Jen Mankins's Feel-Good Gifts
For Friends & Family

Jen's Journal

Dec 13th, 2017

I am embracing this holiday season as an opportunity to celebrate the people and things that are beautiful, thoughtful and create joy in my life. Positivity and laughter are necessary as we approach 2018 with spirit and a renewed commitment to speak up and fight for what we believe in. Feeling good starts with giving - whether you give your time, love, energy, or something wrapped with a bow.

 For my parents

Mom and Dad are always at the top of the list! Bright and light resin earrings from Rachel Comey and Bird are perfect for my Mom, because they are fun, bold and make a big impact, just like she does.

For my Dad, always always books. It is hard to stay ahead of him in the publishing department, but I'll pick up all the latest non-fiction from Books Are Magic, my favorite new Brooklyn bookstore. And he's always losing his hat, so I'll give him a cashmere Bird beanie.

For my sweet husband:

I love shopping for Nik! He doesn’t shop for himself often, but I know shirts and jeans from Acne Studios will be a hit, along with crewneck sweaters from A.P.C. and striped socks from Antipast. I always buy us tickets for a play, or a concert or a basketball game. Go Nets! And, some camping gear will ensure we spend more time in nature in 2018.   

For my sisters:

Siblings are the easiest people to shop for, because you know them almost as well as you know yourself. I love picking out a great dress or top for each sister, something special that they might not buy for themselves. Stephanie loves Rachel Comey and Dries van Noten, Michelle loves Raquel Allegra and Tsumori Chisato and Allie loves Ulla Johnson or anything light enough to wear in Texas.

I also love to give art, and always feel great about supporting emerging artists in Brooklyn. Collyer's Mansion and Picture Room on Atlantic Avenue have lots of great affordable options.



For my Brothers-in-law:

A lot of sisters means a lot of brothers-in-law. I stick to the classics: T-shirts from Jungmaven and Save Khaki, Comme des Garcons wallets, and signed copies of cookbooks from my favorite chefs.

For my Nieces and Nephews:

I hope they aren't reading this, but I got all of them the most amazing, super cool, soft pants from Aviator Nation in Venice, CA. It's my guilty pleasure.

For my Besties:

I could not have survived this year without the constant love, support and humor of my best friends. I am beyond lucky to have such an amazing group of women in my life. I will give each of them a Dolphin Calendar, hand-drawn and hand-printed by three generations of the ffrench family in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. They are bright, colorful, whimsical and they last all year long. I'll also be gifting oversize, enameled safety pins from RTH, to wear as a daily reminder to stand strong and RESIST. We are all in this together!

For the Bird community

For the passionate, dedicated, hard-working, beyond inspiring and fun people that make the Bird world go round, I'll be making a donation in their names to the Prospect Park Alliance. Now through December 31, all donations will be matched, doubling the impact of giving to help support and protect the 500 acres of gorgeous woodlands and green space that is Brooklyn's communal backyard.  

For myself:

My favorite designer in the world--Dries van Noten--recently published a stunning two volume book set that chronicles his first 100 fashion shows. It’s a deep dive into one of the most prolific, singular, creative minds to ever work in fashion. I plan to spend the holidays cozied up in front of the fire, getting lost in all the beauty.


Brighter days are ahead. Happy Holidays!