Colorado Inno's 2022 local gift guide: 10 last-minute gifts – The Business Journals


It’s officially crunch time for holiday shopping, and we’ve prepared some gift suggestions that Coloradans can find in their own backyards.
From self-care products and treats to art and tech gadgets, Colorado-born startups have developed something for everyone on your list. Here are 10 gift ideas to make your shopping easier, in no particular order.
Editor’s Note: Colorado Inno independently selects gift guide recommendations based on its continuous reporting on the Colorado startup ecosystem and other research. It doesn’t receive any affiliate link compensation or other considerations.
For the stressed: A neck wrap from Olive & Olde’s
Price: $55
Described as “tension erasers for stressed people,” these neck wraps are filled with lavender and millet and are designed to be either heated in the microwave or placed in the freezer for maximum calming effect. The wraps are made with scrap pieces of fabric from previous production runs, and they come in five colors: clay, ocean, olive, sol and spruce. Olive & Olde’s, founded by Megan Schmer, makes its floor cushions, eye pillows and neck wraps right here in Denver. If you’re wanting to go bigger with a gift, consider the company’s “Migraine Survival Bundle,” which comprises a neck wrap, comfort pack and eye pillow for $112.50. Olive & Olde’s also offers gift bundles targeted toward students and pregnant people.
For the skin care-obsessed: A gift set from Merigold
Price: $85
Denver nurse Hillary Tijerina founded Merigold to encourage people to take their time with skincare. The startup operates a monthly subscription service, through which it sends out organic skincare masks that are made with natural ingredients and useable for all skin types. This holiday season, Merigold is offering its Holiday Gift Set, which includes a three-month subscription, as well as the mask of the month and a “ritual kit” — a handmade ceramic bowl, wooden spoon and goat hair brush to mix the mask ingredients. Merigold also sells its masks individually via its website, where it highlights the most-loved masks of the year.
For the new parents: Freeze It Flat from MAMMaway
Price: $17
After Denver engineer Jillian Rothe had her child, she ran into the issue of storing enough breastmilk for her weeklong business trips. The bags would typically break in the freezer, going to waste. Rothe, who has a mechanical engineering degree, developed Freeze It Flat, a device that freezes breastmilk bags flat and evenly for effective storage. The invention was named the breast milk storage product of the year in the 2022 Baby Independent Innovation Awards. If you want to make it a gift bundle, MAMMaway also sells a breast pump swag bag and a magnet with breastmilk storage guidelines.
For the cannabis connoisseur: The Golden Birthjay from Higher Celebrations
Price: $20
Denver cannabis entrepreneur Michael Scherr launched his novelty product line Higher Celebrations in 2019. Its chief product is the Birthjay — a pre-rolled joint birthday candle (without cannabis inside). Just in time for the holidays, Scherr launched The Golden Birthjay, which is made with Shine brand 24-karat gold wrapping papers. Higher Celebrations is promoting it as a great addition to holiday party or New Year’s Eve celebration. In addition to selling online, Birthjays are available at The Republic in Boulder, among other dispensaries.
For the influencer: An hour of creating in one of these rentable spaces
Price: starting at $80
If you have a content creator on your list, here’s your chance to gift them the ability to shoot in a stylish location. The Denver-based startup Home Studio List is a platform on which styled homes can be rented by the hour for photo and film productions. Its founder, Hannah Pobar, describes it as an Airbnb for creatives. Home Studio List has hundreds of locations in 40 states, including 85 in Colorado. There is a wide range of prices, from $80 per hour for a Fort Collins farmhouse to $400 for a luxurious Littleton home. Spaces have been booked via the platform for shoots by large brands, including Starbucks, Hallmark and L’Oreal, as well as Denver companies Artifact Uprising and UC Health. Pobar also says the spaces are perfect for startups and creatives.
For the social media fatigued: A Nixplay smart digital photo frame
Price: starting at $103.99
Nixplay, which just relocated its headquarters to Denver this summer, offers a variety of smart picture frames that are available online, as well as through Amazon, Best Buy, Kohls, Walmart and Target. The frames allow users to upload their own photos onto the frames via a mobile application, as well as invite friends and families to download the app and display their photos, too. Rather than a digital frame maker, Nixplay considers itself a “family content company” that helps families and friends share and celebrate milestones through a more private alternative to social media. 
For the birdwatcher: This wearable hummingbird feeder from HummViewer
Price: $69.95
We all know someone who would love the opportunity to get an up-close look at a hummingbird, right? Here’s your chance to gift them that experience. Loveland resident John Creed developed a wearable hummingbird feeder in 2017 that he says offers an “observational sensory experience” to feed and view hummingbirds. He recently patented the feeder, called the HummViewer, and founded a startup with his wife Joan Creed to produce and sell them. Earlier this month, the couple snagged a deal on the ABC reality show Shark Tank.
For the vegan: The Swaggy Sampler from Byte Bars
Price: $11.99
Anyone who’s vegan — or has tried to be — knows how difficult it is to find good snacks. Denver cousins Casey Nunnelly and Sabina Rizzo are trying to remedy that with their Byte Bars, energy bars made of vegan natural ingredients. Byte Bars are sold at Whole Foods and King Soopers stores in Colorado, as well as on the retailer Urban Outfitters’ online store. Their Swaggy Sampler gives your gift recipient the opportunity to try a variety of flavors, including cinnamon cherry, chocolate chip and peanut butter.
For the art lover: A fine art print from Choyo Art Studio
Price: starting at $35
Contemporary artist Cristina Del Hoyo, originally from Spain, moved to Denver in 2009. She’s been creating abstract art in the Mile High City since then and has had pieces featured in exhibits in New York City, Paris, Milan and Madrid. Hoyo offers dozens of options of fine art prints, which are made with archival, acid-free paper. You can also find canvas prints and home decor items, including pillows, via her website.
For the young learner: The Sphero Bolt Coding Robot
Price: $179
Sphero, the Denver company that became widely known in 2015 for its toy version of the BB-8 droid from the Star Wars franchise, now produces robots designed to help teach children computer science and programming. The Sphero Bolt — the company’s best-seller — is a programmable robot that introduces kids to programming. It’s recommended for kids 8 and older. If you have someone younger on your list, Sphero’s indi and mini introduce young kids to computer science basics. The RVR, pronounced Rover, is Sphero’s most advanced robot and helps middle school and high school students further develop their coding skills.
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