We're continuing our gift guide series with the picks from senior designer and project manager extraordinaire, Laura! I know we haven't formally introduced her but a full office tour and staff intro is coming in December, I promise! Laura has been in the interior design industry for the last decade, has a panache for good food and wine and brings organization skills I'm totally jealous of. In our office you'll find her rendering out spaces, checking in on orders and space planning like a whiz!

Read below to find her picks to give and to get and why these items are at the top of her gifting/getting list! If you're local to Minneapolis listen up, she's got a lot of goodies right here in our hometown.

LULU Organics

Locally made here in Minneapolis by one of my good friends, Linda! Her company, Lulu Organics, is well known in the beauty world for its magical dry shampoo, but I absolutely cannot live without THIS chapstick. It is definitely one of my 10 desert island items. Maybe even two of them.

To be honest, I'm not much of a gift giver in the traditional holiday sense. In our house, we are big believers that overconsumption is a huge problem for many reasons, and struggle with the idea of adding to anyone's collection of "stuff". That being said, I do very much enjoy sharing the things I love with others that are thoughtful and useful. These flour sack kitchen towels are for sure one of those things. They are gigantic, 100% cotton and super absorbent. I swear by them and gift them to friends often.

You know you are getting old when #3 on your list is undoubtedly a good pair of wool socks, ha! But it's true! Essential for outdoor winter hikes, and made to last a heckuva lot longer than cotton socks, wool is the way to go. I dig these medium weight options from Smartwool.

Always looking for a reason to buy local, these beeswax candles are a must have for any season, but especially the hibernal. Throw on a record, wrap up in a cozy blanket with a good book, and succumb to the slower pace of soft, somber winter nights. (p.s.: The Foundry Home Goods is one of our all time fave local shops!)

I am a serial plant giver. I love them and they love to be propagated! If I'm not taking cuttings from my own plants to share with friends, I am hitting up a local shop like this one, where they can help me find exactly what I need. And don't worry brown thumbs, I've still killed more plants to date than I've kept alive, you just gotta keep trying!

Haus Theory

One of my favorite things to give is a unique, handmade ceramic vessel. Maybe it's a bud vase, or a bowl, even a tiny little pinch pot. Whether it's thrifted, or perhaps an opportunity to support a small vintage shop like this one, these kinds of items tell their own story written by the hands of the person who created them while enriching the story of the home in which they now live. SO cool! 

Remember those beeswax candles? Well, what better pairing for them than this cutie patootie match striker. Any chance to combine aesthetic value with function and I am 1000% on board every time.

Another really lovely practical gift that encourages environmental stewardship in a small but meaningful way is produce bags! I like these ones from Etsy, but there are plenty of options out there.

Have you heard about the Four Gift Rule, "something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read"? I like that mantra and we often abide by it at the holidays. In thinking about what that looks like for friendships and not just for children, giving a gift that someone can wear every day feels like such a special opportunity. Something like this comes to mind. Forever in the spirit of supporting small makers, and Annika is one of the best!

To tie into the above sentiment, something to read is always a good gift idea. When I'm not sure exactly what genre suits a person's literary taste, I head for the cookbook aisle! There are some really good ones on the shelves these days. I am a sucker for anything Ottolenghi, have definitely attempted a recipe or two from Athena Calderone's Cook Beautiful, but started my humble cooking journey with this book as I am decidedly not the culinarily inclined one in our house.

We can't wait to fully introduce you to Laura, keep your eyes peeled for more gift guides!

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