Many veterans return home from their tours of duty with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion to continue their service in a new way. These veteran-owned companies make unique and meaningful gifts for anyone on your holiday shopping list.
For the tea connoisseur: Rakkasan Tea Company
During tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brandon Friedman often enjoyed tea provided by local residents. With this inspiration, he founded Rakkasan Tea Company, which sources their tea from war-torn countries, such as Vietnam and Rwanda, to promote peace and economic development. From green to oolong to black tea, Rakkasan Tea Company has a variety you can feel good about sipping.
For the proud patriot: Flags of Valor
Flags of Valor was started by Brian Steorts, an Army and Air Force veteran with a woodworking hobby and a desire to give jobs to disabled combat veterans. The flags are handmade from white pine by veterans in Virginia and are sure to make a beautiful statement in any home.
For the sustainable fashionista: Sword and Plough
U.S. Army Officer Emily Nuñez Cavness and her sister Betsy started Sword and Plough to empower veteran employment and create fashionable, durable bags and purses from military surplus material. Their brand has expanded to include jewelry and apparel, all repurposed from military materials. Sword and Plough employs veterans through every stage — from manufacturing to modeling — and donates five percent of profits to veteran organizations.
For the No-Shave November advocate: Stubble + ‘Stache
Navy SEALs and hipsters alike are known for their thick beards. Combat veteran Nick Karnaze’s “deployment beard” inspired him to create Stubble + ‘Stache, a beard and skin care line for men. Stubble + ‘Stache donates five percent of profits to organizations that support veteran mental health.
For your four-legged friend: TurboPUP
You may remember Kristina Guerrero and her dog, Dunkan, from Shark Tank. Guerrero is an Air Force veteran and the founder of TurboPUP, a high-quality and nutritious energy bar for dogs. We think Fido would be pretty excited to find a TurboPUP treat in his stocking, don’t you?
For the master chef: Rumi Spice
Did you know that the best saffron in the world comes from Afghanistan? When Emily Miller, Kimberly Jung and Keith Alaniz were serving in the United States Army in war-torn Afghanistan, they discovered the vibrant and intense flavor that came from the “queen of all spices”, saffron. From then on, they had a mission to cultivate peace and to empower women who rely on saffron farming in Afghanistan. Today, their company, Rumi Spice, employs thousands of Afghan women who hand-harvest saffron to be sold in the United States. Not sure where to start with this versatile spice? Rumi Spice’s website has dozens of delectable recipes, from saffron orange cupcakes to saffron toasted quinoa. Yum!
Veteran’s Day is November 11. Take a moment to thank a veteran for his or her service!