Official Guide to Sending Corporate Holiday Gifts to Clients

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

You might wonder why I’m writing about holiday client gifts in June. Am I crazy?! Before you answer ‘yes’, not so fast! Holiday corporate gift boxes are a big investment, especially if you’ve been in business a while and have a large client list. It’s good to have several things decided upon before making a decision on what to buy and where to buy it so you’re not left scrambling come December. Believe it or not, it’s June and we are already discussing holiday gifts with our corporate clients and even getting started on custom gift design for them! With gifting, it’s always best to plan ahead.

Image: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

Image: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

Budget vs Recipient List

What comes first? The budget or the recipient list? It can be tempting to first create your recipient list. But first, before you do anything, establish your budget and then set that aside. You’ll come back to it later!

Once you have your budget, establish your client recipient list. Do you include ALL of your clients or just your top clients? This will usually depend on the budget you have set. But, it’s always good to have your budget established first so you can then work the recipient list from there. Once you have the list finalized, bump it up against the budget and see if the budget you set is realistic. If not, then expand the budget or begin cutting the list. If you must cut the list (sometimes a very tall task!!), try and cut it based on some sort of measurement. For example, it could be based on the amount of business you’ve done with this client over the last year. This might seem cold or not in the holiday spirit, but you must have some sort of concrete way to eliminate people from the list or you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to decide who stays and who goes. If you’re still unable to cut the list, which by the way happens to me every year when we do our own clients gifts, you can consider creating a lower-tier gift and a higher-tier gift to make sure everyone is covered and budget remains somewhat in tact.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Timing

When advising our custom gift design clients, I recommend sending gifts as early in December as possible. Reason being…you want to make sure your client receives the gift. The earlier in December you send it, the higher the chances that they’ll actually receive it. Many people leave early in December for holiday vacation or they’re so flooded with gifts from others being sent to the office that you run of the risk of your gift being missed or not seeming as impactful. Or you think you can’t pull it together early, I also recommend bumping the gift send to early January and designing them as celebratory New Years gifts. Think about it this way…clients are rested from the holiday vacation and have returned fresh and ready to begin the new year. What a perfect time for them to receive a gift that will certainly stand out and get noticed!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Client Demographics

Before deciding the gift contents, you’ll need to consider the gift recipients. Are they mostly male? Mostly female? Or a pretty even mix? Gear the gift contents around what most all of your clients will like and actually use. Gifts can definitely be unisex and still look festive and holiday chic! Or, if your client list is an even split and you’re feeling adventurous, you may consider coming up with a gift design for both male and female so that the gifts feel completely intentional and designed with the recipient in mind.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Color Palette

At first it might seem impossible to send an on-brand gift for the holidays since not everyone’s branding colors are red and green. However, don’t panic! It’s very possible to create alternate color palettes that remain true to a brand while still having a holiday vibe. Think about wrapping paper, for example. There are countless non-traditional color combinations that still end up looking like the holidays. Blue and white. Aqua and red. (see below!) Pink and red. Green and gold. Red and grey. Black and white. Trust me, with a little creativity, any of these can work beautifully!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photo

Image: Lissa Ryan Photo

Vary the Contents

What’s the first thing you think of when you think of corporate holiday gifts? Probably a fruit basket or a basket containing tons of sweets, am I right? While food items are always appreciated, you should aim to vary the items so your gifts are as impactful as possible. For example, instead of just sending cookies and chocolates, you might also send some coffee to enjoy with the sweet treats. Or, if you’re sending a nice bottle of liquor, you might consider a set of cold drink stones. Not only are these items thoughtful and useful when put together,  they will serve as a reminder of your generosity throughout the new year and beyond. This also increases the likelihood that the gift recipient will be able to enjoy the gift. After all, not everyone likes sweets or they’re trying to avoid sweets, especially around the holidays when weight gain is a thing!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Distribution

Make a decision on how the gifts will be distributed. Will they be created and shipped directly to you in bulk to personally gift to your clients? Or, do you purchase the gifts and drop ship directly to your recipients. It’s perhaps more personal to give the gifts in person. However, during the holidays, it’s unlikely that you’ll see everyone so better to get it off your list and make sure that everyone on your list receives one!

Image: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

Image: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography

Theme

When I say “theme” I don’t mean it in a cheesy way. I more mean that every item in the gift should make sense in relation to the others. In other words, try to find items that seem to have a purpose when put together. For example, if you find a gorgeous tin of hot chocolate, the natural next step might be to include a mug to go along with the hot cocoa and make it that much more usable. Then maybe a snack that compliments these items such as gingersnap cookies, biscotti or shortbread.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

 

The holidays can be stressful enough. There’s no need to wait until the last minute when you can begin making decisions on these points ahead of time. I promise you you’ll be happy you did!

For more information on our Custom Gift Design Service for holiday corporate and client gifting, please visit here. We’d love to help!

 

How To Avoid Logistical Mistakes With Your Wedding Welcome Gifts // Part 3 of 3

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Our 2018 Wedding Welcome Gift Blog Series has flown by! (Catch yourself up here on what to include in your gift bags and here on how to create a welcome letter for your gift boxes). Today is our third and final installment and we’re sharing our best tips on making sure your wedding welcome gifts go off without a hitch. Logistics are often the most overlooked part of creating wedding welcome gifts but are absolutely the part that can make or break your wedding gifting experience. Sure, the gifts still need to be well curated, unique and beautiful no matter what. But these things don’t matter if the gifts don’t arrive when and where they’re supposed to. Without further adieu, let’s talk execution!

Image: Red October Photography

Image: Red October Photography

Order in Advance

This might seem like a no-brainer but I can’t tell you how many brides I hear from in a panic because they hoped to create welcome gifts on their own but were shocked to see how long lead times were on some items! Be sure to prepare early and add some buffer time to your ordering to avoid missing items days before your wedding. Also factor in additional time if the gift contents you order are breakable. It’s not uncommon for a few to show up damaged and then the ordering process to replace those starts all over again.

Plan for Perishables 

On the other end of the spectrum, perishable items should be picked up as close to the wedding date as possible. No one likes a stale cookie or muffin. If you are making the gifts yourself, be sure to assign a bridesmaid or family member to help out with the pick-up and gift building so you minimize the number of days between when the perishables arrive and when the gifts are assembled and actually delivered.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Review Rooming Lists

Double (and triple) check the rooming lists for your hotel blocks to ensure everyone who deserves a gift actually receives a gift! It’s pretty standard to provide one box per couple but if two friends without “plus ones” are sharing a hotel room, we assign two gifts to that room!

Let the Hotel Know you are Coming

There’s nothing worse for a hotel concierge team than having 100+ welcome gifts show up out of nowhere when they’re in the middle of assisting other guests. Avoid overwhelming the hotel staff by letting them know when you’re planning to drop off welcome gifts and the size and quantity of the gifts. When you arrive, it’s time to review the info again. Go over the rooming lists and any special requests with them (ie rooms with food allergies) so they are clear on the instructions. The hotels will really appreciate the heads up and most importantly, it will help them avoid mistakes.

Image: Red October Photography

Image: Red October Photography

To inquire about Custom Gift Design Service, fill out our short inquiry form here or reach out via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE: TOP 10 TRENDS IN WEDDING WELCOME GIFTS

What to Include in Wedding Welcome Bags // Part 1 of 3

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

As a professional gift designer, I often get asked for advice on what to include when curating wedding welcome gifts so I figured it was time for a three-part blog series all about these types of gifts and today is Part One! When designing wedding welcome bags, I take into consideration many factors such as location, wedding style, budget, color palette and even the personalities and interests of the couple. But overall, the most important thing is to make sure the gift are as well-balanced and as unique to the couple and their wedding as possible. Read on for some ideas today and then stay tuned because we have two more posts coming in this series later this week and next!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Local Keepsake

Including a meaningful keepsake is a fantastic way to leave your guests with something to remember your wedding by. I adore city-specific coasters or even a notecard set featuring artwork depicting landmarks of the city where you’re getting married. You can even let your gift packaging double as a keepsake by choosing a tote with a screen-printed map of the area. You can also highlight hobbies or interests that play a role in your relationship. Have fun and get creative!

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE: TOP 10 TRENDS IN WEDDING WELCOME GIFTS

Sweet Treat

This is a great opportunity to choose something special to you and your fiance. Do you and your fiancé have a favorite bakery nearby? Maybe an individually-wrapped brownie or cookie from this establishment would be the perfect sweet (and meaningful!) snack. Are you having a seaside wedding? Salt water taffy is a great ocean-inspired option to satisfy your guests’ sugar cravings. If you want to tie in your wedding color palette into the gift, macarons are a fantastic way to show off your wedding colors, these from Olivia Macaron. Or, perhaps you simply want to welcome your guests with a celebratory vibe. Champagne Gummy Bears or Champagne Bubbles by Sugarfina are always a Marigold & Grey favorite!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Savory Snack

Balance out the sweet with some good old-fashioned salty! Some ideas we like include salted peanuts, flavorful crackers, bagel crisps, pita chips, trail mix, popcorn, gourmet potato chips or maybe even some high-quality beef jerky.

Beverage

Let’s face it. It’s pretty annoying to check into a hotel and discover that bottled water isn’t included in the room. Help your guests stay hydrated especially since they’ll be enjoying cocktails and dancing the night away at your reception! For an added touch, consider sparkling water. Mini San Pellegrino bottles always look nice. Also, consider seasonally appropriate drinks such a gourmet hot chocolate for a winter wedding or a spring IPA beer from a local brewery.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Custom Paper Goods

Chances are, you have all the particulars spelled out on your wedding website as well as the invitation suite you mailed out. But, once guests arrive in town, they may not have easy access to all the info. Make it easy for them by creating a weekend timeline along with any necessary maps to help them get to where they need to be. Also, don’t forget a heartfelt message thanking your guests for making the trip. Take it a step further and create a booklet of the “who’s who” of your wedding party or even the background into your love story.

Finishing Touches

Lastly, pull it all together with memorable finishing touches that take the gifts to the next level and really stay in your guests memory long after the wedding is over. This means ribbon that color coordinates perfectly with your wedding palette, tied in the most perfect bow. It can even mean greenery, either inside or outside of the box or bag.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Remember to have fun with these and create something uniquely yours! Don’t have time to create welcome gifts for your guests? Find out more about our Custom Design Service here.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE: TOP 10 TRENDS IN WEDDING WELCOME GIFTS

How to Curate a Galentine’s Day Gift Box

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

If you’ve been in a grocery store recently (or any store, really), you know that Valentine’s Day is almost here. But instead of your run-of-the-mill Valentine’s Day gifts, here at Studio Marigold & Grey, we’re celebrating Galentine’s Day instead. It’s the perfect chance to show our love and appreciation for all the ladies in our lives and yours.  Okay, time for a little ‘how-to’ just in case you want to show some love to your best girlfriends in the form of a curated gift box. You know, our favorite love language!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Fun Mug

We love mugs but it can’t just be any mug. We searched high and low for the perfect progirl-power-yet-still-fun-and-feminine mug phrase and after countless examples of “ovaries before brovaries” and “uteruses before duderesses”, we almost gave up. But then it happened. We fell hard for this adorable “You’re The She To My Nanigans” Mug. Not a mug fan? Other great options include tumbler cups, travel coffee cups or even wine glasses. By the way, wine tumblers even come in stainless steel these days and we can’t get enough.

Beverage

To pair with your cup of choice, add a beverage. We chose to go with a bag of Ceremony Coffee in their signature black and white packaging. Tea, a great bottle of wine, or especially champagne would work perfectly as well.

Pajamas

Silky pajamas from Plum Pretty Sugar are the next item. We loved the adorable botanical print – perfect for a woman at any age. With tons of patterns and styles to choose from, you can find the perfect set for your bestie.

Bath Item

A Galentine’s Day gift wouldn’t be complete without a spa item. We chose mint julep bath scrub but any color-coordinated bath product would do as long as it smells amazing and actually does what it says it will do. Perfect for an evening of self-care!

Girly Candle

We selected a modern, floral-scented candle to provide a feeling of spring. A great smelling candle is the perfect addition to any spa-themed box.

Heart-Shaped Something

A Galentine’s Day gift wouldn’t be complete without a heart-shaped item. We selected a heart-shaped bath bomb with rose petals but truthfully, the possibilities are endless here.  It is the perfect addition to the spa-themed gift but anything with a fun Valentine’s day flair will do!

Gift Tag & Notecard

Don’t forget to add a customized gift tag and notecard to your gift. We dreamed up a classic black and white “XO” set by Just Write Studios. The best part about receiving a gift is knowing the thought behind it, so be sure to include a heartfelt, handwritten note.

Blooms

For a touch of traditional Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the blooms! We chose tulips for yet another nod to springtime. Once you tie the ribbon around the box, you can easily slide the stems underneath the ribbon and the florals act as part of the gift in addition to a gorgeous finishing touch!

Voila! You’re ready to share the love with the gals in your life! Be sure to check out our Instagram and Facebook in the next few days for our Galentine’s Giftaway announcement! Yup, you guessed it. We’re giving away the gift box you see in this post. And because we believe it’s always better to gift than receive, if you’re the winner, we’ll drop-ship the gift to your galentine of choice! Good luck!

To check out our full collection of Pre-Designed Gift Boxes for all occasions, head on over to our online shop. Gifts in the shop have no order minimums and are offered with free shipping!

4 Tips for Making Corporate Swag Feel More Personal

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

You’ve probably heard us say a bazillion times that we strongly believe corporate event gifts don’t have to be boring. They truly can have the same thoughtful, unexpected elements as, let’s say, wedding welcome gifts or even bridal party and groomsmen gifts. Here are a few of our top tips for making corporate swag feel more personal…

Logo in Moderation

What’s the first thing people think of when they think of traditional corporate swag? Usually it’s the corporate logo. Typical corporate gifts have the logo plastered on anything and everything both inside and outside of the gift. We’re here to say that sometimes less is more and using the logo in moderation often elevates the gift beyond typical corporate swag and gives it more of a warm, inviting feel.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Useful Items 

If you’re welcoming attendees to a corporate event with a custom gift, try and only include items which are useful and appropriate for the event at which they’re attending. The gift will feel more relevant and thoughtful this way. For example, if the event is a workshop, then a branded hardback journal with a nice pen is a thoughtful, appropriate gift that the recipient will put to use right away. If it’s a sales meeting in a tropical location, then suntan lotion and sunglasses inside the swag bags would be amazing whereas ones of those denim shirts with the embroidered logo…not so much. You get the idea!

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Welcome Note

No matter what type of event it is, if you’re doing welcome gifts, then we highly recommend some sort of custom welcome note inside the gift. You want to put a hospitable voice behind the gesture even if the note is short and sweet. This is also a great spot to include the corporate logo in the notecards for a polished, professional finish to the gift boxes.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

CEO Signature

Speaking of welcome notes, we are huge fans of obtaining the CEO’s digital signature (or whomever is hosting the event) and including this at the end of the welcome message. This takes the welcome note to a whole new level. After all, someone’s personal signature is far more personal than their name in regular, everyday font. We’ve done this with numerous custom gift projects of ours and always receive positive feedback.

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Image: Lissa Ryan Photography

Really hope these tips are useful! For more information on our Custom Gift Design Service for corporate event gifts or to let us know what you think of these ideas, please visit HERE. We’d love to hear from you!

How to Curate A Fall Hostess Gift Basket

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Fall is officially here. With summer vacations over and most of us back in our normal routines, social gatherings are at an all-time high. And we all know a packed social schedule means hostess gifts are back on the to-do list. Here are some easy suggestions for pulling together a curated gift box to serve as the the perfect fall hostess gift basket! (If you happen to be planning a fall wedding, here is some inspiration for fall wedding welcome gifts!)

Packaging

We absolutely love earthy packaging options for fall. So instead of fresh, clean, modern black or white gift boxes as your gift packaging, think pine boxes. Wood crates. Or even sturdy kraft boxes. These selections are organic, slightly weathered and give off a cozy vibe which is perfect for fall.

Warm Colors

Now is the time to put down the blues and greens and trade them for deep hues of red, rust, plum and shades of brown. You can incorporate these colors in multiple ways such as the packaging of the gift contents, your ribbon color or even the color of your basket fill.

Home Decor

Fall is a great time to add cozy elements to the home in preparation for cooler weather and eventually, the holidays. Consider gifting home decor items that can also lead to a cozy, home-like feel. Think candles for scent and ambiance, tea towels for baking or even some scented soaps for the powder room.

Comfort Food

As the summer heat tapers off and a chill hits the air, I’d love to think I’m not the only one who loves some comfort food. Think fresh bakery items, rich chocolates packaged beautifully or even a s’mores kit! You can also consider comfort beverages such as coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.

Fall Fruit

It’s no secret I love adding greenery to gifts but for this time of year, consider fall-inspired accents such as pine cones or even seasonal fruit such as apples or mini pumpkins. Bonus points for white or pastel pumpkins since they’ll coordinate well with just about any home decor the hostess happens to like!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these ideas. To check out our full collection of Pre-Designed gift boxes, head on over to our online shop. Gifts in the shop have no order minimums and are offered with free shipping!