Find Your Perfect Present, From Spirits to Spice Mixes, Body Butter to Bracelets
Photos courtesy of Terp companies
You’ve collected the last bits of turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes—and just because you can—marshmallow-based “salad” into an extravagant leftover sandwich, and for good measure, sneaked the final slice of pumpkin pie. But now, as the Thanksgiving food coma fades, the countdown is on to finish that holiday shopping list.
From oversized hats for an over-the-top sports fan to engrossing novels for your favorite bookworm and a bevy of beverages for early mornings and late nights, these products and services from University of Maryland alums may be the gifts you need.
Clothing and Apparel
Under Armour T-shirts (from Kevin Plank ’96) and Maryland flag-themed Route One Apparel gear (from Ali Von Paris ’12) might already fill your closet. Now you can order a giant baseball cap from NogginBoss, co-created by Sean Starner ’00, to show support for your favorite team, or help protect friends and family from the sun with shirts from Rayward Apparel, founded by Devin Regan '09 and Seth Woodward '08, which donates 5% of its proceeds to the Melanoma Research Alliance.
Shopping for someone who loves unique jewelry? Check out African-inspired bracelets, earrings and more from Seble Alemayehu, MBA ’12. Yenaé, which means “mine” in Amharic, spoken in her homeland of Ethiopia, offers collections for men and women based on cultures there and in Kenya, South Africa and Eritrea.
Food and Drink
Whether you need a caffeine perk-up or wind-down relaxation after work, Terps offer plenty of options. April Rashad ’12 offers loose-leaf, artisan tea from Dwell Tea Co., as well as all the accoutrements for the best brew, while Sergio Malarin ’13 serves up unusual flavors with Wild Bay Kombucha, from ginger agave to blueberry dill. Enjoy spirits and canned cocktails from Tenth Ward Distilling Company, founded by Monica Pearce ’07; mix up a Moscow mule or a martini with Clutch Vodka from Terp basketball star Walt Williams ’92; or bring a bottle or two of Terrapin Pride Wine to your next gathering, launched by the University of Maryland Alumni Association in partnership with Dave Trebilcock ’89, MBA ’96, of GrapeSeed, a wine subscription service.
Transform a meal with Jammin’ Jerk, Turmeric Gold or Garlic Goodness from Chef Mu’min Huda ’05, winner of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” who has created her own line of Just Savor sauces and spice mixes. Or try out Only Salt, microplastic-free salt sourced from the Andes mountains, by Steven Petrillo ’19. Give those new year’s resolutions a boost with a pack of Omega 3 Nutrition bars, created by Edwin "Bright" Djampa '22, which are gluten-free and dairy-free and are designed to improve brain health.
Wellness and Skincare
Get moving—from the comfort of your own home—with virtual classes from Two Hearts Dance & Yoga, a studio founded by former Washington Wizards dance team member Lee-Ann Barber ’09. Looking for nutrition coaching and personal training after one too many holiday pies? Michelle Riley ’12 offers Fierce & Fit, an online service with tailored workouts and meal plans, to accommodate busy schedules. And don’t forget about some pampering: Combat dry winter air with Breonna Massey’s Slay Naturals. The 2018 grad offers body butter and sugar scrubs that she developed for her own sensitive skin.
Books and Music
Take a break from your holiday TV binge with a Terp-authored book. Self-help fans can glean research-backed tips from “Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends” by Honors College Assistant Clinical Professor Marisa G. Franco Ph.D. ’17. Teens can try the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Roseanne A. Brown ’17, “Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting,” and sci-fi fans can check out “Quantum Steampunk: The Physics of Yesterday’s Tomorrow,” by UMD physicist Nicole Yunger Halpern.
Jazz up your holiday gathering with the latest record from cellist and MacArthur “genius grant” winner Tomeka Reid ’00 as part of the trio Artifacts, called “… And Then There’s This.”
Looking to get away? No. 1-ranked U.S. pickleball player Ben Johns ’22 offers trips from the Mayan Riviera in Mexico to coastal retreats in Croatia through Pickleball Getaways, where participants not only enjoy beautiful resort vacations, but also get world-class pickleball instruction.
Closer to home, you can change up game nights with “A Balancing Act,” an icebreaker card game from Ryan Myer ’22, or a subscription to “Hunt a Killer,” a murder mystery subscription box from Ryan Hogan ’13. Or take the animal lover in your life to one of the Crumbs & Whiskers cat cafes in Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles, created by Kanchan Singh ’12, where you can snuggle up with a kitty—and maybe spot a celebrity.
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