Hello, Elizabeth here! I’m a sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill studying advertising and entrepreneurship. I began working with Lo & Behold for a photo project during fall 2017 and then returned as the social media intern this spring. Between studying, interning, and working at Anthropologie, I am constantly busy, and I love spending time with my family and friends in my free time.
B A C K G R O U N D
If you’re like me, you love your friends, and you love to make them smile. My friends (hopefully) know how much I care about them, but sometimes it’s fun to remind them. Whether it be by spending time with them, calling to catch up or surprising them with small gifts, it’s always fun to let them know I’m thinking of them.
With that being said, I like to think of myself as a wonderful gift-giver…if it’s small and it’s a surprise. Sometimes I find myself writing notes or buying flowers or extra cookies for my friends when I know they’ve had a rough week or if something reminds me of them. But, when it comes to buying gifts when they expect it (birthdays, Christmas, graduation, etc.), I find myself stressed under the pressure. Sometimes I feel rushed or like nothing I find is good enough.
I tend to look for DIY ideas on Pinterest, but I don’t always have $50 to spend on materials or 3 hours to spend making a gift that may or may not turn out well. (Let’s face it: it’s pretty rare that our creations look anything like the examples on Pinterest). To help with this struggle, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite gifts to give that are affordable, useful and personal.
G I F T I D E A S
Mugs are always a good idea. This mug from Waxing Gibbous Pottery is a great gift for any friend who loves coffee, tea, or just cute mugs. Each mug is hand-crafted by Katie King in Durham, North Carolina and is unique in its shape, texture and design.
You really can’t go wrong with a gift from Pamela Barsky. Her pouches, totes and other products are not only sassy and fun, but they’re also incredibly useful and durable. Plus, they’re super personal and there are so many prints and quotes to choose from that you’re sure to find one your friend will relate to.
Both pieces of jewelry are handmade in Raleigh, North Carolina by Rachel Calhoun. Her company, Wind Blown Jewelry focuses on creating simple, everyday pieces that can be dressed up or dressed down. The necklace and earrings are perfect for anyone who wants to add something simple, yet beautiful to their outfit.
This necklace from Half United is a great reminder that we can do good in the world by uniting with one another to fight against global hunger. For every product you buy from Half United, you provide 7 meals for a child in need. *Even if you don’t buy from Half United, check out their website to learn about a great cause and be inspired to give!*
Face Mask Trio for a Girls’ Night In
What better way to celebrate your friends than by planning an evening together? Handmade, natural face masks from Lo & Behold show your friends you care about them and the products they use on their skin. Grab a bottle of wine, a couple movies and pizza for a good, old-fashioned girls’ night in.
Creating a photo book with Chatbooks is a super easy way to share your favorite memories with your friends. You can use the app or the website to upload your own photos or use photos from Instagram and Facebook to create a collection of your favorite photos.
These candles from Falling Into Place are handmade to smell like the season of each astrology sign. Each candle is poured by Mary Claire White in Memphis, Tennessee and a portion of the proceeds from each candle sold goes to the International Child Art Foundation.
You can never really have too many photos on display. This picture frame from World Market is a great gift for any friends who like simple, natural decorations. Add a picture of you together, one of your favorite memories or even a printed quote to make it a great decoration and reminder of your friendship.
Custom messages hand-stamped on a key ring? Yes please. These key rings, sold by Edge of Urge, are perfect for creating a personal gift: add an inside joke, coordinates of the place you became friends, your initials or anything that will make your friend smile.
The gift of friendship. Plan to go to brunch together and and make sure your friend feels celebrated. Take her to her favorite restaurant, a new one you know she’s been dying to try or a restaurant that reminds you of her. Make a day of it and walk around town afterwards or go get mani-pedis -- whatever your heart desires.
T H I N K A H E A D
There are so many ways to celebrate your friends and so many types of gifts to give. To alleviate the stress of gift-giving, think about some of your favorite things to do with your friend or things that remind you of them. Shop throughout the year and buy/plan gifts before it’s time to give them. The best gifts will show your friend that they are known and loved. Small, thoughtful gifts from locally-owned shops will show them that you spent time thinking about what they like instead of just picking up the best thing you could find while you were running errands. Plus, you get to support independently-owned businesses in your community!
I hope this list helps you celebrate your friends in thoughtful ways. I’d love to know how you celebrate your friends. What are your favorite gifts to give?
Stay tuned for more blog posts!