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Give A Gift And Support A St. Louis Startup

Greetabl, St. Louis startups, gift ideas
(courtesy greetable)

The clock is ticking on the holiday shopping season.

If you’ve still got a few people on your list, here are some unique items from young companies right here in St. Louis.

Greetabl produces colorful gift boxes that allow you to write a message, put in a small gift and either mail it or give it in person. The company, launched just last year, is among this year’s Arch Grants recipients.

Co-founder Joe Fischer said they’ve just added a new line called giftabl. Customers can choose a box, a small gift and have greetabl mail it directly to the recipient.

"We’ve got a really nice local organic tea that’s $18, and that’s at the high end of our range right now," Fischer said. "And we’ll always be changing our gifts in and out and adding new things, hopefully keeping things exciting."

This holiday season, greetabl is collaborating with local artist MaryEnglebright on the box designs. For gifts to arrive by Christmas, Fischer suggests customers order by Friday.

For those buying for a young child, Myself Belts is a good option. The belts come in lots of designs and are made so that kids can put them on and take them off all by themselves.

Myself Belts, St. Louis startups, gift ideas
Credit (courtesy Myself Belts)
Myself Belts makes belts that small children can put on and take off by themselves.

Sisters Talia Bahr Goldfarb and Danielle Bahr Eason started the company in St. Louis in 2004 after Goldfarb was unable to find a belt her toddler son could take off himself. Recently, Goldfarb appeared on ABC’s "Shark Tank" and scored an investment from Daymond John. Since then, the company’s seen orders go up.

"We had a big uptick, and we’ve now established a new normal with all of the increased exposure from people who became new customers and from people who got their belts and then told their friends," Goldfarb said.

Orders should be placed by Friday in order to arrive by Christmas.

Socially conscious 

Made for Freedom, St. Louis startups, gift ideas
Credit (courtesy Made for Freedom)
Made for Freedom is aimed at helping women who have been saved from sex trafficking or are at risk.

Made for Freedom is another of this year’s Arch Grants recipients. The company offers pants, t-shirts, and bags produced by women who have been saved from sex trafficking or are at risk. CEO and founder Dawn Maske said Made for Freedom only purchases from manufacturing centers that offer fair wages and dignified employment. She said 20 percent of the profits go toward job training and life skills for the women. Orders must be placed by Saturday to arrive by Christmas.

Sweet Sensations is focused more locally, offering employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for teens in north St. Louis. The bee-keeping business is an extension of the work at North Side Youth and Senior Services Center, Inc. Under their HoneyMaster brand, Sweet Sensations sells honey, beeswax candles, soaps, lotions, gels and lip balm. The products are available at several north side retailers.

From the active to the DIYer  

Triflare, St. Louis startups, gift ideas
Credit (courtesy Triflare)
Triflare makes apparel for female athletes and triathletes.

Triflare is worth checking out for those with a female athlete or triathlete on their list. The company produces sportswear for women that’s designed to be flattering, comfortable and resilient. The company was among the 2013 Arch Grants recipients and is the official apparel sponsor for U.S. Synchronized Swimming through 2017. Founder Andrea Robertson said order by Sunday to get an item by Christmas.

Whether it’s learning to brew beer or how to start a blog, Dabble has a class for it. The online marketplace allows users to find classes, create and teach their own classes, or host one-time classes. Dabble also offers gift certificates and monthly memberships. CEO Jay Swoboda said the company started in Chicago in 2011 but moved to St. Louis this year after winning an Arch Grant.

Made from trees (and barns)

Artifox, St. Louis startups, gift ideas
Credit (courtesy Artifox)
Artifox produces four versions of this desk made from Ozark wood.

Artifox is a design company and another of this year’s Arch Grants recipients. The company’s goal is to bring together technology and craft, and its first product is a tech-ready desk manufactured in Missouri. The four variations include maple or walnut from the Ozark hills of Missouri with or without a dry erase board in the desk top. The last day to order for Christmas delivery is Wednesday.

Rustic Grain produces furniture from reclaimed wood, as well as smaller items such as candle blocks and chalkboards that are available online or at their production facility. Founder and president Jimmy Farah said they get their wood from barns in Missouri and Illinois, and the furniture comes with a ticket explaining where the wood is from. Rustic Grain opened its 10,000 foot production space in Crestwood last year. Farah said he plans to open retail stores in both St. Louis and New York in 2015.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.