Whimsy + Row's Founder and Expert Gifter on How to Curate the Coolest Holiday Box

It's not too late to pull it together.

Whimsy + Row Gift Packaging

We're less than two weeks shy from 2021 (rejoice!) — and by now, most of us have run out of mental and physical steam at the most inopportune time of the festive shopping season. If you're stumped on how to pull together the perfect personalized package, fear not: We've enlisted the expert help of Whimsy + Row founder Rachel Temko to guide over-achieving gift-givers through this final holiday stretch.

Year after year, the sustainable L.A. brand continues to be our go-to source for eco-conscious clothing and gifting ideas. At Whimsy + Row's Venice boutique and online shop, you'll find its own stylish silhouettes (think sleek vegan silk slip dresses, upcycled lettuce-hem tops, and its bestselling high-waisted pants) alongside a marketplace that stocks like-minded brands, such as Golde, P.F. Candle Co., Baggu, W&P Porter, and more.

Here, we've asked Temko to share her top tips for curating the coolest holiday box for every type of recipient — from using earth-friendly packaging to finding a festive (and waste-free) finishing touch. [Editor's note: Rachel, can you be our Secret Santa next year?]

Read on for the L.A. creative director's mindful advice below, check out more of her eco-conscious celebrating tips here, and shop Whimsy + Row's gift-ready merch here. (P.S. Let's all remember to give our overwhelmed delivery people a break this season, too.)

When you're curating gift boxes, what are the most important things to consider for each recipient?

I ask these three questions to myself: What are the recipients' interests? What's their personal style? What's their lifestyle like? The best gift boxes are made up of three to six items that all relate to each other and create an experience together personally curated for the recipient. Put yourself in their shoes, imagine their day-to-day life and what things they would love to receive. Items that add value and make their life just a little easier. 

Osea Black Algae Flash Mask, $48 at Whimsy + Row

What's your top tip for someone who wants to go the extra personal step? 

Sharing a Spotify playlist you made just for them and/or adding a card that you wrote that matches the colors of the items in the box makes the present even more thoughtful. I love Moglea's cards, they are so colorful and minimal!

When all else fails, what's your go-to gift box "theme" that works for almost everyone?

Self care! Everyone needs it right now! 

Not everyone is a box-packing wiz — what's your best advice for 'grammable packaging?

Making everything fit and look cute, and keeping it eco-friendly can be challenging. Don't feel like you have to be limited to using a box. I like to keep kraft paper bags and tissue from gifts I get, add ribbon and a dried flower or eucalyptus sprig to make it cute. If I am buying new packaging, I use Eco-Enclose — they have great recycled bags, recycled boxes, tissue, and corrugated wrap.

Lately I've been ditching the box altogether and gifting everything in a basket from Connected Goods or a reusable tote!

Palermo bath salts, $32 at Whimsy + Row

Lastly, what are some of your favorite giftable W+R products?

We launched a sustainable marketplace this year, and everything in there is meant for gifting! Cozy styles from our Lounge Collection are currently our best selling gifts, anything that brings comfort is always a crowd-pleaser.

Recently I have gifted two boxes that I am very proud of. My sister-in-law loves baths, so I gifted her Palermo Bath Salts, Golde Facemask, Girlfriend Collective Socks, Whimsy + Row Frances Duster in Blk Eco Rib, shared a relaxing playlist on Spotify, and yummy chocolate. She can have a full relaxation evening using everything I have gifted her.

My mom loves to cook so I send her Brightland Olive Oil, yummy bread from the Farmers Market, Paddywax Wabi Sabi Lavender Mimosa, Whimsy + Row sustainable bouquet, and Whimsy + Row Frankie dress to cook in!

Main photo: Whimsy + Row

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