Arts / Culture

10 Philly-made gifts for the geeks, founders and gamers in your life

Presenting our 2016 holiday gift guide.

The goods from South Philly's Analog Watch Co. (Courtesy photo)

Stuck on what to get your family and friends this holiday season? Whether there’s a person in your life who needs some unique office decor or who uses “jawn” for, like, everything, don’t worry, we (and Philly makers) have got you covered.


For the perennial entrepreneur: Amy Hoy’s book “Just Fucking Ship”

No, it has nothing to do with sailing. Stemming from Hoy’s experience as an entrepreneur and organizer, the book, written in “just fucking ship” fashion, lays out a four-stage plan to turn that idea into a concrete product that will end up in the hands of people who want it. The book itself is $19, but there’s also a $49 premium package that comes with bonus lessons and an hour-long audio discussion between Hoy and Indy Hall cofounder Alex Hillman titled How to Build a Product Biz on the Side.

For the person who is ecofriendly (but perpetually late): A biodegradable watch

These watches and watch straps from Analog Watch Co. are 90 percent biodegradable. Prices range from $150 to $300 (like this makore and red sanders watch or this black marble watch). Order online or call ahead to visit the showroom on East Passyunk Avenue. Founder Lorenzo Buffa is a University of the Arts alum and a GoodCompany Group graduate. Read more about the company’s origins here.

For the crafty musician: DIY Recording equipment

Created and run by Peterson GoodwynDIY Recording Equipment has all the equipment you need to build yourself a pretty sweet audio recording situation. (Check out a short film we made about Goodwyn’s process here. We hear he recently left NextFab to open his own office.) From this $1.95 Color Prototyping PCB to this $369 T-series (Transformer) Condenser Microphone kit, your budding musician will be dropping those fire mixtapes in no time. All products can be ordered online.

For the person whose word of the day always seems to be “jawn:” A Jawnament

The laser-cut tree ornaments are made by Workshop School students and were debuted for the 2014 holiday season. They were a total hit. The ornaments are made of wood and come in four different colors. They are selling for $4 each on the Workshop Industries website. Workshop Industries also sells other ornaments like snowflakes, coasters and lip balm. See a full list of products here.

For the artsy geek from Fishtown (or OK, anywhere): Saul Rosenbaum t-shirts

The Indy Hall-based caricaturist who had an Indy Hall Arts show earlier this fall has a line of T-shirts with his artwork on them going for around $20. They have that “I’m-a-29-year-old-developer-from-Fishtown” kinda look (if you’re reading this article, surely you know someone who fits that description). He also has a few colorful prints worth a look.

How about that one with the pretzel heart?

How about that one with the pretzel heart? (Courtesy photo)

For the woke fashion fanatic: Philly Printworks gear

Philadelphia Printworks has sweatshirts, mugs, bags and tops that showcase, among other things, famous Black intellectuals and revolutionaries. Hoodies are the priciest items at $45, like this Panther’s Legacy hoodie, and items like this $20 Cats Against Catcalling mug are the least expensive (plus, with that mug, 10 percent of the proceeds go to local feminist activist group Pussy Division). Printworks owner and cofounder Maryam April Pugh is also a software test engineer at Oracle.

For that tween nephew who’s waaaaay into Minecraft: three hours of Minecraft server time

Tony Mantoan, a Philly-based developer, built a platform to host Minecraft parties on a private server. Along with his five kids, the technologist gives users access to minigames and custom-made worlds to battle out creeper-style. (Also, #tbt to that time that 12,000 people came to Montco to play Minecraft and break a world record.)

A few of the "Minecraft" worlds you can play in.

A few of the “Minecraft” worlds you can play in. (GIF via

For your boss who doesn’t buy into startup hype: a custom laser-cut wall hang

We are so tired of those Startup Vitamins posters. You know, the “Move Fast and Break Things” or the “Get Shit Done” posters you see in everyone’s office. So here’s our idea: get a custom laser-cut wall hang for the office from South Philly’s Ever Laser that says something that’s actually meaningful to your team. Instead of an empty cliche. Ever Laser usually makes products for wedding but we think its work would look great in an office. A wall hang goes for $40 but prices for custom pieces are probably higher.

For your go-to emoji dealer: a sticker pack for iOS by Kotaro Fujita

Bored of the standard stickers built into iMessage, Philly-based designer Kotaro Fujita got a lil weird with a trio of sticker packs (just $1.99 each in the App Store). He also set out to give exposure to the works of local artists like Bryan Pham and Jen Tracy.

Put these masks on your friends.

One of Fujita’s sticker pack lets you put these masks on your friends. (Courtesy photo)

For the person who always wanted to join a makerspace: A membership to NextFab or The Hacktory

Memberships to NextFab start at $49/month and go up to $299/month. Get access to all three NextFab locations (you know, once the Delaware location is up and running), a wood shop, metal shop, jewelry studio, textiles area and more. Or you can get a membership to The Hacktory on Lancaster Avenue, which is geared toward beginners. Memberships start at $17/month.

Companies: Analog Watch Co. / Indy Hall

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