Receiving a gift from your child is WILD, right? First, it’s a hand turkey from their pre-school class. Next, it’s a cheap bracelet they got out of a gumball machine (Do they even have those anymore?) or the Dollar Tree. Then, it’s a multi-colored pillow they made themselves. Whatever it continues to be, it’s a beautiful expression of love, thoughtfulness, and the special bond between parent and child. But what are those feelings and why are they so important? Well, here’s why:

Overwhelming Joy

The first and most immediate emotion that a parent feels when given a gift from their child is overwhelming joy. It’s a heartwarming experience to see your child’s face light up with excitement as they present you with a gift they’ve carefully chosen or crafted. This joy stems from knowing that your child took the time and effort to make you feel special.

Deeply Touched

Receiving a gift from your child often brings tears and touches you deeply on an emotional level. It’s a profound reminder of the love and connection shared between parent and child. The thoughtfulness behind the gift and the sentiment it carries evoke strong emotions of gratitude and appreciation.

Sense of Pride

Parents feel an immense sense of pride when receiving a gift from their child. Whether it’s a handmade card, a drawing, or a thoughtful present, it reflects the child’s creativity, effort, and thoughtfulness. This pride stems not just from the gift itself but from witnessing the growth and development of their child’s abilities and expressions of love.


A gift from your child serves as a validation of your role as a parent. It signifies that you’ve nurtured a loving and supportive relationship built on trust, respect, and affection. It’s a testament to the positive impact you’ve had on your child’s life, and it reinforces the bond between you.

Gratitude and Appreciation

Receiving a gift from your child instills a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation. It’s a moment to reflect on the blessings of parenthood and the joy of having a loving family. The gift becomes a symbol of the love and care shared within the family unit.

Treasured Memories

Gifts from your child become treasured memories that you hold dear for a lifetime. They evoke nostalgia and fondness as you reminisce about the special moments shared with your child. These memories become part of your family’s story and are passed down through generations.

So, of course I think it’s important to give gifts to any/everyone you value. But the reason behind it is all of these things and so many more.  It’s a reminder of the beauty of parenthood and the incredible journey of watching your child grow and flourish. And because Mother’s Day is just around the corner, remember that THESE are the reasons why you give the gifts. And, of course if all else fails, contact me and I’ll help you get something for that important parent!

Until we chat again,

SH Signature

Meaningful Gestures for New Beginnings – Graduation Gifts

OMG, can you believe it but graduations and graduation parties are set. Invitations are being sent out. I. Can’t. Believe. It. What made me think of this, you ask? My lovely, kind, sweet, and SMART niece Lizzie graduates this year. So I have been hemming and hawing over what I should get her. Graduation is a significant milestone that marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. It’s a time of celebration, achievement, and anticipation for the future. So, choosing just the right graduation gift can be a daunting task. To help you navigate this process, and alleviate some of the headaches I’ve had over this, here’s a guide to buying the best graduation gifts that are meaningful, practical, and memorable.

Consider Their Passions and Goals

The best graduation gifts are those that resonate with the recipient’s interests, passions, and future aspirations. Take some time to think about what the graduate enjoys doing in their spare time, what their career goals are, and how you can support them on their journey. For example, if they’re a budding chef, consider a high-quality kitchen knife or a cooking class. (My favorites are at NewBo City Market!) If they’re passionate about travel, a travel journal could be the perfect gift. I just got the CUTEST one from Scribe Stationer in NewBo.

Personalize It

Adding a personal touch to a gift can make it truly special. Consider personalized items such as engraved jewelry, monogrammed accessories, or custom-made artwork. I wish I’d have kept the pictures she used to make for me. I’d have TOTALLY made custom artwork out of it. (My go-to is my local CVS because they can do same-day canvas at many of them.)

Practicality Goes a Long Way

While sentimental gifts are wonderful, practical gifts that can be used in everyday life or in their future endeavors are also highly appreciated. Think about items that can make their transition into the next phase of their life smoother, such as a laundry basket with laundry soap and rolls of quarters (Or is that even a thing anymore!?).

Experiences Over Things

Sometimes, the best gifts aren’t things but experiences. Consider gifting the graduate an experience they’ve always wanted to try, such as tickets to a concert or sporting event, a spa day, a cooking class, or a weekend getaway. These experiences create wonderful memories for you and your favorite graduate.

Tech Savvy Gifts

In today’s digital age, tech gadgets make excellent graduation gifts. Consider options like a high-quality backpack, noise-canceling headphones, a tablet for note-taking, or a smartwatch to help them stay organized and connected.

Books for Inspiration

Books are timeless gifts that can inspire, educate, and motivate. You could opt for a gift card to a bookstore so they can choose their own reading material. Or you can go the traditional route of Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. I still have mine that was signed by a very good family friend.

Financial Support

A gift of money can be immensely helpful and appreciated. It shows your support for their future success and eases some of the financial burdens they may be facing.

Buying the best graduation gift involves thoughtful consideration of the graduate’s interests, goals, and needs. Whether you choose a personalized keepsake, a practical item, an enriching experience, or a book or two for their relaxation, the key is to show your support and celebrate their accomplishments as they embark on this new chapter in their lives. This will help you win the “Best Graduation Gift” Wars. 🙂

Or you could just contact me and I can buy a really cool gift for your really special grad!

Until we chat again,

SH Signature

How Thanking Boosts Business Success

In the business world, success isn’t solely measured by transactions; it thrives on relationships and the emotional connections created. One powerful tool in nurturing these connections is the act of gift-giving. Specifically, thanking clients through thoughtful gestures holds the potential to significantly impact business success, transcending the boundaries of mere transactions. I learned a lot about this while working at the YMCA. There were so many places members could go, and thanking them was especially important. Recently, I worked with a local candle maker to help a client create custom, local gifts for their clients. See the image associated with this blog!

Strengthening Relationships

Expressing gratitude through gifts creates a link between the business and clients, establishing an emotional connection beyond the transactional aspect. Whether it’s a personalized token of appreciation or a gesture that commemorates a milestone, such acts convey a message beyond words. They communicate an understanding of the client’s value and a genuine commitment to nurturing the relationship.

Building Trust and Loyalty

Trust is the cornerstone of any enduring business relationship. When a client receives a thoughtful gift, it solidifies the trust they have in the business. It reinforces the idea that the business isn’t solely interested in profit but genuinely values the client’s contribution to their success. This strengthened trust, in turn, breeds loyalty, encouraging clients to remain committed to the business amidst competitive market landscapes.

Enhancing Brand Image and Reputation

The act of thanking clients with gifts doesn’t go unnoticed. It reflects positively on the brand’s image, portraying it as considerate, attentive, and invested in client satisfaction. This not only influences the perception of existing clients but also attracts potential clients. A strong reputation for appreciation and gratitude becomes a distinguishing factor, setting the business apart from competitors.

Measurable Impact on Business Success

The impact of thanking clients through gifts isn’t merely anecdotal; it’s quantifiable. Businesses that prioritize client appreciation witness tangible benefits. Increased client retention rates, higher engagement levels, a rise in referrals, and improved feedback are among the measurable outcomes that demonstrate the effectiveness of this strategy.

The act of thanking clients through thoughtful gifts isn’t merely a formality; it’s a strategic investment in fostering meaningful relationships. It’s an acknowledgment of the pivotal role clients play in the success story of a business. By tapping into the psychological aspects of reciprocity, trust-building, and emotional connections, businesses can elevate their standing, secure long-term partnerships, and ultimately thrive in today’s competitive landscape. I’d LOVE to help you make a lasting impact on your clients, customers, or employees. Simply use this link to get on my calendar for a chat.

As businesses navigate the complexities of modern markets, incorporating gratitude and appreciation through strategic gift-giving could be the differentiating factor that propels them toward sustained success. After all, in the realm of business, the impact of a simple ‘thank you’ can reverberate far beyond its spoken words.

Until we chat again,

SH Signature

As you know, my background is in nonprofit marketing. And end-of-year giving was always something I touted and marketed. So, as the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the impact we’ve made and opportunities to continue to give back. Whether time, talent, or treasure, there are numerous creative and impactful ways individuals and businesses can contribute before the calendar turns. Here’s a list of avenues to make a difference:

  1. Volunteer Your Time: Local shelters, food banks, and community centers often need extra hands during the holiday season. Dedicate a few hours of your time to volunteer, whether it’s serving meals, organizing donation drives, or simply spending time with those in need. A great place to find volunteer opportunities is at United Way of East Central Iowa’s Volunteer Now page. Not sure what makes sense for you? This website helps you find the right volunteer outlet for what YOU like/want to do.
  2. Donate Goods or Services: Clean out your closets and gather items that could benefit others. Clothes, blankets, non-perishable food items, and toys can be donated to shelters or organizations supporting families in need. Additionally, consider offering your professional services pro bono to nonprofits or individuals who could benefit from your expertise. Goodwill Industries and Salvation Army are great places to give in most communities.
  3. Participate in Fundraising Events: Join charity runs, auctions, or other fundraising events organized by local nonprofits. These events not only raise funds but also create a sense of community involvement and support.
  4. Start a Personal Fundraising Campaign: Use online platforms to start your own fundraising campaign for a cause you’re passionate about. Whether it’s for medical expenses, education, or supporting a local project, your initiative can make a significant impact.
  5. Corporate Giving Programs: Businesses can get involved by setting up matching donation programs for their employees’ contributions to charitable organizations. Encourage your workplace to support and match employee donations to amplify the impact.
  6. Random Acts of Kindness: Small gestures can have a big impact. Pay for someone’s meal, leave encouraging notes in public spaces, or simply offer a helping hand to those you encounter during your day. Pay for the car behind you when you are making your Starbucks run!
  7. Educate and Advocate: Spread awareness about important causes by educating others. Share information on social media, host information sessions, or engage in conversations that raise awareness about pressing issues.
  8. Support Local Businesses with Social Impact: Choose to shop at local businesses that support social causes or have initiatives to give back to the community. By supporting them, you indirectly contribute to their philanthropic efforts.
  9. Mentorship and Skill Sharing: Offer mentorship or share your skills with individuals looking to learn. This could include tutoring, mentoring youth, teaching a class, or sharing professional expertise with aspiring individuals.

By engaging in these diverse and meaningful ways of giving back, you not only contribute to the betterment of our communities but also foster a culture of compassion, empathy, and collective support. As we approach year-end, let’s seize these opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us. Together, our efforts can create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the holiday season, leaving a lasting impact for a brighter future. Connect with me. I’d love to help you find places to give whatever you want to give.

Until Next Time,

SH Signature

One of a Kind Show – Chicago

As you all know, I LOVE the One of a Kind Show – Chicago. I’ve posted, talked, and gushed about it for years…so much so that a group of us head there together each December. I find the best, most unique gifts. And since the holidays don’t automatically end on December 25, I thought I’d give you a few gift ideas from the vendors I love at the show.

Gift Ideas

Have a sweet teen in your life? Try When I was at her booth, she told me she was inspired to create her active girls necklaces after watching Zendaya in The Greatest Showman! I not only bought a gift for my niece but a super cute girl jump-roper necklace for ME!

For little people, it can be hard to find the right thing that is also ok for the parent. Enter Ames-based The Bubble Haus. They have the cutest soap paints you’ve ever seen. Your little creative can make art AND get clean using them.

What about that hard-to-buy-for sister/aunt/mom/girlfriend? I can tell you sapahn has JUST the right thing for her. They have all the options you’d ever want for her…or that really stylish him!

Hey guys, trust me she called and she REALLY wants one-of-a-kind jewelry. No matter her style, one of these makers has just the right thing for you. Check out:

How about that foodie person? If you follow Favorable on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, which you should, you’ll know this next one. Simply Stoneware has GORGEOUS graters that are unlike anything you’ve seen. They’d be GRATE (pun intended) paired with ginger, garlic, or a chunk of parmesan.

Have that guy who has everything? Well, he doesn’t have a Mistura watch, I promise you that. These incredibly unique watches are even more beautiful in person than you’ll see on the website!

I really could go on and on about all the great makers at this show. Remember, even if you can’t get something for the holidays, you can shop these great small business owners for birthdays, anniversaries, bar/bat mitzvahs, and any other occasion…or you can just call me and I’ll have just the right gift ideas for you.

Until we chat again, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Favorable.

SH Signature

It’s budget time!

If the calendar year is your budget year, you are probably waist-deep in the budgeting process. I know I am.  How fun! Revenue projections…  Scheduling major projects and expenses…   Non-profits are holding 2023 dates for fundraisers…  Companies are planning new product announcements… Everyone is looking at marketing and communications, from simple social media tweaks to website overhauls.

There is so much to consider.

Make sure you don’t overlook retention costs and their positive impact on your budget and bottom line.

How are you budgeting for employee, client, customer, or member retention?

According to Forbes, a small increase of only 2% in customer retention is the same as a 10% reduction in costs. That’s hidden savings in your budget that’s easier to implement than going line by line trying to reduce costs.

What can you do?

To make your retention strategy even easier, Favorable offers a turnkey solution. I have worked with many companies to formulate a yearly Connection Plan. My tactical Connection Plan targets thanking and engaging your company’s most important people, including clients, customers, and staff, at a precise pace and schedule.

It’s a true win-win.  I can simplify your budgeting process while also improving the retention rate of your clients, customers, and staff through simple connections and tokens of appreciation.

Until we chat again,
SH Signature

It seems weird (read: terrifying!) to say it, but we are officially SIX MONTHS away from Christmas and less than that to the holiday season. And with the holidays can come stress. A survey by the American Psychological Association, 38 percent of people said their stress level increases during the holidays. Another survey, by Principal Financial Group, revealed that 53 percent of people feel financially stressed by holiday spending.

But financial stressors aren’t the only ones that happen around the holidays. Pressures on you to be happy, to be everywhere, to find just the right thing…the list goes on and on. What can be done to try to alleviate this year’s stressors when buying gifts for family and friends?

  1. Plan ahead. Start thinking now about who you have to buy gifts for, make a list in your phone’s notes or other list app, and when you are out and about, look for gifts and BUY NOW!
  2. Talk to your family. Do you HAVE to buy gifts this year or can something else be done instead? A trip later in the year? The whole family gives to a charity close to your heart?
  3. Create a reasonable budget…and stick to it. You know where your finances are. Figure out a reasonable budget, whether by person or overall, and stay within it.

And don’t forget your clients, employees, and customers either. Although I would suggest giving gifts at a different time of the year than the holidays if you feel it is best to recognize and thank these people during the holidays, a very similar 3-step process can be followed.

  1. Plan Ahead. Will you get gifts for all your clients or segments? Will it be one gift for all or a selection of gifts to choose from?
  2. Create a budget. What makes sense as a per-person dollar amount to spend? Is there a limit in your business on what you can spend per client? And back to #1, how many gifts are you buying?
  3. Start ordering early. Don’t let what happened last year affect you this year. Order early to get the best option for gifts and shipping costs.

The best way to avoid the stress of holiday gift-giving for everyone, client, family, or friend? Hire Favorable early and all the gifts are done for you and within that budget! Fill out the contact us form and we can meet to talk about who you need to buy gifts for and the budget for each of them. Then I take ALL THE STRESS away from you. 😊

Until Next Time,

SH Signature

My gut has always been what I go with when it comes to gifts. I’ll be out for a totally different shopping reason and see something that screams, “MUST GET THIS FOR [insert friend or family member here]!” so I do. Who laughs at my think ahead ability: my husband. He laughs not only because he believes I just buy to buy, but because I have a LARGE gifts-for-other people box. (“Of course it’s for other people! Things you buy for you are called POSSESSIONS., ” says he.)

gifting boxI keep these gifts in a giant plastic box. They come out when a birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, graduation, etc. happens. Yes, I have forgotten that I have these items at times. But that just means it goes to the next occasion.

I also buy things just because I think they are cool and place them in the gifts-for-other-people box. You’re invited somewhere and need to have a gift for a housewarming, birthday, anniversary?! Check that box for what will work. Major stress-out averted!

But how do I know what to pick up?

I love getting to know what makes a person tick and then shopping for the perfect thing in support of that. I get asked all the time “Where did you get that,” or “That’s just what I needed. How did you know?” I have an uncanny knack for finding great gifts. I get an adrenaline high and so much satisfaction and happiness from seeing people’s reactions to gifts they love.

I also have 5 Things That Make Buying a Gift Easier.

  1. Think about what you have seen the giftee:
    • do,
    • drink,
    • dwell in,
    • dine on, or
    • dress in.
  2. What is the thing you have seen them enjoy THE MOST?
  3. Google a word or phrase that corresponds to what you are thinking of giving and see what unique fun thing pops up.
  4. Pick something in your price range and that the giftee will feel comfortable receiving.
  5. BUY THE THING. Don’t wait too long to make it happen because that severely cuts down your options.

Until next time,

SH Signature