A gift guide for thoughtful gifting

November 27, 2021 No Comments

If you’ve been a follower of Pelican House for some time you likely already know I’m not into the consumptive side of the holiday season. It may seem counter productive for someone who owns a business to not jump on the holiday shopping bandwagon but it has never felt in line with my values to promote mindless consumption in the name of a holiday (or at all for that matter). This doesn’t mean that I don’t like to partake in our cultural tradition of exchanging gifts this time of year, I just don’t like the idea of buying someone something just to buy them something. Nor do I think it should be the focal point of the holiday traditions. But we can still partake in the tradition of gifting, in a more thoughtful and eco minded way by. This time of year is crucial for most small businesses, especially for those that donate proceeds to benefit organizations, so a little mindful holiday shopping can be a really beautiful thing. Here’s some quick tips for mindful gift giving :

  • Don’t overdo it– choose quality over quantity
  • Support local (or small online) business
  • Give responsibly made/sourced gifts
  • Do a family or friends gift exchange by drawing names so each person gets and gives one gift
  • Remember that a gift doesn’t have to be a physical object for consumption, get creative!

Gift giving is an energetic exchange, so shouldn’t the energetic quality of the gift itself be important? We give gifts for the pure joy, the surprise, the feelings of being appreciated and seen by our loved ones and vice versa. And nothing gives more of the feels than a gift full of heart that was made with intention and respect. If you are buying physical gifts this year, here is a list of businesses that create with the fullest hearts, and do so with reciprocity and respect for mother Earth!

Mother of the Moon

Mother of the Moon Good Vibes Kit
The Good Vibe Kit from Mother of the Moon

Mother of the Moon is the beautiful creation of Austin based Cayce Matteoli. She uses her gorgeous hand drawn art and lettering in a rad little collection of items made to bring the good vibes. My favorites include the insanely cool foil stickers (perfect for stocking stuffers!), essential oil candles, original art prints, and bandanas. If you’re a Schitt’s Creek fan, be sure to check out the “Ew, David!” gift wrap paper… so good! Cayce’s art is truly magic, and you’ll surely find something made with love for the gold dust woman (or man) in your life. Find her shop at www.shopmotherofthemoon.com or on Etsy here | Instagram @mother.ofthe.moon

Mountainside Made

The Roma necklace and Dune ring from Mountainside Made
The Brighter Days box set from Mountainside General

Mountainside can only be described as an embodiment of it’s creator, Amber Duncan– an impeccably skillful and creative jeweler, a curious playful mind, a kind and loving soul, a lover of the mystical, and always down for an outdoor adventure. Her jewelry is all handmade with intention and responsible materials, inspired by travel and tradition, and her passion and warm nature can be felt and seen in every piece she creates. Amber has expanded her original jewelry company into a treasure trove of a general store nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Mountainside brings a rustic aesthetic into modern times with items that strive to be timeless, cherished pieces. I highly recommend checking out her general store full of beautiful and curious finds from other eco friendly makers. If you don’t live in the area don’t worry, you can find all of her goods (and jewelry) in her online shop as well. Be sure to click through each tab under “general store” to explore the wide variety of curated goods. You’ll find something for everyone, and I especially love to find gifts for dudes here. Find her shop at www.mountainsidemade.com | Instagram @mountainside_made

Brick and mortar: 6235 HIGHWAY 9 FELTON, CALIFORNIA | Hours: W-Sun 12–6pm


The Zero Waste Voyager kit by Anato

Anato is an organic, zero waste, “forest to face” skincare brand created by Céline Jennison. Céline’s passion for sustainability and outdoor adventure has shaped every part of Anato. You can fall in love with her products, knowing that they are locally crafted using only regenerative or responsibly sourced organic ingredients (many of which are grown and harvested by Céline herself), are packaged with zero waste solutions, and have been field tested for maximum efficacy. I have seen first-hand how well these products work, as Céline always has the most GORGEOUS complexion and hair! I personally love the kelp-forest mask which comes in the cutest glass bottle with a cork. Check out the Zero Waste Voyager kit, which includes the kelp mask and has the perfect selection of skincare for the plastic-free mermaid in your life. Céline was so kind as to offer our readers 20% off, use code PELICANHOUSE. Shop Anato online here www.anatolife.com | Instagram @anatolife

De La Terra

Botanically dyed silk wrap by De La Terra

De La Terra brings you swoon-worthy botanically dyed clothing, accessories, and home decor. Everything is made in small batches by hand from start to sun-dried finish right here in California. A variety of dye techniques are used to create unique textile designs — I especially love the wraps which can be worn and used in many different ways. They are perfect for beach lovers, to wear as a sarong over swimwear or as a head scarf! I also adore her silk scroll wall hangings, each one is a unique piece of art. Find De La Terra online here www.delaterratextiles.com | Instagram @delaterra_

Ginger and June Candle Co.

Ginger and June is an eco conscious candle and beauty brand created by Cass Collins. Her conversation candles give a sassy twist to eco friendly candles with cute and funny label designs such as “Calm your tits”, “I’m glad you’re as weird as me”, and “I like your butt”.. you know, for that special bathroom candle lol. All of their ingredients are 100% cruelty free, and fragrances are vegan, paraben and phthalate free. Their candle wax is even made with sustainable US grown soybeans by a family owned company in Los Angeles! The scents she creates smell soooo good too, and she just added a line of natural perfumes. Ginger and June also donates 3% of profits to animal rescues, something very near and dear to Cass’ heart. Hurry over to her site for 25% off through 11/28! Find her at www.gingerjune.com | Instagram @gingerjunecandleco

The Lit. Bar + Bookshop.org

Books are always a great gift idea… but please, for the love of books, support your local bookshop! I recently came across this wonderful indie bookshop in the Bronx when looking for an alternative to the Website-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named. If you are shopping for books online, please check out bookshop.org. Their mission is to provide an online shop that financially supports local, independent bookstores. When you shop their site, select a specific local bookstore to support, and that store will receive the full profit off your order. If you do not select a specific shop, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores (even those that don’t use Bookshop). My favorite indie store on their site is The Lit. Bar, founded and operated by Noëlle Santos. The Lit. Bar is the ONLY bookstore serving the Bronx borough, is black-owned, woman-owned, and centered around serving their community and culture. I’ve been wanting this beautiful book “Brown Bohemians” for my office and found it at The Lit. Bar! Just type your book search into the bar and know your online purchase is keeping brick and mortar bookstores alive. Shop here bookshop.org/shop/thelitbar | Instagram @thelitbar

Wash Ashore Store

Wash Ashore is owned by one of our very own customer ambassadors, Eliot Jordan. Her company was formed as a collaboration of her passions… dogs, clean beaches, and sustainability. Eliot creates cool and highly durable dog leashes made from marine debris that she finds washed ashore. Yes… she collects, cleans, and untangles all the fishing line she uses! It’s truly a labor of love. Get your dog (or the dog lover in your your life) a leash that is made with love and cleans up our beaches. I’ve had mine for years and it’s still like new! I also absolutely love her door mats woven from the same fishing rope. Find her shop at www.washashorestore.com | Instagram @washashorestore

Peak Original

This one’s for the dudes (and dudettes)! Peak Original is an art apparel company by Santa Cruz artist Riley Torres. His original artwork is inspired by the surf, skate, and outdoor adventure culture of coastal CA. He started an apparel company as a way to make artwork more accessible to those that have a love for art but needed a more manageable price point… like the price of a tee shirt vs an original piece of wall art. His artwork is absolutely beautiful yet whimsical in the coolest sense. The apparel is all screen printed right here in Santa Cruz on high quality ethically made shirts. You can also find some of his original art for sale on his site. Check him out here www.peakoriginal.com | Instagram @peak_original

Local Shops

If you are visiting, in, or near the Santa Cruz area be sure to check out my favorite brick and mortar shops!

Botanic and Luxe: 701 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA

Redemption: 1101 Pacific Ave Ste c, Santa Cruz, CA

Tom Boy: 1207 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA

Wallflower Boutique: 103 Locust St, Santa Cruz, CA 

Eothen Circle: 402 Ingalls St # 15, Santa Cruz, CA

Cameron Marks: 402 Ingalls St #21, Santa Cruz, CA

Thanks for supporting small businesses! Use code “givelove15” for 15% off everything in the pelican house shop now through 12/13

Bonus gift idea (and shameless plug here)! While you likely found this post through us and already know about Pelican House, I thought it was worth noting that I just listed some special gift certificates for our Luxe Swimwear Package. This gift certificate is for a private one-on-one fitting, a swimsuit with any included customizations, and bubbles to sip in the relaxing atmosphere of our design studio here in Santa Cruz. For the special person in your life that lives in a swimsuit, the gift of a custom fit and made swimsuit is the ultimate! Shop our gift certificates here.


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Behind the blog

Behind the blog


Hiii, I'm Justine-- marine bio nerd, dog mom, bikini addict, amateur home chef, photographer.. and the designer + sea-EO behind Pelican House. With every bit of my soul, I love the ocean and all the life it holds, and it continues to inspire every aspect of my life. I first created Pelican House as a blog, named after the 100 year old beach bungalow (that's a fancy word for "adorable tiny shack") we call home. It has since evolved into a conscious lifestyle + bikini brand, inspired by my seaside life here in Santa Cruz where there's always sand in my pockets and a salty breeze coming through the front door. When I'm not working on making bikinis, I'm blogging about whatever is inspiring me that week. Be it a recipe, a piece of clothing, or an organic makeup company. Whether you are a fellow Californian or live thousands of miles away, I hope this blog makes you feel right at home in the California sunshine!

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