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1323 6th Ave N.
Nashville, TN, 37208

The Skillery is a Nashville coworking space with resources and programming for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small teams and independent professionals, all aimed at making work meaningful, satisfying and unabashedly fun.

The Skillery's holiday gift guide for entrepreneurs

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Welcome to our blog, where we share stories and profiles of the entrepreneurs and events that call The Skillery home.

The Skillery's holiday gift guide for entrepreneurs

Nicole Keiper

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Entrepreneurs are our people. Our people, we’ll admit, can be hard to shop for.

In the spirit of holiday helpfulness — and with a focus on goods from Nashville entrepreneurs, since the Skillery community is stocked with Nashville entrepreneurs — we present our 2015 holiday gift guide, full of fun, useful stuff, organized by how it’ll help your entrepreneurial giftee.

If you have suggestions for things to add, we'd love to hear 'em — drop a shout in the comments.

The Skillery’s 2015 holiday gift guide for entrepreneurs

2016 Stoke.d wall calendars

To keep their plans organized but flexible... We’re big proponents of making prodigious use of sticky notes for those ever-changing parts of entrepreneurial life — plans, ideas, notes on assumptions for the Business Model Canvas in our Introduction to Entrepreneurship Starter Kit. So we’re also big fans of our partners Stoke.d’s wall calendars. They’re nice and big (23 x 22 1/2 inches) and are made to use with sticky notes, so you can shuffle and reshuffle meetings, plans and other to-dos. ($40, through Stoke.d)

Made By Cardinal’s Lifta desk organizer

To keep their workstation organized... The computer monitor-cuddling Lifta (created by Steric Design’s Jonathan Malphrus, who’s also responsible for The Skillery’s big and colorful main room wall art) does three main things: raises a computer up to ergonomically appropriate height; creates convenient space to stock extras like a keyboard and mouse; and keeps desks from looking like technology noodle soup. Added benefit: It’s a beautiful piece of furniture all its own, available in baltic birch plywood, ash and oak. ($125, through Made By Cardinal)

Griffin Technology’s Survivor Summit iPhone case

To keep their tech protected... A few months back when that massive AT&T outage took over Nashville, many of us got a rude awakening about how dependent on our smart phones we are. One member of Team Skillery may or may not have celebrated the return of service by over-excitedly dropping her phone and smashing the screen to pieces. (Sad trombone.) A good way to help your entrepreneurial loved ones avoid tech disaster: Griffin Technology’s Survivor Summit iPhone case. It’s made to survive a 10-foot drop onto concrete, a clumsy dip into the mud, a slosh through the parking lot in Tennessee rain and lots of other bummers. You’d have to be fairly gifted to tank your phone in this tank of a case. And a cool added bonus: Griffin is a Nashville company, and a praise-worthy local entrepreneurial success story. ($49.99-$59.99 through Griffin)

DhHeritage leather phone case/card holder

To keep their tech protected and wallet stuff collected... We really love this leather phone case/card holder — for when you’re in the middle of the trademark entrepreneurial mad-dashing to get things done, it’s a handy (and cool looking) way to keep your necessaries on hand. And speaking of hands: It’s handmade by Nashville entrepreneur Deborah Huitt, who runs custom bag/luggage line DhHeritage and helms East Nashville Shop Upper Eastside Nashville. ($45 at Upper Eastside Nashville, 937 Woodland Street)

LinenLaid&Felt pocket-sized handmade leather journal 

To help them keep thoughts collected (and in a pretty place)... We’ve mentioned before that, even with the plethora of digital note-taking options available, we’re still partial to real-deal pen and paper scribbling. And we’re definitely not alone among entrepreneurs there. Our favorite option for notebook gifting: the creations of Katie Gonzalez, a.k.a. LinenLaid&Felt, a.k.a the first-ever Skillery teacher. She hand-binds all her beautiful books, including her cool, 3 x 4 1/2-inch, stash-in-bag-or-pocket-resistant leather journals. Having one of these makes you want to think thoughts, and write them down. Always a good practice for an entrepreneur. ($45 via LinenLaid&Felt Etsy page)

The Skillery’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship Starter Kit

To help them get a business ideas out of their head, and into the world... What, were we not gonna include our own thing? Psh. We’re hugely proud of The Skillery’s first-ever physical product, a Starter Kit designed to get aspiring entrepreneurs learning business basics while working directly on their business idea. It includes: the custom-designed, 74-page workbook we developed and tested on Nashville entrepreneurs; lots of useful, hands-on tools (including our custom version of the Business Model Canvas); a custom journal for scribbling ideas in; and lots of extras to keep folks working in style. It’s packaged in an awesome custom box, too, and shipping and gift-wrapping are free. If you asked us, it’s the perfect gift for someone who’s been chewing on making the jump into entrepreneurship. And if you clicked on this post, you kinda did ask us, sorta? ($59 through The Skillery; through our pre-order phase, we’re knocking $10 off, so right now, it’s $49, packed up and shipped to someone you love.)

Membership to the Nashville Entrepreneur Center

To help them stay connected... For Nashville entrepreneurs who are shooting for something more locally focused — say, opening a donut shop, creating neighborhood food tours — we feel like The Skillery is a perfect home and resource. When you’re shooting for something scalable, and planning to hunt for investors, we’d urge you to explore the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, a fantastic place to learn and grow in that realm. Your giftee fall into the latter category? A yearlong membership to the EC would be hugely valuable, giving them access to workspace, networking and educational events, mentors and more. ($150 through the Nashville Entrepreneur Center)


1 Year Print & Digital Subscription to Nashville Business Journal

To help them stay informed... If you’re starting a local business, it’s smart to stay abreast of what’s happening in the local business world. Maybe the best way here in Nashville: Read the Nashville Business Journal regularly. They’re always on top of everything, from technology to real estate to food (even sometimes The Skillery), and they do what they do extra well. A yearlong gift subscription would offer a serious glut of useful information to any aspiring or growing entrepreneur. ($91 through BizJournals.com)

Steadfast Coffee beans

To help them stay alert... We’re partial to Germantown’s Steadfast Coffee for a few reasons. First, they launched as a pop-up inside our space, and they’re some of the best folks and most creative, dedicated entrepreneurs you’ll meet in Nashville (or anywhere else). Now they’re our neighbors, and have a gorgeous coffee shop at 603 Taylor Street that’s filled with incredible eats and drinks (that, bonus, is just a little convenient for us and our members). They also happen to brew what we’ll throw down as the finest coffee in Nashville — a fine coffee town all around. And you can gift some of that deliciousness to an entrepreneur you love — alertness fuel is key — by purchasing some beans straight from Steadfast. Try their newest roast, the award-winning Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha, with notes of papaya and tangerine and success. ($34, through Steadfast Coffee

Tempered Chocolate Shoppe sweets 

To help them stay sweet... There’s no getting around it: Entrepreneurship is hard. It can be draining. It can sometimes make even the gentlest soul feel a little salty. The solution: chocolate. Always chocolate. We’re big fans of our neighbors, Tempered Chocolate Shoppe, who make small-batch, European-inspired and stupid-good chocolate here in Germantown. Think Cinnamon Hibiscus White truffles, Cabernet-infused Sea Salt, Egg Nog or Black Pepper Jalapeno chocolate bars, stuff like that. They inject a little sweetness into a day of hard work, with added creativity for inspiration. (Prices vary, at 1201 5th Ave N. in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood)


Hope these suggestions feel like some useful (literal or figurative) food for thought. If you're hunting for entrepreneurial help of any kind — workspace, education, more gift ideas — we're always here. Reach out.