How to Set Yourself Apart with Artisan Gifts

Giving an artisan gift says something special about both the occasion and the people involved. These gifts are thoughtful and make a statement. Since each artisan piece is hand-crafted, the time and attention-to-detail needed to create the gift adds value and is part of what makes each one unique.

There’s an amazing variety of styles, colors, sizes and textures available with artisan work. Engraving can also add a beautiful touch for weddings, employee or executive milestone events, and engagements. And giving a gift of quality, beauty and true craftsmanship doesn’t have to be complicated. First consider, are you looking for formal, contemporary, elegant, or natural? Here are a few examples of artisan pieces we’ve included in our gift boxes for different occasions:

- A hand-forged corkscrew paired with black ceramic wine goblets for a wedding celebration in Napa Valley.

- Two ceramic shot glasses combined with a custom-made slicing knife (with limes added!), and hand-crafted cutting board, for a client’s new bar.

- A hand-crafted cheese cutter, and custom cutting board, complete with Chesapeake caramels, for the bride and groom who love the Bay and cooking together. This one also included a porcelain ring dish in the colors of the wedding.

Now consider the time needed to create a ceramic piece. While your gift may be important to you, an artist isn’t going to kiln fire only a few items. Their business requires batch work, which could be tens of pieces or hundreds, depending on the size of the kiln. Hand-crafted leather, forged metal and custom wood designs should get the same consideration. Yes, artists will be ramp-up for big event seasons, but these are hand-crafted items, so “stock” means different things to different artists.

As stylists and makers, we find and create beautiful gift combinations because we’ve taken the time to identify and work together with the artists. Most artists create multiple lines of work, which means we also have an array of options. However, in order to take advantage of these options, you’ll need to plan ahead:

- Which clients or guests should receive a premium gift?

- What is your budget for the gifts?

- Is there a theme or geographic location that’s meaningful to the recipient?

- Is there a vibe the gift should evoke?

- Is there a color theme connected to this event?

- When do you want clients to receive the gift?

The bottom line is, if you want to make a big impression with a client, then don’t leave their gift up to chance. It’s best to work a minimum of 90+ days ahead of the event delivery date – the bigger the season the more the lead time. Get the conversation going with your gift stylist early.

Planning ahead can pay off big dividends with clients and guests by providing an opportunity to set yourself apart, while your competition rushes to make magic out of the mundane items left on store shelves.