Bennd and Friends Holiday Gift Guide~ Gifts Curated With Intention.
2020 has been a doozy, to say the least, and with multiple shutdowns continuously affecting our economy, small businesses have really taken a hit. So we wanted to highlight some of our favorite small businesses for you to shop this holiday season! These brands and founders inspire us to live up to our highest potential. Throughout this gift guide, you will find brands that are women-owned, eco-friendly, full of intention, and creating with purpose for the greater good of humankind. Categories that range from crystals to superfoods to art, you will be sure to find something meaningful to gift your loved ones, plus you are also helping support a small business which always feels nice, we all know Amazon has made enough money this year! Here we go:
Whether they’ve been meditating for years, or starting a meditation practice is their 2021 New Year's Intention, we’ve got the tools for them!
1.) The How App~ A love letter to your mind, body, and soul, Miki Ash has created the most powerful app to encourage you to take time for yourself daily. From 5-minute morning affirmations to a 20-min booty burn, she’s got you covered! Her voice is soothing, encouraging, and full of love. Our daily favorites are the Boss Babe Affirmations and Evening Ritual Meditations. You can purchase a monthly or yearly subscription here. We’d definitely recommend purchasing the yearly though, we promise you won’t want to live a day without it!
2.) Bennd Meditation Collection~ Meditation pillows designed to fully support your body. The collection includes a meditation cushion, a pranayama pillow, and a yoga bolster. Handloomed with 100% ethically sourced raw cotton that is medicinally dyed with plants and infused with our unique formula consisting of 22 different Ayurvedic herbs and medicines. Each pillow is filled with organic buckwheat hulls and organic lavender. Our favorite part? You can add up to 3 mindful intentions/mantras of your choosing to be stuffed into the fill, really fulfilling your meditations with purpose.
3.) The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck~ We love pulling cards at the start of our day to help guide us to live up to our highest potential. Not only is this deck beautifully hand-drawn with powerful animal archetypes, but each animal in the deck also helps illuminate our contradictions, our complex natures as beings, and the endless mystery of who we are. What's your spirit animal?
Crystals aren’t just for meditating anymore. These three functional and beautiful crystal brands will put a smile on any crystal lover's face.
1.) Energy Allure Crystals~ Our go-to shop for the most alluring, gorgeous crystals you ever laid eyes on. Their unique mix of combination crystals including gems like spessartine garnet on smokey quartz and Rutile in Quartz with Lodolite will be sure to bring your crystal game to the next level.
2.) Crystals for Humanity~ Transform your water, wine, and everything in between by restructuring your liquids with the natural vibrations of crystals. Their gemstone water bottles and reusable straws are a must-have to increase your daily water intake in the most high vibe fashion. And for the wine enthusiast in your life their stunningly beautiful, hand-blown, glass Decanter is out of this universe!
3.) Astara~ An innovative women's footwear brand created with the vision that shoes should be both functional and purposeful. These stunning, fashionable shoes connect you to the balancing pulse of the earth, which is often blocked from urban living and the conventional rubber soles. Their shoes are handcrafted by artisans using vegetable-tanned Italian leather and sustainably sourced genuine gemstones that instantly connect you to the planet, to the collective—and yourself.
For the high vibe readers in your life, these must-read books have helped us get through 2020 with a positive mindset raising our awareness of self-discovery and intention.
1.) Vibrate Higher Daily by Lalah Delia~ Invites her readers to “step into their power” and embrace vibrational-based living. She teaches you how to become aware of the vibrations—energy, life force, frequency—that run through all things by intentionally showing you how to engage with the things that feed your soul and raise your vibration and to simultaneously let go of the things bringing your energy down. You'll be so energetically strong after this read, 2020 will just be a distant memory.
2.) Crystal Rx~ our go-to crystal encyclopedia by our favorite Crystal Goddess, Colleen McCann~ Tap into your "Soul GPS" with this essential guide to the healing power of crystals. Colleen teaches you how crystals work, what to use them for, and makes crystal healing super accessible for the novice and curious crystal seekers. Plus, she’s one of our favorite humans out in this crazy universe and offers other healing practices which include things like closet cleansing, intuitive crystal sessions, and more.
3.) Chakras and Self Care by Ambi Kavanagh~ Curious about the chakra system and how it affects our bodies? Ambi helps you activate the healing powers of the seven main chakra points with everyday rituals including a series of meditative exercises that will not only activate but balance each one. Pair these practices with our Special Edition Chakra Mat and your chakras will be aligned AF.
For the Yogi’s, the meditators, or those who want esthetically pleasing, medicinal rugs throughout their home. Bennd Ayurvedic Yoga Mats is the gift to give this season!
1.) Single Harda Ayurvedic Yoga Mat~ Anti-inflammatory in nature, this neutral and grounding yoga mat is one of our best sellers! It looks great in any room and is excellent for promoting good digestive health, memory retention, and focus ability.
2.) Harda and Madder Root Ayurvedic Yoga Mat~ For a soft pop of color the Madder Root and Harda yoga mat is pure natural beauty. Also anti-inflammatory in nature, this mat offers all of the benefits of the Harda herb along with Madder Root which assists lymphatic detox, blood purification, and supports reproductive health.
3.) The Special Edition Chakra Ayurvedic Yoga Mat~ Listed as one of Fobes best eco-friendly travel gifts this holiday season, we promise you this yoga mat does not disappoint! It’s so energetically powerful and will up the ante for any yoga practice. Did we forget to mention, it will brighten your day just by looking at it.
For those who can’t live without their superfoods, adaptogens, and eco-conscious chefs, these three brands make for excellent gifts for the foodies or bakers in your life.
1.) Philosophie~ Yogi, mother, healer, and superfood goddess Sophie Jaffe’s superfood company Philosophie is vegan, raw, gluten-free, and has zero filler ingredients. The Superfood Coffee Bundle is our fav and includes Cacao Magic, Cacao Bee Honey, and Coconut Magic Coconut Butter. It seriously makes for the best damn coffee ever, period! It is a must-have every morning over here at the Bennd headquarters. A healthy coffee addition that tastes like chocolate and gives you sustainable energy all day long. Yes, please! We also want to mention that their Fall Vibes: Pumpkin Pie Superfood Blend is full of festive spices including ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice + it’s packed with Ashwagada and Tocos, perfect for creating all your holiday treats! So basically, what we’re saying is just buy and gift all their superfoods and/or keep them for yourself, they are that good!
2.) Sun Potion~ Transformational Foods dedicated to health, happiness, and well-being through the use of medicinal plants, superfoods, and tonic herbs. You had us at ‘transformational’. These adaptogens we cannot live without. We use them every day in our coffee, tea, and even took them across the world throughout our travels to India, the land of adaptogenic health. From their Yin Powder, a special adaptogenic blend to help harness and nourish feminine energy; to their He Shou Wu, which helps enhance immune function, tonify and nourish the blood, hair, skin, nervous system, and sexual center- we’ve tried just about their entire line and love them all! There is definitely something for everyone on your list. They also offer great sets and bundles which make for perfect stocking stuffers.
3.) Stella Falone Cutting Boards~ Established by Bob Taylor, the co-founder of Taylor Guitars, an acoustic guitar manufacturer who prides itself on reforesting and sustainable practices. Bob believes that every piece of wood has a purpose, so much so that he has designed the most gorgeous cutting boards made from orphaned wood-- the leftover wood that cannot be used for the fingerboards on guitars and violins. These cutting boards will make any charcuterie plate look effortless and delicious!
For the fellow artist, art collectors, or those who just like beautiful things, we’ve gathered our top three favorite artists that will be sure to catch your eye and bring life to any space.
1.) Fanny Penny~ Artist, designer, and lover of nature Fanny Penny has been creating beautiful pieces from the day she was born. Her current collection is a personal journey of discovery through the repetitive process of creating the same shape over and over again and bringing the pieces together to form and complete the thought. The result is a beautiful balance of what the mind needs to express and what the eye perceives as beautiful. The sculptural chains feel amazing in your hands and make beautiful sounds as their texture creates a truly elevating experience for your senses.
2.) Nancy Rosen~ A dedicated painter, gifted teacher, and mentor, Nancy has dedicated her life to painting. Her unique use of mixed media and surfaces feature infinite detail, layers, textures, and colors. Her ‘Yoga Series’ was the inspiration behind the double nn in Bennd’s logo, so we, of course, have a special affinity for her work. Did we forget to mention she is the artist behind 'Frankie' from the hit Netflix show 'Grace and Frankie'? We don’t think you can get cooler than that!
3.) Natalie Osborne~ Original paintings inspired by graffiti, art history, and fashion. Natalie looks for pictures of inspiring interiors and makes paintings that could compliment the space. She is determined to turn every interior into an ‘Art World’. Her bold use of color and shapes have captured the likes of Architectural Digest, Brad Walsh & Christian Siriano. We are obsessed with her paintings and can’t wait to see what her next move is. We hear sculptures are in the making!
No gift list is complete without a section dedicated to clothing and accessory designers. This is what we’ve been living in pretty much since March. Although mentally we're dying to throw on our favorite party dress and stilettos, we can’t help but wish that maybe we'll never go back to structured or tight fitting clothing.
1.) Rachel Pally~ Dressing women of all shapes, sizes, and stages of life. Whether you are gifting your girlfriend, wife, or mother, Rachel has a knack for effortlessly making you feel beautiful and empowered. A brand close to our heart, Rachel reduces as much fabric waste as possible by re-using favorite fabrics and prints, buying deadstock fabrics, and donating leftover scraps and trims to schools to be used for crafts and costumes!
2.) Mate The Label~ A clean essentials brand that is made with non-toxic, natural, and organic materials that are easy on your skin and the environment. What’s not to love about that? They’ve brought a whole new meaning to the words ‘jogging pants’ and quite frankly we don’t want to ever take them off and neither will you.
3.) Made By Minga~ A woman-ran accessories brand that partners with highly-skilled, multigenerational artisan groups in Ecuador to create bags, hats, and accessories that use all-natural materials and are 100% made by hand. Between their beautifully crafted hats and handbags, you can’t go wrong with a gift here. Their natural, earthy colors will match pretty much anything you have on. Also, their vegetable tanned leather wallets are a perfect size for your boyfriend’s back pocket or your sister's beloved fanny pack!
Ok, last but certainly not least, we want to highlight three of our favorite boutiques that are filled with gifts made by local artisans, designers, and non-toxic products.
1.) The Midland Shop~ A women-owned boutique that specializes in supporting local artisans and makers, sustainably sourced brands, and beautifully handmade products. This is our go-to boutique for unique one-of-a-kind gifts for adults and kids! They carry a variety of products that range from coffee table books to home goods, to clothing and accessories. Plus we are so grateful that they carry Bennd and brought us in to be a part of their awesome community!
2.) Shop Good~ Founder Leah Kirpalani has made an abundant life and vibrant health possible with her beautiful one-stop-shop for clean non-toxic living and beauty products. You can find everything here from adaptogens to hair care products to a non-toxic red lipstick. Perfect gifts for the beauty junkie in your life or those who love living a clean, holistic lifestyle. We love finding Shop Good gift cards in our stockings every year, it's the best!
3.) Cattywampus Crafts~ Ojai, California is quite possibly one of our favorite places in the world. Filled with artists and local boutiques, we fall in love every time we are there. One place that continues to stand out is Cattywampus crafts. They source goods made using all-natural materials and sustainable practices. In the shop, you will find vintage curiosities, vinyl records, clothes, jewelry, books, ceramics, stationery, yarn, fabric, sewing supplies, and so much more. Their yarn selection is heavenly and perfect for the novice and experienced knitter.
So there you have it, all of our friends in one place! Please remember when you purchase from these small businesses your contribution goes such a long way! You are supporting an artist, a family, and a friend. You are supporting businesses that are mindful in their creative process and put their heart and souls into creating pieces that you will love and treasure forever. These are not huge corporations that do not know their employees or are manufacturing items wastefully by the millions. These are businesses that go the extra mile to make an impact on the environment, your health or are helping contribute to their local community. We thank you and are so grateful for your support!
Wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday!
In love and Light,
Heather Parkin~ Founder of Bennd