2020 has been the worst year yet. The COVID global pandemic caused small businesses to shut down, people to lose their jobs, couples to cancel, reschedule or re-plan their weddings, and families to stay apart from each other due to a health crisis. And just when we thought things couldn't get worse, the war in Artsakh started in September. Our hearts have shattered into a million pieces, and we pray for all the families who have been affected - from our heroic soldiers who fought to protect our land, to the displaced families of Artsakh.
Like most Armenians, we have done what we can to help - financial donations, activisms to drive awareness, contacting representatives, etc. Our favorite way to support Armenia is by supporting Armenian owned businesses and Armenian organizations. We started Harsanik in 2007 because we wanted to celebrate our rich Armenian culture and to support Armenian wedding vendors. And so we hope you will continue to support Armenian owned businesses this holiday season and for all future gift giving celebrations. And if you can't find the right gift, consider making a donation in lieu of gifts.
We've compiled our Buy Armenian: Holiday Gift Guide so you can feel good treating your loved one while supporting Armenians.
- Elcie Cosmetics: Lilit Caradanian is the CEO of Elcie Cosmetics, and she is the definition of #Goals. Lilit is a mother of 3 beautiful children and a successful entrepreneur. Her makeup line is the perfect gift for any woman on your list. We recently purchased the Micro Silque Foundation along with some lip balms. And in case you don't know, Lilit raised $100k in 4 days and donated 100% to Armenia Fund in October, and then hosted an Instagram Live Fundraiser and raised $250k!
Photo Source Elcie Cosmetics
Photo Source Elcie Cosmetics
Lilit Caradanian, Founder of Elcie Cosmetics
- Glowtopia: The Glowtopia Face Oil is Diana Madison Beauty's first product. Diana has been using her social media following to drive awareness and hosted a makeup tutorial to raise money for SOAR (Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief) to provide Armenian orphaned children with the gift of Christmas.
Photo Source Diana Madison Beauty
- IceLink: Suzy Sogoyan is the woman behind the iconic jewelry brand IceLink. She has hosted multiple fundraisers, auctioned items, and donated IceLink jewelry to raise funds for Armenia. IceLink now have a pop up shop at the Americana, and to date they have donated over $220k to Armenia.
Photo Source IceLink Armenian Collection
- Glamourax: Get a gift card for some beautification at Glamourax. Arax is a hair master, extension specialist, and most importantly, and incredible human being. Arax and her husband Roman have done a tone of fundraising for Armenia, including donating $134k to ArmeniaFund through a $1 Venmo Challenge.
- Arpi Krikorian: From espresso cup and dessert plate sets, to stationary, mugs, and t-shirts, you can find the perfect gift for nearly anyone on your list. Arpi Krikorian's beautiful Armenian illustrations are sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. And Arpi raised money for her husband's non-profit Code 3 Angels, which provided food, supplies, and funds to hundreds of displaced Artsakh families.
- Raffi's Place: What better way to a man's heart than through his stomach! You can't go wrong with a gift certificate to Raffi's, hands down the best place for kabob in Los Angeles. Raffi's Place donated $60k to the Armenia Fund by having 100% of their proceeds on October 13th be donated for humanitarian aid for Artsakh.
- Art's Bakery: Again, what better way to a man's heart than through his stomach! :) You can't go wrong with Art's Bakery's selection of pastries, cakes, breads, and even kabobs. Art's Bakery donated over $20k by having 100% of their proceeds go to Armenia Fund on October 14th. Plus they stopped selling any Nutella based products starting October 18th as a way to boycott Turkish hazelnuts.
- Arpi Krikorian: Arpi Krikorian's Artsakh Strong t-shirt is a must-have for every man. Pair the t-shirt with an espresso cup or mug and you have the perfect gift. As mentioned above, Arpi raised money for her husband's non-profit Code 3 Angels, which provided food, supplies, and funds to hundreds of displaced families in Artsakh. She has always been a supporter of Armenian causes, and her gorgeous artwork has raised awareness of our culture amongst non-Armenians.
Photo Source Arpi Krikorian
- ToTalk Armenian: Take Armenian language lessons from an instructor in Armenia! This is a great gift for the whole family to learn and improve their Armenian. ToTalk Armenian has been offering children's classes this year and will be launching their adult Armenian classes in February 2021.
- Color in Kind: Delight the children with fun crafts. After getting the Peace for Armenia coloring/activity book, we ordered the A Very Merry Armenian Christmas activity kit. My son was so excited to create Armenian colored ornaments to decorate our tree.
Photo Source Color in Kind
- Toot Hoot: From Armenian alphabets to the map of Armenia, Toot Hoot's wooden puzzles and magnets are the perfect gift for children. These toys are both educational and fun to play with.
Photo Source Toot Hoot
- Abril Bookstore: Purchase Armenian books, activity kits, and other Armenian products from this long-standing Armenian bookstore.
- Armenian Kids Club: We love the workbooks, storybooks and products created by the Armenian Kids Club.
- Kat & Oli: Choose from hair accessories, sun glasses, and all sorts of fun accessories! Kat & Oli is Lilit Caradanian's side hustle, and we are so excited to purchase from the new holiday collection that launched this week.
- Norani: These baby swaddles make the perfect gift for a soon-to-be parent or a newborn. Designed by two Armenian fashionistas, Ani Yemenidjian and Nora Mansour of ModaMob, these swaddles are not only adorable but also incredibly effective at keeping your newborns snug and cozy.
Photo Source Norani
- Ararat Box: Surprise your loved ones with a subscription service of snacks and goodies from Armenia! This is such a fun ift idea for anyone on your list, and for any occasion. You can purchase one month at a time, and choose from 2 sizes (1KG and 2KG). We can't wait to get our first box!
Photo Source Ararat Box
For anyone on your list who is too difficult to shop for, or would likely complain if you gave them a physical gift, we have a list of Armenian organizations that we have been following and have been impressed by their mission. While we don't have visibility into any of these organization's/non-profits' fund distribution, they have earned our trust through their activism and transparency.
- Helping Armenia: Founded by photographer Jay Jay and his wife Ani Akopyan - matching families to support displaced families in Artsakh - follow on Instagram at @helpingarmenia
- Miaseen: Founded by Maria Sarkisian - follow her on Instagram at @sarkisii - sponsor a family from Artsakh
- Hidden Road Initiative: Founded by Nanor Balabanian - follow her on Instagram at @nanor - we contributed to their Backpacks for Artsakh drive
- The Armenian Report: Founded by Anna Kachikyan - our favorite source for Armenia news translated in English - they have a team in Armenia and are 100% funded by donors
Do you have any other suggestions for gift ideas?
Share your gift ideas by writing a comment on our blog, Instagram, Facebook, or email us directly. We'll update the blog with some of your suggestions!