the most covetable gifts for entrepreneurs
We may not quite have hit December yet but thoughts are turning very firmly towards the festive season, and so it is with absolute pleasure that I introduce you to my inaugural collection of Gifts for Entrepreneurs.
Whether you’re rewarding a hardworking colleague, thanking a trusted business friend, looking for inspiration for your own wish list or simply treating yourself for a job well done this year, I hope you’ll enjoy this carefully curated gift guide from The Brand Stylist. It’s certainly been a lot of fun to put together.
I should probably add at this point that this is not a sponsored post and none of these links are affiliate links. Over the year I’ve been sent a lot of lovely products, and I’ve encountered lots more along the way. This is my way of celebrating those of you who’ve supported my in my journey this year, thank you.
elevate the everyday
It’s the details that make these everyday items extra special and highly covetable.
A freshly sharpened set of pencils are always a good idea. And when they’re as beautifully packaged as this set from Katie Leamon, who could resist? HiDE Pale Grey Pencil Set £15 includes six pencils in varying grades. Ideal for those of us who still love to write the old fashioned way. And just look at that glorious black sharpening!
I’d be happy with any of the marbled notebooks from Katie Leamon, but I think this has to be one of my favourites.
Marble Article 08 Notebook £15. She also has a magnificent set of Antique Scissors £25 as well as a whole wealth of gorgeous erasers, gift wrap and art prints.
I’ve tried a lot of planners out this year and the Hello Time Planner from Alilila Studio, £34.95, is by far and away my favourite. Beautifully designed and with plenty of space to make notes, write lists and most importantly, feel that huge sense of achievement as you tick off those essential tasks, this cloth-bound book something you’ll love to have sat on your desk as well as carry to meetings all year. I’ve noticed that as well as a chic black, it also comes in leopard this year. Tempting…
This beautifully stylish Hong Kong Notebook from Moments of Sense and Style is what I want to be writing my new year’s to do lists in. I’ll be plumping for the dusky rose pink but they have a gorgeous navy blue and a racing green version too. All my favourite colours! £25.
My Landscape Sketchbooks are where I collate all of my ideas, create mood boards and dream big with expansive mind maps that really explore what’s possible for my business (and my clients’). They’ve previously only been available to workshop guests or consultancy clients, but for a very limited period only, I’ll be putting these on sale via The Brand Stylist Festive Pop Up . £20.
The next best thing, as far as I’m concerned, are Muji’s F4 Sketchbooks, £5.95. High quality paper, with pages big enough to hold a magazine tear sheet without needing to trim it down, you’ll soon find yourself with dozens of these filled with all sorts of inspiration, if you’re anything like me.
I’m not entirely sure how this happened, but I’ve managed to get through almost forty years of life without owning a white tablecloth. Given the amount of photography and styling I do, not to mention entertaining, it seems slightly preposterous.
This deliciously soft, artfully crumpled number from Also Home, £65 has been an absolute revelation. Forget dining, it’s the perfect backdrop for all of my shoots and something I can’t quite believe I lived without for so long…
In an ideal world we’d all have a beautiful, functional and insta-worthy marble topped desk, ready to be called into service for photoshoots at a moment’s notice. The reality for most of us, I suspect, is that there is far more flatpack furniture in our studios than we’d like. This is where photographic backdrops come into their own. They nicely solve the issue of a slightly too shiny white desk, or floorboards which look beautifully natural in the flesh but come out way too orange on camera (just me?).
The Capture By Lucy Backdrop Store has a huge range of glorious designs that will transform your flatlays. My personal favourites are Raw Plaster , White Floorboards and Grey Marble. All £29.95 each plus P&P.
I’m biased, I know, but these Limited Edition Notebooks which are the result of a collaboration between the wonderful Gail Jones of Starkey’s Lane and yours truly, are an absolute delight to use. Foil Blocked and printed onto GF Smith Colorplan Paper by the wonderful Century Studios, they come in a pack of three and will add a touch of effortless chic to your note-taking. £18 for three from The Brand Stylist Festive Pop Up Store.
Have a friend who’s just had their brand re-styled? What could be more fun than a Custom Wax Seal Kit to pimp up their snail mail and celebrate their new brand identity. The kids and I had more fun than you can imagine with these beautifully designed seals and dripping wax. Expect to see them on all manner of welcome boxes from now on… From $37.50 Artisaire.
Talking of having fun with your new brand, how about a Company Seal Press? We are totally obsessed with mine. It adds a smart embossing texture to paper, card and stickers and I’m never knowingly under-embossed when it comes to creating my collateral for clients. They start at around £70, more if you want the flexibility to use it on thicker paper (I did). Bolsons are a good starting point.
celebrate the joy of working from home
Working from home is often a blessing and a curse. The opportunity to schlep around all day in your fluffy slippers with no makeup on. The freedom to set your own hours, design your own workspace and choose your colleagues. The downside? That washing up isn’t going anywhere and does that floor really need mopping again? Let’s celebrate the joy that working from home brings with some gorgeous gifts for those of us fortunate enough to be able to call the shots ourselves.
Is there someone who has supported you through thick and thin this year? Someone who needs to know exactly how much they’ve helped you? Perhaps you know of someone who needs a little reminder of precisely how brilliant they are? I love this Kind of a Big Deal mug by Gilbert and Stone, £20, Not on the High Street and can think of several people who deserve it this year. Even better filled with Cupsmith’s Truly Magnificent Hot Chocolate £5.95 don’t you think?
On days when I’m working from home and have no meetings booked, and let’s face it, there are many, the ultimate luxury for me is a pair of the softest socks. These Striped Alpaca Socks by Tom Lane, £14, are billed as bed socks (and what a treat that would be) but I’ll be teaming them up with my softest jumpers for writing days from my kitchen table.
candles, candles, candles
I’m a real sucker for a scented candle and almost always have one burning as I work. I’m yet to meet a friend who didn’t love a really thoughtfully selected, unusually scented votive. Here are a few of my favourites.
It was the scent of the MOSS Doddington Scented Candle £30 that caught my eye first… We were visiting Hero in Stockbridge and the delicious, floral, freshness bowled me over. Then I listened to the founders on the Hashtag Authentic podcast and heard about the story behind the brand and I knew that this was something that needed to be shared. All of these candles are divine and the entrepreneurs behind the business truly inspirational.
I’ve had this fresh, evocative, herbal scent from True Grace burning on and off all season and have absolutely loved it. Wild Mint comes in a tin container only for £20. The entire True Grace collection is worth exploring, I’ve yet to be disappointed with a scent and I’ve invested a lot in their candles and diffusers. Other favourites are Green Fig, Geranium and Orangery all £30.
A timely reminder for us all, this trio of Unplugged Scented Votive Candles comes in four delicious flavours and encourages us to pause, breathe and be calm. I’ll be lighting all three somewhere I can see them. Especially on busy days. Headless chicken? Me? £49, Illumer.
Just before I sold my last business, I treated myself to the White Company’s Winter Candle £20 to mark our most successful trading month to date. We had two young children, a third on the way and spending that money on something so frivolous felt truly decadent. It’s a scent that brings back a lot of happy memories. Vine Tomato is another favourite White Company scent, but one that they only sell in summer. Keep your eyes peeled, and stock up! It’s glorious.
an inspired entrepreneur is a successful entrepreneur
Those of us who run creative businesses know just how entwined inspiration and creative confidence are with the commercial success of our companies. These gifts will fuel the creativity of any business owner and will in turn, leave a lasting legacy on their businesses.
OK, I admit, you’d have to have a pretty generous friend or loved one to treat you to an entire workshop but how about giving yourself or your business a well deserved treat? I’ll be announcing dates for Creative Flair and a brand new, London-based one day workshop very soon. Definitely something to add to your wish list.
When the lovely Melanie from Mackenzie and George treated one of her colleagues to Design for Go-Getters last year it sparked an idea in my mind… Whether you can generously stretch to an entire course, or you prefer to give a voucher the recipient can put towards a class of their choice, this is a gift that will leave a lasting impact. From £50 in The Brand Stylist Festive Pop Up Shop.
I was recently re-bitten by the calligraphy bug when Meticulous Ink sent me their Copperplate Calligraphy Starter Kit. Beautifully gift boxed, with everything you need to reignite your love of lettering, this will provide a welcome moment of quiet creative meditation alongside everything else we entrepreneurs have on our minds. Great value at just £20.
calm that busy mind
All those big ideas, grand plans and creativity whirling around is a huge part of what makes us successful as entrepreneurs, but there are (plenty of) times when you just need to quieten your mind, rest and rejuvenate. These are some of my favourites.
Magic Organic Apothecary’s Fortifying Green Bath Potion smells divine and has the power to both relax and revive in just one bath. It’s an essential pre-workshop ritual for me and also soothes achy, tired, flu muscles. It’s not cheap at £27 but a little goes a very long way and I wouldn’t be without it…
These Pink Himalayan Sea Salt Tea Light Holders are said to detoxify and purify thoughts and the ritual of lighting one at the end of the day can be a great way to transition from work to home or wind down after a stressful day. £5.50 from And Hobbs.
I can pretty much recommend everything in this brilliant collection of magnesium based products from Of the Islands but their Pure Strength Magnesium Sea Brine Spray, £28 is like a magic elixir! All that sitting causes havoc with my hip flexors and neck and shoulder muscles. Just ten sprays of this loosens everything out overnight. Honestly, I can’t recommend this highly enough. I’ll be buying for several friends and family. Love it.
I absolutely adore the branding of this thoughtful collection of wellbeing products from The Owl and the Apothecary. This Abundance Crystal Candle, £45 would make a lovely gift for someone ready to plan big things next year. Or how about their Abundance or Wellbeing Pulse Point Aromatherapy Oils? Both £16.
words to energise
I’m a voracious consumer of magazines, cookbooks and coffee-table style books but it’s rare I’ll find a business book that truly speaks to me. As such, my list of recommendations tend to be relatively thin on the ground. Here are a handful of publications I wouldn’t be without this year.
Packed with wise words and actionable, practical strategies, The Empowered Entrepreneur is a pleasure to read and utterly game changing for those who implement the sage words within. Highly recommended.
Written by my wonderful friend Elizabeth Cairns and design/ creative direction by yours truly, The Empowered Entrepreneur is a book to savour. Available from Elizabeth’s website for worldwide shipping and Amazon. £25.
Well, I couldn’t really let a list of gifts for entrepreneurs pass without at least a passing mention of my books. Brand Brilliance is a brand strategy and communication bible for entrepreneurs who are ready to step out of the hustle, elevate their offering and enchant their audience. It’s an absolute must read for 2019 and available from stockists worldwide. £25.
How to Style your Brand remains an Amazon bestseller almost four years after it’s launch, which is pretty mind blowing (thank you). Does exactly what it says on the tin. Great gift for a friend starting a business. £20.
It feels slightly presumptive to put my own books next to the incredible Michelle Obama, but as a huge-hearted, self-made woman who thrives on raising up others, I hope she would approve…
I’ve not yet read this book and am never one to get swept along by publisher hype, but I listened to this intelligent, compassionate, successful woman read extracts from her book on BBC sounds and was utterly enchanted. It’s at the top of my list and I can’t wait to read more.
Becoming, Michelle Obama. £25 (currently £12.50 at Waterstones.com).
Create an impact
All of us need space to dazzle at times. Whether you’re on a photoshoot for your brand or meeting with a client, creating the right impression from the get-go is part of the deal. Here are a few things I wouldn’t be without.
Honestly, I’d be happy with almost anything from chic Parisian brand, Sezanne, but I have my eye on their Navy croco bag £270 and their Ferdinand Trousers £105 in particular. This recently re-branded fashion house is an absolute masterclass in styling, photography and branding and their packages are such a treat to open. Even if the products weren’t glorious (which they are) it would be a great investment in the art of customer experience…
I love understated, simple jewellery and often find myself turning to a classic pair of gold earrings for workshops or shoots. These gorgeous hammered gold hoops are just £18 at Hero Stockbridge.
When you need to feel powerful or make an impact, a red lip is always a good go-to. I’ve tried a lot, and Charlotte Tilbury’s Tell Laura £24 is my absolute favourite. This orange-red tone is the perfect shade for my warm skin and has great staying power without drying out your lips.
The thoughtfully designed collection of watches from upcoming brand, Amanda Walker will help you keep to time in style. I adore their metallic collection: reassuringly heavy, with a simple face that oozes understated elegance. Price, tbc, website launching at AmandaWalker.com
So there you have it! My roundup of the most stylish gifts for the entrepreneur in your life for Christmas 2018, I do hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to know which gifts you’re most inspired by and whether you’d be interested in seeing more of this sort of thing in the future. Do let me know.
Lots of love and thanks must go to my amazing husband, for putting up with having our house taken over yet again, whilst simultaneously building my garden office so that this sort of thing doesn’t happen too often in the future. Also to the wonderful Katie Spicer who worked her magic in rapidly fading light. You’d never know those gifts were shot in almost darkness.
Thank you also to Kate Cullen and Anna Schmidt of Also Home, for sending your glorious ribbon to giftwrap some of the most stylish gifts you’ll see in this shoot. You’ll be seeing more on Instagram too! And last but by no means least, thank you to the wonderful Gail Jones of Starkey’s Lane whose gorgeous botanical illustrations grace the journals and the giftware used for the shoot.