Black Friday: Get Your XX On! (Change The Ratio)

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By Rachel Sklar (Founder, Change The Ratio) Here’s the deal: Starting today, there is going to be a LOT of money spent this holiday season. Much of it is going to be spent, directed or otherwise influenced by women. Women control over 80% of consumer spending, drive huge internet shopping sites like Gilt Groupe, Zappos and Groupon, and control the destiny of The Muppet Movie.

Aside from their financial spending clout, women also start businesses, too. See where I’m going with this? Of course you do: Women buying stuff + Women selling stuff = A beautiful, well-monetized match made in heaven. And happy ladies, everywhere!

So, to that end -- happy ladies, rich ladies, sold-out ladies but never sell-out ladies -- here’s a selection of some terrific woman-run businesses and products. It’s inspired by Honestly Now founder Tereza Nemessanyi, who has inaugurated the first-ever xx4xmas Shopping Guide. Her reasoning:

The holiday season is around the corner. I have a LOT of gifts to buy — allegedly, 80%+ of my household spend. So far I’ve bought ZERO.

This creates an interesting test. Of ALL the gifts I need to buy this holiday, could I spend at least half of those dollars on women-led businesses? Or 80%? Is 100% even possible? We know that women plow their money straight back into the economy, to everyone’s benefit. And we sure know a lot of women-led companies.

Anyone want to join me in seeing how much XX we can buy?

In short, go shopping!! If you don’t, the terrorists will have won!! Just kidding. But, why not check out the list below to see if anything strikes your fancy? Especially if your fancy’s fancy, or if your name’s Nancy. Chekkit below:

  • Birchbox -- Awesome makeup. Awesome how-to. Awesome gift idea. And EASY. They’ve got Birchbox Man, too, if you’re into the power of suggestion.
  • Of A Kind -- Adorable, fashionable, darling, sexy, cool, funky objets d’artsy-fashion from emerging designers. They curate better than I speak French. If you don’t believe me, just check out how awesome I look in this Giraffe Hat.
  • Red Stamp -- For those of you who want to send cards, invitations, notes and family photos showing just how precious you are, look no further than Red Stamp -- your one-stop shop for the above-mentioned adorable paperless cards, with your own photo-cuteness if you wish. If you don’t believe me, believe the New York Times, oh-ho.
  • Hoseanna -- Hoseanna, hey zanna, zanna zanna oh, zanna ho zanna hey zanna... hey lady, lady, you need hosiery? Go with Hoseanna, hey, superstar! Either you get that or you don’t, and I won’t hold it against you. If you’re going to hold something else against you -- namely a dude, sans clothes -- they’ve also got you covered.
  • Artsicle -- Oh my goodness, what’s that VERY FANCY THING ON YOUR WALL THAT ISN’T A MOVIE POSTER OR ONE OF THOSE MONET PRINTS? Look, it’s ART! But it’s art that you didn’t have to spend an arm and a leg for because you rented it from Artsicle, your starter-arter site. Huzzah! Now with gift cards! Go.
  • AHALife -- If you like to surround yourself with singular, distinctive objects carefully selected by people with exquisite taste, then you’ll surely find something unique and cool amongst the , plush faux-fur scarf or the Love Is Art kit, which brings a whole new meaning to DIY. Rawr.
  • Bauble Bar -- Not only is there every type of jewelry you could need -- rings, necklaces, bangles, pendants, earrings of every size and type (remember the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin? Pretty much that) -- it’s organized by style, and helpfully broken down (if you’re like me, you may know how to *buy* accessories, but you don’t know how to *wear* them). I’m loving this elegant old-timey monogram necklace, this Erickson Beamon art-as-necklace (or necklace-as-weapon), and this pearl neck bib.
  • Chloe & Isabel -- Are you a Chloe, or are you an Isabel? And why should you have to choose anyway, dammit? I didn’t. I got the Multi Strand Retro Glam Torsade Necklace which feels very Chloe and the Rocker Chick Spike Shower Earrings which feel very Isabel. Or is it the reverse? Either way, you’re covered.
  • Hot Bread Kitchen -- Mmm. Hot bread. That sounds so much better than just “bread.” Local if you’re NYC, but with some gifting options including granola from the founder’s secret Canadian heritage. Maple flavored? Not unlikely.
  • LARK wristband -- Be the most considerate on-time person ever! The LARK wristwatch wakes up the wearer silently, without disturbing their slumbering partner. Even better, buy it as a gift.
  • littleBits -- MAKE THINGS! Probably your cutest holiday gift-giving option, littleBits is a must for any curious, handy kid you’ve got hanging around. Or grownups. They’re basically little bits of circuit boards that snap together to build, you know, bigger circuit boards. Per the website: “The time is ripe to create the pipe cleaner and the popsicle stick of the 21st century.” AWESOME.

**There are more -- so many more! -- but I’m going to leave it to you to add in the reblog -- and Tereza to aggregate over at the Honestly Now tumblr. Go go go!**

Got a company or a suggestion for a women-run company for xx4xmas? Let Tereza know here.

….And don’t forget to check out the SheMakes Holiday Festival on December 3rd, run by the Daily Muse!

This post was originally published at Change The Ratio.

About the guest blogger: Rachel Sklar is the Editor-at-Large for Mediaite, a site about media and its overlap with politics, tech, business, sports and pop culture. She is the former Senior Contributing Editor for the Huffington Post and was the founding editor of the site's Eat The Press page. She has contributed to the New York Times, the Village Voice, the Daily Beast, Glamour, New York Magazine, and the Financial Times, and is a frequent guest on networks including CNN, MSNBC and Fox News.