We've Gotta Have it
The Best Luxury Holiday Gifts for Everyone
And they're all designed by women or from women-owned companies to boot
CoveyClub scoured the globe for luxury holiday gifts designed by women or from women-owned companies. This resulting selection is just a small example of how creative, entrepreneurial, driven, and successful women are today. These are unique, thoughtful gifts and ideas your loved ones are sure to flip over.
IT’S BETTER TO GIVE & RECEIVE
Chocolatier Patty Denny learned how to make truffles when she was an assistant pastry chef at a four-star hotel in Telluride, Colorado. Fast-forward to the time she was managing a ski school and enjoyed concocting truffles — sometimes infused with Jack Daniels — for potluck suppers with friends. The truffles were enormously popular, and Denny decided to make chocolate her business, selling her first truffle 22 years ago. The brand’s signature truffles have a triangle shape with a firm outside and a creamy, rich truffle inside. The truffles are made with fresh ingredients — no preservatives or waxes — and have a shelf life of one month. The truffles and other chocolate goodies are sold in Telluride Truffle’s downtown Telluride location, at the factory shop, and online. A box of three assorted truffles costs $13; $52 will get you 14 truffles in a box named “The Fourteener” for the climbers and hikers who attempt to master the 54 mountain peaks with elevations greater than 14,000 feet. Other options are available.
Bordeaux wine experts point to María José López de Heredia as one of today’s most talented makers of red wine. Though she studied theology and law at university, she was determined to join the family winery, a company that was founded in 1877 in Rioja, Spain, when French negociants came to that region to explore growing grapes after their crops in France were decimated by phylloxera. De Heredia spent two years studying at the University of Rioja earning a degree in Viticulture and Oenology in 1993, and then she became general manager and chief winemaker of the family winery. The company is considered to be the most famous of the Rioja vineyards, and its prize wine is the Vina Tondonia Reserva, composed of 75% tempranillo, 15% garnacho (grenache), and 10% of graciano and mazuelo grapes from the López de Heredia vineyards. This wine, depending on the vintage, retails for roughly $40 in the US.
Make this website your one-stop destination for shopping for your family. It was founded by Parisian Cécile Roederer when she, not yet a parent, saw her friends too exhausted to go from store to store to shop for their kids. She noticed too that “it was impossible to find an online shop selling all the top designer brands for children,” and that’s how Smallable was born. Now, nearly 10 years after Smallable’s inception, the online store carries goods for the whole family including beauty and skin care products, a curated selection of women’s apparel, housewares and more from brands and manufacturers that are kind of special since they are not mass-marketed. We just adore the Little Stella Doll — and all the stuffed animals, baby linens, and clothes from Numero 74, a company founded in Ibiza, Spain, in 2009 by Frenchwoman Tara Sfez. She credits the craftsmanship of female artisans in Thailand working in self-managed cooperatives for the quality and joy of her children’s goods. Smallable delivers to 200 countries. Delivery costs vary based on item and destination, but the Little Stella can get express shipping to the US for $8.
This online purveyor of flowers is the brainchild of real farm girl Christina Stembel, who was raised on a corn and soybean farm in Indiana. Determined to start a business, after much research she decided on flowers. She noticed there was room in the ecommerce space for something innovative offering a creatively designed bouquet, a wide variety of flowers, and the ability to NOT have to sort through hundreds of photos of banal bouquets to try and find the right one. Stembel started Farmgirl Flowers in 2010 from her dining room in San Francisco, making the sweet and rustic burlap wrap her brand’s signature. Now the company offers hand-tied vase arrangements, along with plants and gifts, alongside the original Farmgirl bouquets. Stembel has bootstrapped her company since the beginning, thanks mainly to the fact that it’s hard to raise funds as a female entrepreneur. The company now has 150 employees, and revenues will exceed $30 million this year. Prices for bouquets range from $55-$169 excluding shipping costs and taxes. Subscriptions are also available. Flower types and colors vary depending on the season.
This emporium from New York’s recently reopened Museum of Modern Art is a perennial fave destination for anyone in search of amazingly designed items. It is also THE place where industrial designers dream of landing their pieces. Dutch designer Lara van der Lugt created this delicate “Rare Faceted Carafe” and “Radiant Faceted Glass Set” made from mouth-blown crystal glass as a way to draw people’s attention to the importance of water. The facets were purposefully designed to encourage people to cherish water as if it were a rare diamond, MoMA explains in its catalog.
This is the fabulous debut album from the all-female new country music supergroup comprised of singer-songwriters Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby. Playing on the name of The Highwaymen, a male country supergroup made up of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson, the four female artists wanted to make a statement about the lack of inclusivity in the male-dominated world of country music, where men get nearly 90% of airtime on the radio. These women make more than one statement — the songs range from funny and facetious to thoughtful and sincere. The “Redesigning Women” anthem opens with: “Full time living on a half time schedule, Always tryna make everybody feel special, Learning when to brake and when to hit the pedal, Working hard to look good ’til we die…” “My Only Child” is Hemby’s poignant story about explaining to her only child that the family won’t get bigger. Grab the vinyl for $20.99. Other formats (CD, streaming) are offered at various prices across other retail platforms.
IF YOU LOOK (OR SMELL) GOOD, YOU FEEL GOOD
Named for the traditional Provencal manor house, Bastide is a beauty and lifestyle collection reinvented by Shirin von Wulffen, a former fashion and beauty executive, and her celebrity hair stylist husband Frédéric Fekkai, after they bought the 25-year-old brand Cote Bastide, which was originally founded in Fekkai’s hometown of Aix-en-Provence. Bastide features personal and home fragrances along with skin and body care products made mainly from natural ingredients from the South of France, including olive fruit oil, rosemary, and lavender. While Bastide does not claim to be 100% natural, it’s pretty close, and von Wulffen and Fekkai have a lengthy blacklist of ingredients they do not use, including parabens, formaldehyde, and genetically modified substances. Prices range from $30 for a travel body wash set to $130 for perfumes.
Lyn Harris, considered the only classically trained nez in the UK, opened her fragrance boutique in 2015 after selling to investors her stake in the Miller Harris perfume company she created with her husband in 2000. Known for creating custom fragrances, Harris also develops two ready-to-wear collections of fragrances and candles annually, inspired by the seasons of the year. This winter’s eau de parfum collection features Gold, a citrusy scent; Rose Oil, a floral; Angelica, which is fern-like; a woodsy Tobacco; and the White Smoke oriental fragrance, all 100 ml, in beautiful hand-blown bottles. The in-season collection is sold only at Perfumer H’s shop in London. A selection from the fragrance library is offered for sale in the US exclusively at Tiina The Store, in its Amagansett, NY, location or in its online shop. Prices here for the fragrances in the hand-blown bottles range from $560 – $710 for 100 ml; 100 ml refills range in price from $230 – $350 and come with two travel-size refillable spray bottles. Candles cost $150 – $180. Please note all sales at Tiina the Store are final. Prices in London are similar.
Kellie Kulton, the principal of Kulton Inc. (a prestigious photo retouching studio), has been passionate about nature since she was a child. In recent years, after suffering from panic attacks, she began studying healing methods such as Reiki, crystal therapy, plant medicine, and sound healing with experts in those fields. Through her company Onomaris (named after an ancient female Celtic leader), Kulton provides private consulting sessions. She offers crystals and crystal sets, oils, and made-to-order bath bombs through her website. The crystal sets are comprised of different elements depending on your needs. The theory of crystal therapy is that the energy in crystals can interact positively with human energy fields called chakras. The Peace & Protection set features several crystals including malachite, a solar plexus and fire element stone of protection, and smoky quartz, a sacral and earth element that has a clearing and grounding quality. It also includes a soothing balm made from coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils. Crystal sets range in price from $39 to $129 depending on the assortment of crystals and other included products. Custom sets are available upon request.
There’s a lot of chatter about clean and natural skin care, but few brands are actually clean or sustainable. Enter Codex Beauty, a new organic, vegan skin care company from scientist and engineer Barbara Paldus, who holds more than 30 US patents. Determined to find a healing salve for her son’s allergic skin reactions, she stumbled across an Irish brand, Bia Beauty, that relied on herbal and edible ingredients from herbalist Tracy Ryan. It worked on Paldus’ son’s skin, so she bought the company, keeping Ryan on as managing director, with the intention of manufacturing on a larger, yet still sustainable scale. The tubes for the Bia Collection products are in a degradable plastic made from ethanol, the biofuel from sugarcane. We adore the creams — especially the Superfood — and we also love the new cold-processed soaps made from plant-based butter and essential oils, such as the Invigorating Soap made with shea butter, extracts of sunflower oil, rosemary leaf oil, lavender, and peppermint.
New Orleanian Jordan Hilton earned a Master’s degree in Chemistry in 2015 and a certificate in cosmetic chemistry that same year. Determined to resolve the acute rosacea that affected her face, Hilton applied her knowledge of chemistry to the natural ingredients found in essential oils and created Skin Alchemy, a collection comprised of four different essential oil compositions with different therapeutic purposes as well as lip balm and a few other skin care products, all made in small batches. The oils are perfect stocking stuffers for young women and men. Glow is an anti-aging moisturizer with five different plant oils and essential oils from wild orange and roman chamomile, among others. For acne, Halt relies on Tea Tree oil — a natural antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial — while Relief, in addition to moisturizing, is for soothing and healing cystic acne. Stag is a great moisturizer for men — and women — and a good beard oil.
Dr. Manisha Singal is on a mission to help people understand the health and beauty benefits of CBD and THC oil as as well as that of cannabis sativa seed (hemp) oil. Dr. Singal is the Chief Medical Officer of BridgePoint Hospital in Washington, D.C., and she is working with a team to create the first hospital-based pain management center using CBD/THC. With Aethera, Singal has created three serums for skin brightening, rebooting, and rejuvenating using cannabis sativa seed oil, a sustainable source of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and other active botanicals largely sourced in the Caribbean such as guava fruit extract, a natural antioxidant, and papaya seed oil, a gentle exfoliant and skin soother. The Mini Travel Trio with all three serums is a perfect stocking stuffer. The company donates a portion of net proceeds to Caribbean hurricane relief efforts. Prices: Sunrise Botanical Reboot Serum, $30; Sunset Botanical Rejuvenating Serum, $65; Everyday Botanical Brightening Concentrate, $88. All 1fl oz.
FOR THE FASHIONISTA
We all need a little fun in our lives, and artist Christina Wang’s collection of fashion and home accessories will bring a smile to even the grouchiest Grinch. Wang’s whimsical illustrations are done with sharpies, crayons, and watercolor and then hand-printed onto luxe fabrics. One print, dubbed “Bag Goals,” has illustrations of an Hermès Birkin bag, a Louis Vuitton trunk, and the iconic Ikea blue shopping bag, among other coveted items. She’s even done a collection with Keds, one sneaker in pale pink silk with illustrations of shoes from Keds’ 100+ year heritage. Another design features Wang’s black and white monogram print highlighting Wang’s “cornerstones” — New York’s Chrysler building, Hong Kong’s Bank of China building, and her two dogs, Gus and Phinn. Wang’s accessories are available on her own website, some online stores including Nordstrom, and specialty stores such as Kirna Zabete in New York City for which she has designed an exclusive scarf, and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. Prices, excluding sale items, range from $20 for a silk scrunchie to $350 for silk/viscose pajamas and eye mask.
What started off as an idea for elegant slippers to wear while entertaining at home has taken off as a veritable shoe company with those same “slippers” being worn everywhere. These shoes — or are they slippers? — feature seven layers of dreamy cushioning and supple rubber soles. Founders Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey sent a pair to Meghan Markle, then starring in the Suits TV series, who started wearing her Birdies Starlings (styled like a velvet smoking slipper) regularly indoors and outdoors and posted selfies wearing them on Instagram. Birdies recently introduced the Blackbird, which has a more durable sole specifically for outdoor wear. The Lovebird slide is perfect for holiday parties…or for lounging at home and binge-watching something wonderful. Prices range from $95 – $140.
In 1889, in the midst of booming industrial growth in America, Hamilton Carhartt started his company in Detroit with the goal of outfitting railroad workers with sturdy overalls. Flash forward 130 years later, and Carhartt remains one of the most useful and popular work wear brands around that also enjoys a cult fashion following thanks to hip-hop artists such as Nas and Tupac, who began wearing the iconic Chore Coat and other Carhartt goods in the 1980s. More recently, Kanye West and Rihanna have been spotted in Carhartt goods. Even President Obama donned Carhartt’s Crowley Jacket during a 2015 trip to Alaska. The Chore Coat is pretty much indestructible and will appeal to even the snarkiest teenage boys; so will the beanies. The Full-Swing version is slightly broken in compared to the original version. Carhartt, committed to doing much of its sourcing and manufacturing in the US, remains a family company and is co-owned by Hamilton’s granddaughter Gretchen Valade and her son Mark Valade, chairman and chief executive officer.
Former international communications executive Marla Aaron launched her eponymous jewelry collection in 2012, making the carabiner shackle with locks into fine jewelry as her signature style. Her collection now includes a rich selection of necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings sold on her website and at selected independent jewelers. Pictured here is a 14k gold ring with 2.5-3 carat baguette diamonds from the Di Me collection, which Aaron designed as a modern take on the gimmel ring dating back to the Renaissance. Gimmel rings, often for engagement or marriage, have two to three loops that fit together like a puzzle, a symbol of commitment, and sometimes are engraved with special messages. Aaron’s messages can be customized. Prices range from $85 for a Sterling Silver Babylock all the way to $36,828 for the Rose Gold Inlay Piece.
Parisian-based designer Isabel Marant launched menswear for spring/summer 2018, about 24 years after she started her signature women’s collection. Marant’s women’s fashions have been defined by a chic, bohemian flare, often with menswear inspirations, and Marant figured it was time to give men their due. The collection includes slouchy sweaters and pants, oversized coats, woodsman shirts, and cool t-shirts. We love Marant’s Cooper Sweater, with its Icelandic vibe, misplaced geometric patterns and chunky knit style. Marant’s collections are sold in her own stores, on her website, and at select specialty retailers. Prices for the men’s collection start at $70 for socks and go up to $1,465 for a coverall. Jackets and coats retail for roughly $1,200.
What started as Clare Vivier’s desire to find a chic laptop case for herself has blossomed into a complete line of leather goods and accessories for men and women. Recently, she added whimsical t-shirts and sweatshirts to the mix, and most of her collection is made in Los Angeles. Though Vivier is not French — this American is married to a Frenchman — her style is very French, in its utterly chic simplicity and attention to quality materials and manufacture. There’s also some insouciance thrown in with the clever phrases adorning her apparel such as “Ça Suffit’ (that’s enough), which was designed in support of Everytown for Gun Safety, or “Liberté, Egalité, Maternité” (liberty, equal rights, and motherhood). All profits from the latter benefit the Every Mother Counts foundation founded by supermodel Christy Turlington. Prices range from $65 for the Coin Clutch to $535 for the Simple Tote.
It’s often hard to look elegant and outdoorsy at the same time. Sisters Rosie van Cutsem and Lucia Ruck Keene set out to address this quandary by creating well-made outerwear that is also fashionable. These former financial executives founded TROY London in 2014, and the collection is made up of chic parkas, wax-coated or suede jackets, sweaters, and accessories inspired by country living, equestrian sport, and even military uniforms as seen in the camouflage parkas or the khaki cotton “utility skirt.” The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is a fan, as is model and actress Poppy Delevingne, among other VIPs. Everything is designed and made in the United Kingdom and is available online (the company ships worldwide). Shipping to the European Union costs roughly $19; to the rest of the world, about $32 exclusive of customs duties, import taxes or fees. Private shopping by appointment is available at company headquarters in Norfolk, England. Prices range from $55 for Wellie Socks to $1,130 for the Suede Tracker jacket. All prices at current exchange rates.
France is known for its legendary luxury leather goods brands, notably Hermès and Louis Vuitton, both of which were founded in the early- to mid-19th century. But Paris is also home to newcomer and luxe leather goods concern Verbreuil, founded in 2011 by Sylvie Véron Hériard-Dubreuil, her son Pierre, and her two daughters Ariane and Sixtine. The goal was to create a brand for women and men that is not only elegant and beautiful but also embraces France’s renown artisanal fine craftsmanship and the use of beautiful materials including fine leathers and exotic skins. Creative director Hédiard-Dubreuil, who studied math and science and spent much of her career in disruptive innovation in telecommunications, looks to art and architecture for her minimalist designs. Prices range from $ 1,091 – $ 5,455, excluding items using ostrich and alligator skins, and special orders. Currently, the Tranicq, which can be worn as a shoulder bag or used as a clutch, is on sale at $937 from its usual price of $ 1,091, but you must contact the store directly. All prices at current exchange rates.
All photos courtesy of brands or retailers.