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7 Unique Places to Shop for the Holidays or Birthdays

Updated on September 27, 2019
Jill Weinlein profile image

Jill attended the 2016 Gift Show by Consumer Product Events. She is an avid writer who loves to share what she discovers with readers!


While attending the 2016 Gift Show by Consumer Product Events, I discovered some wonderful items to give to family and friends. Here are seven of my favorite items—all still on the market today!

1. Just Josh Decor

Walking into the showroom, I couldn't help but stop and stare at the golden, long-maned HGTV Design Star's "Sparkle Josh" Johnson. He looks like a male version of Farrah Fawcett. He is tall, handsome, and charming.

A MUST holiday gift is his signature reverse sequin pillow in which a person can "draw" their name or any message. This product is Hollywood glamorous—celebrities such as Viola Davis, Matt Damon, and Sofia Vergara collect his sequin pillows.

Place on your bed with a sexy message, monogram your initials, or create your own unique design. It's soft on one side and sparkly fun on the other.

Josh Johnson of HGTV's Design Star, winner of Best Use of Space.
Josh Johnson of HGTV's Design Star, winner of Best Use of Space. | Source
Wildflowers—Devon and Sydney.
Wildflowers—Devon and Sydney. | Source

2. Wildflower iPhone Cases

When Miley Cyrus approached Michelle Carlson and her daughters (Sydney and Devon) at Hugo's restaurant in Agoura Hills, the star complimented daughter Devon over her cell phone cover, while Devon asked for a photo with the celebrity. Devon noticed Miley’s interest in the cell phone case and offered it to her. Miley was touched and asked where she could buy one or more. When Devon explained that her mom made it for her, Miley said “What?!?! You need to start selling these online NOW!”

So Michelle did, that night. She came up with the Wildflower company, which represents the free spirit and independence of her girls to grow and survive anywhere—just like Miley! The girls' dad, Dave, made a website, and Wildflower went from concept to company overnight, thanks to Miley’s advice.

Cyrus tweeted the photo taken of this serendipitous encounter to her six million followers. Within 24 hours, the Carlson family started getting orders from Cyrus's fans for their family-prenurship Wildflower Cases. They quickly began making faux stone and marble phone cases. They also made pony fur, pink leatherette and colorful, whimsical embroidered backs.

It all started in 2013, when Michelle and Dave bought their daughters cell phones. Michelle could not find fresh and cute designs that fit her teenage girls’ edgy, fashion-forward style.

The handcrafted cases also are offered with a limited edition in design collaboration with YouTube sensation Maddie Bargg, Jesse Rutherford "&" Collection, and the Jenner sisters.

Wildflower has since secured exclusive partnerships with retail powerhouses like Nasty Gal, Anthropologie, ASOS and Free People. Their designs have been spotted in selfies from Kylie Jenner, Lucy Hale and YouTube talent.

The sister "It-Girl" social media stars focus their marketing online. With 500,000 social media followers, they talk to their customers, listen to what they have to say, and give them more of what they want.

Every month, the girls collaborate to make desirable, limited edition cases with unique patterns and fabrics, inspired by everything from NY/LA fashion trends to Drake lyrics.

A Family Business - Creative iPhone Covers

Sydney and Devon Carlson
Sydney and Devon Carlson | Source

3. Thinium Technologies

Have you ever left your phone or computer charger in a hotel room? You come home, realize you are missing a charger and have to contact the hotel, housekeeping and management to see if they can find it. I've done this twice, and I feel so dumb, Now I won't ever again, thanks to THINIUM - an ultra thin advancement that is and will replace phone chargers with long cords.

Even Shark Tank loves THINIUM - Shark Tank celebrity investor and entrepreneur Lori Greiner, known as the Queen of QVC, believes in CEO Peter Greenberg and his son Brandon. Together they initially launched Thiniu in 2015 on QVC. It generated over $225,000 in just 8 minutes of airtime on QVC and sold out with back orders

Lori was Inspired by the charger, that is as thin as a credit card, without any cables, It's foldable with a retractable docking station that plugs in directly to a wall or USB port.

Thinium has won four innovation awards at CES Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Honoree Awards in multiple categories.

Every Cell Phone User Will Love This

Father and son business
Father and son business | Source

The Fun Personalogy Game

These make great stocking stuffers for the holidays.
These make great stocking stuffers for the holidays. | Source

4. Stocking Stuffer - Personalogy

Did you know that 40% of families don't sit down for dinner together? Want to liven up your holiday party? Buy a few Personalogy box games for the holidays. They make wonderful stocking stuffers and Hanukkah gifts.

The entrepreneurial duo of Michelle Burke from California and Lilamani De Silva from London, met in Seattle over 15 years ago. Lilamani was filming a documentary for Discovery Channel and Michelle, a Communications expert and author, was consulting with Microsoft.

As a keynote speaker, Michelle developed a Teambuilder game and piloted it at one of their world-wide conferences. She received feedback that people wanted to take the game home. So she partnered with Lilamani de Silva and developed Personalogy Games.

They both share a love of family, friends, and playing games and created the social icebreaker game Personalogy. The multiple choice Trivial Pursuit-esqe card game asks cheeky, deep and poignant questions that reveal the player's true nature and provoke unusually fun conversation.

One of their Hollywood moments was when actor Cuba Gooding Jr. played Personalogy and picked a card that had his most famous movie line "Show me the Money." That's serendipity.

Use these small box of cards on social dates to get to know a person better. Bring it to parties, to unite a group of strangers and have it on your holiday party table to keep the party lively and hopefully drama free.

Fun Way To Learn About Others Business. Social. Love


Jan Hogrewe and Kris Mason of Just Jan's


5. Just Jan's Products

Jan Hogrewe was a known name in the film industry after more than 20 years paying her dues. Now she is also known as "the Jelly and Jam Lady."

In 2012 Hogrewe followed her life long dream as a food lover and cookbook aficionado, to make her own line of jams and spreads. Her jars are made by her love of food and ingredients, She never compromises on quality or flavor. The result is all natural, preservative free, and 14% lower in sugar than traditional jams and jellies.

Just Jan's features sweet to savory, to spicy flavors. Here are her flavors:

1. Balsamic onion - Perfect to spread on a quesadilla with crumbled blue cheese.

2. Cranberry Raspberry Relish - ideal for the holidays

3. Homestyle Pumpkin Butter - Halloween and Thanksgiving favorites

4. Kadota Fig Spread - wonderful with a cheese platter and crusty bread

5. Meyer Lemon Curd - a must to use when making lemon tarts

6. Organic Strawberry - spread over warm scones.

7.Seedless Raspberry - perfect pair with peanut butter spread on bread

8. Tangerine Marmalade - a spoonful livens up toast or evening cocktail

9. Tangerine Sriracha - sprinkle on eggs in the morning.

The Tangerine Sriracha was created by Jan's friend Kris Mason. When Jan met Kris he became her taste tester. They became friends and now Kris is Jan's Director of Brand Innovation when he created the Tangerine Sriracha.

The Adventures of Camellia N.


6. Adventures of Camellia - Family Read

An avid reader, author and Harvard-educated Debbie Wideroe dreamed about writing a environmentally-focused children’s series of books. Her first is The Adventures of Camellia N.

Camellia is a catalyst for change and hopefully will help educate children and parents about wildlife and natural resources of all seven continents around the world. It's ideal for children ages 4 to 8 years old. It's a book with a message. Parents appreciate holding and reading the book with their children for its positivity. They also like the colorful illustrations by Daniela Frongia. Her inspiration is from Disney classics and Manga. She received a degree from the Art School in Italy and a certificate in graphic design.

Her book is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

Debbie enjoys traveling to schools to read her book and educating children about the environment and wildlife.

Eco-Couture by Deborah Lindquist


7. Deborah Lindquist

Becoming a celebrity eco-couture designer, Lindquist has Hollywood and music clients that include Rhianna and Pink.

She loves the feel of cashmere and turns recycled cashmere sweaters and fabric into beautiful dresses, home decor pillows, pop art and dog sweaters, fingerless gloves and scarves.

Right now she is putting eyelashes, the third eye and cat eyes to some of her unique and comfortable pieces.

Deborah also makes wedding and formal dresses from cashmere.


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