Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears Present

The Boss of You

It's a book. It's a blog. It's a guide to running a business your way.

The Boss Lady Holiday Gift Guide

December 10th, 2007 by Lauren · No Comments


L-R: BYOB Cheeky bag; Superhero Champagne necklace; Poise Hip Professor Messenger Bag.

The holidays are fast approaching, and it struck us that this is the perfect time to share the names of some of the amazing businesswomen who have contributed their hard-won wisdom to our forthcoming book — and to encourage you to support women-owned businesses when you’re doing your holiday shopping.

Most of the businesses below are featured in The Boss of You (which, by the way, is now available for pre-order on Amazon, for the keeners amongst you). Those that aren’t are marked with an asterisk (*); we’ve included them here because we just love ‘em so darn much.

[There’s lots more to follow — click the “Continue Reading” link for the full post!]


Whether you’re motivated by saving the planet or just the sheer unsightliness of the plastic bags taking over the cupboard under your kitchen sink, Bring Your Own Bag (or BYOB for short) makes earth-friendly, reusable cloth bags that are absolutely gorgeous. Available in conventional and organic cotton. We each have one and they’re the first ones we grab when we’re going shopping — they’re lightweight enough to fold up neatly, but sturdy enough to carry a hefty load of groceries. Plus, they look damn cute.

Poise bags are lovingly handcrafted and beautifully made. I’m scoping out the Hip Professor Messenger Bag, but designer Cinnamon Cooper makes colourful totes and girlie purses, too.

Andrea Scher makes beautiful, colorful jewelry that beg to be worn, under the label Superhero Designs*. She uses a mix of vintage and contemporary Czech, Indian and Austrian glass and plastic beads to make fabulous necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Each is a unique creation that is rumoured to bring adventure into your life.

Accessorize, Part 2

Clockwise from top left: Sparklecraft guitar strap; Rose Flash scarvette; BYOB Adrian McInnes Artist Series bag; Rose Flash crocheted flower brooches.

Montreal-based Rose Flash makes fun and fanciful jewelry and accessories out of recycled materials. My favourites are the crocheted flowers with recycled button centres.

Give your favourite guitar player a gift with style and substance: A guitar strap from Sparkle Craft.

Clothing and Textiles

Smoking Lily

L-R: Rowan Dowan; Wool Overthing (both from Smoking Lily).

Smoking Lily was doing screenprinting before just about anyone else in this part of the world, and they are still leading the pack with innovative designs and prints that manage to stand out, even in a sea of screen-printed goods. Their clothing is beautifully made (and what Buffy fan can resist a dress called “Willow at the Bronze”?), and their accessories rock. Buy your friends gorgeous dish towels, stunning silk tea cozies, or even luggage tags.

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle

Reduce, reuse, recycle

L-R: Superfantastico Recyclopedia stationery; RePlayGround Mini Journals.

RePlayGround makes fun gifts out of recycled materials — perfect for the environmentally-conscious folks in your life. I’m a fan of the food box journals, note pads, and post cards.

Superfantastico* is a project of You Grow Girl founder Gayla Trail, who makes all sorts of wonderful things, ncluding stationery made from old books; clothing; buttons; and of course, the You Grow Girl calendar.

Wee Ones

Giddy Giddy and Kukunest

Top: Giddy Giddy felt hairclips. Bottom: Kukunest kids’ bedding.

The multi-talented Teri Dimalanta, not content to be both a mom and an entrepreneur, has not one but two businesses on the go — and both of them sell absolutely gorgeous things for the kids in your life. Giddy Giddy is a line of irresistible felt hair clips for girls (and yes, they have a line for “big girls”, too) — they’re ingeniously designed so they won’t pull on fine preschoolers’ hair. And Kukunest is hands-down the coolest kids’ bedding I’ve ever seen. Not only is it great to look at, but it’s made to ├ľko-tex environmental standards

Cool stuff from Romp

L-R: Twisty critters; dust broom & pan.(Both from Romp)

Romp Brooklyn carries totally cool stuff for kids — beautifully designed toys and things to make their lives more interesting and engaging. I also love that owner Jennifer LaBelle gets that some kids (like my godson, for instance) consider a broom and dustpan way more fun than stuffed animals or building blocks.

Girls Rock tee and kit

L-R: Girls Rock t-shirt; Girls Rock kit. (Both from Sticker Sisters)

Sticker Sisters* was founded by Ariel Fox when she was a teenager, and is still going strong. She creates wicked, feisty slogan’d t-shirts & stickers for kids, teens, and grown-ups alike — but we’re especially fond of the “Girls Rock” merch, pictured above.


The winter holidays are a great time to learn a new craft — or to relearn one that’s lain dormant in the back of your mind for a while.

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Clockwise from top left: Sublime Stitching’s Mitch O’Connell patterns; knitting needle cases from The Organized Knitter; Charmed Dress pattern from Betsy Ross.

Did you ever have a favourite recipe that you could play around with to suit your mood (and the contents of your fridge)? Betsy Ross sewing patterns are the sewing equivalent of that recipe. They’re all designed for beginning-to-intermediate sewers: Nothing overly complicated here, just great, simple clothes that you can make yourself without too much fuss. But don’t mistake simple for boring — they’re very cute, and perfect for riffing on, once you get the basics down pat.

Once you start embroidering, you’ll start to see potential needlework opportunities everywhere you look: pillows and teatowels, sure, but you may also find you’re eyeing your wardrobe differently. Embellish your world with Jenny Hart’s inimitable Sublime Stitching patterns and kits.

I have a knitting bag that is a complete mess: Needles poking out everywhere, balls of yarn piled up will-nilly… It’s not for lack of trying, but there’s a limit to what I can do with a plain old bag. Enter The Organized Knitter, handmade cases that keep your knitting needles, well, organized. And they’re really, really cute, too. (Let’s hope your favourite crafter can wait ’til January for their fix, ’cause orders are backed up ’til then…)

Health & Beauty

Health and Beauty

L-R: Lizzie Sweet‘s Sweet Sauce and Body Fluff; goodies from Lunapads.

Those of you who have been following us for a while know we’re longtime friends with the gals at Lunapads, and we’re huge fans of their work. (Full disclosure: We’re also their website designers.) Their product range offers cost-saving, environmentally-friendly alternatives to disposable menstrual products — and they’re beautiful and insanely comfortable to boot.

Lizzie Sweet is another great NYC-based business created by Hannah Howard, whose attention to quality, natural ingredients at a friendly price point makes for perfect — and delightfully indulgent — stocking stuffers and gifties. The website recently re-launched and is still under development, but you can still pick up all the bath & body products a gal could need.

Naughty & Nice

Naughty and Nice

L-R: Hathor Aphrodesia; bosom cupcakes and frilly panties from Sweet Soul

Looking for something on the sexy side? How about a gift pack of lube, love oil, and love lotion from Hathor*’s Aphrodesia line — all three packed with aphrodisiac ingredients and organic essential oils? Or perhaps a pair of old-school sequined pasties and matching frilly panties from Burlesque revival artists Sweet Soul Designs*? Crank up Louis & Ella’s version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and warm things up a little.


One of our favourite gifts is a subscription to a really, really good magazine. Three of our favourites: Bitch, Bust, and Venus.

Tags: Boss Ladies We Love