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Every year, as the flurry of the gift giving season descends, I pause intentionally and search for gifts that support meaningful causes, local artisans and soulful writers. Here’s a round up of unique gift ideas from makers and companies, many of which are socially conscious and have a foundational mission of giving back.

May Designs

May Designs, which creates beautiful customizable notebooks, agendas and stationery, was started by Mica May. Many of their products are eco-friendly and made by hand. The company also believes in social engagement (100% of proceeds from their Rise School Art Collection goes towards education for those with special needs) and their initiative is to make every day moments more lovely. I ordered my 2017 planner this morning and can’t wait for it to arrive!

Gifts that Give Back, Eco-Friendly Conscious Gifts

Preemptive Love Coalition

Every gift you give helps a refugee family write a new story and reclaim their lives from the ashes of war. The offer lovely handmade candles and soaps.

Socially Conscious Gifts #socent

Thistle Farms, Global Marketplace

Thistle Farms is a powerful global community of women healing from prostitution, trafficking and addiction. They employ 59 survivors through their social enterprises: Thistle Farms Home & Body, Thistle Stop Cafe, and an Artisan Studio. Thistle Farms Global helps employ more than 1,500 women in 18 countries. They have a wonderful collection of bath and body products, apparel and accessories, home goods, and more.

Global Gift Giving, Gifts with Impact

Happy Piece

Have you seen baskets being grouped together and used as wall art? Cutest idea! What I love about hand woven Happy Piece baskets is that they’re ethically made in Rwanda and are beautiful, functional products that inspire joyful living. The company was founded by Isa Seminega who has an incredible eye for design, ensures mindful manufacturing practices, and above fair-trade pay to their weavers.

Christmas Gift Guide 2016, unique gift ideas, #socent

Socially Conscious Gifts

Anchal Project

Anchal Project is a nonprofit social enterprise that addresses the exploitation of women around the world by using design thinking to create employment opportunities, products and markets that support empowerment. They have a beautiful collection of artisan quilts & eco-friendly accessories that initiate change in our world.

Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts

Better Life Bags

My husband gave me a Better Life Bag for our anniversary. It’s delightful, well made, and I love it. You can customize every detail of your bag and your purchase will go toward empowering and employing women in Detroit, MI.

Bags that Give Back

Cozy Winter Cabin Christmas Cards

I made this cozy little Christmas card printable this week. They’ll look really cute paired with brown craft envelopes and delivered to your loved ones this Christmas. 10% of each printable file sold will go to support children through Compassion International.

Printable Woodland Christmas Card


Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes your Soul
by Hannah Anderson
I heard Hannah share about her new book on a friend’s podcast and knew this read would make it on my Christmas list. The book is a journey of “pursuing a life of peace and humility and fighting back a sense of restlessness and anxiety”.

Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World
by Emily P. Freeman
This is a book I’ll read time and time again. “Our obsession with bigger and faster is spinning us out of control. We move through the week breathless and bustling, just trying to keep up while longing to slow down. But real life happens in the small moments, the kind we find on Tuesday, the most ordinary day of the week.”

Comfort Detox: Finding Freedom from the Habits that Bind You
by Erin Straza
Ever since Erin gave me a sneak peek of the first chapter of her book I’ve been waiting to finish it. “For too long I have lived life on comfort mode, making choices for life engagement based on safety, ease, and convenience. It has left me very little wiggle room, just a small parcel of real estate upon which to live, move, and have my being. It’s not quite the abundant life Jesus was offering.”

Gift Guide 2016 Books

Local Lovelies

Wool & Honey Yarn and Fiber
Couldn’t be more proud of my friend, Liz, who owns the cutest yarn shop in Cedar, MI with her sister. Know what I love even more than the yarn they offer? They’ve formed a meaningful community around knitting throughout Leelanau County and the globe.

Nourishing by Nature
Stephanie’s soap is out-of-this-world wonderful and all natural. After one day of using her soap my dry winter skin was smooth and soft.

Two if By Sea Studios
Brittany Zeller-Holland is one of my favorite Michigan-based artists and I’m always in awe of the wide variety of her talent. I love watching as she transform her designs into home goods, gift wrap, rugs, stationery and more.

Shop Local Gift Guide, Small Business Saturday, Give Back

Over to you!

Have a favorite socially conscious company, local artist or author you’d love to share? I’m still making out my gift lists so please mention them in the comments below. I’d love to add to this growing list of products that and give back and support makers!

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