5 Unique Michigan Made Gift Ideas

By Mayra Monroy on December 17th, 2015 / Comments

The holiday season brings forth not only time for family, friends, and reflection, but the opportunity to give back to the community. Whether that’s donating your time to volunteering for your local organizations, or giving back to small businesses and the local economy, the possibilities are endless. The holiday season is a time to choose gifts that are practical and personal, so why not support local businesses at the same time? Here is our guide for the holidays.

Boxed GR

$25 – $29 individual box / $65 for a gift subscription (3 mos.)

Have you ever wanted a piece of the Rapid City? Boxed GR is a local organization that quite literally boxes up your favorite aspects of Grand Rapids, and ships them to your home. Contents of the box vary from food samples, beer samples, gift certificates and coupons to your favorite Grand Rapids restaurants and shops. Boxed GR also collaborates with a variety of organizations, such as the Hope Lodge in Grand Rapids this holiday season.

Know a craft beer fanatic? Get them Boxed GR’s “Beer City Box,” filled with products made from New Holland Brewery, Founders Brewing, and more!

Vital Apparel – Detroit

$20 – $25

Founded in early 2015, Vital Apparel was created to establish a mission: promote the revitalization of Detroit. Viewing there was a stigma from outsiders, Loren Branch and his team creating the clothing company to not only create strides in changing the city, but also to rid the stigma surrounding it.

Ten percent of each shirt purchased is donated back into the community to organizations that keep inner city youth off the streets. There are two designs currently being sold, both for men and women.


$2 – $60

Founded by adventurers in search of spreading their stories, M22 is a northern Michigan clothing company. All of the products created are environmentally friendly, with one percent of all sales being donated to the Leelanau Conservancy. M22 brings forth all aspects of the Mitten state, with products showcasing the state, and the adventure lingering in every corner.

M22 has products both for wear, for your car, for your drinks, and a variety of stocking stuffers.


One brush – $9.50 / brush & stand – $14.25

Brother and sister duo bring forth a toothbrush that not only gives back to nature with its eco-friendly and recyclable composition, but with every brush purchased, another is donated to local organizations.

The brush comes in two forms: recyclable and biodegradable. Completely made in the United States, the Detroit-based startup product is the perfect gift for your environmentally and community conscious friends and family. The brush can be either forms and be bought separately or with a stand. The structure of the brush is designed to fit comfortably in your hand.

Bombadil Books

$15 – $50 Bookstore Membership

Grand Rapids bookstore, Bombadil Books, has gift memberships for interested community members this holiday season. Bombadil Books recently opened on Grand Rapids’ Avenue for the Arts earlier this fall. Aquinas alumna Danielle Alexander opened the Division Avenue bookstore to pursue her dreams of bringing the love of books to the community.

A bookstore membership runs from $15 for students to $50 for community members. Benefits of a membership include getting the amount in bookstore credit, trading books for in store credit, using the bookstore for your personal workspace (with wifi, coffee, etc.), and receiving 50% off rental space.

Support your local startups this season with gifts that not only support the local economy, but are the most heartfelt gifts for your friends and family.

About the Author

Mayra Monroy

Mayra Monroy

Mayra Monroy is studying communication and journalism at Aquinas College. A Texas native, she enjoys studying communication culture and the arts in West Michigan. She currently resides in Grand Rapids and works as a editor-in-chief for Aquinas’ collegiate student newspaper and a freelance journalist.