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8 Great Holiday Gifts Made by Smithies

Alumnae News

From personalized stationery to luxury handbags, these giftable goods will brighten everyone’s holiday season


Published December 7, 2023

The holiday season is already in full swing, but you can still commemorate this magical time of year by getting your loved ones something special. Made by our very own Smithies, the eight exquisite gifts we’ve curated here will satisfy nearly everyone on your list, from fans of personalized stationery to the person who can’t live without their coffee. Make your holiday shopping a breeze this year by scrolling through our picks and adding an item (or two or three) to your cart today.

For the Coffee Lover

A single-serve pack of coffee from Kahawa 1893, a brand by Smith College alum Margaret Nyamumbo, in front of two boxes featuring yellow and green illustrations

Kahawa 1893, a brand by Smith College alum Margaret Nyamumbo ’11, offers coffee in 12-ounce bags as well as smaller single-serve packs.

Kahawa 1893 by Margaret Nyamumbo ’11

Touted as “coffee for good” by founder Margaret Nyamumbo ’11Kahawa 1893 definitely lives up to that reputation. Not only does the company source its beans directly from women farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, and Congo, but it further empowers these growers by inviting customers to send them a “tip”—with 100% of proceeds going directly to Kahawa 1893’s coffee farming partners. Packaged in beautiful 12-ounce bags, adorned with vibrant illustrations of exotic animals, Kahawa 1893 coffees are available in decaf as well as dark, medium, and light roasts. 

Our Pick: Single-Serve Packs of Coffee (Starting at $2.50, Not sure what strength the coffee lover on your list prefers? Kahawa 1893 has you covered with its single-serve coffee packs. Resembling tea bags, these coffee packs can be purchased in increments of as few as one. Choose from medium (Safari) or dark (Serengeti) and let the brewing begin.

Honorable Mention: YUP Coffee Roasters by Liza Jeswald-Bousquet AC ’18 and partner Matt. Though YUP closed its on-site cafe during the COVID-19 pandemic, its coffee is still widely available in Hampshire and Franklin counties, in western Massachusetts, as well as through its online store. YUP’s robust five-pound bag monthly subscription is sure to satisfy a full family of coffee drinkers—and then some.

For the Snail Mail Fan

Five blue cards, four white cards, and a package of vintage stamps, which are found in the Space Assortment! greeting card bundle from Squeezebox Press by Smith College alum Emma Swartz

Squeezebox Press by Smith College alum Emma Swartz ’16 sells a bundle of space-themed cards, complete with envelopes and vintage stamps.

Squeezebox Press by Emma Swartz ’16

Feeling inspired after a year of studying typography and letterpress printing with artist Barry Moser in 2015, Emma Swartz ’16 purchased a small press the next year and promptly began putting her learned skills to use. In 2020, she relocated from Belfast, Maine, to her hometown of Portland, Oregon, where she has continued to make stationery, posters, and “whatever else anyone wants to have pressed beautifully onto nice paper.” Squeezebox Press is also a great source for “thank you” and other greeting cards, which certainly come in handy this time of year.

Our Pick: Space Assortment! Greeting Card Bundle ($36, Perfect for stargazing children or NASA enthusiasts in your adult circle, this package of eight space-themed cards manages to capture the magic of the great beyond. Showcasing solar system, constellation, and moon illustrations, this bundle of blank cards also comes with envelopes and vintage stamps. 

Honorable Mention: The Fein Arts by Niki Sinopoli Fein ’10. Have a pen pal who loves plants? Consider gifting them a spiral-bound bullet journal, which features an adorable hanging pothos illustration on its cover. For a complementary gift, Fein’s website also has vibrant plant-themed prints for sale, any of which would be suitable for an anthophile’s home.

For the Fashion Fiend

A series of black vegan leather products, five bags and one belt, from Agnes Baddoo, a Smith College alum

Through her namesake label, Agnes Baddoo ’85 sells a host of luxe leather bags and vegan leather products.

Agnes Baddoo by Agnes Baddoo ’85

A former editorial stylist and costumer, Agnes Baddoo ’85 is someone who deeply appreciates the craftsmanship and techniques that go into making high-quality garments and accessories. With her namesake brand, she celebrates the notion of understated luxury through bags—or, as she calls them, “sacs”—that highlight simple yet functional designs. Baddoo isn’t just a bag maker, though; her website also offers stunning sandals, belts, baskets, placemats, and more in a variety of soft and warm color schemes.

Our Pick: Vegan Black Sac ($90 to $550, Have a friend who loves to accessorize but isn’t a fan of leather? This bag checks all the boxes. Available in several sizes, ranging from a small sac to hold your cellphone to the largest, “size 1” sac (10-by-11.5 inches), this eye-catching product is made using cactus-based biomaterials from Desserto rather than traditional leather.

Honorable Mention: Harper by Claire Harper ’11. First introduced to the craft of leatherworking during her junior year abroad in Florence, Italy, Claire Harper ’11 has been making ethical, high-end leather goods since 2019. Today her website offers wallets and a variety of bags in unexpected shapes—such as the Offset Sling Bag for $368.

For the Cheese Connoisseur

A multicolored box containing cheeses and canned fish from Round Table Farm, a company by Smith College alums Marlo Stein and Archer Meier

Round Table Farm by Marlo Stein '17 and Archer Meier '18 offers a series of giftable foods, including cheese and fish tins.

Round Table Farm by Marlo Stein '17 and Archer Meier '18

Self-described “proud, queer Jewish farmers,” Marlo Stein '17 and Archer Meier '18 have good reason to be proud of their Round Table Farm cheeses. Their current lineup includes the bloomy and bright Sweet Pea (aged two months), the fruity and sharp Cosmo (aged four months), the milky and snacky Sunny Jack (aged two months), and last but not least the creamy and mild Dahlia (aged four months). Round Table Farm also offers a quarterly cheese subscription, which comes with two of its staple cheeses and one brand-new offering—perfect for the turophile on your list.

Our Pick: Cheese & Tinned Fish Sampler ($70, Combining the salty sensation of the sea with the rich allure of dairy is Round Table Farm’s cheese and fish sampler. Each package comes in a stunningly illustrated box, featuring happy fish and colorful diamonds; inside, recipients will discover crackers, three cheeses, and a fish product from Fishwife: a female-founded and -led company focused on crafting delicious, ethically sourced tinned seafood.

Honorable mention: Adventures in Cheese by Tenaya Darlington ’94. Better known in the food world by her moniker Madame Fromage, Tenaya Darlington ’94 has been blogging about all things cheese since 2009. This year, she released her nearly 300-page book, Adventures in Cheese: How to Explore It, Pair It, and Love It, which calls on her vast experience of traveling to cheese regions and tasting the fruits of myriad cheesemongers’ labor. True to its title, the release offers guidance on how to pair even the funkiest of blooms with delightful drinks, accompanied by cute illustrations.

For more gifting inspiration, check out Smithies Create in current and previous issues of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

Items that appear in top-of-page collage: Top row, from left: spiral-bound bullet journal (the Fein Arts), cheese & tinned fish sampler (Round Table Farm), single-serve packs of coffee (Kahawa 1893), and offset sling bag (Harper); Bottom row, from left: Black vegan leather products (Agnes Baddoo), "Adventures in Cheese" book (by Tenaya Darlington), space assortment greeting card bundle (Squeezebox Press), and 5-pound bag of beans (YUP coffee).