Onboardly’s Favorite Things: Our 2014 Startup Gift Guide

Onboardly’s Favorite Things: Our 2014 Startup Gift Guide

I'm obsessed with Oprah's yearly list. Yes. It's true. The luxury, the opulence, the glamor of it all! I mean, who else gifts a $700 golden Beats by Dre set, or a $189 box of flowers? No one, that’s who.

Without a doubt, Oprah is in a league of her own when it comes to Christmas gifting, but the good news is that there are plenty of great holiday present options for those of us that aren’t worth $2.9 billion.

This year, we made our own list with a startup twist, inspired by some of the brilliant folks in the Onboardly office and the passionate entrepreneurs that we work with. Take a look -- you might even find a little something for yourself!

For the busy startup CEO

Forage subscription | $60/week

Running a startup is a mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging job. In order to consistently be able to perform at optimum levels, CEOs need to take good care of their health, starting with proper nutrition. But, unfortunately, planning meals, buying ingredients, and cooking it all up to make a healthy dinner takes a lot of time, which very few CEOs have to spare.

Forage, the brainchild of wife and husband duo Emily and Rob Lafave, solves that problem by delivering all the ingredients you need to cook restaurant-quality, healthful meals in 20 minutes at home. Although Forage currently only delivers to California and Nevada, we’re sure that it’s only a matter of time before this promising startup expands.

For the PR pro on the go

emPowered phone charging handbag | $119-175

Our resident PR expert, Crystal, is rarely caught without her iPhone in hand. From booking media appearances for clients, to tweeting, to fielding emails from journalists, she regularly does a number on her phone’s battery. For Crystal and all the other PR pros that are constantly on the go, we suggest gifting them an item from the emPowered collection of phone-charging handbags. These gorgeous bags have a charging source built into the lining. From tote to clutch, there are three different styles to choose from in a plethora of beautiful colors.

For the creative content crafter

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley | $11.99 (ebook)

Our Brand Journalist, Tanya McGinnity, can’t stop raving about this book! Written by Ann Handley, Everybody Writes is a content marketing handbook for the digital age. Based on the premise that writing matters now, more than ever, Handley has created a six-part guidebook that teaches you “how to write with economy and style and honest empathy for your customers.” A must-read for anyone who uses the internet for work (so pretty much everyone).

For the growth-obsessed marketer

CloudPeep social media manager | $499/month

Startup marketers are some of the hardest working people we know, and our Shanelle Mullin is no exception. These modern marketers are expected to be able to code a landing page for an ebook in the morning, analyze website traffic data in the afternoon, and create a social media strategy by dinner. For those who might have a little too much on their plate, we suggest hiring a ‘Peep’ from CloudPeeps to share the load.

Founded by Kate Kendall (The Fetch), CloudPeeps connects companies to a network of freelance social media and community managers, allowing them to outsource everything from tweets to blog posts to social strategy.

For the upbeat customer experience manager

Tribute | $49

Your customer experience manager spends theie days making everyone else happy...isn’t it time to return the favor? Billed as “the most meaningful gift on earth”, a Tribute is a video montage creation service that allows you to easily capture messages of love, support, and gratitude from colleagues, friends, and family and combine them into a one-of-a-kind gift. Tribute is currently fundraising on Kickstarter, and has some great early-bird pricing available until December 26th!

For the CFO who likes to keep the books tidy

Abacus | $5/user per month

A CFO’s least favorite pass-time: constantly having to nag people to hand in their expense reports, only to find them incomplete and illegible. A CFO’s best friend? Abacus.

Abacus is a great gift to put under their digital tree this year. Using the app, employees can quickly upload receipts on the go and submit expenses. Managers can then review and approve expenses, and reimbursement can be done immediately. Oh, and did we mention it syncs with your accounting software and corporate credit cards?

For your supportive investor

A donation to The Empowerment Plan | $100

How do you say thank you to someone who believed in you and your business enough to invest? By making a gift that supports someone else’s entrepreneurial dream in their name.

There is something truly incredible happening in Detroit. A humanitarian organization lead by twenty-something founder Veronika Scott is hiring homeless women as seamstresses to work on a very special product: coats for the homeless that turn into sleeping bags. TEP seamstresses receiving training, support, and a fair salary to help them regain their independence. For $100, you can provide someone with a warm coat and meaningful employment. Now that is value.

And a few gifts for yourself, of course!

For when you want to GSD as quickly as possible

Nymi Band | $79 (pre-order)

Welcome to the 21st century, where you can use your heart’s unique signature to do crazy things like unlocking devices. Yes, you read that right -- your heart’s signature. The future is now, people! In other words, “in a world of passwords and PIN numbers, the Nymi Band will allow you to wirelessly prove that you are you to the world around you.”

For when you’re in need of a little pampering

Bevel shaving system | $59.95 (starter kit)

Bevel is the first product to come out of Tristan Walker’s Walker & Company, a business on a mission to make health and beauty simple for people of color. This re-imagined safety razor was specifically designed to address the unique shaving needs of men of color, and if the legions of raving fans (exhibit A) are any indication, Walker & Co has knocked this first product out of the park. Whether you shave your beard or your legs, this clever product is a must have in anyone’s bathroom.

For when you want to flex your creative muscle

Brit + Co’s Brit Kits | $30/each

Brit Morin is infusing the world with beauty and color, one DIY project at a time. This year, Brit + Co launched a new product in their shop, sure to satisfy your inner artist: Brit Kits. From candle holders to painted vases and leather jewelry, these handy DIY kits come with everything you need to create beautiful pieces of your own.

What are a few of your favorite things?

Well, you’ve heard from us, now we want to hear from you! What are some of your favorite holiday gift picks for 2014? Leave us a comment below or tweet @Onboardly with your suggestions -- there are still a few more shopping days before Christmas...right?!

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo | Flickr

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