A Gift Guide For The New Grown-Up

I’ve dressed as Peter Pan for more Halloweens than I can count, but no matter my opposition, I can’t help but to enjoy living in a clean, decorated apartment, where the fridge is full and the alarm system is engaged. It’s easy to want to shirk certain responsibilities, but luckily various startups that have sprouted up over the past few years are ready to help with any inconvenience.

Whether it’s about making your place safer or more beautiful, or taking your style to a more professional level, this gift guide should have something for the Toys’R’Us Kid in all of us.

Frank & Oak Messenger

The Frank & Oak Messenger is a great upgrade for someone looking to transition from carrying gear around in a backpack to something more professional. It’s a deep navy bag, handmade in Montreal with full-grain tanned leather, and comes with a protective slot for a Laptop up to 15-inches. But there’s room for plenty of other stuff, including a tablet, charger, camera, e-reader, or whatever, with plenty of smaller zipper pockets for meticulous organization. It looks slick and unique in a world full of messenger bags, for $245. Unfortunately, the members-only site makes your register before you can look at certain items, including this particular bag. Boo. (Update: Except we got you one. Here.)

Blue Apron

We live in a busy world, and stopping to buy groceries is not only inconvenient, but it normally ends up costing more than it should, with plenty of ingredients going to waste over the course of the week. Blue Apron, which boxes up the perfectly portioned ingredients and recipes for your cooking pleasure, really solves a lot of the difficulty with traditional grocery shopping and cooking. Not only will the recipient have a week’s worth of food delivered to their door, but they’ll learn about new and interesting ingredients. It’s an easy yet thoughtful gift idea.

Scout Alarm

I’ve been raving about the Scout Alarm since I first installed it, each day growing more and more comfortable with the security it provides. It’s a configurable internet-connected alarm system that can be installed in less than an hour in any home. After buying the Scout Hub, which starts at $149, users can add sensors like a Door monitor, motion sensors, and access sensors. It’s a smart gift idea since it shows concern for a loved one’s safety, and it’s easy to add more sensors if you just want to start your loved one out with the Hub and the Door monitor.


It can be hard to find something unique and beautiful to decorate your walls, but Curioos provides prints from digital artists on paper, aluminum, canvas, or acrylic glass. The platform provides proper credit and compensation for artists and their work, and each piece is hand-crafted to keep the integrity of the original piece. There are dozens of collections to choose from and the pieces start at relatively low prices.

Bowers & Wilkins P5 Series 2

I’ve tried out a lot of over-the-ear headphones in my day, and while I’m not as much of a stickler as Matt or Darrell about acoustics, I’m pretty serious when it comes to comfort. With the B&W P5 headphones, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll feel like warm, fluffy earmuffs cupping sound directly into your brain. The sound quality is right up there with other high-end headphones, but with a little leather attitude that speaks to style enthusiasts. They cost a pretty penny, at $299, but they’re worth it.

Bow & Drape

If you really want to give something that’s one of a kind, Bow & Drape is a drop-dead simple place to go. The clothing startup lets users customize almost any piece of clothing, or shop from already-customized pieces, to find or create something that is truly unique. You can buy anything from accessories to full outfits and dresses, and everything comes out to a reasonable price, given the logistics of customizing so many different items. The only caveat is that Bow & Drape is a bit slow on the turn-around, so get your orders sorted quickly.