As a gifting professional, I'm always on the lookout for exceptional new artisans and products deserving of MEMENTO & MUSE's #unwrapdelight tag...and 2015 did not disappoint! From heirloom linens to energy drinks, below you'll find my top 10 favorite shops and goods that I had the pleasure of coming across last year.
Paloma's Nest | www.palomasnest.com ✵
Husband-and-wife team Caroline and José create stunningly understated heirlooms and home goods that are perfect for the romantic minimalist. Using legacy-worthy materials like ceramics and wood, their fine craftsmanship shows through in personalized modern mementos for newlyweds, newborns, and more. I can't wait to have an excuse to commission a lovely work of art from these talented designers!
Gluten-Free Goodies from Five Points Baking Co. | www.fivepointsbakingco.com ✵
Five Points Baking Company founder Kimberly dreamed up these all-natural treats (read: no artificial flavors or added preservatives) with GF-adherents in mind, but the addictively mild spiciness of her artisanal cheese straws and delicate sweetness of her almond shortbread cookies will make anyone's mouth water. With the rising prevalence of gluten-free considerations for houseguests and event attendees, Five Points Baking Co. is one of my go-to sources for tasty treats that can be enjoyed by all.
ColsenKeane Custom Leather Goods | www.colsenkeane.com
"When we transcend surrounding ourselves with disposable nonsense and create pieces of value...the patina of our lifestyle allows the well-made items we own, wear and carry to rise in value. If wine took the form of an accessory, we’re setting out to create it." Just as master craftsman Scott Hofert describes his shop's ethos with the words of a poet, his bespoke leather goods are sure to endure through generations as their own bit of held-in-your-hand poetry. With a impressive selection of finely tooled lifestyle products ~ think tech cases, journal covers, wallets, satchels and more ~ this shop also takes their gifting possibilities one step further, with optional initial personalization on many items. →View more photos over at my guest post for The Merrimon-Wynne House.
Infused Honey from Cloister Honey | www.cloisterhoney.com ✵
A frequent player in celebrations and gifting practices throughout many cultures, honey works well both in gift collections (think a breadbasket filled with artisanal housewarming goods), and on its own as an elegant favor or casual hostess gift. North Carolina's Cloister Honey is home to my now-favorite speciality flavor, a bourbon-infused offering that is strongly evocative of Kentucky's staple spirit. (Other infused and whipped Cloister Honey flavors include cinnamon, lavender, arbol pepper, and vanilla.)
Cocktail Mixers from White Whale | www.drinkwhitewhale.com ✵
Speaking of bourbon... ;-) Though I can claim no fame as a skilled mixologist, the makers of White Whale would have you fooled. Stirring up one of their delicious libations couldn't be simpler: just add one part of your chosen mixer (my husband's and my favorite is "Auntie's Old Fashioned") to one part of its corresponding spirit, and you have an instant cocktail reminiscent of the finest establishments. Bundle together bottles of White Whale and its preferred pairing for an especially merry host gift!
Sage Paper Co. | www.sagepaperco.com
I first met Alexa of Sage Paper Co. at a gathering of creative entrepreneurs last spring, and since then I've been repeatedly dazzled by her exquisitely beautiful paper goods (not to mention her watercolor and calligraphy skills ~ just check out her Instagram!). The consummate modern stationer, Sage Paper Co. offers ready-to-gift goods like notecards and prints, as well as customizable invitation suites and fully custom design services. Encourage a friend with an inspiring art print, or let these sweetly simple cards inspire you to jot down thank-you notes for your own gifts you've received.
Nature-Infused Jewelry from Lost Forest | www.lost-forest.com
Do you have a gardener, nature lover, or statement jewelry aficionado in your life? Irish artist Gillian Corcoran handcrafts her jewelry using foraged flowers, feathers, and other natural elements suspended in a crystal-clear eco resin. (She's another one with a stunning Instagram feed, too...) If you plan to gift a one-of-a-kind, made-to-order piece from Lost Forest, just be sure to allow time for the creation and shipment from Ireland. Bonus for brides: you can even have flowers from your bouquet transformed into a wearable work of art!
Hibiscus Linens | www.hibiscuslinens.com ✵
In a society where assembly lines and automated machines rule the day, handcrafted keepsakes may well be automatically elevated to the status of "heirloom" ~ especially when they're designed with superb taste and excellent attention to detail. Harkening back to a time when artisans hand-wrought fine linens to be passed down generation to generation, Hibiscus Linens founder Mariana Barran and her team stitch and embroider each piece by hand. These high-quality, classic heirloom linens make lovely gifts for brides, new homeowners, and hostesses with an appreciation for tradition.
Buck O'Hairens Legendary Sunshine | www.drinkthesunshine.com ✵
A bubbly beverage full of electrolytes and vitamin B12, Legendary Sunshine is my new go-to beverage of choice to include in event welcome gifts (not to mention my preferred pick-me-up during our longer gift builds). As I described it in a recent guest post for Southern Bride & Groom, "think of Sunshine as a less-intense, better-tasting Red Bull without all the scary additives: this non-jittery energy drink has no trace of high fructose corn syrup, gluten, or artificial colors/flavors." This slim can also makes a nice addition to bottled water in your guest room.
Malvi Marshmallows | www.malvimallow.com ✵
In my world, no gift ideas roundup is complete without something sweet, and Malvi Marshmallows took the cake in 2015. All-natural marshmallows sandwiched between sweetly crisp shortbread? Yes, please! These delectable confections are, dare I say, even better than s'mores...and when popped in the microwave for a few seconds, they even yield that same gooey delight as the traditional campfire treats. With four mallows to a pack, Malvi makes a great addition to welcome gifts for weddings and other events.
✵ MEMENTO & MUSE proudly offers these starred brands, among many others, to our custom gift design clients (minimum orders may apply). You can learn more about M+M custom services on our corporate and wedding pages. (p.s. - No compensation was received from the businesses featured in this post. Just sharing some shops I love! ♥)