New York, NY – The arrival of winter means that hat, scarf and gloves season is upon us. Calypso St. Barth (which also makes fragrances), Bearpaw, and Ulu (uluboot.com) all make outerwear accessories to keep us warm on those Arctic days.
Victoria Secret’s PINK brand of women’s clothing specializes in Sherpas, sweats, and pajamas which is ideal for either lounging around or running a quick errand on a winter’s day. Lily Pulitzer also makes women’s pajamas designed for cold winter days and nights.
Winter is about to begin but summer hopefully isn’t that far away. Havaianas and Okabashi both sandals and thongs that can be worn around the house as well as poolside.
Guys are just as interested in skin care as women are these days. Jack Black (not the actor), Skinceuticals (skinceuticals.com) and Kristals Aquamarine (kristals.com) make gift sets of balms, creams, serums, and hydrating lotions. Dove Men+Care makes holiday gift sets that include body wash and soaps.
Winter wreaks havoc on everyone’s hands and feet. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Body Shop Festive Hand Cream Trio, Korres USA’s Hydrating Luxury Hand Cream Trio, Josie Maran’s Ski Care Duo and Pure Argan Hydration Duo all help prevent and alleviate skin irritations and fissures.
The somewhat ominously named Simply Venom (simplyvenom.com), created by a pair of anaesthesiologists, Drs. Monica Lilore and Milija Milic, is a skincare company that makes night and day creams that help eliminate wrinkles and other skin aging indicators.
Not to be outdone, another physician, Dr. Audrey Kunin, a dermatologist, has created her own line of skin products, DERMADoctor (dermadoctor.com). One of the company’s best-selling products is Wrinkle Revenge Ultimate Hyaluronic Serum.
Gillette’s latest hand razor is Skinguard which purports to give the closest shave of facial and leg hair while reducing irritation and burn. Other razor options are Gillette’s Sensor 3 and Fusion Proglide and the Dollar Shave Club Traveler for when one goes on the road. If you want to spend a little more Harry’s (harrys.com) makes a lot of shaving product gift box sets that range from $35 to $100.
There is no shortage of hair care products. Rahua makes shampoos from only natural ingredients and has quickly become a salon favorite. Other quality hair care products are HSI Argan Oil Shampoo and the Sun Bum’s Revitalizing Shampoo. Blazon (blazonbrush.com) makes stylish hair brushes that gently keep your strands in shape.
Perfumes and colognes are always popular gifts because they are easy to carry and they more often than not can be bought in gift sets where you get a lot of useful bonus items. Ulta sells a variety of Kate Spade perfumes. Viktor & Rolf’s Bonbon and Flowerbomb fragrances are sold individually and both are also available in gift boxes that come with body cream and shower gel. Proenza Schouler’s Arizona two-piece gift set contains a fragrance and body oil that carries a scent that brings the beauty of the Sonora Desert to mind.
For guys Ulta sells Dior Sauvage and Coach for Men cologne while Ralph Lauren Polo Blue EDP Collection is sold at various retailers. There is no shortage of handbag designers but most of them are not well known. Baggalini, Deondra Jeree, Laudi Vindi (individual spelled backwards), and Be Brilliant (bebrilliantbags.com) make clutches, wallets, and handbags in various sizes and price points.
Indiana-based Vera Bradley has been around thirty years and became well-known for its patchwork-styled cloth totes. The company has expanded into leather pocketbooks, duffel bags, backpacks, as well as women’s ear muffs, gloves and scarves.
Finnish company Marimekko sells bags, purses, and backpacks in all sizes and price ranges. The company also sells a wide array of women’s clothing. Buxton makes high quality wallets, billfolds, portfolios, and many other leather goods for both men and women. T.Anthony (tanthony.com) also makes high-end leather wallets as well as its famous luggage.
Vince Camuto (vincecamuto.com) is an excellent one-stop online shop where you can find leather totes, handbags, and all kinds of clothing and fragrances from the famed designer in a wide array of price points that should fit most budgets.
Watches are the most popular form of jewelry. Little Neck’s own Armitron makes fashionable and affordable watches while Woodside-based Bulova makes higher end timepieces. G-Shock’s GBD 800 line of watches will not only tell you the time but also how many steps that you have taken during the day. It retails for $99.
HOH Watches, which was founded by Forest Hills High School alum Lawrence Leyderman, makes timepieces that rival Tag Heuer and Rolex at a fraction of their prices. His Bedlam line has long been popular with knowledgeable watch fans. Michele is a luxury watch brand that competes with Tag Heuer, Movado, and Rolex as they run anywhere from $495 to $3,500.
The Artisan Group (thartisangroup.org) is a great resource for finding jewelry, stationery, bath and spa products and much more. Most of us can’t afford a Carrera sports car but stylish Carrera sunglasses are another story. Other high fashion sunglasses options are shades from Salvatore Ferragamo and Longchamp Paris. For those with tighter budgets, Polaroid has a huge selection of frames including classic aviators that rival Ray-Ban as does Maui Jim.
A lot of Major League Baseball players wear Oakley or Nike Wraparound sunglasses and so it’s natural that their fans want to emulate them. The quality of those big names in the athletic performance eyewear market is terrific but if you want to get wraparound shades without breaking the bank you should check out Tifosi (tifosioptics.com). They can sell them for far less because they don’t have expensive endorsers. A new player in the sports wraparound shades biz is Dragon Alliance.
Harry & David’s (harryanddavid.com) has long been a major player in the gift basket industry. Their Grand Christmas Gift Basket contains pears, fruitcake, and arguably its most famous product, Moose Munch Premium Popcorn. You can add a bottle of wine for an extra price. The company also has a subscription Fruit of the Month and Veggie of the Month club fort hose who want a healthy surprise arriving in the mail a dozen times a year.
Popcorn aficionados can order gift box sets from Double Good (doublegood.com), Savannah Bee and Stonewall Kitchen make a variety of upscale bath products and they also have great gift baskets. Godiva and Ghirardelli both make fine confections, but if you worry about allergens but still want great taste, try Vermont Nut Free Chocolates (vermontnutfree.com).
If you want top quality chocolate products that come in all kinds of gift packaging then try MarieBelle (mariebelle.com). If kosher candy is a consideration log onto tobitobin.com. Tobi Tobin is a younger version of Martha Stewart as she also makes fragrances and candles and she’ll undoubtedly expand into other lifestyle products.
A non-chocolate guilty pleasure is Amy’s Wicked Whoopie Pies from Maine (wickedwhoopies.com). Amy has gotten some local competition these days from a New Yorker, Elizabeth Fife, who gave up investment banking for a career in whoopie pie baking. She started a company called Batter And Cream and the good news is that they will ship her delicacies anywhere.
Adults with a sweet tooth who like to imbibe should try the wine-infused chocolates from Fredericksburg, located in Texas Hill Country (fbgwinery.com) which is quickly rivaling Napa Valley when comes to producing quality American wines.
Woodside native Jim McCann is the founder and CEO of the most successful floral retailer in the world, 1800-FLOWERS. This year the company is promoting a Night Before Christmas Holiday Flower Tree which is an arrangement of roses and white carnations that is sculpted to resemble a small Christmas tree as the name indicates. There are many, many other floral options at 1800Flowers.com.
Decorative scented candles have become a popular domestic item. Chesapeake Bay Candle and Yankee Candle both have a wide array of jar and pillar candles that will freshen up any room.
History buffs will love Gettys Gear (gettysgear.com). Gettysburg, Pennsylvania will forever be known for being the site of the most famous battle of the Civil War and President Lincoln’s speech about its significance. What is not as well-known is that Gettysburg is home to the USA’s oldest continuing cigar manufacturing plant that also opened in 1863, the same year that the Gettysburg Address took place.
Gettys Gear sends out gift sets of these handcrafted cigars. In addition you can purchase t-shirts, hats, mugs, and just about anything else imaginable relating to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. In a complete aside, Gettys Gear sells bags of top-quality coffee beans that you have to grind and bottles of sarsaparilla soda, a favorite soft drink of the mid-to-late 19th century.
Getting a good night’s sleep has become crucial for maintain good health. Bedgear (bedgear.com) makes numerous ergonomically correct pillows that maintain their shape and stay cool during the night. The Long Island-based company also sells premium mattresses, sheets, and blankets. The Hollywood Silk Solution sells silk pillowcases which the company claims is better for both your hair and quality of sleep.
You can’t sleep well if there is dust and other irritants gathering in your bedroom. Black & Decker, Bissell, and Dyson all make cordless vacuums and sweepers that allow you to clean tough places without impediment.
Athletic apparel and equipment make for great gifts and they tie into everyone’s New Year’s resolution of exercising more. Franklin Sports, best known for its batting gloves, makes sports equipment, apparel, and indoor games for all ages.
TaylorMade (taylormadegolf.com) is one of the largest players in the golf industry and it manufactures drivers, wedges, and putters for everyone from the novice duffer to the scratch golfer. It also makes the bags for lugging your clubs around. Interestingly, Bed, Bath & Beyond has a furniture stand in which you can place your golf bag out inside your home so that you don’t have to use up valuable closet or garage space for it. Don’t forget to use their ubiquitous 20% off coupons!
Buying gifts for the teen and tween markets isn’t easy but here are a couple of suggestions. Balfour Backpacks are ideal for carrying backs and clothing and they come with customized patches to add personality. Smartphones have become so omnipresent that it often seems as if they are surgically attached to one’s hands.
PopSockets (popsockets.com) makes small discs that attach to ones phone so that it’s both easier to hold and text. The company has licensing agreements with most of the professional sports leagues so that you can show off the logo of your favorite sports teams. The actress Zendaya has also created art work for PopSockets.
I can’t think of a place that has more to offer both its residents and visitors than New York City. A great way to enjoy the beauty of our area as well as take in a great meal with top-notch entertainment is to sail with either Spirit Cruise or World Yacht.
CityPASS (citypass.com) is a ticket booklet that allows you to see a lot of New York attractions (including a boat ride around NYC on the famous Circle Line) for one fixed price. The catch is that you have to do it all within nine days. CityPASS is available for other American cities.
New York Sports Tours (newyorksports.tours) is the Gray Line of the Big Apple for sports fans. It began operations this year and it transports guests on a small chartered bus to various historic locales that have had a great impact in sports history.
After the tour concludes guests can enjoy a dinner at Keen’s Steakhouse, which itself possesses a ton of sports memorabilia while chatting with a sports celebrity such as former Yankees outfielder Mickey Rivers, sportscaster and Douglaston native Mary Carillo, and former New York Cosmos goalie Shep Messing.
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