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Support a WashU Startup this Holiday Season

Cora Pierce
December 5, 2022

It’s that time of year again! To help make your gift buying a little easier this holiday season, we have assembled the following guide featuring products and services from WashU entrepreneurs and innovators that anyone on your list will love.

If you are a WashU and Skandalaris alumni, student, staff or faculty member who started a business and would like to be added to our gift guide, please email us at We are happy to add you to our list!

Apparel and Fashion Accessories

Founded by Daphne Benzaquen (MBA ’17)
Leather and baby alpaca fur handbags, empowering customers to better society with each purchase.

Fresh Prints
Founders include Joshua Arbit (BSBA ’13) and Jake Goodman (BSBA ’15)
An apparel and fashion company specializing in customized apparel. They are licensed to print – and can create apparel with logos for all Greek organizations and 140+ schools.

Founders, Mike Burnstein (AB ’12), Dave Spandorfer (AB ’11) & Kenny Fairleigh (BS ‘11)
Inspired performance running essentials to equip you wherever you run or roam. Apparel is modeled after a country’s flag, and proceeds address that country’s unique need related to food and water.

Lux & Nyx
Founder, Lisa Hu (PMBA ’16)
Quality, functional handbags for ambitious women climbing the leadership ladder.

The Normal Brand
Founder, Jimmy Sansone (BSBA ’10)
A Midwestern lifestyle clothing and accessories line – insanely comfortable, durable, and versatile.

Founders, Jessica Landzberg (BSBA ’17) and Olivia Bordson (BSBA ’15).
A women’s apparel brand designed to change our relationship with clothing. They started Pareto, located in Chicago, IL, in the summer of 2020, and continue to be the two-woman driving force behind their brand.

Founder, Daniel Webster-Clark (BSBA ’11, MS ’11).
A romper designed for men. RompHim is on a mission to break down stereotypes, fashion and otherwise.

Founder, Lori Coulter (MBA ’99)
Designer quality swimwear and essentials for the modern woman. Summersalt is a generation-defining lifestyle brand known for its data-backed fit and designer quality products without the designer price tag. 

Founder, Lloyd Yates (MBA ’22)
Tylmen started as neckties, pocket squares, face mask/pocket square combos, and more. It has evolved into a marketplace for customers and brands to connect over common sizing with the assistant of highly accurate virtual sizing technology.

Beauty and Skin Care

Golden Roots Essentials
Founder, Fanta Kaba (MBA ’21)
An all-natural holistic lifestyle brand focused on infusing skincare, self-care, and African culture to provide access to healthy skincare products.

Educational Materials 

3Dux Design
Founder, Ayana Klein (LA’22)
3Dux Design supplies children around the world with the educational materials and academic skills they need to succeed.

Food and Beverage

Bardstown Bourbon
Co-founder, David Mandell (AB ‘97)
Set on 100 acres of active farmland in the heart of the Bourbon Capital of the World®, Bardstown Bourbon produces the highest-quality Kentucky bourbon, whiskey, and rye brands as well as offer custom whiskey production.

Bellafina Chocolates
Founder, Brenda Barnicki (BS ’86)
A chocolate company created to help the world’s most vulnerable children. All net profit, after expenses, is directed to charities helping children threatened by disease, poverty, abuse, or neglect. 

Britt’s Bakehouse
Founder, Britt Royal (LA ’09)
Britt’s Bakehouse creates choice baked goods, made lovingly in small batches in an entirely gluten-free environment. Using the best ingredients to create the finest textures, flavors, and appearance, Britt’s Bakehouse elevate gluten-free baking into a joyful experience.

Brooklyn Winery
Co-founder, Brian Leventhal (BSBA ‘05)
This boutique urban winery is set in the heart of Williamsburg, one of the borough’s most vibrant and creative neighborhoods. Winemaker Conor McCormack produces their premium small batch wines, combining the quality of tradition with the freedom of innovation.

Co-founder, Daniel Schindler (BU ’19)
Purposefully unsweetened and unflavored wellness drops turn any drink into a hydrating, functional beverage. They don’t use ingredients like sugar, stevia, dextrose, natural flavors and artificial dyes and oils-even if they’re organic.

Founder, Chiara Munzi (LA ’23)
They have created ultra-healthy breakfast foods made from chickpeas, instead of oats. ChiChi is deceptively healthy, easy to make, and has an unforgettable taste!

Compass Coffee
Founders, Michael Haft (BSBA ’09) and Harrison Suarez (AB ’09)
A coffee roaster and retailer dedicated to making Real Good Coffee. Compass Coffee is a chain of cafes with locations throughout Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.

Crispy Edge
Founder, David Dresner (BU ’10)
Crispy Edge™ believes that potstickers are the perfect vehicle to explore authentic global flavors from breakfast to dessert: handheld, wrapped in dough, and CRISPY! They source only the finest ingredients available and make all of their products in-house.

Division Wine Co.
Co-founder, Thomas Monroe (MBA ’09)
Division Winemaking Company is a Portland, Oregon based winery determined to make approachable and balanced wines though minimal manipulation. The winemakers have a passion to work with well farmed terroir expressive vineyards, many of which are organic and/or Biodynamic®, celebrating the varietals the winemakers loves to drink.

Foundry Bakery
Founder, Huong Pham (MBA ’11)
The Foundry Bakery provides high quality baked goods and beverages. They are inspired to break barriers and bring people together through exploration of flavors and textures.

Founders, Andrew Glantz (BU ‘17) and Jacob Mohrmann (BU, LA ‘16)
A mobile application that enables its users to fight hunger with photos by connecting them to socially conscious restaurants. Users simply snap and post of photo of their meal, and GiftAMeal funds a meal through a partner food bank.

Good Soul Company
Founder, Ony Mgbeahurike (MBA ‘19)
The Good Soul Company imports a TigerNut food snack from Nigeria, under the name Good Soul TigerNuts, to increase market access to African farmers.

Halo + Cleaver
Co-founder, Matt Richard (PMBA ‘19)
Classic condiments cleaned up and spiced up to take food from fine to finger-licking. Action-packed with flavor yet health-conscious enough to earn a spot in the family fridge. That’s the delicious duality of Halo + Cleaver. 

Honeymoon Chocolates
Founder, Cam Loyet (MBA ’21)
A bean to bar craft chocolate sweetened with honey. The first and foremost reason for creating chocolate is to allow consumers to remove refined sugar from their favorite foods. Secondary, but just as important, is to address the decline of honeybees and the decreasing supply of cacao nationwide.

Ice Cream for Bears
Founder, Tim Berg (BU ’22)
Ice Cream for Bears was founded on the belief that to be happy and healthy, we should only be consuming that which was available to us thousands of years ago. To meet this ancestral criterion, they use the simplest ingredients and sweeten their products solely with raw honey.

Sophie Bay Biscuits
Founder, Sophie Handler (BA ’18)
SBB creates specialty cookies and house-made jam – the boxes feel like everything was hand-selected and written just for you, by someone who both knows your tastes and how to surprise you really well. Sophie Bay Biscuits was started in Brooklyn, NY and now operates out of Seattle, WA.

Stone’s Throw Hash
Founder, Ben James (MBA ’12)
A company focused on serving hot, filling meals that are as good for the body as they are for the local economy. They believe in the power of regional food systems and focus on sourcing only natural ingredients from regional farms partners.

Stumpy’s Spirits
A family business of Adam Stumpf (PMBA ‘14)
From fresh limestone well water to grain grown on the land surrounding the distillery, they source nearly all of their ingredients from their 8th generation family farm in Columbia, Illinois. They plant, harvest, mill, mash, ferment, and distill their spirits from grain to glass.

Founder, Kara Newmark (JD ’94)
A first of its kind company delivering entertainment retail around the decoration of baked goods. Voted Best Beginner Decorating Kit by Food&Wine, Sweetology is a DIY make and take cake decorating studio: cakes, cupcakes and cookies waiting to be decorated by you. To-go items include decorated cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

Xi’an Famous Foods
A family business of Jason Wang (BSBA ’09)
High quality and authentic dishes of the historic city of Xi’an, China, based on family recipes. Xi’an Famous Foods 西安名吃 (XFF) is based in New York, currently shipping meal kits anywhere in the US, and a cookbook with never-before-published recipes.

Games and Hobbies

Cotton Cuts
Founder, Kim Moos (Olin Executive Women’s Leadership Program ’17)
The first and only online provider of fabric for quilters delivering monthly customized fabric subscription boxes. Every Cotton Cuts membership that you purchase contributes toward enriching the lives of these very talented individuals.

Genius Games
Founder, John Coveyou (AB ’10, MS ’11)
Board games and other products that accurately portray scientific concepts. The company designs and produces award-winning games that “simultaneously demystify intimidating concepts in the sciences and engage the players in a lifelong process of inquiry.”

Greater Than Games
Co-founder, Paul Bender (AB ’07, MA ’08)
Greater Than Games produces tabletop gaming products, including their flagship game Sentinels of the Multiverse.

Founder, Justin Matthews (MBA ’23)
Utter turns your personal Twitter into a party game by making you guess who tweeted what with your friends and family. 

Home and Office

Founder, Amanda Zuckerman (BFA ’13, BS ’13).
A direct-to-consumer, one-stop-shop for dorm and small space decor. Dormify hopes their online store, active Dormify community, and college tips help the transition to college stress-free and fun!

Ten by Three (Blessing Basket)
Founder, Theresa Carrington (Honorary Doctorate ’19)
Ten by Three® reduces poverty in developing countries by using their unique Prosperity Wages® model to pay for artisan products. Check out baskets, made from natural and renewable materials, as well as accessories and home decor items.

Co-founder, Paul Dinkins (MBA ’18)
A socially conscious home décor company that manufactures and sells culturally authentic add-ons from remote developing communities, including items that fit the exact specifications of IKEA products.

Ytterberg Studio
Founder, Aly Ytterberg (BFA ’13)
Her current body of work focuses on abstract, minimalist landscapes. She breaks down images of nature into their simpler forms and colors in order to help us to see the world around us in a new light.

Cards and Gifts

Cheree Berry Paper
Founder, Cheree Berry (BFA ’00)
A graphic design studio specializing in hand-crafted invitations and cards for all special occasions. The company has evolved into a sought-after, award-winning design firm renowned for its sophisticated solutions across all communication mediums.

Co-founder, Zoë Scharf (BFA ’11)
Easy to send unique and personalized gifts that your people will love.