I recently asked John Ruhlin for some advice on gift giving, specifically on which gifts to avoid this holiday season. Click here to read about the 5 worst high level business gifts and solutions to “fix” them.

Last week we gave you advice on what gifts to avoid, so this week I thought I would turn to John once again and get his holiday gift guide. Here is the list of John’s 13 Most Memorable Executive Gifts for 2013.


1. VITAMIX Professional. This powerful machine (don’t call it a blender, as it has a 2.5HP motor that spins faster than a jet engine) will get used daily by the whole family to make everything from your morning smoothie to ice cream, almond butter, margaritas, and 100+ other creations. If you have been to a Starbucks or Smoothie King, you have experienced this product in action. Family owned and made in Cleveland Ohio for over 80 years. $689 www.vitamix.com

2. CUTCO Santoku Classics.  Everyone these days has become a “foodie” and loves entertaining in their monstrous kitchens. This set from Cutco is handcrafted in NY with the finest materials, can be personally engraved, and is guaranteed with their famous FOREVER guarantee. 3 Pc Set comes with Santoku Chef Knife, Utility, and Paring Knife. $250  www.cutcogiftcollection.com 

3. GRAIN AUDIO Portable Wireless System.  This Bluetooth wireless speaker leverages the Grammy Winning Waves MaxxAudio® suite found in many famous mixing boards. Celebrities and audiophiles alike are falling in love with it as the solid walnut wood case makes it look as beautiful as it sounds. $249 www.grainaudio.com 

4. CODE 38 Wine Opener. A $100 bottle of wine deserves more than a $30 opener. Jeff Toering, this tool’s creator, sold his medical device company and invested 10 years of his life to develop and handcraft these masterpieces. And yes, they feel like a scalpel in your hand. $225-$525 www.code38.com

5. J HILBURN Custom Shirt Fitting. Few guys enjoy taking the time shop but we all want to look like a million bucks but within a budget. That is where J Hilburn and their personalized tailors come in. They come to your office for a quick 20 minute measuring session and then it’s as easy as a phone call or ordering online. Esquire named them the #1 best custom shirts of 2012. $99-$180 www.customtailoredgifts.com

6. UTOPIAN COFFEE TOOL KIT. The most used drug on the planet deserves world class tools to brew such goodness daily. This small batch roaster comes from the small town of Fort Wayne Indiana and they guarantee the coffee’s freshness…it arrives within 4 days of being roasted. Tools include with Baratza conical burr grinder, Bodum French press, and 12 weeks worth of coffee. $549 www.utopiangifting.co

7. KABAR Dog’s Head Coppersmith Lock Back The maker of numerous military knives has created a lock back folder with practical, old world style. Handcrafted in NY with a D2 tool steel 3” blade, a polished bone handle and copper bolsters that look more beautiful over time. $140 www.kabar.com 

8. GRADO Headphones SR325i. The model number and look makes you think of a classic BMW and for good reason. They are all about performance and doing at fair market value. Classy but understated, Grado has been building these stylish headphones in Brooklyn for decades. $295 www.gradolabs.com

9. CUTCO Gut Hook Hunting Knife. Looking for a tool than can handle everything from a deer to a bear and still have edge left to cut a rope. Look no further. 440A High Carbon blade holds its razor sharp edge for multiple skinnings and whatever the wilderness throws at you. Comes standard with Forever Guarantee and exclusive Double D Edge. $105  www.cutcogiftcollection.com

10. Executive “Godfather Style” Desk by VALLEYVIEW Handcrafted by artisans in the heart of Ohio’s Amish country, this desk is fit for any chairman or mob boss but will last for many a king’s reign. Solid wood cherry, raised paneling, carvings, and real leather come together to form a classic, yet modern style. Measures 73” long and 39” deep. $7295  www.valleyviewoak.com

11. LR PARIS Blue Glass Carafe. Whether you are going to drink sparkling water or a touch of fine scotch, it might as well come from the finest handcrafted crystal made in the UK. LR Paris has been creating custom, world class products for US presidents and the world’s elite since 1959. $180 www.lrparis.com

12. Yeti Tundra 110 Cooler. This should be called a portable submarine because it’s impenetrable and indestructible from bears and crazy tailgaters alike. Keep your game and fish cold for days out in God’s country or your brews cool for days after the game. Either way, it’s the hottest cooler on the market right now. $479 www.yeticoolers.com

13. Rimowa PILOT Luggage. Many business execs rival pilots with their travel schedule. Why not give them the luggage trusted by many of the people flying you around the globe. Crafted in Germany with an indestructible Aluminum shell, they look amazing and last a lifetime. $1010 www.rimowa.com


For more information on any of the gifts above or gifting strategy, you can contact John Ruhlin at [email protected]

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