Celebs are People, too.

When it comes to gifts, celebrities are known for their extravagant tastes and grand gestures. (To go along with the title, you (likely) ain’t never gonna get it, never gonna get it.) As trendsetters in various aspects of life, their gifting choices often influence us all. Whether it’s a birthday, wedding, or a holiday season, celebrities have a knack for turning simple acts of generosity into headline-worthy events. Let’s delve into the intriguing world of celebrity gifting trends to see what’s currently in vogue.

Personalized and Customized Gifts

It’s no secret that personalization is the key to making a gift feel special. Celebrities are increasingly leaning towards customized presents that carry sentimental value. From monogrammed jewelry to custom artwork, these gifts show thought and effort. For example, a beautifully embroidered baby blanket for a new parent or a piece of jewelry with a meaningful date or name engraved on it. I love Mark & Graham for affordable, custom gifts.

Sustainability and Philanthropy

In recent years, many celebrities have been using their influence to promote sustainability and social causes. As a result, eco-friendly and philanthropic gifts are becoming more popular. Gift choices that support a charitable cause or reduce environmental impact, such as reusable water bottles, sustainable fashion, or donations to charity in the recipient’s name, are gaining momentum. Oprah always has a great list for this purpose that have reasonable options included.

Luxury Experiences

Celebrities often have access to everything money can buy, which makes experiential gifts more appealing. Gifting luxury experiences like spa retreats, exotic vacations, or exclusive concert tickets is a growing trend. These gifts provide unforgettable memories that can’t be wrapped in a box. Since we may not be able to afford a truly luxury experience, I love to give cozymeal gifts for those I know love to cook or maybe want to learn how to cook better.

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes have become a hot trend in celebrity gifting. These curated packages deliver surprises to the recipient’s doorstep regularly. From gourmet food to beauty products, subscription boxes cater to a variety of interests, ensuring that the recipient gets a gift that keeps on giving long after the initial unwrapping. I hate to admit it but Amazon has an incredible number of options for this at all price points.

Art and Collectibles

Celebrities often have a keen interest in art and collectibles. Unique and rare items, from vintage vinyl records to one-of-a-kind paintings, are increasingly popular gifts. These gifts not only hold monetary value but also serve as conversation pieces in the recipient’s home. Etsy will always be where I go to find gorgeous art online. However, in the ICR Iowa area, we have so many great places that support local artists and their wares, I typically scour those stores to get just the right things for my arty friends..

Tech Gadgets

The world of technology is ever-evolving, and many celebrities stay at the forefront of the latest gadgets. Gifts like the latest smartphones, smart home devices, or personalized tech accessories are trendy choices. Technology gifts not only show that you’re keeping up with the times but also provide practical utility. I love the gorgeous techy gadgets from Courant. I’ve had clients and friends who’ve LOVED the products I’ve given.

Personal Wellness

In an era where self-care is paramount, personal wellness gifts are all the rage. This includes items like high-end skincare products, meditation and relaxation accessories, or even fitness and health gadgets. Celebrity-endorsed wellness products can make for thoughtful and health-conscious presents. There are so many great classes and personal trainers in the area. Google away and find the exact right one for your purposes.


Classic and timeless, jewelry has always been a popular choice for gifting, especially among celebrities. From diamond necklaces to heirloom-quality watches, jewelry is the perfect way to convey love, appreciation, and luxury. Or another idea is to check out swap meets, pawn shops, or antique stores. You can likely find a good deal on something magnificent.

Fashion and Accessories

Celebrities often set trends in fashion, so gifting a piece of stylish clothing or designer accessories is a safe bet. Items like luxury handbags, sunglasses, or limited-edition sneakers can make a strong fashion statement. Finding slightly used or new-to-you items on apps like Poshmark can sometimes land you GREAT designer pieces at 75% of their retail value.

Personal Connection

Perhaps the most significant trend in celebrity gifting is the emphasis on a personal connection. Thoughtful letters, heartfelt messages, or meaningful gestures are more important than ever. In an age of material abundance, it’s the intangible emotions that truly matter. We used Letter Joy to send gorgeous, historical letters to both my dad and father-in-law who were HUGE history buffs.

The trends in celebrity gifting provide us with insight into what’s considered stylish, meaningful, and practical in the world of gift-giving. While most of us don’t have the same budget as a celebrity, we can certainly draw inspiration from their choices to create memorable and thoughtful gifts for our loved ones. Whether it’s personalization, sustainability, or the timeless elegance of jewelry, celebrity gifting trends remind us that the sentiment behind the gift matters the most. After all, it’s not about the price tag; it’s about the thought and care that goes into making someone’s day a little brighter.

Until Next Time,

SH Signature

Celebrate Father’s Day with the Best Gifts for Dad!

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and it’s time to show Dad just how much he means to you. And, finding the perfect gift can be a challenge, but fear not! I have curated a list of the best Father’s Day gifts to help you express your love and gratitude for the incredible dads in your life.

The List

  1. Personalized Gifts: Does your dad love to fish, camp, drink, eat, or dress? Why not get him a personalized fishing journal, bag chair, ember mug, cutting board, or shirt?! Nobody will steal his favorite thing anymore because you made it distinctly his.
  2. Tech Gadgets: For the tech-savvy dads out there, consider gifting them the latest gadgets. From JBL clip speakers and wireless headphones (My favorites are the Beats Fit Pro.) to fitness trackers (This article from Wired can help determine which one is best for dad.) and home automation devices, there is a wide range of options to choose from. Whether he loves listening to music, staying fit, or simply enjoys the convenience of a smart home, one of these gifts can help make his life a bit easier.
  3. Experience-based Gifts: Create unforgettable memories with experience-based gifts. Treat your dad to a spa day, a golf lesson, a hot air balloon ride, or tickets to his favorite sporting event or concert. These gifts go beyond material possessions and offer quality time together, allowing you to bond and create lasting moments. The shared experiences will leave a lasting impression and show your dad the thing you love most about this gift, is the time, not the thing.
  4. Grilling Accessories: What Father doesn’t love to fire up the grill? Consider upgrading their grilling gear. High-quality grilling accessories like a set of stainless steel utensils, a digital meat thermometer, or a BBQ smoker kit can take their culinary skills to the next level. These gifts will not only enhance the food but also provide opportunities for fun family cookouts and delicious meals.
  5. Call Me: Or if you don’t have the time to get him a gift, call me! I’ll help. Just fill out the contact us form and I’ll be right there to help out.

No Matter What, It’s Time to Celebrate Dad

Father’s Day is an opportunity to express our love and appreciation for our dads. Whatever you choose, the key is to select something that aligns with your dad’s interests and passions. Remember, the most valuable gift you can give is your time and attention. Be sure to make cherished memories together this Father’s Day!

Until Next Time,

SH Signature

Moms are the best.

Many of my favorite memories are with my mom. Some of my least favorites as well! She’s been there through it all. And with Mother’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better way to show her how much we appreciate her patience and wisdom than by giving her a thoughtful gift. Whether for your mom, grandmom, stepmom, aunt, or any other important mom-figure in your life, there’s a perfect gift for her.

But how do you best celebrate the woman who has nurtured and cared for us? I have a few ideas. 😊

  • Personalized Photo Gifts
    • Personalized photo gifts are a great way to create a unique and sentimental gift. There are many options available, including custom photo books, personalized photo mugs, and canvas prints. You can choose a favorite photo of you and your mom or create a collage of memorable moments. And don’t forget, many local stores carry the perfect frame for that perfect picture.
  • Spa Treatments
    • Spoil your mother with a day of relaxation and pampering at a spa. What, is my mom the only one who had a teenage girl give her major headaches over the years? There are plenty of local spas that have great options for massage, facials, etc.
  • Jewelry
    • Jewelry is a classic gift that never goes out of style. Consider picking a piece that reflects your mother’s personal style or one that holds a special meaning for her. I gave my mom a unique necklace that included the birthstones of her kids and grandkids.
  • Kitchen Gadgets
    • If your mother enjoys cooking or baking, she’ll appreciate a new kitchen gadget that will make her life easier. Check out OXO and Joseph Joseph for cool, modern kitchen-y things.
  • Subscription Boxes
    • Subscription boxes are a fun and unique gift idea that can be tailored to your mother’s interests. There are subscription boxes available for everything from books and beauty products to gardening and crafts. Amazon has SO MANY different ones to choose from, too. Doesn’t get much easier than that!
  • Stationery or Notebooks
    • If your mother loves to write letters or send cards, personalized stationery is a thoughtful gift idea. You can choose from a wide range of designs and styles, including monograms, floral patterns, and custom artwork. An Iowa company called Moglea makes GORGEOUS notebooks and other types of paper products perfect for writing.
  • Bonus

    storyworth gift

    • I think my mom’s favorite gift I ever gave her was the opportunity to write. For her birthday last year, I gifted her storyworth.com. Each week for a year, she got a question to answer. Then she could upload a corresponding picture that reflected that story. (To be clear, I uploaded the pictures…but she could have if she understood how. 😉) At the end of the 52 weeks of questions, you receive a fully bound book. It is a truly wonderful keepsake for the whole family.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who has cared for and nurtured us!

Until Next Time,

SH Signature

Giftology or Why I Started Favorable

In late 2020, a friend asked me what I would want to do if I could do anything. I said, without hesitation, SHOP FOR A LIVING! I told her about wanting to help people who didn’t have time, energy, or the knowledge to buy superb gifts for big gifting occasions.

She told me about the book, Giftology by John Ruhlin. This book changed how I was thinking of starting my shopping and gifting business.

Using Ruhlin’s gift-giving strategies, readers learn the power of thoughtful, intentional gifting. The book is divided into three parts: the art of gifting, the science of gifting, and the strategy of gifting.

The Art of Gifting

Why is giving thoughtful, meaningful gifts important? The key to successful gifting is to pay attention to the details and make sure that each gift is tailored to the recipient, taking into account their interests and tastes. Ruhlin provides advice on the act of finding the right gifts, including researching what the recipient likes and exploring new gift ideas.

The Science of Gifting

What is the science of gifting? What is the neuroscience behind why people respond positively to thoughtful gifts? Gifting can create a positive emotional connection between people, leading to increased loyalty and trust. Gifts build relationships and create an emotional connection that can last long after the gift is given.

The Strategy of Gifting

Why have a gifting strategy? Ruhlin helps the reader create a gifting strategy and provides practical advice on how to use gifts for maximum impact. Gifts should be used to show appreciation, build relationships, and create positive memories. It is here he gives data-driven examples to illustrate why having a plan works.


Ruhlin’s advice is practical and easy to implement. Before starting Favorable, I always loved the challenge of finding just the right gift to reward and recognize employees, clients, and customers. I just didn’t know why. Giftology has provided me with a better understanding of gifting, given me the perfect foundation to start Favorable, and inspired many of the core components of my business plan.

Giftology is a must-read for anyone looking to boost their business or better their personal relationships. Using Ruhlin’s gift-giving strategies, readers learn the power of thoughtful, intentional gifting…or you can just call me to create a plan with you and then I’ll make that magic happen. 😉

Until Next Time,

SH Signature

Chat GPT Wrote This Blog – What the Heck is THAT?

If you’ve been paying attention at all in the news or world lately, you’ve been hearing about ChatGPT and Open AI platforms. Essentially ChatGPT is a chatbot that generates humanlike conversation and writing. Its use in education is being widely researched and debated.

I wondered about it, too, and thought, “Let’s have this crazy new thing write January’s blog.” So I did. I asked, “Why should you use a professional gift giver?” Here is what it wrote. (I created the headings. It isn’t THAT smart…yet.)

Professional Gift-Giving Services

Professional gift-giver services are becoming popular as a way to take the stress out of gift-giving. These services work by providing a personal concierge who helps you select the perfect gift for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or client or employee thank you.

Advantages to Hiring a Professional Gift-Giver

One of the biggest advantages of using a professional gift-giver service is the convenience factor. Instead of spending hours scouring the internet or driving around to different stores looking for the perfect gift, you can simply tell your concierge what you’re looking for and they’ll take care of the rest. They’ll even handle the gift wrapping and shipping, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than the conversation in the initial consultation.

Another advantage of using a professional gift-giver service is the expertise that they bring to the table. These concierges are experts in gift giving and know what gifts are suitable for different occasions and recipients. They can also help you choose gifts that fit within your budget and are appropriate for the relationship you have with the recipient.

Additionally, professional gift-giver services also offer a level of personalization that can’t be found in traditional gift-giving. They take the time to get to know you and the recipient, so they can create a gift that is truly tailored to their interests and preferences. Whether it’s a customized piece of jewelry or a special experience, a professional gift-giver service can help you create a truly meaningful and memorable gift.

Another benefit of using professional gift-giver services is the ability to support small businesses and local artisans. Many of these services have a network of small businesses and local artisans that they work with to provide unique and high-quality gifts. By supporting these small businesses, you can help to promote local communities and the economy.

In synopsis

Overall, professional gift-giver services are a great option for anyone who wants to take the stress out of gift-giving and create truly memorable and personalized gifts. With their convenience, expertise, and ability to support small businesses, these services can help you make gift-giving a more enjoyable and rewarding experience.

So what do you think? Is ChatGPT a decent writer? Or should I go on writing my own blogs? 😉

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 whimsyjewelry.com. 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


Much like A Christmas Story, there I was.  7 years old.  On the big guy’s lap, providing detailed evidence as to all my nice deeds for the year and clarifying a few naughty moments. My Christmas list was simple and pretty on target for my age group.  I was just about to pounce off when I decided to toss one more wish Kris Kringle’s way. Because, I thought, “It never hurts to ask.”

“And, Santa, I’d really love an 8-track player for Christmas.” I wanted it so badly because listening to my favorite tunes over and over and over and over again would be so GREAT!

He winked, smiled, and moved on to the next kid while I received my complimentary candy cane and Polaroid snapshot. (Photo used for this blog is of me on my Grampa’s lap, but you get the point.)

I’m sure you know what comes next. Just a few weeks from that simple, innocent ask was the Christmas surprise of a lifetime.  An awesome 8-track player under the tree.  That made my whole year and all because I asked.


What a great reminder as your year and my year come to an end.  Are there any questions you can ask yourself to close out 2022 or prepare for 2023?  Check-in on a key team member and ask how you can help them succeed in 2023?  Reach out to one more client or a prospect and get a coffee on the books for January?

And, as I take my own advice, since it doesn’t hurt to ask, how can I help you this holiday season? If you need help with shopping for your family or friends, or if your company needs an end-of-year recognition and celebration idea, I can make that happen. Just use the Contact Us page and we can make the magic happen for your friends, family, employees, or teammates!

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

SH Signature

Time. Treasure. Talent.

These are the three “Ts” of philanthropy, commonly given by you or me to a deserving cause or organization.

Growing up in a small town, with a family very active in our church, school, and community, I learned at a young age that giving back was beneficial not only to the recipient but also to the giver. This was reinforced as I worked professionally in the nonprofit world. For more than twenty years, I experienced firsthand the well-being bestowed upon my organizations,  our patrons, as well as the well-being received by the giver.


That feeling of “well” (the goodness and compassion), along with the feeling of “being” (contributing to a part of something bigger) is programmed into my DNA. It continues to guide my time, treasure, and talent decisions not only personally but also at Favorable.

It was no surprise that, after opening a gifting business, people soon started asking for charitable gifts. Honestly, to date, the requests have been nominal and manageable. As I consider what the next few years look like, certain parameters will need to be set in place for donations from Favorable. For now, though, I consider requests individually as they come in and evaluate their impact on the giver, their chosen recipient, and the amount of benefit to the community.

But What?

For example, I have a connection to heart disease. Eric’s family has a history of it so it is important to me to do what I can to help. So, when my friend asked me to do a purse for the Go Red for Women luncheon, I went all out. I found a gorgeous, woven Italian leather, tote purse at TJ Maxx. Being who I am, I could leave it at that. I filled the tote with Italian pasta, Italian crystal wine glasses, marinara sauce, and a gift card to a local wine store. It was an Italian getaway in a bag!

Another fun ask was when a friend raised money through her family and friends for a school auction. She said she wasn’t “good at this stuff” so asked me if I’d help find themed items within her budget. She gave me a few ideas and I ran with them. One of those ideas included a one-week stay in a condo on a Florida beach. So OF COURSE I did a beach-themed bag filled with all kinds of beachy items.

Now You

Think about what you care about and give! Whether it’s time, talent, or treasure, do it. It is one of the most fulfilling things I do and could be for you, too.

“So, what is it that you do?” “What is your business?” These are the questions I get all the time. Because who starts a luxury business in Iowa related to gift-giving!?

What does she even do?

My business is two-fold.

  1. I find gifts for special occasions.
  2. I help companies come up with ideas for their client, customer, and/or employee recognition. I then bring the ideas into fruition by buying, packaging, and delivering them to the company.

I am an expert gift finder for special occasion gift giving.

  • I learn about the person/people who will be receiving the gift.
  • I do research and look online for ideas.
  • I give 2-3 options to my client from which they pick their favorite.
  • I buy it and then package the gift if the client wants me to do so.

For companies, I am a gift concierge.

  • I listen to what their goals, budget, and ideas are for their project.
  • I gather data either from surveys or from staff knowledge.
  • I create a plan for what I believe to be the best path to building relationships through recognition programs.
  • And finally, I put the plan into practice.

But what is that?

So, what is being a gifting expert like? What even is a gift concierge? It’s simple. I wanted to extend my love of building relationships to my clients. I mean who doesn’t need help alleviating the stress that comes with finding ‘just the right thing’ to show gratitude to clients and staff? I love curating just the right thing for the person receiving the gift. That’s where the concierge piece comes into play.

My secret: thoughtful, memorable gifts come from paying attention to the little things. Since I was a child shopping with my mom, I knew that shopping was my zen moment, my happy place and that it provided me minutes of calm in the middle of almost any storm. My passion for creating connections between people started in Kindergarten when I introduced my friend Michael to another friend because they both loved to race Matchbox cars.

Now, when the moment comes and you need some help finding just the right thing, I’m right here to help save you time and headspace. Because shopping is my superpower.

I worked at TrueNorth Companies in Cedar Rapids many moons ago. For large projects I lead, I was given directions and autonomy. My boss knew where my strengths were and let me live in those and worked with me on growing and evolving in our weekly meetings. But most importantly, this company knew how to thank and recognize employees in ways that were unique and meaningful to THE EMPLOYEE.

The following factors can affect an employer’s ability to retain employees according to Apollo Technical:

  1. Lack of training and development opportunities for new hires
  2. Poor communication between management and staff members
  3. Unclear job descriptions that do not clearly define responsibilities
  4. Inadequate staffing levels to cover the workload.
  5. lack of recognition by managers when their work is done well
  6. An inability to provide feedback on performance issues
  7. The need for more flexible working hours
  8. High turnover costs associated with hiring and firing workers

I think that recognition is higher than #5 on this list. Because in my world, I’ve seen recognition as the MAIN reason MANY people stay on the job. For real, employee retention is important!

Did you know that effective employee retention can save an organization from productivity losses? High-retention workplaces tend to employ more engaged workers who, in turn, get more done according to NetSuite’s Employee Retention article. Think about it. I’ve always heard employees leave people, not companies. So, making them feel valued, heard, and keeping them engaged helps you keep a stable team environment. Giftology author John Ruhlin talks about how important is to know what your customer REALLY WANTS not just how much it costs. I think this applies to employees, too. When I hired a new team member, I gave them a very short EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION SURVEY on things they loved. I then took a picture of it and kept it in my phone for when one of them (or all) needed to be recognized for something spectacular.

And remember, when an employee leaves a company, it takes a considerable chunk of time to deal with their departure. In fact, entry-level employees typically cost 50% of their salary to replace. That’s a high number. So, thanking and recognizing employees is an easy way to save some $$.

Until we chat again,

SH Signature