I’m going to preface this with the fact that I am not a Valentine’s kind of girl. I rarely celebrate it, partly because my first date with my husband was right after Valentine’s Day (so we just celebrate that), partly because I refuse to get ripped off in a restaurant because one night is designated more important than another (I feel similarly about New Years Eve). My husband doesn’t need to buy me gifts to woo me. All he has to do is grab me a cider from the fridge and tickle me. Sometimes not even that… All I’m saying is I’m easy…I mean…not like that.
But maybe tho. Actually.
Anyhoo. When it comes to presents, whilst I adore flowers, I’m fussy and ultimately my cats will eat them.
That goes for pretty much anything I’d get for Valentines Day (I’m fussy, not that my cats will eat it). I have giant boobs, so I should probably buy my own underwear. I’m pretty fussy when it comes to jewelry and perfume (though that said, if you know me it’s not that hard to buy me jewelry…is it made of pottery? Probably a winner.), just about the only thing you can’t go wrong with is chocolate. Lucky husband eh? 😉
In actual fact my most favourite way to celebrate anything, birthday, Christmas, anniversary, is not with gifts, but with travel, or a day trip or an experience.
All of that said, there are lots of ladies that love Valentine’s Day and if you have any conscious consumerist, discerning ladies in your life you may be in a little bit of a panic. Never fear, I’ve popped together some options to guarantee at least a hand job. I kid. Valentine’s Day isn’t about an age old attempt to get in each other’s pants. It’s about reeeeaaaallll love.
So. When I said above that you can’t go wrong buying me chocolate I was lying. Don’t buy me Hershey’s. Do not ever buy me Hershey’s. Don’t buy anyone Hershey’s. That’s just insulting. If you’re looking for sustainable choices. Aim for fair trade cocoa, locally sourced additional ingredients and if you can, organic.
Los Angeles chocolatier, Compartes has been around since 1950. The chocolate is sourced from South America (mostly Venezuela) and chocolatier Jonathan Grahm ensures the workers are paid a fair wage. All the other ingredients are fresh, predominantly organic and locally sourced. The chocolates are hand made in Los Angeles.
I was lucky enough to visit the Theo Chocolate Factory in Seattle in 2015 and was impressed with their bean to bar methods. Their chocolate is certified “Fair for Life” (one of the most stringent fair trade commissions) and USDA Organic. It’s also YUMMY.
Cocanu is small batch experimental chocolate based in Portland, OR. Their fundamental value is to “pursue this transformation with genuine awareness and respect for the people, materials, and environments involved within the process.”. The packaging is heavy on aesthetic and the blends are innovative without being alarming.
Perfume is a very personal choice, so this one does require some research – it’s important to really know who you’re buying for and their overall scent preferences. With me if it smells like a flower or a tree, you’re probably on to a winner. If it smells like vanilla, chocolate or anything at all sweet I won’t just hate it, I’ll get a migraine. Know your giftee. Tread carefully or go for gift certificates or sample sets.
OLO is one of my personal faves. My favourite scent is Cedar & Rose (literally inspired by and smells like the Portland Test Rose Garden) but I’m also attached to Wyeth (Pine resin, salt water, moss) and Valens (black pepper, carnation, cinnamon, geranium). The perfume comes in handy dandy rollerballs, so they’re easy to throw in a purse and at $45 each you can pick up a scent to match many moods.
OLO perfumes are made in Portland and use coconut oil, essential oils, key accords and absolutes, synthetics are rarely used and they contain no aldehydes, no alcohol and are not tested on animals.
Los Angeles based Strange Invisible perfumes are 100% botanically based, they use no synthetics and no animal by-products. All ingredients are organic and originate from sustainably grown or wildcrafted ingredients. Scents include “Epic Gardenia” and “Prima Ballerina” – they even have a range based on the zodiac.
DS & Durga
Storytelling is key to this, small batch, made in Brooklyn brand. DS & Durga makes my favourite candle – Portable Fireplace – literally like a campfire for your coffee table. It’s amazing. Their perfumes are equally fantastical, with scents like Cowboy Grass (American sagebrush, flowering white thyme, & prairie switchgrass), Rose Atlantic (bergamot, petals, salt water, dune grass) and Mississippi Medicine (red cedar, black pine, incense, birch tar) the scents are inventive and unique.
Similarly to perfume, this is a very intimate gift. Quite frankly you’re going to have to go undies or something where specific sizing or even support is less of an issue. Or be ready to rely on that return policy…
Clare Bare is hand made in Los Angeles using eco-friendly (such as bamboo jersey), vintage, and salvaged fabrics and trim.
California brand Pansy strives for 100% transparency. The organic cotton is grown and milled inNorth Carolina, the cotton elastic is made in South Carolina, it’s cut and sewn in San Leandro, CA and then dyed with fiber-reactive dyes in a factory in Novato, CA.
Thief and Bandit
Hand printed, unique, organic cotton jersey undies from Canadian brand Thief and Bandit. The soft jersey and high-waisted looks are on point.
The cut flower industry is pretty wasteful – not to completely burst your flower-giving bubble, but the waste that goes into the resources to grow flowers, harvest flowers, transport flowers for them to die (or be eaten by cats) or just thrown away (1 in 3 cut flowers aren’t even purchased and just end up in the trash). But to avoid being all doom and gloom, there are ways to do it better.
The Bouqs are farm to table flowers. They feature the farms in which their flowers come from and all their farms practice sustainable, eco-friendly farming. Additionally their farms provide living wages, childcare, healthcare and adult education. They also only cut what they sell to avoid waste, flowers are cut on the day they are sold and because of this they eliminate the energy wasted on long, drawn out cold storage.
copyright: Mary Grace Long
Slow Flowers is a great resource by Debra Prinzing created to help consumers find American grown flowers from local farms and florists.
Farm Girl Flowers
Much like The Bouqs, Farm Girl Flowers is a flower delivery business model committed to sustainability additionally, 80% of their flowers come from American farms. To reduce waste they offer one daily bouquet, using only what’s fresh that day and only what is in season.
In God We Trust
I’ve yet to meet a girl who doesn’t love these hand made, hand engraved, brass “sweet nothings” from In God We Trust. You heard it here first. I have the sweet tits one. Maybe your gal is more of a “eat a dick” kinda gal, or maybe a “I woke up like this” lady. There’s one for everyone.
Maslo Jewelry is my personal favourite. I picked up one of their necklaces on a trip to Seattle and I’ve worn it a million times. Sure it’s not traditional v-day jewelry – but I’m guessing if you’re reading this, your girl is already a little out of the box. The line is made in Virginia and 5% of all sales go to Pets For Vets.
Ok, so you do want to be a little traditional and you want to do that with gold and diamonds. There are ways to do that ethically. Andrea Bonelli makes fine jewelry using only ethically mined stones and reclaimed fine metals. That’s the way to do it.
Ok. Happy Valentines Day Y’all. Hopefully all of the above will prevent the below…