This gift-giving season, why not focus your holiday shopping on buying presents from small businesses owned by Wolverines? The Alumni Association has created a directory with information on more than 600 alumni-owned small businesses. Stay safe while supporting U-M grads by shopping online and having gifts shipped to family and friends.
This Go Blue Gift Guide is just a sampling of the many gifts available.
Meghann Powell, ‘01
Meghann Powell has been working as an illustrator and graphic designer for over 10 years. Inspired by her love for U-M, Powell creates illustrations that “capture the tradition, spirit, and diversity that is the Michigan difference.” Her online store features a wide range of greeting cards and prints, including the holiday print featured above ($24.99) and the note card below ($4.99), honoring Michigan Medicine heroes. The print comes in three different skin tones.
Ann Arbor Running Co.
Nicholas Stanko, ’04
Look no further for running gifts. The Ann Arbor Running Company stocks clothing, shoes, electronics, face masks, water bottles, and more. This running shirt ($27.99) has everything. It transfers moisture away from the skin to keep you dry and comfortable during any workout activity, comes in high-visibility colors with reflective details, and is thermally balanced for both indoor and outdoor wear. It is also fast-drying and screams “Ann Arbor” to everyone you pass.
BOMBANANA Hot Sauce
Kevin Bhattacharyya, ’20, Grant Dukus, ’20, Jonathan Moss, ’20, Jared Schacter, ’20
Created at U-M, the original BOMBANANA recipe for hot sauce came from a series of trial-and-error tastings by the five founders. In the end, by replacing processed sugar with bananas, they discovered how amazing sweetness is when combined with heat. Try the Spice Starter package, which comes with two hot sauces ($19.99) and is billed as the “perfect introduction into BOMBA Nation … sure to excite any pepper head eager to get in on America’s fastest growing hot sauce.”
The Card Bureau
Janie Valencia, ’13
The Card Bureau is a woman-owned design company focused on creating relevant and humorous designs for greeting cards and gift items. Started in late 2016 by Valencia, a political journalist turned greeting-card maker, The Card Bureau draws inspiration from politics, intersectional feminism, and pop culture. A number of gifts from candles and chocolate bars to bath bombs and coasters cost less than $20, with enamel pins celebrating notable women like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Michelle Obama, and Kamala Harris selling for under $13.95.
Sandra Delcomyn Randolph, ’65
Good Goods is a gallery located in Saugatuck, Michigan, that has been showcasing handmade works from American artists for over 30 years with the goal of bringing “joy to everyday living.” Selling an array of items from jewelry and sculpture to wooden boxes, the store carries the works of some 150 artists. This gift of three glycerin-based SoapRocks ($36) should last beyond winter as they can weather frequent washes like a stone in a stream. SoapRocks come with different ingredients, including aloe, calendula, chamomile, comfrey, lavender, and almond oil.
Meredith Cymerman, ‘94
Based in Washington, D.C., JaM is the brainchild of Cymerman and a friend, who started the company after realizing there was a dearth in the market for healthy sweet snacks. Knowing everyone likes a sweet bite now and then, they decided to make nutritionally focused sweet snacks that are also gluten-free, dairy-free, and free of refined sugar. A JaM Sampler ($35) includes granola bars, oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies, and energy bars, among other treats.
105F Yoga, Pilates & Mindfulness
Maura Vella, ’00
Based in Chicago, Vella’s studio offers hot yoga, Pilates, and mindfulness classes for all levels. Give the gift of a 10-day pass to the virtual studio for unlimited livestream and on-demand classes ($19), complete with instructors who will “help you understand the science behind each pose … and leave you feeling calm, relaxed, and energized.”
Vertex Ann Arbor Coffee
Kara Sato, ’14
Vertex is a coffee roastery that “strives to honor the entire coffee process and the people involved.” The Coffee Holiday Box ($30 to $42, depending on your coffee choice) includes three 10-ounce coffee bags. Choose from their global list of coffees, which come from Ethiopia, Colombia, Honduras, and Tanzania.
Tracy Buescher, ’88
The vision of nuyu is “to create designs that combine revered logos and iconic emblems with an athleisure flair.” Nuyu empowers women to wear their passion through designs around high function, accessibility, and playfulness. This sweatshirt ($55) is a great layering piece to throw on as you kick back and enjoy winter break while displaying your Michigan pride.