Holiday Gifts

Unique presents made by small companies.

By Brandi Stewart, FSB Magazine

(FSB Magazine) -- This year's holiday gifts include a corduroy-and-sherpa dog bed and chimes that play "Amazing Grace."

Guidecraft Safari Rocking Chair; $100


Former hotel executive Jason Fein, now 43, bought Guidecraft in 1991 from his father, a woodworker who made educational toys. Fein added tot-sized furniture to the catalog, tripling the number of products of Guidecraft, based in Englewood, N.J. Designed for preschoolers, this new chair is hand-carved, hand-painted, and just 23 inches tall.

Woodstock Chimes Aloha Chime; $30

Percussionist Garry Kvistad, 56, built his first wind chime by stringing together aluminum tubes from a lawn chair. After tuning the chime by ear to an ancient Greek scale, Kvistad founded Woodstock Chimes with his wife, Diane. Their company became one of the first to tune chimes to specific songs. The Aloha Chime is keyed to "Amazing Grace."

Bee Raw Honey Gift Set; $45-$78

Zeke Freeman, 32, a former chef, purchased honey retailer Bee Raw last year. The New York City company, whose sourwood flavor won first runner-up for the 2006 best new product at the New York Fancy Food Show, sells 14 varietals harvested by beekeepers across the U.S. Flavors include blueberry, buckwheat, and sage.

Grado Labs Statement GS 1000 Headphones; $995

In June, Grado Labs, a Brooklyn, N.Y., maker of award-winning high-end headphones, released the GS 1000, a hand-assembled device with cushions and a wooden air chamber that give a full-bodied sound. Owner John Grado, 53, got his start sweeping floors in the Brooklyn-based company at age 12, when his uncle ran it.

Stubbs & Wootton Slippers; $310

Percy Steinhart, 57, opened his Palm Beach, Fla., shoe store to sell Americans his favorite accessory: slippers modeled after those worn by European royalty. Denzel Washington and Martha Stewart have bought the slippers, which come in needlepoint, suede, and velvet. One recent bestseller, Skull Red, features embroidered skulls.

Billy Reid Large Weekender Tote; $895

Designer Reid, now 42, opened his first clothing company in 2000 and received glowing write-ups in GQ and Vogue. He won the prestigious Perry Ellis Award for Men's Wear in June 2001, but following his Sept. 10 runway show, the aftermath of 9/11 cut so deeply into his revenue that he had to fold the business. In 2004, backed by retail entrepreneurs, Reid launched a new company, based in Florence, Ala. The fall line includes this water-resistant bag made of napa leather, a very soft calfskin.

George Corduroy and Sherpa Dog Bed; $120-$240

Bobby Wise owns a San Francisco store named George (after his wire-haired fox terrier) and sells products that allow pets to dress as stylishly as their owners, including red-plaid rain slickers and Oxford-striped collars. Among its newest items: corduroy dog beds.

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