It seems every day between Thanksgiving and the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza trifecta now has an alliterative theme, so as of now “Shop Women Leaders Wednesday” is a thing.
I’ve looked high and low, I have scoured the landscape of possible gift recommendations, and then, I just decided to tell you about the companies I love with one female in leadership and holiday offerings. In full disclosure, MergeLane is (and therefore I am) an investor in these companies, a serious admirer of the leadership team, or both. At least I think I have decent taste, and every company on this list boasts at least one female in senior leadership.
For the People Who Have Better (or more specific) Taste than You Do
I’m a huge fan of Sugarwish. In about 30 seconds, you can order a gift of sweet and savory treats for your family, friends, clients, or customers, and your recipient gets to choose exactly what she wants. Founded by Elisabeth Vezzani and Leslie Lyon, Sugarwish still holds the title of most-excitable-founding-team-ever-to-do-a-MergeLane-interview. The company now functions as the de facto client, employee and customer gift for some of the largest brands in the world. And they’re still available to YOU!
For the Person Who Has a Baby Or an RV, or Both
There’s QuickZip sheets, seriously handy zip-on sheets that amounts to killer innovation for cribs, bunk beds, or those cool flip down beds in RVs. I am told that simply with this one game-changer, parents everywhere have way more time to chill out in the evenings, drink scotch (neat), and have an entire five-minute conversation about topics other than family logistics. I know. Right?
For the Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be
Have someone on your list that’s just slightly cooler than you are? I know I do. For that person, there’s Shinesty, home to clever, outrageous clothing that makes every day a weekend. Check out their ugly sweater suit collection (and matching dresses) for the holidays, their NFL fan suits, and various other products that cater, in one way or another, to the “ball(s)” (anatomical, holiday, inaugural).
For Women Who Think Thongs Are Stupid
TomboyX makes soft, sweet, beautiful boxer briefs for women who resent that all-day feeling of a wedgie from thongs. You can pair a sweet pair of briefs designed especially for the female form with a matching bra and tee.
For that Special Someone Who Drinks Water
Yes. That’s everyone. I’m in love with my Hidrate Spark smart water bottle. It syncs with a nifty app and keeps me up to speed on my fluid intake. It’s Fitbit for hydration.
For Your Friend with the Guest Room You Hate
You know that good friend or family member who thinks it’s ok to put you up for your visits on a pull-out sofa that dates back to the 80s?Havenly can solve all that. With Havenly, you or someone in need of a little household refresh can get a designer to help them create a beautiful space in their home for one low rate starting at $79.
For the Couple Who Wants to have a Baby (or Really,
Really Doesn’t Want to)
If you know such a couple and they are practicing natural fertility (or birth control), they probably don’t like the part where they set an alarm for 6am, turn on a light, take a basal body temp, write it on a chart dating back to the 1950s and try to get back to sleep. Here’s your chance to turn them on to (yes, I went there) Kindara. Kindara is the original fertility tracking app and the only one with a connected BBT thermometer. With the Wink thermometer, you wake up for a few seconds, take your temp and head back to dreamland knowing your temp is transferred to your smart-chart in the Kindara app.
For that Person Who Makes you Feel Guilty For Loving Cheetos
I admit it. I love Cheetos. I also love sugary kids cereal (there are vitamins in there!), ice cream, and scones. But I do care about offsetting these deep affections with healthy products in my life. For that, I choose Healthiest, home to the healthiest versions of many products we use every day.
For the Family in the Bay Area Who Has Run Out of Ideas for Things to Do
Know someone who is all out of nifty distractions for their young kids? I know I do. If your friends live in the Bay Area, LittleLane is their dream gift. LittleLane is ClassPass for kids activities. Families can try new things without any commitment.
For the People Who Won’t be With You this Holiday
Holidays are tough on people who have lost a favorite person. Why not gather your family to create a virtual memory or “Mylestone” for someone you miss with Mylestoned.
All of the above.
We have talked about declaring investment themes since our launch six years ago. Today we settled on one "anti-theme": Founders who dislike authentic feedback.
Rapid-fire explanations without curiosity or engagement often feel like dressed-up defensiveness. I’m not terribly game to build a relationship with someone who feels defensive from the start.
I’ve made a decision to take a break from speaking engagements that focus topically on women, women in startups, investing in women, women as leaders, and the rest. This includes events that may not be topically focused on women but are part of something called a “women’s track.” Here's why.
It has been a great few weeks for the MergeLane fund. When people ask us what our criteria are for investments, we always talk about team as the distant number one priority. I wanted to share this recent, wonderful interchange with TomboyX after a great week for them:
How the media (and more) judges emotion in leadership differently between men and women, and the costs of those judgments.
Dennis Adsit of Adsum Insights guest blogs about turning your one-on-ones from pedestrian checklist run-throughs to opportunities for connection and growth.