9 Unique Holiday Gifts from Independent Sellers We Love

Emily Triplett Lentz | December 1, 2016

Chances are, you have at least one or two impossible-to-shop-for people on your gift list.

And nothing against Amazon or Target, but you loathe the idea of futzing around those places until you find something that, yeah, OK, you guess they might like. You’d rather be known for giving special, thoughtful, delightful gifts — the kind of treasures that remind the recipients that you love them.

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Among the more than 7,000 customer-driven businesses Help Scout supports, you’ll find unique and often smaller retailers who create the kind of beautifully designed products you can’t always find in giant online marketplaces or in big box stores. Lots of us at Help Scout are happy customers of our own customers, so we’re sharing some of our favorite gift ideas for the holidays and year round!

Tattly

What they offer
Brooklyn-based, woman-founded Tattly sells temporary tattoos designed by professional artists.
Cost
Starts at $2.50 for a set of two.
Why we ❤️  it
Tattly’s non-toxic temp tattoos are waaay cooler than what you used to buy from the machine in the grocery store. Great for kiddos and your commitment-phobic friends, since they only last two-four days.

Blue Bottle Coffee

What they offer
Delicious, sustainable, fresh-roasted coffee delivered to your door.
Cost
$15.75 for a 12-ounce bag; $32 for a gift set, $156 for a 6-month subscription of 12 bags.
Why we ❤️  it
This coffee is ridiculously fresh — it ships within 24 hours from the roaster. It’s a perfect gift for your favorite caffeine addict.

Fracture

What they offer
Fracture hand-prints your photos onto mountable glass frames.
Cost
Starting at $18
Why we ❤️  it
It’s always tricky giving art as a gift, since there’s no accounting for taste — but who doesn’t want a beloved family photo or vacation memento turned into one of these?

The Roost Laptop Stand

What they offer
A portable, lightweight, eye-level laptop stand that elevates your screen for good ergonomic posture.
Cost
$74.95
Why we ❤️  it
Besides being collapsible, adjustable, and super easy to travel with, it’s also very sturdy, says Help Scout Engineering Coach Megan Chinburg: “If I bump it while I’m moving cords around (or an eight-year-old accidentally tries to knock your whole desk over while practicing indoor gymnastics) the laptop stays securely put!”

Moment Lenses

What they offer
Snap-on lenses that turn your iPhone into a professional-quality camera.
Cost
$79.99-$89.99
Why we ❤️  it
These lenses (along with beautifully designed cases, accessories and a powerful app) make your iPhone feel like a DSLR. Pretty much any Moment product will be a hit with your favorite Instagram enthusiast.

Timbuk2

What they offer
This San Francisco company makes super high-quality messenger bags, backpacks, bike panniers and more.
Cost
Classic messenger bags start around $100, but you can find sale items for $40-$50, and the website has a great “Gifts under $50” section.
Why we ❤️  it
We’re such big Timbuk2 fans that we special-order laptop messenger bags and backpacks with the Help Scout logo to give to new team members. (True story: I probably get more compliments on my backpack than on any fancy handbag I’ve ever owned.)

Gymnastic Bodies

What they offer
Online courses customized to individual participants’ strengths and weaknesses.
Cost
$99 for the “Fundamentals” course; discounts for multiple programs.
Why we ❤️  it
The fitness programs are based on bodyweight strength training. Help Scout support lead Justin Seymour is working his way through a bunch of them, and he won the last company push-ups competition … coincidence?

Tuft & Needle

What they offer
Foam mattresses made in the U.S. Their prices are low because their business model cuts out all the go-betweens, and every mattress comes with a 100-night guarantee and a 10-year warranty.
Cost
$350-$750
Why we ❤️  it
OK, so maybe it’s a little out there to suggest a mattress as a present? But these are so reasonably priced for how amazingly comfy they are. People Ops team member Leah Knobler says this mattress will change your life — she convinced everyone in her family to get one.

Fortified Bicycle

What they offer
Sturdy, theft-resistant bicycles designed with city cyclists in mind.
Cost
Starting at $449
Why we ❤️  it
If you’ve ever had a bike stolen, you know how much that su-u-u-ucks. Fortified’s custom locking hardware means your bike stays put where you lock it, and their theft replacement guarantee means they’ll either find your bike within a day or ship you a new one for free.

Where do you like to shop for the kinds of gifts that truly delight people? Share your favorites in the comments!

For more GIF giving ideas, check out Giving Great GIFs for Better Support.

About the author: Emily Triplett Lentz is on the Growth team at Help Scout, the invisible help desk that helps you build a company your customers love with more human, more helpful customer support tools.