Unique Gifts For Entrepreneurs
I adore unique gifts. I especially enjoy gifts that appeal to my entrepreneurial sensibilities. But… I’m also a minimalist and I try not to fill my life with too many things.
I share the list below, not as a collective list of things I own, but as a list of items that you or the entrepreneur in your life might enjoy.
Each section of gift ideas is ordered by price (lowest to highest). I’ve also added notes for each item and some items have an affiliate link where I’d make a small commission if you make a purchase. At the bottom of the list, you’ll also find options for the minimalist in your life who may not want a physical gift.
And now, the unique gifts for entrepreneurs!
Field Notes Notebook – $9ish
Every entrepreneur needs notebooks. We all have so many hair-brained ideas! I love, and own, a bunch of Field Notes notebooks in various sizes. These are perfect stocking stuffers.
Ugmonk Mouse Pad – $36
I love how my leather mouse pad from Ugmonk has aged over time. I don’t worry about spilling coffee or putting cans of LaCroix on it. The craftsmanship on this thing is fantastic, and you should expect nothing less from products created and sold by Jeff from Ugmonk. Photo credit: Ugmonk.
Walnut Pen Cup – $39
Speaking of craftsmanship, you can’t go wrong with anything made by the folks at Grovemade. This simple pen cup is a beautiful way to organize pens and other straggling desk items. Also available in maple. Photo credit: Grovemade.
Liberty Puzzles – $39 to $100
My friend Matt told me about these puzzles. I didn’t consider myself a big “puzzler” but once I saw the unique shapes of the puzzles pieces (look closely!) I scooped one up. Safe to say, Liberty Puzzles are one of the most unique gifts out there, especially if you have them make a custom puzzle based on your own photo. Be warned: These puzzles are difficult!
Studioneat Dock – $45 (pictured) or $70
When Tom and Dan from StudioNeat announced this dock, I purchased the iPhone version ($45) immediately. It’s kind of like a home for your iPhone, where it can stay warm (charged) and be in a permanent state of reclined relaxation for your viewing pleasure.
When I heard the Kickstarter for this coffee table book was happening, I was elated. The book is full of some of the best crowdsourced photography in the world, and you get it for just $60 with some fun stories from the photographers. Photo credit: Unsplash.
Dodecal Wooden Desk Calendar – $100 (£79)
Look at this sexy beast! I stumbled across this fun “desk calendar” on Instagram. So fun. So cool. A great alternative to a standard paper calendar that lays on your desk (or hangs on your wall).
Action Journal/Notebook – $10-20
Yes, yet another notebook/journal. Where the Action Journal products are different from standard journals is they give you a format for taking notes and then taking action on those notes. Now all those hair-brained ideas can actually turn into real businesses! Photo credit: Dave Emmitt.
Hourglasses 30/5 Minute – $25
I wanted a productivity tool I could hold in my hands that wasn’t an app on my phone or computer (let’s face it, productivity doesn’t happen online). These hourglasses are super affordable, look great, and help get things done. Photo credit: Amazon.
Kindle Paperwhite – $100
Reading books has definitely made me a more productive person. Having all of my books stored in a device that fits in my back pocket is hard to beat. There are multiple versions of the Kindle, just get this one. I’ve done the research for you.
The Obstacle is the Way – $10-$15
This is the book I recommend the most. To anyone. Ryan Holiday’s writing will help you reframe the way you look at the tough moments in your life or business. A must read for entrepreneurs.
Rework – $12-$15
I’ve read Rework more than any book I own. It’s the best business book I’ve ever read. I go back to it constantly for inspiration and real-talk about running a business.
The Crossroads of Should and Must – $9-$10
Elle Luna’s book was born out of a popular article she shared a few years ago. Not only is the book full of great content to read, it’s also full of beautiful artwork too.
Essentialism – $12-$15
The last of the nonfiction recommendations. Essentialism is a principle that can be applied to life and business. Read this book or buy it for an entrepreneur, you won’t be disappointed.
The Circle – $10-$20
One of two fiction books I couldn’t put down in the past few years. The Circle is coming out as a major motion picture in 2017 starring Tom Hanks and lots of other important actors. Read the book though, it’s really good and eye-opening.
Dark Matter – $12-17
Many of you reading this list may have heard of Blake Crouch or his first successful book Wayward Pines. I hadn’t. I started my Crouch author experience with Dark Matter and am happy I did. A fun read with a few good twists and turns.
Offscreen Magazine – $20 per month
I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews of the quality and craftsmanship of Offscreen magazine. Support the good folks behind Offscreen and share the gift of unique entrepreneurial stories.
Gifts for the Audiophile
If you or an entrepreneur in your life needs to record audio for interviews, a podcast, or other things they want to create, this $80 lavalier (lav) microphone is a steal. It’s the best microphone to start with if you want great audio for an affordable price. Photo credit: Vimeo.com.
Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones – $80-90
These are my earbuds of choice. I’ve tried over 20 different earbuds and they all were terribly uncomfortable and sounded mediocre. The SoundSport’s fit amazingly well and never fall out due to the in-ear design. Photo credit: CNET.com.
Amazon Echo Speaker – $180
You’ve probably heard about this thing. In three words: It is great. The Echo has the speaker quality of any small portable-ish speaker (it is wired) and is loud enough for a small office or living room. Alexa, much like Apple’s Siri, does a decent job with her voice activated robot duties. The Amazon Echo Dot is the smaller option, but know that it needs to be paired with another speaker to have quality sound. Photo credit: TheVerge.com.
Stepping up from earbuds, if you’re looking for the best bang for your buck when it comes to noise canceling headphones, Bose has you covered. For the frequent traveler, these are a must. Photo credit: CNET.com.
Walnut Desk Speakers – $599
If you looked at the photo of these, you know why they’re on the list. Another amazingly stunning product from the folks at Grovemade. Yes these are pricey, but you’d never have to buy another set of desk speakers again. These are available in maple as well. Photo credit: Grovemade.
Video Related Gifts
Minimalism Film – $15
I started this list off with a note about minimalism. Minimalism has truly changed my life. I’ve become a happier person and have been able to shed so many unnecessary things (both physical and mental). Find your own flavor of minimalism after watching this film or gifting it.
Google Chromecast – $35
This is a great alternative to the item next on the list. If you want a simple way to watch things on your TV from your laptop, or get access to certain apps directly on your TV, you can’t go wrong with this affordable little gadget from Google. Photo credit: Gizmodo.com.
Apple TV – $149 (and up)
The 4th generation of Apple TV is fantastic. I’ve owned each iteration, and the newest version is a huge step up in experience and usability. I find Siri to be worthless on my phone, iPad, or laptop, but essential with Apple TV. I’ve completely replaced my cable subscription thanks to all the apps available on Apple TV. Photo credit: Tested YouTube Channel.
Foot Cardigan Sock Subscription – $9/month (and up)
Most people own boring socks. Why? Step up your sock game, and do it with some pizzazz. Plus, with a name like Foot Cardigan, they can’t be wrong about their choices for your feet.
Any T-Shirt from Cotton Bureau – $25ish
This is my go-to for new t-shirts. I have a rotation of 8-12 t-shirts and when I wear through one, I order something new and support an artist on Cotton Bureau.
Any T-Shirt from Ugmonk – $28ish
You can’t go wrong with any of the t-shirts from Ugmonk. They’re all meticulously well-designed, printed with eco-friendly ink, and the shirts used are high quality. My three favorites are: Mountains, Less, and Plus Minus. Photo credit: Ugmonk.
Chunky Wool Beanie – $28
Every entrepreneur (and hipster) needs a good beanie. Everlane makes fantastic products at super reasonable prices. Your head (or a friend/family member’s) will thank you for buying this. Available in gray and black.
Waxed Canvas Dopp Kit – $50
Years ago I searched for a waxed canvas dopp kit. I ended up buying one on ebay from Japan. Now, you can find them everywhere. A great catch-all for miscellaneous desk items, travel accessories, or bathroom goodies. Photo credit: Etsy.
Everlane Twill Backpack – $68
Everlane is back on the list with this sleek and simple backpack. As much as I love Jansport, we all have to grow up sometime. Everlane has a bunch of other backpacks to choose from. The entrepreneur in your life will also appreciate Everlane’s transparent business philosophy (look at the bottom of any product description on their website). Photo credit: Everlane.
I’m a sucker for a nice duffle bag (hence why there are two in this list). Herschel makes quality products at spot-on prices. This style of duffle from Herschel comes in 30+ styles! You’ll be happen with any product from Herschel. Photo credit: Rushfaster.com.
Ugmonk Messenger Bag – $235
This is a great option if you want to graduate from a backpack to an “adult bag.” Since everything from Ugmonk is meticulously well-crafted, this bag will last a lifetime (And then some). Photo credit: Ugmonk.
Minaal Carry-On Bag – $299 – FAVORITE PRODUCT ALERT!
If you forced me to pick ONE item on this entire list of gifts, I would pick the Minaal Carry-On. It wins, hands-down, the best travel bag I’ve ever owned. It’s extremely versatile and the perfect size bag for people who travel lightly. Photo credit: Minaal.
I treated myself to this leather duffle a few years ago after working with Blue Claw on a project. I had always wanted to own a really nice leather duffle bag that would never need to be replaced. This is that bag. It’s a bit more expensive, but you’ll never need to buy another one as long as you, your kids, and your grandkids live (if Skynet doesn’t take over, obviously).
Everyday Carry Gift Items
Carabiner Cap Lifter – $10
Hello stocking stuffer! Simple. TSA friendly. A great little tool at a fantastic price.
Pocket Tripod – Starts at $19
I recently pre-ordered this compact tripod. I haven’t received it yet, but the idea of it alone was worth sharing on this list. If it lives up to half its potential, it’s well worth it’s weight in rose gold. Available for iPhone and Android devices. Photo credit: Pocket Tripod.
Peel iPhone Case – $25
The best minimal case you can nestle your phone into. The guys from Need/Want make great products, and the Peel case lives up to their high standards. Available for most iPhones and some iPads. You can get 20% OFF if you click this link. Photo credit: Peel Lookbook.
Tile Mate – Starts at $25
Luckily, I’m not someone who misplaces things (call it OCD, fine, but I don’t lose stuff, ever). If you or someone you know is frequent losing their keys or just wants a way to keep track of important items, the Tile Mate is a great gift. Photo credit: Digital Trends.
I’m on my second slide wallet from Stitch & Locke. The first one lasted two years of pretty hard usage. As far as slim wallets go, this is my favorite. Come to think of it, I should just buy a few more to have on hand when I wear through the next one.
Black Oxide Keyring – $39
Taking the keyring from flimsy and boring to high quality and cool. Not only does it look great, but it also doubles as a bottle opener. Available in other colors and finishes. Photo credit: Grovemade.
Coffee Gifts (because, coffee)
Bluebottle Coffee Subscription – Starts at $19/month
I’ve had a Bluebottle coffee subscription for nearly two years. Every couple weeks I get fresh coffee in the mail, and it’s glorious. Plus, you can buy this as a gift for someone if you end up trying it for yourself.
Chemex Leather Collar – $34
Ugmonk is on the list for the final time. I never enjoyed the bamboo collar that comes with the Chemex. I love the simplicity of this leather collar, plus it looks more rustic and weathered as you use it. The leather collar comes in natural, brown, and black leather. Photo credit: Ugmonk.
Stagg Pour Over Kettle – $69ish
The sexiest kettle you’ll ever find. In matte black and chrome, this thing is simply the most beautiful way to pour hot water over coffee grounds. Photo credit: Frontsf.com.
Chemex Starter Kit – $150
Whether you or someone you know wants to elevate their coffee game without breaking the bank, this is your one-stop-shop item. This is the perfect starter kit for drinking better coffee. Photo credit: La Colombe.
Oxo Burr Grinder – $195
Speaking of better coffee, grind your beans yourself people (and do it right before you make your coffee). Yes, this grinder isn’t cheap, but it has a built-in scale and grinds your beans to absolute perfection. Photo credit: Oxo.
Donate to their favorite charity or cause!
Everyone has a favorite charity or non-profit. Make a donation in their name and wrap a note about the donation.
And that wraps it up! Hope you’ve enjoyed this gift guide for entrepreneurs.