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Support Your Fellow Ephs

In this holiday season, it never hurts to send a little love to your fellow Ephs, either by giving them gifts or buying gifts from them!  Below are a couple of links showcasing the brilliance of our Eph family.  Please others add additional links in the comments if you know of other Eph ventures that are handy gifts.

Happy winter-holiday-of-choice to my greater Eph family :)

From Ephs Matthew Swanson & Robbi Behr, both ’97 I believe, check out the new Barnstorming site.  Books, prints, and other hilarious gifts are perfect for any member of the family.  Previous coverage here, here, and here (among others).  They have a hilarious blog, including cute pics of their daughter and the progress of restoring/renovating the barn of “Barnstorming.”

Blue Dot design, founded in 1997 by college friends John Christakos, Charles Lazor, and Maurice Blanks, all ’87.  They make stylish furniture, with the idea of bringing quality design to a broader audience.  Recent New York Times coverage here, and previous Ephblog coverage here.

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#1 Comment By rory On December 8, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

*votes up for this post*

i recently got the chance to visit Matt and Robbi. Lovely time, great smoked salmon spread, awesome books and i already bought a couple presents from them. Great stuff :)

#2 Comment By Jr. Mom On December 8, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

Do not miss the new Idiots’ Books site. There is original art by Robbi (so talented) and, as JG said, all kinds of clever things to buy for holiday gifts. Where else are you going to find a onesie (that is a term for the little one-piece outfits small babies wear) that says “I Suck”, and illustrated with a binky (pacifier)? Or boxer shorts with doggies and fire hydrants. Not to mention their books, which are absolute collectibles. These are clever, delightful Ephs and their work reflects them.

And the article showcasing the marketing strategy of Blu Dot is further example of the humor and talent that seems to mark so many Williams alumni. I mean, really…leaving a signature chair out on the streets of NY for the pickings? And then tracking the scavengers? Pretty outside-of-the-box thinking…

Happy Holidays all.

#3 Comment By JeffZ On December 8, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

Love the Blue Dot guerrilla marketing highlighted by the NYT article. Very cool.

#4 Comment By David On December 8, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

Perhaps furniture from Robert Brandegee ‘54? I don’t see any prices so this is probably for the rich Eph to the Eph who has everything. Perhaps we need to start an Eph furniture mafia?

This post is an excellent idea! I second Rory’s vote. You might consider, once other suggestions have been made, reposting it next week.

#5 Comment By Jr. Mom On December 8, 2009 @ 10:22 pm


I remember that post well. I think Brandegee’s work is superb. And what a good idea to re-post this thread once additions are made.

#6 Comment By Porter McConnell ’00 On December 9, 2009 @ 10:54 am

If you’re looking to scale back your holiday giving this year for environmental or simplicity reasons, you can find alternative gift ideas to get you started at http://www.slowchristmas.org. A teaser: making your own herbed butter from local cream and giving in a mason jar with a ribbon. It’s cheap, sustainable, meaningful, and oh hell, it’s butter.

#7 Comment By (d)avid On December 9, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

One of the items you can pick up at Idiots Books is a new CD by Drew Bunting ’97. From his moderately mass email:

The New South, is on sale now at

Order one now and find out why they call me The Hardest Rocking Priest In All Christendom. The album is a wild ride of joy, apocalypse, humor, and hope. It is guaranteed to be the only album you buy this year that features Flava Flav, South of the Border, the mermaids of Weeki Wachee, FL, and the second coming of Jesus (twice!). It comes with a sixteen-page illustrated short story by Idiots Books and features celebrated New Weird author Brian Francis Slattery on fiddle, banjo, and guitar.

You can hear samples of the songs and download a FREE copy of my latest song, Please Don’t Rip Me Off, at the link above. (Downloads of the whole album will be available on iTunes soon. But why wait when you can buy the disc now?)

Then go to http://www.drewbunting.com to learn more, read the lyrics, and connect to my Facebook and MySpace pages.

#8 Comment By JeffZ On December 9, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

Drew is a talented guy, as I recall from his college days.

How about an Ephblog charity auction: private R-tutorial from Kane! Wrestle PTC! Guided tour of Swarthmore with HWC! Personal roast by DCat and Prof Crane! Scouting report of your kid’s high school football nemesis from Uible! Esoteric socratic dialogue on impenetrable subject matter with Ken! Get your idea through the PTO with Whitney! Date with Zeeman (clearly, the big ticket item)! This could work.

#9 Comment By Another ’05 Eph On December 9, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

Also check out Green Eyed Monster, the tote bag company owned and run by Ashley (Ulmer) Cart ’05 and Kim Ulmer ’07.

If you’re looking for the Ephiest possible gift, this is probably it. Ashley and Kimmie are the daughters of Kevin Ulmer ’72, Ash is married to James Cart ’05 (son of Ben ’80 and Sarah ’81), and I can only assume their daughter will be class of 2031.

#10 Comment By Parent ’12 On December 9, 2009 @ 6:59 pm


What?! no girlfriend

Sorry to disagree about “big ticket” item, but I think a Limited Edition Photoshop by Dick would be it.

#11 Comment By JeffZ On December 9, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

Parent ’12, I agree, it is difficult to comprehend …

how on earth I omitted a Swart Photoshop, I have no idea. Perfect.

#12 Comment By kthomas On December 9, 2009 @ 7:29 pm

Esoteric socratic dialogue on impenetrable subject matter with Ken!

Don’t scare people away!

it is difficult to comprehend …


#13 Comment By Jr. Mom On December 9, 2009 @ 7:30 pm


Re the auction:

I could probably muster up a case of whine. Uh-huh…yup…no problem. ;-)

#14 Comment By JG On December 10, 2009 @ 2:51 am

@JeffZ: I can provide testimony that Jeff is a fabulous dinner/drinks companion.

Shall we start a “most eligible Ephs” contest? Perhaps eph-match.com? After all, we have a somewhat ridiculous percentage of Ephs marrying one another that must be kept up. And I’ve heard tell that many of those matches weren’t necessarily known until post-Williams years.

Ladies, start your bidding!

#15 Comment By Ronit On December 14, 2009 @ 7:05 pm