Editor’s note: This feature is the second in Startland News’ five-part holiday gift guide showcasing Kansas City makers and their products. Check out the featured maker below, then keep reading for five gift ideas to get started.
Christmas Eve was always a childhood favorite for Matt Bramlette. The Bear Soap Company and Mid Coast Modern co-owner fondly remembers getting to open one present that magical night.
“I would rattle around boxes trying to guess what was inside and hope it was something I wanted,” he recalled. “If it made no noise, it was probably clothes and I’d skip that one.”
One Christmas, he recalled, he received the ultimate gift on his wish list: a two-foot tall action figure of the Xenomorph alien, from the movie “Alien.”
“It’s jaw shot out too!” Bramlette added.
Bear Soap — which recently won the Best Maker KC award in the Pitch’s Best of KC edition — makes a variety of self-care products, including soap bars, bath bombs, bath soaks, shower steamers, beard oil, liquid body soap, shave butter, and cologne.
Click here to read more about Bear Soap’s toilet bombs, a favorite KC-made stocking stuffer.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, a luxurious bubble bath or extra long hot shower is the perfect remedy, Bramlette said.
“December is such a busy month with shopping, planning, winding down the business year, and school semester etc.,” he explained. “And a lot of people get a short vacation between Christmas and New Year. It’s the perfect time for some ‘me time/self care.’ Just enjoy the moment with nowhere to be.”
Click here to check out more gift ideas from Kansas City makers.
5 gifts for someone who needs a little self-care (even if that’s you)
Bear Soap Company Bath Bombs — $6/2 for $10 — and Liquid Body Wash — $14
Bear Soap has several new bath bombs — perfect stocking stuffers or just to tuck away for yourself — in time for the holiday season. Variations include rose petal, glitter, and toy surprise. The glitter is eco-friendly and biodegradable and the toy surprise has a capsule inside that melts to allow a small sponge toy to expand. In response to customer demand, the company now makes liquid body wash. It comes in orange/mint and morning wood scents. Either of these are the perfect gift for yourself or anyone in need of a little self care.
Available at Mid Coast Modern and Made in KC stores. Click here to shop Bear Soap online.
Effing Candle Co. Festive AF and Warm Hugs Candles — $34 jar/$15 travel-size tin
During the often overwhelming holiday season, we could all use warm hugs — notes of sweet tobacco, vanilla, and amber — and a pick-me-up to get us feeling festive AF — notes of orange rind, clove, and ginger. All the candles are hand-poured and made with a wooden wick in Effing Candle’s Midtown studio at 3703 Main St. Other festive holiday scents from the company known for its Josh Hawley Sucks candle include Drunken Elves, Fir F*ucks Sake, and Gingerbread.
Available at Midtown location. Click here to shop Effing Candle online.
Kansas City Puzzle Company Holiday Puzzle by Joshua Cotter — $30
Nothing like cozying up by the fire with a good puzzle to relieve a little stress. It’s even better if there’s snow falling outside. This puzzle for Kansas City Puzzle Company celebrates KC in all its holiday glory with elves putting up the Plaza lights and the Liberty Memorial wrapped in garland. The great thing about puzzles is you can enjoy them by yourself for a little “me time” or with your favorite people.
Available at Made in KC stores. Click here to shop Kansas City Puzzle Company online.
Hustle & Ground Self Care Box — $55
Hustle & Ground is a Kansas City company that makes themed individual and subscription boxes focused on at-rest and on-the-go lifestyles. The products are either made and designed by the Hustle & Ground team or by other KC makers. The self care box includes a DIY watercolor kit, a goat milk lotion foot stick, a shower steamer, a lavender linen spray, flavored sugar or salt, bath dust, and a bag of caramels. Perfect pampering for the holidays.
Click here to shop Hustle & Ground online.
Kurt’s Energy and Endurance Bars — $3.49 single/$27.92 all flavors pack
We all need an energy and nutrition boost during these holidays and these KC-made oat bars will come in handy and are a lot better for you than another candy cane. They come in flavors like chocolate java buzzz, chocolate pumpkin spice, and chocolate cranberry explosion to fuel your marathon holiday shopping trips and can be found at several stores around the KC area.
Click here to shop Kurt’s Bars online and to find a list of local locations.
More ideas from the 2022 Gift Guide
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.