Ethical Home Goods Entrepreneur Sara Berks Shares Her Must-Have Gifts This Holiday Season

By Samantha Daly / Published by Dwell
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The founder and creative director of MINNA shows us everything she’ll be giving to her favorite people and furry friends.

After graduating from The School of Visual Arts and trying her hand at digital branding, Sara Berks left the field to pursue her desire to use design to create an impact. In 2013 she founded MINNA, a queer-owned, ethically-made line of home goods rooted in traditional craft techniques. They collaborate with female weavers and artisans in Central and South America, which ensures job creation and craft preservation. The designs are splashy, textural, and meant to be mixed and matched—a perfect mashup of feminist art, the Bauhaus, traditional craft, and vintage textiles. We asked Sara to tell us which items from her line and beyond she’s hoping to gift (and get!) this season.

Sara Berks, founder and creative director of MINNA.

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"Everyone I know has been spending more time in the kitchen this year."

MINNA Stripe Apron - Apricot

MINNA's new Spring-inspired collection includes all of your kitchen staples - napkins, towels, oven mitts, potholders, and aprons! Grab everything in the same color, or mix and match colors and stripes to liven up your kitchen. Features an adjustable loop tie for around the neck, a pocket, and two tool loops for your spoons, spatulas, or matching tea towel. Handwoven by a family run cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico.

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"You can fill this basket with smaller, gift-y items too! We like to encourage customers at the shop to use our baskets as ‘sustainable wrapping.’"

MINNA Small Palm Basket

These small palm baskets are great for all sorts of storage - kitchen, bathroom, or catchall. The hand-braided palm is sewn into super sturdy baskets and ready for whatever you throw at (or in) them. Handmade by a family run co-op in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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"This dog collar is just what my dog Soba needs this season! Dogs need some extra love this year too!"

Wild One Collar

Easy to use. Simple to clean. Made with a super strong flex-poly strap, this all-weather collar is comfortable and functional. It's also dirt and odor resistant.

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"I really like gifting useful items—especially from brands whose ethics I respect. Diaspora is a really amazing queer and BIPOC–owned brand and I love what they’re striving to do for the spice trade."

Diaspora Co. Pragati Turmeric

This is what we're best known for- the freshest, most potent turmeric, the new gold standard! So bright, so zesty, and deeply floral, it's turmeric like you've never had before. Grown by our beloved Kasaraneni family amidst marigolds, bananas, and black rice on their 3rd generation farm. Whilst Mr. Prabhu Kasaraneni’s family has been farming for three generations, he is a self taught organic farmer who began growing heirloom Pragati turmeric in 2015, with assistance from the Indian Institute of Spice Research.

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"I love everything Connie and Alex do over at East Fork—from the actual products to the care they take with supporting their community."

East Fork Popcorn Bowl

The right size bowl for all the popcorn it takes to binge watch Game of Thrones with your sweetie. Makes a great mixing bowl or serving bowl for a crowd of 4-8. You know those come-to-Jesus moments when you’ve eaten nothing but take-out Chinese and pizza for a week straight and your body yells “FEED ME A BIG BOWL OF RAW GREEN STUFF” and you finally listen? When you’ve just gotta eat a salad like it’s your job, reach for this guy.

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"I’ve had this sweater sitting in my cart for weeks! I love Kotn’s commitment to ethical fiber and direct trade."

Kotn Knitted Lantern Sweater

A two-toned take on our Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt. Knit from the softest 100% cotton with a mid-length hem and vented side-seams made to be tucked in or out. With billowy lantern-shaped puff sleeves, the Knitted Lantern Sweater is both relaxed and romantic.

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"I’ve never been a great cocktail maker and now that we can’t go out to enjoy them, this is a nice way to make something special at home!"

Haus Sampler Kit

This customizable kit lets you sip your way through four apéritif flavors of your choosing. Delicious whichever way you mix and match, each 200ml bottle is perfectly sized for 2-3 drinks.

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Related Reading:

Watch: MINNA Teams Up With Oaxacan Artisans to Weave the Ethical Home Goods of Our Dreams

MINNA Just Dropped a Delightful New Collection of Home Goods Just in Time for Spring

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