Hanukkah, Christmas, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa: Whichever holidays you observe, and even if you don’t celebrate at all, in much of the world, this time of year is associated with gift-giving. Giving is an expression of ourselves, our motivations, and our expectations. It has a historical and symbolic meaning. Gifting is in our DNA.
Throughout history, gifts have been given to re-confirm or establish connections with others. Researchers believe cave dwellers gave presents like unusually shaped rocks or animal teeth to strengthen social bonds and show appreciation. In pagan times, the druids celebrated the ‘Yule’ by giving mistletoe, a blessing that symbolizes life. Giving gifts is something we do naturally, and usually, we don’t think about its more profound implications. Gifts reflect both the giver and the receiver.
What kind of gift-giver are you? Do you struggle and thoughtfully choose what’s just right for each person on your list? Are you one who loves the hunt and makes an event of wrapping and labeling those perfect gifts with personal flair? Maybe you’re practical, a maker who enjoys gifting your craft, a homemade jam, or a knitted scarf? Perhaps the gift you give expresses a nurturing vibe or a glimpse at your values. Mostly we’d like to be seen as altruistic; that is, giving for giving’s sake, not expecting anything in return – No, really.
What type of gifts do you like to receive? Most of us appreciate getting something that shows just how well the giver knows us. We enjoy the surprise of receiving an item we didn’t think we wanted yet instantly adore. The least favorite gift to get is one that’s obviously the very thing the giver wanted for themself. (Nothing like a pair of tickets to see his favorite band.) Know a fashionista who always gives you that trendy new style that you wouldn’t wear, EVER? Additionally, an over-the-top, extravagant present can make us feel indebted and outdone – generally uncomfortable. No fun at all.
Whether you cringe at the commercialization of this season or joyously immerse yourself in the giving spirit, chances are you’ll buy some things to give, or maybe you’ll donate on someone’s behalf in the next few weeks. Troublemakers will use the opportunity to do both while promoting equity by supporting women-owned businesses, large and small. There are more of them out there than you may be aware of.
The Isenberg Project is a women-owned, Boston-based business actively supporting other female-led companies with a broad range of innovative business-building creative services. They say, “Women-owned businesses in the U.S. employ nearly 9 million people and generate more than $1.7 trillion in revenues.”
According to Dough, a source for products from women-owned companies, “If everyone in the U.S. spent $20 a month at a woman-owned business we’d drive nearly five Billion dollars towards female-led companies monthly.” Check out their site, joindough.com, where they “empower you to shop women-owned” across multiple product categories from health & wellness to food & beverages. Their tagline says it all “Dough – Be A Wallet Feminist.” TroubleMakers indeed.
There are a growing number of organizations spreading the word and supporting women-led companies. Some by providing exposure to the products and services offered: thewmarketplace.com, womenownedlogo.com. Others support female entrepreneurs with access to education, finances, and networking: nawbo.org, upayasv.org.
Search engines have recently activated a ‘Women-Led’ business attribute in their listing services. Companies can identify as owned, led, or founded by women in their Business Profile, which shows up in search results on YELP, Google, and Maps. Watch for that tag!
Please be reminded to look for logos in shop windows as you stroll around your city or town, too. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) developed a national standard for women-owned business certification. With 14 regional partner organizations, they’ve become the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States
Shopping at local small businesses strengthens our communities and is especially impactful for women-run companies in the wake of their outsized pandemic-related challenges. Small, locally-owned boutiques and specialty shops are less likely to be suffering from supply chain woes than big-box retailers. They probably offer more unique items perfectly suited to thoughtful gift-giving.
Some of us are playing it safe, staying away from potentially crowded stores as cold weather comes on. Here is a convenient option; may we suggest you support TROUBLE? We’re a woman-owned, women-led business. We proudly fulfill your orders from the basement of a home in Rhode Island. Trouble offers thoughtful, unique gifts designed by and created in honor of women. You can give a gift that inspires, celebrates and recognizes your favorite TroubleMakers for good.
Double down for all those TroubleMakers in your life and support our work promoting equity by gifting Trouble this holiday season. Warm hats, cozy candles, meaningful jewelry, comfy clothing, inspirational decor; from fun to practical. Shop.troublemakers.org to make a statement this year. Give a BIG BOX or a whole BAG of TROUBLE!
Reasons to give the gift of Trouble just keep stacking up!
- 100% of Trouble’s profits go to organizations promoting equity.
- You can get a fantastic Trouble Beauty gift with your purchase.
- We’ll send a gift note on your behalf.
Let’s face it, there’s no such thing as a trouble-free holiday season. While you’re here, might as well embrace TROUBLE, multitask from home, and have some fun while supporting a cause you believe in. Here’s to Trouble-filled & Happy Holidays this year!
Stay tuned for more insights and inspiration.
Share the cool stuff you learn here with the TroubleMakers you know and love.
SPEAK UP – SPEAK OUT. THIS REALLY MATTERS.