The Chicest Home Gift Ideas You Can’t Find Anywhere Else
Gift giving is a delight or a chore, depending on who one asks — ever dreaded having to buy someone a gift because you didn’t know what to get them? Enter Gift Me Chic by Elisabeth Jones-Hennessy, which takes the guesswork and groundwork out of gift giving. A veteran retailer who held influential and key roles at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, Jones-Hennessy was also CEO of By Kilian Inc., famous for its unique fragrances. Her new venture, which debuted in early November, is a showcase of treasures she culled from her many global experiences, both personal and professional. The site contains several US exclusive-distribution products, ensuring that a cadeau selected by Elisabeth Jones-Hennessy is truly unique.
Jones-Hennessy sums up her approach to the concept this way: “I want to do the thinking of gift giving for my clients to make their life easier.” In her case, she has also done all the crucial legwork. Most of the items found on Gift Me Chic are from Jones-Hennessy’s travels, both far and wide. “Even if I don’t leave New York, I am constantly searching for new things. I discover things by word of mouth from friends who offer introductions from all over the world,” she says.
For instance, the site contains a series of exclusive prints from the artist Libby Schoettle, who creates the PhoebeNewYork collage prints. “I was taking a long walk in New York City late in the spring, and I noticed the pictures plastered on lampposts in Greenwich Village,” Jones-Hennessy recalls. She snapped a few photos, not knowing who made them, and posted to her Instagram account an image of Phoebe holding a heart, along with the words “Something Good is Worth Finding.” A follower commented that she loved PhoebeNewYork too. Scrolling through Instagram led Jones-Hennessy to Schoettle, and the two struck up a friendship online. Eventually Jones-Hennessy asked the artist to create an exclusive PhoebeNewYork series, which is currently on the site.
Charming tales of discovery surround the soon-to-launch Etnikarte baskets and Cardsome stationery she carries on the site. In both cases, it was advice from trusted friends that led her to those items — a feeling Jones-Hennessy hopes to convey to clients of Gift Me Chic. “Consider me your trusted friend in gift buying,” she suggests.
Jones-Hennessy discovered Etnikarte at a shop in Marbella, Spain. Colombian women make the baskets from sisal and other plants, with proceeds greatly benefiting their community. And when a friend suggested Cardsome stationery, she checked it out at the last Maison & Objet show she attended in Paris. That meeting also resulted in exclusive co-branded products for her site.
A particular source of pride for Jones-Hennessy is being the exclusive US distributor of Studio Drift, an art collective that owns dandelion fields and uses the common weed to amazing effect. “They do huge light installations made of dandelions,” she explains. A smaller, more personal version is available for home use with glass jar lamps that contain a single flower, and Jones-Hennessy sells it on the site. Once the plant blooms and reaches its seedling stage, the seeds are meticulously removed one by one, a tiny LED light is inserted through the stem, and the seeds are hand-glued back on the flower. What started as a gift given to her is now a hit. “It’s my number one seller on Gift Me Chic,” she says.
Experiences rank as highly as products for Jones-Hennessy. One fun experience her site offers is a wine tasting over Zoom where resident sommelier David Sawyer sends the wine ahead of time and tastes it together with the recipient. For the foodie in your life, Gift Me Chic offers Maison de la Truffe gift sets; it is the exclusive distributor of the French truffle restaurant’s products. Another Christmas season exclusive is a crystal prescription from jeweler Paige Novick, a certified crystal healer.
Jones-Hennessy offers some simple advice for gift giving: “Know who they are and what they do in their lives.” In our current climate, she says, it helps to know if they are getting out much and taking this into consideration.
With the holidays right around the corner, Nest Casa asked Jones-Hennessy to lend her curated eye to cultivating a top 10 list of her — and soon to be your — favorite things.
Jones-Hennessy's Top Picks
The holidays will be different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate. Personally, I’ll be toasting in style with my favorite bubbly and this festive pair of champagne flutes.
Missing Europe? Me too, but I will travel to Italy without leaving my home this holiday season through the pages of this gorgeous Taschen coffee table book, seen and shot through the eyes of famed photographer Mario Testino.
The Studio Drift Dandelight is actually a real dandelion with a tiny LED light inserted into the head, protected under a glass dome. I find it mesmerizing, magical, and mystifying all in one. Bottom line, obsessed.
“Paris is always a good idea” — and will be the first trip I book when travel is again permitted. Until then, I will use my favorite Sloane Stationery notebook to plan my next trip.