OK, your mom, your boyfriend/girlfriend – you’re golden in that gifting department. But your roommates might be a little harder to shop for. That’s why we put together a list of gift ideas for a variety of roommate archetypes. And for you people thinking “um my roommate is from Craigslist we’ve barely ever spoken” – we get that, that’s why a bunch of these ideas are incognito gifts for you. We also get that you might hate your roommate so we threw in a few passive aggressive gift ideas too. It’s the season of giving after all!
For your shopping convenience, all these items are available for purchase online. If shopping IRL is more your thing, check out some of the awesome Bushwick holiday markets going on now.
Gifts for either the health conscious (or the roomie who could use a health lesson)
Mixed Made, Bee’s Knee’s Spicy Honey $13.99
Made right in Bushwick on Flushing Ave, Mixed Made has perfected sweet and spicy honey. It’s paleo, it’s gluten-free, no additives, no chemicals — good for anyone who reads labels with a magnifying glass. Just like sriracha is good on almost anything, this honey can go as easily on ice cream as it can on (super healthy) pizza. Gift it and then use it yourself (you’ll notice that’s a common theme throughout this post).
Quip, subscription toothbrush kit $40
Applicable for the health nut, or for the roomie who never brushes and needs the hint – Quip is a toothbrush subscription service that gives off cool “1960’s NASA” vibes. Those subscription shaving kits were everywhere this year, but now it’s all about teeth (sic: I may have made this up). Quip also sends through new toothbrush heads and toothpaste for an entire year for a grand total of $40. Your roomie will think about you every time they brush their teeth over the course of 365 days (hopefully not in a Single White Female kind of way).
For the roommate who’s constantly stealing your detergent
Basic/Outfitters, Create-a-Drawer $60
For $60, you can get up to 19 items including socks, joggers, tees, and underwear and you pick from any number of quirky styles. If you actually like your roommate this is the nicest way to enable any laundry-avoiding-doer. And let’s be real, the extension of laziness is the best gift. Plus, Basic/Outfitters packs sets of items in individual boxes so if you have a few roomies – you can buy one Create-A-Drawer for $60 and split it among 4 dudes for four separate gifts. Frugality!
Fly Cleaners, laundry service (free pickup and delivery for $30+)
This Bushwick-born startup will come pick up your laundry and do it for you (they charge $1.40 a pound in Bushwick and currently are only available in the 11206 and 11237 zip codes). If their Yelp reviews are telling – a FlyCleaners gift card might just be the perfect way to get back at a roomie who adamantly denies stealing your laundry detergent. Muahaha…
Gifts for your roommate that are actually for you (shhhh)
Jukely, monthly membership $25
Want your roomie out of the house every night? Gift ‘em a membership to Jukely and for $25 a month they’ll get to go to an unlimited number of shows like DeerHunter, Andrew W.K. and Sleater-Kinney with no ticketing fees at loads of different venues like Trans-Pecos and Bushwick A/V, plus non-Bushwick places like Baby’s All Right, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Verboten and more.
Frameri, interchangeable frames $99
Tired of riding the L and just seeing everyone wearing the same Warbys and Ray Bans? Yeah, so is your roommate. Frameri is a maker of interchangeable, swappable frames and lenses. Most of the frames are unisex – so you can get the roomie a frame (and one for yourself) and then swap frames with each other.
For the roommate who somehow already owns everything
Metal Taboo, metal jewelry starting at $20
Here’s something your roommate doesn’t own – a Cunt necklace. Based in Bed-Stuy, Metal Taboo does all its own metalsmithing to make hand-stamped metal jewelry that really makes a statement. Cunt too crude for ya? Grab a Hot Mess, Boss Bitch or Fuck Love necklace or key chain or make a custom one saying whatever the hell you want.
NailSnaps, custom nail decals $19
NailSnaps is a fun company that’ll turn any photo you have on your phone/Instagram and turn it into nail art. Literally they’ll do this for any photo – dick pics included. Comb through your roomie’s curated Instagram and surprise her with a set of decals she’ll just have to Instagram (ooooh, meta).
For the roomie who could use some inspo
Bird + Stone, jewelry starts at $26
Born in Brooklyn, Bird + Stone is a socially conscious jewelry line that partners with the Sisi fund in Kenya to enable widowed women to rebuild their lives and start their own businesses through microloans. Inspire whoever you give it to, and literally help to make someone’s entrepreneurial dreams come true.
The cool thing about this footwear company is that all shoe designs come from artist submissions and anyone can submit artwork. Artists whose designs are selected are paid $250 upfront plus royalties for every pair sold. Play your ‘overbearing-mom’ card and gift a pair along with some info on how your artistic roommate can submit their design. Just make sure your roomie buys you dinner when their shoes are produced.
For the roomie with bougie tendencies
VINEBOX, Wine-by-the-glass subscription $35
So you like a Two Buck Chuck while your housemate prefers something that costs… more than $2? Get killer roomie points by gifting them VINEBOX – a wine-by-the-glass monthly club that will send three gorgeous vials of wine curated from around the world right to their door. Be nice to them and maybe they’ll share with you too.
Grilled Cheesus, sandwich press $45
Have a roomie who scoffs whenever you aren’t cooking something artisanal? Gift them a Grilled Cheesus sandwich press and it’ll toast the face of Jesus on everything. Borrow it religiously (see what I did there) and it’ll turn your dollar bologna and mayo sandwich into something holy.