If you’ve not yet been acquainted with the beautiful world of Simone LeBlanc, allow me to do the honors. As LA’s most trusted source in specialty gifting, Simone works wonders curating gorgeous gifts, then magically packaging them in the most sophisticated, jaw-dropping gift boxes. With the holiday season officially here, we knew we wanted to get her on the site to share some insight into the art of gifting, so without further ado…
From Simone: It may sound funny, but I really do believe in the magic of gift giving. There is something very special and meaningful about a gesture — big or small — that exists solely to share and express love and gratitude. And in my book, this is what the holiday season is all about. If you think about checking off all of the people on your holiday gifting list in this way, I know that the process can become a truly meaningful, even enjoyable process for anyone (not just for gifting professionals, like me).
I have a deep appreciation for objects and believe that they can carry amazing emotion and tell a story. My work allows me to really explore this in a way that others can enjoy, experience, and appreciate, too. I get to be not only a designer, but also a treasure hunter, all for the sake of communicating a special message. As much as it’s something I’ve learned and honed over many years, being a great gift giver is also a skill that I think everyone can get better at. Keep reading for my tips to becoming a great gift giver…
Think about your recipient.
The stories, tastes, and even quirks of your loved ones, the smallest details of their personality and things they love to do, can lead to the most meaningful gift. For example, gifting an item with history or related to a personal story is a great opportunity to show how well you know someone and how much you listen or understand them. Listen to little details of their lives throughout the year and refer to those moments when gifting them for a specific holiday.
pictured: Simone LeBlanc Host + Gather Box
Keep an eye and ear out all year long.
A fail safe tip for personal, seasonal gifting is to keep an eye out for gifts for loved ones all year long. I often pick up pieces that feel just right for someone months away from the holidays and hold onto them until the time is right. This helps to avoid the stresses of the holiday season and also keeps your gifting authentic and crunch-time free. Same goes for keeping your ears perked for any mention of what your family and friends have been coveting!
Seek second opinions.
If you’re feeling totally stumped and are in a pinch, seek some external wisdom. Get in touch with spouses, best friends, etc. to really find out what the person you’re gifting has been pining for.
Be practical, sure, but with a touch of extravagance.
Think about what that person needs, what they use, and upgrade it. Elevate it to something really special and luxurious. Treat them to something they might not treat themselves to. Splurge a little on something practical and rather than frivolous, it’ll feel special.
Trust your favorite tastemakers.
We’re lucky to live in a time where there are just an abundance of amazing resources to get inspired and discover new, amazing things. During the lead to the holiday season, your favorite shops will probably be rolling out their own personal favorites for the season. Follow their lead! Head to seasonal maker fairs (in Los Angeles, we participate in the Echo Park Craft Fair with so many incredible artists and creators) where it’s easier than ever to check off everyone on your list.
Don’t go overboard.
Anything too grandiose or physically cumbersome might make your recipient feel a touch uncomfortable or inspire some always ill-fated comparison, not to mention provide a challenge to find a place for it in their home/lives. Bigger does not mean better. Consider their home, the type of life they lead, and their day to day lifestyle. Do less, but do it better.
Homemade/handmade is a great option.
There’s something to be said for knowing that what you are gifting is one of a kind! That, to us, is what makes something extra luxurious. If you love crafting and making, know that you feel comfortable with that skill before setting out to DIY a gift. I do give caution to planning your complete gifting season around something you are making for the first time. So, when in doubt, do a test run before moving ahead with your project. The amount of time that goes into creating something for someone you love can be quite special.
Care about the back story of your gift.
People are intrigued by the life-line of objects and how they came to be, who made them and what their purpose is. This connects people to the objects and makes them resonate on a deeper level.
pictured: Simone LeBlanc Welcome Winter Gift Box
Put time and effort into every detail.
If you’ve gone to great lengths finding an amazing gift, we totally think it deserves pretty presentation, from the box to the wrapping to the sentiment included in the card. I love the idea of our gift toppers being an additional element of the gift. Our wooden gift boxes are also meant to be reused – an extra bonus for the recipient. Consider the packaging as an extension of the gift and remember it’s the personal thought that makes a gift sing. It is not about perfection, but rather feeling!