I've had a lot of people ask me how I design and choose my gift sets for the Ready-to-Ship Gifts: and I'm happy to share. It's one of the most fun things I do at Bestowe. Hopefully you'll find some insight in my crazy (I mean organized and sane, ah-hem) process that will help you find the right gift for your friend, co-worker, or family member along the way.
How I Create perfectly unique gifts for anyone
This time of year I start thinking about new gifting sets to offer you for the Holiday season, hence the process is fresh in my mind right now. I begin by figuring out what my customers want. I want new and fresh product offerings for you to choose from. In order to understand that I get data from you: who buys what, surveys etc. In fact, on facebook and in my email campaign right now I've asked you which boxes you would like to see in my assortment. Fill it out for a chance to name them too on facebook or in the comments below.
I have to be honest, it's really hard to narrow down my choices. If I could I would create tons of gifts because I just love it so much! I want to give you all so much to choose from, but from a business perspective, I need to manage inventory and make sure I'm making the right decisions without going crazy. You know, good business decisions. Ugh.
Oh, and by the way: If you haven't read or downloaded my gifting guide for the holidays, you might want to: it's chalk full of awesome tips to help you shop for just about anyone during the holiday season. It pretty much breaks down my process into more detail. Download it now here.
Finding and Buying the Best Holiday Gift
We all have so many different people to find gifts for: the man who has everything he needs, the person who would rather have money instead of a present, the client who is hard to choose for, the son who only wants legos, the business partner whose newborn already has all the trendy clothes and coolest goodies, the friend whose taste is so expensive that I could never afford to get her what she would get herself... the list goes on and on.
Step One: Start with a theme/category
My process starts with exploring general categories of what people like. For this holiday season, I decided that themes that would do well (based on that data) would be self-care, holiday decor, and a foodie or pantry. Other themes in my day to day include baby, kitchen, men, home, bar, etc. You get the picture.
From our experience, gifts that do really well are self-care or pampering. These gifts are super versatile and always appreciate. Gifts sometimes mean giving someone something that they wouldn't necessarily think of getting for themselves, and let's face it people don't always put themselves first and buy luxury bath or home products.
Stream of Consciousness List Making
I write down anything and everything that has to do with this category of gifts. For instance:
SELF CARE WORDS: bath products, bath salts, towels, incense, perfume, massage tools, face oil, face mister, body polish, gold-rimmed trays, sleep mask, charcoal cleanser, brush, etc. You get the point.
Step Two: Finding Unique Vendors and Products
The best part of researching new gifts is finding new artisans (my vendors), who will be included in the gift sets. I can get lost in that rabbit hole of research and look up and realize it's been hours and I've only made things even more complicated --- because now I have many many more artists and ideas to choose from! I use Pinterest all the time! It's a great tool to visually catalogue products I want to use in the future: It's like a shopping cart for my visual ideas. People often ask how I find the vendors: you can find some hints in my free guide (download here), but in the end it's all about research and actually connecting. The artisan and maker market is all connected an everyone knows someone! I spend a lot of time networking and meet face to face.
Things to Look for and How to Find the Right Vendors
For Bestowe, our mission is to use 80% small-batch artisan-made goods. What does that mean and why is it important to us? You might normally hear the term small-batch referring to food, but it's also used to describe artisans in general. The words "small-batch" and "artisan-made" suggests that the product is less likely to be mass-produced and the local customs behind the product thoughtfully taken into consideration. It's a term that is become way overused to the point of not really knowing what is and what isn't anymore (ie. take for instance the word "organic"). What's does that mean for us? It means that we make a point to research artisans and get to know the owners and their philosophies which adhere to ours of quality non-mass produced goods. It's important to use because we want to support people we know. We want to support small companies whose work we know is sustainable and well-thought-out.
Step Three: The Final Piece
I can spend weeks finding the right products to pair in a great gift box. I'm looking for a product combination that will make a well-rounded gift. I want the item to tell a story, give something that people can enjoy now and something they can enjoy for a while to come, and lastly, be substantial enough to feel like you got what you paid for (I like to have at least 3 items in each box or more also to make it feel substantial).
After I research all of the artisans I desire, I have to reach out to find out if working together would even be possible (inventory, cost, artists time, etc.). Logistics really. I'll usually have a couple of pieces from each category from different companies, in the event that it doesn't work out to work with one company. At that point, I'm in full swing. The hard part is over and now it's smooth sailing. Check out our new boxes below that will be coming out this holiday season! We also are super interested in your opinion, so comment below, share with others and seriously, let us know which ones you would buy! We'll have a vote posted on our facebook page as well for whether you like the Foodie Box or the Travel Self-Care better. Your opinion matters to us and frankly will help us a tremendous amount!
#1 Self Care and Wellness Gift
Since I started talking about the self-care piece, I'll let you in on what is launching this fall. This will come in a small and large gift set and be available in a limited quantity, so get on our mailing list in order to be alerted right when it hits the shelves! You'll also get 15% off your first order by signing up. SIGN UP HERE.
Small Wellness Gift Set
Large Wellness Gift Set
#2 Holiday Decor
One of my gift choices was a no brainer. I have been wanting to work with friend and colleague, Jimmy at West Perro for quite some time. Last year we started a Holiday market at Hangar 1 Distillery in Alameda, CA. Stay tuned for our upcoming event this year by signing up for our newsletter. I asked him to come up with an ornament for me to put into a decor gift box for the holiday. This is the cream de la creme of what I do: getting to come up with exclusive designs for our gifts that I know you guys will love. The ornament can be used on a tree or as holiday decor, but it's also a great gift for year-round. I have one hanging on my wall right now! It makes a great git that is unique, thoughtful and one that anyone could use all year round. Here's a sneak peek! And again, stay tuned so that you can be the first to snag yours: the quantities are limited.
Vote for your favorite gift this holiday season!
Now's your chance! Tell us which of these two boxes you would buy for someone this holiday season. Only one will be available at our store. Comment below to place your vote.
#3 Travel Self-Care
#4 Foodie Gift Set: Large