Expert Gifting Tips – The Element of Surprise

Here’s the thing with flowers, they are hard not to appreciate unless you have an allergy to them or for some odd reason just don’t like them. While sending flowers is customary and perhaps even expected (on certain Holidays such as Valentines Day and Mothers Day) I would argue that they are most appreciated when they aren’t expected.

The same principle applies to gift giving. When the recipient isn’t expecting a gift from you, this is especially true around non-holiday times it holds a lot more weight than when it is expected. As we all know, expectation can often lead to disappointment, therefore its important to remember that the element of surprise is essential to good gifting practices.

This is equally -if not especially- true in business relationships. Whether its employees, clients or colleagues everyone is sure to appreciate a gift they weren’t expecting in the first place. If they don’t well they probably are the kind of people that kick puppies and don’t believe in Santa Claus so forget about them… Just kidding.

Ok back to business gifting. How many of you can remember awaiting your holiday bonus (when it’s not a pre-determined amount) and being disappointed when it was not as much as you hoped (or even planned) for? Let’s say you were hoping for at least $100 and only received $50? Now imagine its just another day in March and you arrive at the office and on your desk you found a gift card for $50 thanking you for your hard work. It’s the same amount of money but you tell me which one would did you appreciate more? 

Of course there are some of you which are more gracious than the rest of us and a gift of any kind is equally appreciated. If this is you leave us a comment and tell us you appreciated this gift of good information. 🙂 Until next time my gift giving folk, be kind and remember to always give more than you receive!



Days to Celebrate—Administrative Professionals Day

Unless you are a one-person show, chances are your success is partly due to an administrative assistant who has been there to help you reach your goals. Whether its as simple as answering your phones and taking messages so you can focus on other more important tasks or something more complex like running and analyzing data driven reports, its important to recognize their efforts in a meaningful way. Here are five ways to communicate your appreciation during that week (or really throughout the year).

  1. Free Lunch – treat them to lunch at a place they always talk about wanting to try or somewhere you know they already frequent. Make it mandatory that they leave the office (no eating at their desk or ordering in). If you are so willing and able provide enough for them to invite someone to join them, who knows they might surprise you and want to take you. If they do, make it a point not to talk about business AT ALL. This should not be a working lunch under any circumstances. If the lunch break is only half an hour extend it to one hour if possible for that day without docking their pay.
  2. Office Supplies—now I will preface this by saying this should not be the only gift you give. This is in conjunction with some of the other suggestions. Just like most housewives or househusbands don’t want a vacuum cleaner for their birthday, an admin deserves something more personal. That being said, if you know they have been needing a new office chair or have been asking for some software that will make their job/day at the office easier, now would be a perfect time to cough up the dough and make that happen. This is especially poignant if you are able to gift all of these suggestions.
  3. Personal /Custom Gift—This is where you need to think a bit deeper and gift something specific or unique to that person. If you know they love going to the spa, a gift certificate is a nice idea. If they are big sports fans tickets to a game they’d enjoy would be appreciated. If you’re not sure or you don’t know them that well, order a custom designed gift (ahem, ahem cough, cough) that is more luxurious than a new notebook or stationery.
  4. Hand-written Note—We are old fashioned here at Tinsel & Bow we believe in the beauty of a handwritten note and what that communicates. It tells the recipient you took time out of your day expressly to write them a note that you gave some serious thought to. If resources allow you to do nothing else this is one to focus on.
  5. Unexpected Time off—Few things make an employee happier than being able to leave work early AND get paid for it too! I am not sure of the HR implications or protocol but if its within your power, tell them to take the rest of the day off at least two hours before their day is scheduled to end. I promise you, it will be appreciated!

Goodbye 2016 – Hello 2017!

It was definitely a busy 2016 Holiday Season at Tinsel & Bow. While we did wrap a few gifts here and there, the majority of our time was spent packaging and shipping large orders of client gifts. Whether its a vintage bottle of wine or handcrafted cookies from The Great Dane Baking Company each gift is equally considered and appreciated. Some of our favorite jobs included the packaging and shipping of over 800 cookies for our friends at Lakhany Law and shipping an amazing wine and cheese combo to clients of a South Bay wealth manager. I promise its not the ocean views that make these some of my favorite jobs 🙂 While I do enjoy working from my home studio where everything is set up just so – for maximum efficiency, I definitely don’t mind an occasional change of scenery. Take a look for yourself!

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy helping busy entrepreneurs build relationships with their clients and business associates. Gift-giving and supporting business owners (especially women) combines two of my passions into one endeavor. I have been lucky this past year to work with several women who are running their own businesses just as I am and the support and encouragement we receive from one another is another reminder why I started this business. Thank you to all my clients in 2016 and I look forward to adding even more to my roster in 2017!