10 Gifts for the Boss That Don’t Suck

In searching for gifts for my badd ass boss lady friends…I found myself appalled at some of the sexist, boring, and absolutely uninspiring “Gifts for the Boss” recommendations in magazines, blog posts, and Google searches. NO MORE CANDLES! I mean, we love candles but we get those all the time and busy boss ladies already have a shelf full from gifts of Christmas past. Have a gift idea? Send it to us and we’ll add it to this list (as long as it’s not horrible or stereotypical).

1. Lunch

We’re busy. We sometimes don’t get to eat lunch. Sometimes, a granola bar is as good as it gets. Put together a “quick lunch” basket that she can shove in a closet or in a desk drawer that is hearty, healthy, and filling on the run or on a tight schedule. Head to Trader Joe’s, REI or, even better, your local health food store and stock up. Dried fruit, soup cups, mixed nuts, dehydrated meals, instant coffee, chocolate, etc. Add in re-usable bags, bento box, and travel coffee cups as a bonus (we lose these things sometimes!).

2. Portable Speaker

This is something that you don’t think you need and then you have one and it’s awesome. Whether it’s work travel and you’re in a hotel room or you’re on a beach for a moment to yourself, having your own tunes can put you in the right mood right away. This also came in handy once when the taxi driver’s radio was broken and I really wanted some sweet beats for the 20 minute drive as I was preparing to give an important presentation. Music mends moods!

Bose SoundLink

3. Foldable Slip on Ballet Flats

Oh, those heels/boots/new shoes sometimes HURT! Buying my first pair of foldable ballet flats was life changing! Whether heading home from salsa class, slipping these on underneath my desk, or running to catch the subway, these are compact, travel friendly, and comfortable alternatives when your tootsies need a break. They slip right into any small to mid-size bag easily and are stylish enough to wear the rest of the day.

Yosi Samra Foldable Ballet Flat

4. Decanter Set

Whiskey, scotch, or just a pretty water serving set jazzes up any office in a functional and “wind your day down” kind of way. Pair it with the boss’s favorite brand or add personalized initials for that extra touch. It’s sophisticated, grown up, and graduates you from drinking out of Solo cups from the bottom drawer of the desk.

Quinton Globe Decanter

5. Quality Pen Set

I thought fancy and expensive pens were total bullshit until I used one of my boss’s in my mid-twenties. I couldn’t afford his pen at the time but woah, that’s what big salary feels like. The weight, the smooth texture, the cold metal, the silky ink – if your boss is still using Bic, upgrade her to a high quality pen set. Totally lost on where to start or how much to spend? Check out this guide we found.

Hugo Boss Pen Set

6. Ornate Mirror

I have spent days forgetting to check myself in a mirror before I leave my office. Deep in spreadsheets, writing reports, preparing to pitch a proposal all make me do weird things to my hair, face, and body while I’m “focusing”. Shout out to you executive assistants out there – you’ve saved my ass too many times to count with the kind but quizzical, “Uh, Christine…your hair?” Yep. Still up in an odd shaped messy bun with fly aways and a pencil sticking out of it. Beautiful, gilded French-style mirrors are making a trending comeback. Sometimes a fancy mirror placed right by the door gives that extra second of “check yourself”.

French Mirror in a Fancy French Office

7. Mary Kay Lip Gloss

Okay. This one IS a little more of a feminine stereotype (in all honesty, I hope more and more men/everyone get on this train – gender is a construct!). I just put this one into play today so I’m throwing it out there. Lip gloss fancies your face up when you need to jump on a Zoom call or meet a client for lunch. If you forgot the earrings (like I did today) or you are looking for some color on your face that doesn’t include eye shadow (which I hate putting on) then a colored lip gloss is your jam. It’s a quick way to say, “No, no. I DO have my shit together and I look fabulous.” It also moistens up your lips, helps you check if your breath smells, and gives you a refreshing split-moment and deep breath before you head into your next thing. I swear by the Mary Kay Lip Gloss Set. Shout out to my Aunt Christy who has been slinging Mary Kay for over 30 years! 🙂

Mary Kay Lip Gloss

8. Cord and Tech Organizer

There is nothing more frustrating than rummaging around your bag for your charger or ear pods and then pulling out a wadded up mess that you have to try and untangle. Organizing your technology and charging cords into an easy to carry and stylish little number will help reduce stress, help you find what you need quickly, and you’ll look very put together in the process. It’ll also help avoid those “flinging the cords up and down” meltdown that inevitably happens 45 seconds into the debacle of untangling.

Dagne Dover Arlo Tech Organizer

9. Office Plant

Most of us have been relegated to home office status (don’t we love it?!) and research shows that having a natural oxygen producing element in the office helps us be healthier people. Connection to nature and natural elements is an important aspect of healthy human life – both for mental and physical health. Getting someone a new green friend is a way to say you care and will add fresh positivity to the office. And let’s be honest, since we don’t have co-workers right next door anymore, having a plant to talk to can’t be so bad.


10. Handkerchiefs

Hear me out! Similar to the towel in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a handkerchief is about the most subtle and useful tool in your pocket or bag. Smudged lipstick? Handkerchief. Runny nose? Handkerchief. Spilled something? Handkerchief. Need a napkin? Handkerchief. Hankies are pretty, stylish, and eco-friendly with reusability. It’s incredibly useful and doesn’t look like you pulled a used crumply old paper napkin out that you used on your nose three times before.

Bumblebee Linens

This post is NOT sponsored. No payments were received for any suggestions. These are just items and ideas we think are awesome. Find local options, support local business.

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