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Ink

Ink’s 2012 gift guide

The Kansas City Star

Looking for tasteful holiday gifts? You’ve come to the right place.

Ink’s annual gift guide comes to you from Kansas City’s young tastemakers, people who are putting our hometown on the map in a bigger and bolder way.

No matter your nearest-and-dearests’ tastes, our selections will help curate your list.

FOR TECH GEEKS

Ramsey Mohsen grew up a geek with a fascination for tech. The nerdiness continues (his DIY Halloween costume was Instagram). The 29-year-old’s full-time job is director of social media at DEG. He’s also a Web strategist and blogger who reviews the latest in tech devices.

  • LESS WORK, MORE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

Memory card at Eye-Fi. Mohsen saw this product two years ago at the Consumer Electronics Show and it won best in show — it’s just hitting the market this year. How it works: it transfers your digital camera pics and videos automatically and wirelessly. It also cleans itself so it never runs out of memory, $39.

The source: eye.fi

  • INSTANT GRATIFICATION FOR INSTAGRAM LOVERS

Fisheye, wide-angle, macro camera lens for the iPhone at OlloClip. This is really fun for the person who is into taking photos with their iPhone. Check out the sweet pic Mohsen took at Livestrong Park. The iPhone 5 version is on its way. Lens, $69.

The source: olloclip.com

  • TO YOUR HEALTH

Activity tracker at FitBit. There’s a trend in analytics — especially lifestyle analytics. This device tracks fitness: steps, distance, calories burned, stairs climbed and “making it different than (other devices), it also tracks how well you sleep.” $99.

The source: fitbit.com

  • CUTTING THE CABLE CORD

Streaming device at Roku. This box lets you stream TV shows and movies through Hulu and Netflix to your television. No cable subscription required. Pair it with an HD antenna (about $30), and you’re in business. Roku 2 XD, $79.

The source: roku.com

  • AWESOME SOUND ANYWHERE

Wireless speaker at Jawbone. The Jambox is a brick-sized speaker that allows you to have high-quality sound on your patio, camping, tailgating and road trips. Not only can it be used for music, it can be used for movies and as a speaker phone for business calls. It comes in 100 color configurations (Mohsen has a red one), $199.

The source: jawbone.com

  • COOLER HEATING AND COOLING

App-programmable thermostat at Nest. Not only can you use your smartphone to efficiently control your home’s air conditioner and furnace, it looks stylish. That’s because designers of the iPod designed this, $249.

The source: nest.com

  • STREAMING SUBSCRIPTIONS

In-the-cloud movies, TV shows or music at Netflix, Pandora and Spotify. “These are the gifts that keep on giving,” Mohsen says. “They have lots of emotional credit.” Costs vary.

The sources: netflix.com; pandora.com; spotify.com

FOR THE FASHIONABLE

Matt and Emily Baldwin own Baldwin Denim, an American-made clothing collection at Barneys New York and Nordstrom, dozens of specialty stores internationally and at their namesake store in Leawood. The couple also own Standard Style boutiques at the Country Club Plaza and in Leawood. GQ named Baldwin Denim the best place to buy jeans. ’Nuff said.

  • MARKET BAG WITHMISSION

KC Market Bag at Baldwin Denim and Standard Style. “It’s the perfect grab-and-go bag,” says Emily Baldwin. It supports Saidpur Enterprises, a project that helps mothers of malnourished children in Bangladesh with temporary employment producing jute handicrafts and supports artisans selling on the fair trade market. They also provide literacy classes, training on nutrition, women’s legal rights, educational awareness and finance. Apolis + Baldwin KC Market Bag, $68

The source: Baldwin Denim, 4573 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-312-2382, shop.baldwindenim.com; Standard Style, 451 W. 47th St., 913-685-4464; 4573 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-317-8828

  • THE” WALLET

Wallet at Baldwin Denim. It’s made from the same selvage fabric used in Baldwin jeans (that will break in as you use it). “This wallet can carry just about anything a guy could need to carry, from a phone to credit cards and sunglasses,” says Emily. Take that, George Costanza. The wallet is $78.

The source: Baldwin Denim, 4573 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-312-2382, shop.baldwindenim.com

  • SMALL-BATCH SPIRITS

Templeton Rye Whiskey at Gomer’s Midtown. Until recently, the Baldwins explain, Templeton, made in Templeton, Iowa, was available in only a few cities outside Iowa. To get a bottle, you had to know a guy. Still only available in a few more cities, this is sure to be a hit (plus is a great whiskey for the price). $39.99

The source: Gomer’s Midtown, 3838 Broadway St., 816-931-4170, gomers.com

  • IT MUST BE GOOD LOTION

Kai body lotion at Standard Style. “Its scent is clean and fresh, and it has great moisturizing agents,” Emily says. Kai was named Oprah’s favorite lotion. $32

The source: Standard Style, 451 W. 47th St., 913-685-4464; 4573 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-317-8828

  • LUSTER FOR YOUR LOCKS

Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Oil at Shelby Herrick Salon. “It adds a polish and shine to hair,” Emily says. The oil is $68.

The source: Shelby Herrick Salon, 2712 West 53rd St., Fairway, 913-800-8228, shelbyherricksalon.com

  • FRESH FRAGRANCE

Bond No. 9 at Halls Plaza. “It’s the perfect scent in the perfect bottle,” Emily says. The New York Musk, 3.4 ounces, is $330, and the Manhattan is $270. The Hamptons (in a blue bottle, not shown. $245) is Emily’s favorite.

The source: Halls Plaza, 211 Nichols Road, 816-274-3222

  • EVERYDAY PURSE

Rebecca Minkoff purse at Standard Style. It’s the go-to “small” purse, says Emily. “It’s versatile with great color and details.” $195

The source: Standard Style, 451 W. 47th St., 913-685-4464; 4573 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-317-8828

  • POSH POLISH

Butter nail polish at Standard Style. The names alone are fun on this polish from across the pond in London. “All Hail the Queen,” “British Racing Green” and our fave: “No More Waity, Katie.” $18 each.

The source: Standard Style, 451 W. 47th St., 913-685-4464; 4573 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-317-8828

  • HERE’S TO YOUR HEALTH

Gift card at Fusion Fitness. “It’s an inspiring, full-body workout meant to shock your body each class,” Emily says.

The source: Fusion Fitness, 7134 W. 80th St., Overland Park, 913-787-0761, 10577 W. 105th St., Leawood, 913-787-0761, fusionfitness.com

FOR DESIGN TYPES

Morgan Georgie and Carrie Kiefer are friends who formed the surface-pattern, graphic- and product-design company Ampersand Design Studio. They met at KU, studied abroad in England together and worked in the same department at Hallmark for close to 10 years. Their design work appears on fabric and journals that other companies manufacture, and they create platters and prints for their own Etsy shop, too.

  • NAIL IT

Mani/pedi at Hoopla. All of the mani/pedi/manicure/waxing studio’s polishes are bad-chemical free (toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl, phthalate and camphor, to be exact) and made in the U.S. Georgie and Kiefer suggest a $65 gift certificate for a mani/pedi, which lets you take home one of their custom-color mini-polishes.

The source: Hoopla, 2708 W. 53rd St., Fairway, 913-777-5959, hooplastudio.com

  • GET BUZZED

Dizzy Three Vodka at Gomer’s Midtown. Roasterie coffee of Kansas City and Clear 10 Vodka of Olathe have combined their expertise to produce Dizzy Three air-roasted, espresso-flavored vodka. It’s a natural poured in coffee, and “it’s perfect for spiking hot cocoa,” Georgie says. We hear it’s good on vanilla ice cream, too. $22.99

The source: Gomer’s Midtown, 3838 Broadway St., 816-931-4170, gomers.com

  • SPICE IT UP

Waylande Gregory salt and pepper shakers at the Shop at Studio Dan Meiners. The marvelous mid-century modern work of the Kansas-born artist is being resurrected by his family and often includes animal motifs such as these cranes. $150.

The source: The Shop at Studio Dan Meiners, 2500 West Pennway, 816-842-7244, danmeiners.com

  • GO GRAPHIC

Trina Turk Side Step top at Clique Boutique. Georgie and Kiefer love the double-block diamond pattern of this asymmetrical silk top. $248

The source: Clique Boutique, 6951 Tomahawk Road, Prairie Village, 913-362-3030

  • A CLUTCH CLUTCH

Maddy Nash purse at Hoopla. Nash is a local designer, and her company is named for her two kids. Her work is available with a personalized label — you can say anything you want! This clutch without the personalized label is $59.55

The source: Hoopla, 2708 W. 53rd St., Fairway, 913-777-5959, hooplastudio.com

  • BRIGHT BANDS

Hair accessories at Bijin Salon. “You don’t always think of a hair salon for gifts, but they have a great selection,” says Georgie. A set of five neon and sparkly bands is $9.

The source: Bijin Salon, 6960 Mission Lane, Prairie Village, 913-671-7777, bijinsalon.com

  • HOMETOWN HAT

The KC at Baldwin Denim. “This is a no-fail gift for the guys,” says Kiefer. Hey, KU and Mizzou fans: this hat is available in other color combos, including crimson with blue and black with gold. $42

The source: Baldwin Denim, 4573 W. 119th St., Leawood, 913-312-2382, shop.baldwindenim.com

  • PERFECT PATTERN

Jewelry at Frankly Basic. As surface designers, Kiefer and Georgie like it when they see pattern in unusual places. Earrings, $16; cuff, $18

The source: Frankly Basic, 327 E. 55th St., 816-444-7797, franklybasic.com

  • BETTER THAN MOST CANDLES

Binth candles at Bon Bon Atelier. Of course good graphic designers will appreciate the work of other good graphic designers. Binth is out of the Chicago area. Made of soy wax in glazed glass tumblers, they make great hostess gifts, say Georgie and Kiefer. The red-flower one is “Luscious,” scented with red currant and thyme; the other is “Wishful,” with violet leaves, black currant bud, musk, vanilla and cedar. $26 each

The source: Bon Bon Atelier, 314 Westport Road, 816-756-0855, bonbonatelier.com

  • NAMESAKE MOTIF

Ampersand print at Ampersand Design Studio’s Etsy shop. The latest 11-by-14-inch print from the designing duo is turquoise and gold. $22 each

The source: etsy.com/shop/shopampersand

FOR THE FOODIES

Rachel Ciordas, manager of curriculum at the Culinary Center of Kansas City, is known as the “dean of deliciousness.” So she’s a literal tastemaker.

  • COOKING CLASSES

Gift certificate for cooking classes at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. Good for cooking classes of all kinds — sushi to cinnamon rolls, weight loss to cake decorating. Junior Chefs Academy classes and memberships are just right for kids. “There’s also the Midwest BBQ Institute classes for keeping up Kansas City’s smokin’ barbecue traditions as well as chef-prepared meals from Dinners on Demand,” Ciordas says. Typical classes cost $50 to $75.

The source: Culinary Center of Kansas City, 7920 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, 913-341-4455, kcculinary.com

  • VINEGAR WITH VA-VA VOOM

Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar at Tasteful Olive. “Chocolate and balsamic vinegar are two of my favorite things,” Ciordas says. “This stuff is delicious on strawberries, ice cream, peaches and so much more. If chocolate isn’t your favorite, they have tons of flavors of balsamic vinegars and olive oils that you can taste in the shop.” A 375-milliliter bottle is $16.95.

The source: The Tasteful Olive, 7945 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, 913-649-7900, thetastefulolive.com

  • ARTFUL COFFEE (DISPLAY THE BAGS!)

A bag of “nano-roasted” coffee at Oddly Correct. Beans are roasted in-house and kraft-paper bags are stamped with wood-block art, also created in-house. Oddly Correct sells weekly subscriptions and delivers by bike as far north as the City Market, as far south as 63rd Street as far east as the Paseo and as far west as Rainbow Boulevard. A bag of seasonal beans (wood block not included) from the store is $16.

The source: Oddly Correct, 3934 Main St. (odd hours: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday), oddlycorrect.com

  • SHOTS OF CHOCOLATE

Chocolate shot glasses at Annedore’s. “Dark chocolate shot glasses are fun for holiday parties,” Ciordas says. They don’t have to be filled with liqueur or wine — mousse, fruit and/or whipped cream work, too. “Nondrinkers also can pick up adorable chocolate Christmas mice. This is a hidden treasure of a chocolate shop west of the Plaza. While people are in the ’hood they should definitely stop at the legendarily tiny Hi Hat coffee shop next door.” Eight shot glasses are $12.

The source: Annedore’s Fine Chocolates, 5006 State Line Road, Westwood Hills, 913-831-0302, annedoreschocolates.com

  • NOW THAT’S A KNIFE!

Knife at Pryde’s Old Westport. “The one thing every cook needs is a great knife,” Ciordas says. “OK, I confess to an obsession with German- and Japanese-forged steel — it’s a problem.” To the uninitiated, Ciordas describes Pryde’s as a “candy store for cooks.” She stops in the basement for a piece of Upper Crust pie when she’s there. The knife she likes best is a Wusthof 7-inch Classic Santoku knife for $89.99.

The source: Pryde’s Old Westport, 115 Westport Road, Kansas City, 816-531-5588, prydesoldwestport.com

FOR PET LOVERS

Rachel Hodgson grew up with dogs, cats, fish, snakes and gerbils. She feels as if she’s living her dream as spokeswoman for Great Plains SPCA in Mission, one of the area’s largest no-kill shelters. Together with her husband, John, they’ve fostered and adopted animals including a terrier mix named Lola and Peaches the Siamese.

  • MODELING SESSION

Pet portrait at Tim Yeaglin Portraiture & Imaging. Yeaglin takes photos of shelter animals. “They are adopted faster when he takes photos vs. unprofessional snapshots,” Hodgson says. Yeaglin offers studio sessions of dogs, cats and even birds starting at $50, but also offers packages for house calls and goes on location if you’re looking for frame-ups.

The source: timyeaglin.com

  • PLUSH TOYS THAT DON’T LOSE THEIR STUFF

Skinneeez Big Bite Water Bottle Toy at Great Plains SPCA retail store. These stuffing-free toys are “the crave” for pets of all sizes, Hodgson says — both her dog and cat play with it. Simply place an empty water bottle inside and watch your best friend enjoy hours of chewing entertainment. “It’s a great way to be green and make your pup happy,” she says. Purchases in the pet adoption center support needy pets. $10

The source: Great Plains SPCA’s retail store, MetroPAWlitan Outfitters, in the Pet Adoption Center, 9800 W. 67th St., Merriam, 913-742-7355, greatplainsspca.org. Dec. 1, the store and adoption center move to 5424 Antioch Drive, Merriam.

  • FRESH FIND

YUM Mist canine spritz at Pet Junkie. Chemical- and alcohol-free mister for lifting the funk from your furry friend. “This is a good item for a friend,” Hodgson says. “It’s humorous but also useful.” Made by Indigo Wild of Kansas City, the scent can be sprayed on fur, doggie beds and anywhere in need of freshening. $9.95

The source: petjunkie.com

  • INDULGENT FUN

Tomato Soup and Cheese Wafers at Three Dog Bakery. Have fun spoiling your pet with special treats for the holiday. This 13-ounce can, meant to represent the classic tomato soup and grilled-cheese sandwich combo, meets the cute and natural flavors quotient. $12.95

The source: Three Dog Bakery, 602 W. 48th St., 800-487-3287, threedog.com

  • DOTING DONATION

Donation in honor of a pet at Great Plains SPCA. Give a gift in honor or memory of your pet. It will help to provide shelter, medical care, spay/neuter and assistance to find a forever home to the more than 20,000 needy pets served by Great Plains every year. Gifts can start at $20 and go on up to kennel sponsorship and beyond.

The source: Great Plains SPCA, 9800 W. 67th St., Merriam, 913-742-7355, greatplainsspca.org. Dec. 1, the adoption center moves to 5424 Antioch Drive, Merriam.

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