Local Gifting: Holiday Shopping Guide to Boston & Cambridge

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Reality check: there are only 2 weeks left until Christmas, and only 5 days left until Hanukkah starts. If you’re like us, the whole holiday season really snuck up on you. One day we were gorging ourselves on turkey and stuffing, and the next day trees, lights, and trimming were suddenly everywhere. While the temptation to run out, buy everyone on your list a Target gift card and call it a day is real (and hard to resist), don’t give up just yet! There’s no reason you can’t find the perfect thoughtful gift for everyone on your list right here in Boston or Cambridge (supporting local business and innovation in the process!). local shopping

  1. Zootility Tools- These MassChallenge graduates and current Workbar members make handy,lightweight “multi-tools” that can be carried with you anywhere. The Pocket Monkey has 12 functions all on one millimeter of stainless steel, and it’s TSA compliant to boot. They just released their newest tool, the Headgehog, which can be used as anything from a comb to a wrench to a chip clip. A great gift for the handy minimalist in your life.perfume to the people
  2. Perfume to the People- This Cambridge-based perfumer makes small, custom batch scents with each order, crafting beautiful perfumes and colognes that can't be found in any store. Every bottle is redolent with a unique blend of florals and spices, and comes artfully presented.  Great for picky lads and ladies with a penchant for standing out in a crowd.

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  3. ReFleece- For those on your list with environmental concerns, an item from ReFleece can’t be beat. This company takes clothing and fabric scraps from partner brands like Patagonia and Woolrich and repurposes them to make iphone, ipad, and kindle cases, as well as zipping travel pouches. Fabric that might otherwise be shredded, melted, or thrown away is given new life, and the company uses sustainable manufacturing processes to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. ReFleece is also a 2014 MassChallenge winner.litographs
  4. Litographs- These Workbar members make t-shirts, totes, and posters with eye-catching graphics, but that isn't quite what makes them special. What makes this company’s items unique is that each t-shirt or bag design is printed with text from your favorite classic books. With a wide array of titles like Moby Dick, Siddhartha, Pride & Prejudice, and even the Kama Sutra, you're sure to find the right title for your literary leaning friends.polcaris
  5. Foodie Frenzy- This suggestion doesn’t involve a specific store or company, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention all the culinary delights our city has to offer. For the foodie in your life, consider a pound or two of legendary coffee from the North End staple Polcari’s Coffee. You may also want to check out Follow the Honey, an all-honey boutique in Cambridge with a focus on fair trade “human rights” honey from around the world. They even have honey on tap, and a wide array of other products with a sweet golden twist.  Last but not least, Taza Chocolate, based out of Somerville, has stone-ground Mexican style chocolaty treats and offers tours of their factory.

If you’re just feeling generally overwhelmed by all the gifts you still have left to buy, take a deep breath, have a quick spiked eggnog, and head to this week’s Startup Stir at Workbar Cambridge. The theme is holiday shopping and eating local, and we’ll have vendors from all around the city gathered in our café to make your holiday shopping just a little easier. You can even (alert: shameless plug) pick up some Workbar gift cards and give your family and friends the gift of coffee and coworking.

Phew. Don’t you feel better now?

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About the Author: Ann Holland is a Space & Community Manager at Workbar. You may also address her as Potroast. Contact her on Twitter @SamuelEnderby  and on Instagram at @SamuelEnderby

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