Thanks, internet, for offering up these companies' innovative products, passionate founders and ethical missions!
There’s nothing like finding the perfect holiday present. As a tech entrepreneur and investor on Dragons’ Den, I've been lucky enough to work with some of the most innovative ecommerce companies around. Every day, it seems, I learn about a new product that someone on my list would love.
That's why I can’t keep these amazing products all to myself! So, I’m sharing my personal picks for the holiday season. These last-minute gift ideas are unique, stylish, and offered by awesome online companies -- which means they’re just a click away. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. The gift: A MasterClass All-Access
Pass Price: $180
Why I love it: Who wouldn’t want to learn cooking from Gordon Ramsay, basketball from Stephen Curry or acting from Samuel L. Jackson? A MasterClass All-Access Pass will give your loved one access to amazing classes from top minds in pretty much every field -- business, the arts, sports and more. I think curiosity is a critical trait of an entrepreneur, and this is the perfect gift for someone who wants to foster his or her learning. There’s literally a course for everyone.
2. The gift: Caavo Control Centre Universal Remote
Why I love it: We’ve all seen how gadgets, game stations and cable boxes can clutter up a living room. Caavo centralizes an entertainment system with a “control center” -- one easy place to plug in all of your systems, and a single remote to turn each of them on and off. Caavo even works with Google Voice and Amazon Alexa, so you can access all systems completely hands-free. This gift would be a true game changer (excuse the pun!) for the busy family or TV lover on your list.
3. The gift: Lucky Iron Fish
Why I love it: As a busy entrepreneur, staying healthy while on the go is a big challenge for me. That’s why I invested in Lucky Iron Fish when I saw it pitched on Dragon’s Den. The small fish is a safe and easy way to add iron to your meal -- all you have to do is drop it in a boiling liquid as you cook (water, soup broth, sauce, a curry, etc.). It also lasts for five years, making it a far better investment than one-time iron supplements.
My vegetarian friends swear by this product, but it’s also great for athletes, pregnant women or anyone who struggles with anemia. Best of all, the company makes a huge social impact: Thanks to its “buy one, give one” model, over 45,000 Lucky Iron Fish have been donated to people in need. What more could you ask for?
4. The gift: Anything from iHeartDogs.com
Why I love it: iHeartDogs.com is my go-to spot to get gifts for dogs and dog lovers alike. Products for dogs include leashes, toys, treats ...oh, and some snazzy apparel for those dogs' humans, of course! Plus, when you shop at iHeartDogs, the company makes a donation that supports great causes for animals and people (check out its amazing social impact here).
5. The gift: A perfect smile from Candid Co
Why I love it: A nice smile goes a long way for someone’s confidence. If your loved one has been complaining about his or her pearly whites, take the hint and check out Candid Co. Its technology provides custom-designed, orthodontist-supported teeth alignment -- using attractive, clear aligners delivered straight to your door. If you have a teenager who isn’t keen on braces, or a spouse who is desperate to straighten out a crooked tooth, this could be the ultimate holiday gift.
6. The gift: Stylish temporary tattoos from Inkbox Price
Price: from $14
Why I love it: I love playing with different looks, so I was excited to invest in Inkbox after meeting its founders on Dragon’s Den. The company offers high-quality, real-looking tattoos (I’ve fooled a lot of people!) that last for eight to 18 days, so you can get the benefits of a tattooed look without committing to the ink. It’s a great way to test out whether you like a tattoo before deciding on something permanent; it's also a great way to mix up your look for different occasions and moods. If you’re looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for the commitment-phobic or tattoo lover on your list, Inkbox is a great fit.
7. The gift: The ultimate health booster from Athletic Greens
Price: from $77
Why I love it: Now that we’ve talked about healthy living for puppies, let’s talk about boosting the health of the humans on your gift list. I love Athletic Greens because it combines ingredients that influence almost every aspect of your health -- no more need for a cocktail of supplements and vitamins; it's all there in this trusted powder formula. I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to health products, but this is one I personally use and would definitely suggest, especially for busy folks looking to improve their health game.
8. The gift: An adventure in a box from Hunt
Price: from $34
Why I love it: Hunt A Killer is the ultimate subscription box for mystery lovers. I met these people early in their company’s history when my company Clearbanc funded their marketing initiatives. Every month, they send subscribers a thrilling murder to solve. The monthly strategy games all tie together and create an exciting narrative, so your recipient will always be excited for that next box. As one reviewer stated, “If you love to read about or watch shows with serial killers and true crime, then this is your thing."
9. The gift: Printed pants from TheElephantPants.com
Why I love it: This gift combines two of my favorite things: stylish clothes and elephant welfare. When you buy a pair of colorful and unique pants from The Elephantpants, the company gives back to grassroots organizations that help save and support these gentle giants. Currently, $1 from each item sold is donated to “Space For Giants,” an organization that helps secure habitats and prevent poaching in Africa. And yes, the pants are absolutely as comfortable as they look online!
10. The gift: High-quality sports reporting from The Athletic
Price: From $3.99 per month
Why I love it: If you think the quality of sports articles has been going down, it might be because so many high quality sports writers have left traditional outlets and are working for The Athletic. This subscription app is dedicated to great athletic journalism, and it provides a great experience for readers from end-to-end: It has a clean interface, a spirited comment section and custom article selections based on your team preferences. As a big sports fan myself (go, Raptors!), I can’t imagine reading about last night’s game any other way. Trust me, the sports lover in your life would be super-excited to get a subscription.
11. The gift: A “winesulator,” “hopsulator” or flask from Brumate
Price: from $19.99
Why I love it: Brumate offers “insulators” that keep wine, beer and spirits cold for long periods of time. I don’t know about you, but the guarantee that my Sauvignon blanc will stay cold for holiday parties sounds like a pretty incredible gift! The modern, sleek design of Brumate products makes them a great addition to any home bar. If someone on your list likes his or her beverages cold, Brumate is the perfect fit.
12. The gift: A Bokksu subscription
Price: from $25
Why I love it: One of my favorite parts of travel is sampling the local cuisine. If that sounds like someone on your list, look no further than Bokksu: The company sends sends authentic, gourmet Japanese snacks straight to subscribers’ doors each month. The company even includes a tea pairing specifically designed to complement each delivery! This subscription would be perfect gift for the foodie in your life.
13. The gift: A Watch Gang subscription
Price: from $25 per month
Why I love it: If you plan on buying a nice watch for a special someone this year, Watch Gang can will make your dollar go way, way further. The company sends a stylish watch from a top brand to subscribers every month, matching unsold inventory from top brands with your loved one's style preferences. There are plenty of watch collectors in my family, so this company definitely caught my eye this holiday season.
14. The gift: Aesthetic Revolution (ASRV) athletic wear
Why I love it: As someone who enjoys an active lifestyle, I have learned (often the hard way!) that good quality equipment and clothing make a huge difference in the gym. Currently, my current favorite brand for high-quality athletic wear is Aesthetic Revolution. Its products have tons of tech-friendly features, from joggers with heat-sealed pockets for your phone to durable jackets with hidden zippers. This company is dedicated to innovative design and thorough testing, and those things really show when you wear its products. These products are definitely at the top of my list for anyone who enjoys running, sports or any other physical activity.
15. The gift: A Treadly portable treadmill
Why I love it: One of the biggest down sides of owning a treadmill is how much space it can take up in the home, which is why I absolutely love Treadly. Its patent-pending workout solution folds up and rolls around easily, which means you can store it almost anywhere and use it wherever there is floor space available. With my Treadly, I can work out in front of my living room TV in the office, and in my bedroom -- all in one day. I have yet to see a more convenient workout solution, which is why I had to include this product in this guide.
The holiday season is a particularly busy (and fun!) time to run an online business. As an investor and business owner focused on ecommerce, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to cheer on some of my favorite new businesses.
As you finish your own holiday list, consider the companies I’ve listed above. When you can support a company with an ethical mission, unique product and passionate founder, everyone wins -- especially your recipient!
Michele Romanow is a serial entrepreneur, investor and co-founder at Clearbanc.com. She is also a star on the TV show Dragons' Den and sits on the board of Vail Resorts, Freshii and SHAD Valley International.