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

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. The company collaborates with female weavers and artisans in Central and South America, which ensures job creation and the preservation of traditional crafts. 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.

"For the baker, artist, or gardener in your life."

Minna Utility Apron
The newest member of Minna's apron family is designed to function just as well in your studio or workspace as it will in your kitchen. With two large pockets and an open back, our Utility apron is breathable and functional while remaining fun in three bright colorways.

"I got really into fancy tinned fish last year, and I think these make the cutest gifts!"

Fishwife Smoked Rainbow Trout (3 Pack)
Our rainbow trout is raised in pure Idaho spring water, always without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, or genetic engineering. The trout are fed a sustainable, nutrient-rich diet (goals!). AND our rainbow trout has 62x less mercury than the FDA’s allowable standard.

"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.

"I always need to get something for my dog, Soba!"

Minna Ziggy Dog Bed
Finally, MINNA brings you the perfect dog bed for the pup in your life. Although we call it a dog bed, it’s really the perfect spot for any four-legged friend to nap on. We also think it doubles as a floor pillow.

"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.

"These candles come in a few playful color combinations, including a new exclusive one just for us."

NíLE Candles - Paleta
A whimsical set of two-toned candles designed and handmade in Mexico City by NÍLE. We love that these tapers can be placed right on the tabletop or on a ceramic dish.

"My partner is a mycologist and has been teaching me everything about mushrooms. I think this syrup is a nice intro for a newbie."

Rainbo Forest Juice - Medicinal Mushroom Maple Syrup
Forest Juice is the essence of the forest: sweet maple sap filled with its medicinal ecology and infused with functional mushrooms: Reishi, Chaga and Turkey Tail.

"I really like gifting useful items—especially from brands whose ethics I respect. Diaspora Co. 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
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...

"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.

"I’ve never been a great cocktail maker, but 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.

"I always like to gift friends and family a piece of my artwork. Now you can, too!"

Ready by Sara Berks
 We're excited to have some of Sara's original paintings for sale. About these pieces: Each piece is approached without a plan and I draw with a pen so I can’t erase or begin again. I draw the outer frame or frames first and then draw all the shapes and patterns inside.

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