7 Merchants Offering Thoughtful And Unique Gifts Online

From holidays to birthdays to housewarmings, there are many occasions that call for getting a loved one a thoughtful gift. And in the digital age, there are plenty of products to choose from without ever having to go to a crowded department store. The sites featured here have both practical items and stylish ones, so you can please even the most discerning person on your list. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Retailers Who Offer Quality Gifts

Name Products Offered
Compendium Books, artwork, stationary, carrying pouches, & more
FreshJax Spices, blends, & gift sets
Forma House Household goods, gifts, & seasonal items
Story Spark Graphic tees, hoodies, art prints, & accessories
London Sock Company Socks, gift boxes, & subscriptions
SprezzaBox Ties, pocket squares, lapel pins, & gift boxes
Jacob Bromwell Kitchenware, housewares, & heritage products

5 Tips For Gift Giving

  1. Listen to what the recipient talks about, both what they like and dislike, and make note of it
  2. Avoid "self-improvement" gifts, like diet books and organizers, that may come across as judgmental
  3. If shipping gets delayed, print a picture of the gift and wrap it as an IOU
  4. Take the time to wrap the present nicely, either in paper or a gift bag
  5. Write a note to add a personal touch

Why Are People Bad At Giving Gifts?

In Depth

Hunting for gifts can feel overwhelming, thanks to the incredible variety now available at a moment's notice to anyone with an internet connection. Fortunately, we aren't restricted to enormous retailers when seeking out the perfect present. Plenty of boutique sites offer catalogs tailored with unique visions and themes, giving their customers creative options for surprising friends and family. In no particular order, here are seven companies providing distinctive collections for online shoppers.

Leading off at #1 is Compendium, which creates gifts like books, artwork, and stationary intended to bring inspiration into everyday life. Their catalog began with a series of pop-open cards holding thoughtful messages to give recipients a pleasant surprise, but has since grown to incorporate items including journals designed to spark the imagination, carrying pouches for art and school supplies, and creative activity kits for children. And their Green Inspired line, created for Target stores, is manufactured with environmental responsibility in mind, using recycled paper and inks made from biodegradable materials.

Compendium features a number of collections with distinctive themes, to help each shopper find something that will speak to the recipient they have in mind. Each presents a variety of items unified by an aesthetic style and an uplifting message; one set celebrates educators and the love of learning, while another offers a reminder to be open to happiness. They also offer product lines, such as the Frank & Funny range of cards, which pair specific kinds of gifts with the attitude to match.

They also offer product lines, such as the Frank & Funny range of cards, which pair specific kinds of gifts with the attitude to match.

At #2 we have FreshJax, a family business handcrafting spice blends using pure, organic ingredients from around the world. Customers can browse the wide range of naturally-sourced flavorings on offer, including single ingredient spices, distinctive mixes, and combinations assembled with a particular use or flavor profile in mind. They can also create custom-made gift sets by selecting their own array of seasonings, whether for themselves or for a friend or loved one. The online catalog displays certifications alongside the product images, verifying for shoppers that everything is organic and free of additives.

In keeping with their mission of sharing health and happiness, FreshJax uses their blog to bring readers wellness tips and personal stories, along with creative ideas for how to use their products in the kitchen. They have an online database of recipes as well, allowing customers to search for specific options such as appetizers or Cajun dishes. The company strives to make giving easy, offering customized corporate gift boxes and donating a meal to a child in need for each one ordered. Interested individuals can help this charitable effort through The FreshJax Campaign To End Childhood Hunger.

Next up at #3 is Forma House, a UK-based distributor of home and lifestyle brands with a focus on design, managing a diverse portfolio with sources all around the globe - from America's Napa Valley to Brisbane, Australia. Their products are selected with an eye to style and utility, like the sleek and minimalist insulated water bottles from Root7, or SPARQ Home's line of soapstone dining and cocktail goods. They aim to offer unconventional items to inspire their customers, such as the innovative CleverstiX, specialized chopsticks designed to help children develop motor skills and good eating habits.

They aim to offer unconventional items to inspire their customers, such as the innovative CleverstiX, specialized chopsticks designed to help children develop motor skills and good eating habits.

Many of the brands hosted by Forma House are committed to environmental responsibility, including Lifefactory's sustainably produced bottles and glasses and Zuperzozial's biodegradable tableware. Others, like the on-the-go dining products created by Monbento, or the offbeat selection of tea-prep offerings from QDO, aim to meet particular lifestyle needs with a unique flair. Customers can browse the online Look Book to view new additions to the catalog in household settings, and the company's blog features news from their brands and closer looks at some of their product lines.

Entry #4 is Story Spark, a lifestyle brand for those wishing to express a balance between technological optimism and belief in human potential. Started by former digital interface designers looking to inspire others, their graphic t-shirts display original illustrations meant to provoke ideas and connections. Featuring designs that meld organic and mechanical elements, or layer stylized circuitry over everyday objects, the products in their catalog speak to contemporary themes, like the interaction between reality and the virtual worlds we create through art.

Alongside its online wares, Story Spark produces a blog with content including company news, discussions of technology in culture, and reflections on the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship. Some of their posts offer glimpses into the design process, showing how different concepts and inspirations are combined into a finished illustration. Story Spark offers apparel for women and kids in addition to their unisex adult shirts. They also sell art prints and accessories showcasing their signature designs.

Alongside its online wares, Story Spark produces a blog with content including company news, discussions of technology in culture, and reflections on the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship.

Our #5 is the London Sock Company, a designer and manufacturer created with the aims of producing high-quality men's footwear, inspiring confidence, and aiding in self-expression. Their Stylist's Edit helps prospective customers define their look, dressing for occasions ranging from job interviews to date nights. They also offer a curated subscription service, delivering up to three new pairs per month, which can be purchased for oneself or given as a gift.

LSC's blog offers discussions on a wide variety of topics related to fashion and culture, including everything from style tips for men to reflections on the aesthetic impact of the 1970's punk scene. The Founders' Journal section features conversations between the company's creators about lessons they've learned as entrepreneurs, such as how to attract talented collaborators and investment capital. The LSC team also believes in giving back, honoring their commitment to supporting charities through the Pull Your Socks Up campaign.

#6 on the list is SprezzaBox, a monthly subscription service offering curated apparel, lifestyle goods, and fashion accessories for men. Assembled by a team of expert stylists, each box includes selections ranging from ties and socks to cuff links, watches, and high-end men's grooming products. Every month, members can select from a number of distinctive combinations - including themed options for holidays and seasonal attire - or let the package they receive surprise them. Every set is unique, but a glance at the catalog will give viewers a sense of the level of quality they can expect.

Every set is unique, but a glance at the catalog will give viewers a sense of the level of quality they can expect.

SprezzaBox offers a special service for those preparing for upcoming nuptials: the Groomsmen Gift Shop. Their in-house stylists will consult with the customer before outfitting the wedding party with custom packages, taking care to match the palette and style of the event. Shoppers who prefer to assemble their own look can purchase individual items or gift combos through the online store.

Finally, at #7, we have Jacob Bromwell, a manufacturer of specialty domestic home goods and heritage products. Founded in 1819 as the first housewares company in the country, they use the same methods and machinery as they did almost two centuries ago, seeking to give their customers an authentic glance back into American history. Some of their iconic offerings are original to Jacob Bromwell, and many are available nowhere else. Their collections emphasize authenticity, featuring traditional designs stamped with the signature of their founder.

Jacob Bromwell is proudly American, crafting all their products in the United States and celebrating the history of domestic manufacturing. Their catalog includes traditional, non-electrical versions of kitchen appliances, some of which are designed to work equally well over a stove or a campfire. They also offer the option to personalize any item with a custom engraving. The company's blog, Jacob Bromwell Life, shares gift guides, cooking tips, and spotlights on some of their best-loved wares, often presented in the context of America's storied past.