While I wouldn’t say gifting is my #1 love language, it’s definitely up there. It gets a bad rap, and I can totally see why—it feels a bit superficial in comparison to the others. But honestly, I’ve never felt more seen than the time my friend brought home a tiny weird alpaca trinket from her trip to god-knows-where and said, “This made me think of you.” A good gift can go a long way—it shows that a) your gifter was thinking of you and b) that they really get you. That’s why I much prefer being on the giving side of the equation. There’s just nothing like making someone swoon over the perfect gift.
The holiday season is fast approaching, so I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect gift for every person in my life. My sister is notoriously hard to shop for, so I knew I was set for an uphill battle. When gifting, I always like to start with three integral questions: 1) What do they love? 2) What could they practically use? 3) How much am I looking to spend (also known as—how much did they spend on me last year? Kidding).
The answers for my sister were: 1) Food, dogs and clothes. 2) Perhaps something work-related (she’s still going to an office everyday). 3) No more than $250. The dog portion was kind of out of the question because I knew she’d be expecting gifts for her dogs in addition to her gift for Christmas. Clothes were doable, but I felt like I resorted to that quite often. After lots and lots of searching, I finally did it. Against all odds, I found the perfect gift for my annoyingly picky sister: the chicest lunch box kit you ever did see by new elevated lunchware brand Inka.
Wait, You’re Getting Her A Lunchbox?
If you’re thinking, “a lunchbox seems like a weird gift to give your picky sister,” you’re not wrong. It does seem like a weird gift until you meet Inka. “On a mission to help the world be Good at Lunch,” Inka launched this year with a variety of Food Containers, Napkins, Silverware, and of course, The Lunch Kit. While there are tons of cookware brands out there to liven up our cooking routines, the magic of a good meal is immediately ruined the second you reach for that old and stained plastic tupperware container. Inka to the rescue, in all its aesthetic glory, here to make our leftovers look as good as they taste.
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you know the trials and tribulations of bringing food from home. When I had my brief NYC stint as a recent college graduate, bringing food from home was a must; NYC isn’t cheap, and at 22, I wasn’t exactly rolling in it. At first, it felt very adult to “meal prep” and to buy one of those little sauce containers to hold your salad dressing. Any sort of excitement was short-lived and bringing lunch from home quickly became the bane of my existence.
I kid you not: nine times out of ten, something spilled in my bag. And on the rare occasion that it didn’t, it wasn’t like I got off scot-free. I hated spending an hour getting ready, only to have my outfit completely ruined by my eyesore of a lunchbox. I hated holding onto my short lunchbox straps for dear life in the middle of a crowded subway. Luckily, I’m back in LA working remotely, so my lunch commute nightmares are nothing more than a distant memory. My sister, on the other hand, has been working at her office every single day since quarantine began, and seeing as she’s a pretty avid cook, I could only imagine she faced a similar feat.
Ok—So What’s So Good About This One?
Inka’s Lunch Kit reads much more like a handbag than it does a lunchbox. Available in 5 neutral colors and made of gorgeous vegan leather, the bag alone would be enough to make the perfect gift. It looks better than pretty much all of the purses in my closet, and the adjustable straps (one long, one short) are a game-changer. There’s nothing worse than carrying your work bag and your lunchbox, but being able to throw the latter over your shoulder is bound to make any NYC subway experience exponentially less stressful. They use highly-durable silicone leather (most commonly found on yachts) and water-proof microfiber leather to create an incredibly long-lasting and environmentally-friendly bag. And if a spill or two ever does happen (god forbid), the bag can handle any and every cleaning product—none of that “only wipe with water” crap.
The bag is truly Mary Poppins’ bag reincarnated—I was shocked by how much it fit.
The bag is truly Mary Poppins’ bag reincarnated—I was shocked by how much it fit. Each Lunch Kit comes with 2 food containers, a silverware set, 2 sets of napkins, and a sauce pot. The food containers are definitely the hero product—I’ve quite literally never been excited about Tupperware (why would I be?!) until I tried one of these babies. Available in the same 5 hues as the bag, they have an ingenious InvisiSeal technology that allows them to be as compact as physically possible. Plus, their three dishwasher-safe sizes (small, medium, and large) are so satisfyingly modular (stack them up to see what I mean).
While the silverware set (coming with a fork, spoon, and knife) truly looks like it’s made of gold, they’re made of a non-toxic and completely recyclable stainless steel that makes them lightweight (and easy to clean). The napkins (also available in five colors) are 30% silk and 70% cotton, machine-washable, and the perfect way to curb your paper napkin problem. Last but not least: the saucepot. 100% leak-proof (no spilled dressings here), microwaveable, and dishwasher-safe, it’s the definition of small but mighty. Perfect for soy sauce, dipping sauce, ketchup, dressing—heck, you could even fit a few blueberries in there for dessert.
Jill Of All Trades
After realizing how versatile my sister’s Inka Lunch Kit was, I had to order my own. Even though I don’t work at an office anymore, the kit is incredibly versatile—perfect for picnics, potlucks, and everything in between. The best part is: all of the items included in the Lunch Kit are truly stand-alone items, meaning you can utilize them even when you’re not on-the-go. Store your leftovers in your food containers, fancify your dinner date with that silverware and reduce your carbon footprint with those napkins. With Inka, you essentially get two purses, a lunch box, food containers, napkins and utensils for just $250. And that my friends, is what we call a steal.
I never thought my journey to find the perfect gift would lead me to a lunchbox, but boy am I glad it did. Here’s hoping my sister doesn’t read this before Christmas…
5 More Reasons To Love Inka
- Lunch is the most wasteful meal of the day in America—taking climate change, Inka set out to change that. They even have a 3-year sustainability roadmap that includes actionable commitments tied to the UN’s Goals.
- They’re woman-of-color owned, and founder Leah Naomi’s mom is an environmental scientist. Obsessed.
- Their blog, The Lunch Club, features a number of incredible interviews with tastemakers from across the country.
- We live for their care guide, a beautifully designed and perfectly concise catalog on how to take care of your Inka.
Their Instagram is a very aesthetically-pleasing mix of drool-worthy lunches, helpful recipes, and vintage content.