Here’s a list of startups with last minute gift ideas for the holidays

Startup Gift Idea Last minute gift ideas from startup companies around Iowa. Illustration courtesy of Nathan Wright.

Anybody else wondering how it suddenly became December?

Just in case the Holiday season snuck up anybody and there’s a need for a last minute gift, Clay & Milk put together a list of startups and local businesses around Iowa with potential ideas.

Here’s our 2017 list of companies:

Dona Bela Shreds

Dona Bela Shreds
The walls inside the Dona Bela Shreds office are covered with shreds.

Using the ends of shirts clothing companies can’t use, Alli Davidson Motoyama founded Dona Bela Shreds in 2010 to create one-of-a-kind neckwear for men or women.

“It’s comfortable fashion,” Alli explained to Clay & Milk back in June. 

In 2016, Des Moines-based Dona Bela Shreds sold roughly 50,000 shreds and reached $1 million in sales.

All shreds are currently on sale.


An example of what comes inside each StemBox.

A company that relocated to Des Moines this summer exposes young girls to STEM activities and mails them a new science kit each month.

StemBox founder Kina McCallister started the company in 2015 as a subscription service where girls ages seven through 12 can sign up for a sophisticated experiment with authentic lab equipment each month.

“When I grew up there weren’t science kits for girls that actually honored their intelligence,” McAllister told Clay & Milk in September. “It’s a lot of makeup, perfume and glitter.”

A new order to StemBox earns 20 percent off and free shipping.

Lil’ Sidekick

Lil Sidekick
An example of the Lil’ Sidekick.

A mompreneur developed the Lil’ Sidekick to end her child’s favorite game at six months old.

Amy Vohs created the Lil’ Sidekick in 2014— six months after becoming a mom— because her son Jaxen was a habitual chucker. The Lil’ Sidekick can adjust to any item and also serves as a toy saver and teether.

It’s now sold at several local baby boutiques, but is sold at Babies R’ Us, Buybuy Baby and Wal Mart.

The Lil’ Sidekick is currently 20 percent off.

Olson-Larsen Galleries

Photographs, prints and dishes are available from the Valley-Junction based Olson-Larsen Galleries. Prices ranging from $90 to over $1,000.

Olson Larsen Galleries
Six of the available items that are for sale at Olson Larsen Galleries.

Other gift ideas from Iowa companies…