Stocking Stuffers/Last Minute Gifts

The time has come – Christmas week is upon us! While we’re hoping your holiday shopping is done, you may have a few odds and ends to buy. We’ll be sharing stocking stuffers and other small last minute gifts this week, so let’s dive right in!

These motel style key tags from St. Louis based Golden Gems are a perfect stocking stuffer for any of the boss babes in your life. Coming in fun colors and patterns, these key tags are a petite pep talk to hook on any set of keys.

Hair accessories are a small, easy gift to tuck into a stocking, and we have many beautiful options available on our site and in the store. Keep bringing the 90s are back by gifting a scrunchie! Some of our favorite scrunchies include the colorful Get It Together Scrunchie Set (pictured below) and Rifle Paper Co.’s Marguerite or Strawberry Fields Scrunchies, which are floral and perfect to wear into spring.

Bandanas are another versatile, gender neutral stocking stuffer. Bandanas can be used as a handkerchief, bib, cloth napkin, neckerchief, scarf, hanky, baby wipe, and more! We have a variety of premium cotton bandanas that would make a useful gift for anyone on your list.

Binky and Lulu earrings are a lovely, lightweight option to pack into a stocking. Not only are these earrings beautiful, but they are made in small batches using sustainably sourced mango wood by artisans in the Philippines. Binky and Lulu have simple, yet elegant designs and feature beautifully dyed and painted colors and patterns. The Cortado Mini Tile Hoops have a funky and trendy checkerboard pattern, while the Pearl Abalone Small Hoops have a classic color and shape that will look great throughout the year.

A journal or planner makes a lovely gift, helping whoever receives them to get organized and begin the new year with reflection and intention. If you know and love a planner or journal-er, consider giving them the Back to Nature Journal or the Back to Nature Planner. These notebooks are beautiful and have plenty of space for jotting down to-do lists, reflections, and thoughts for the upcoming year.

Finally, Jellycats are a stocking stuffer that will please both the young and the young at heart! These soft and cheeky plush toys are popular best sellers at the store and are available in a variety of sizes and animal, fruit, vegetable, or seasonal shapes. The Fabulous Fruit Peach or Vivacious Vegetable Radish are small, sweet toys to put in a stocking for a kiddo, while the Wild Nature Boletus Mushroom or the Amuseable Dragon Tree make great gifts for grown ups, a perfect way to add some merriment to a desk in a home office.

Happy shopping! We wish you and yours a very happy holidays and all the best in the new year!

Last Minute Teacher Gifts

I’m not entirely sure how this happened, but the end of the year is upon us! If you have kiddos in school, you know the fall semester is wrapping up and the end of school for the year is rapidly approaching. It has been quite a year (or two) for teachers, and the holidays are a great time to treat a weary teacher to something special. While you can’t give them what they really want (a higher salary, smaller class size, or an end to the pandemic, to name a few), we have some lovely and useful gift options here at the store that would be a nice treat for your kiddo’s favorite teachers.

Let’s start with reusable bags! Even in these days with lots of digital learning, teachers have a lot of stuff to haul around. A beautiful and thoughtful solution to this problem is Baggu reusable bags. Baggu bags come in two sizes, baby and standard, and each bag can fold up into its own small, flat pouch. The standard size reusable bags can carry 2-3 plastic grocery bags worth of stuff, while the baby Baggu is perfect for carrying smaller things like a lunch or an extra pair of shoes. The best part about Baggu bags, though, are their beautiful prints! We have some gorgeous and festive options in the shop right now, like the Madras Metallic reusable bag and the Blue Red Buffalo Check reusable bag, pictured below in the standard size.

Many teachers pack their lunch everyday, so why not give a teacher something to help make lunch a little easier and more fun? Enter Stasher bags! Stasher bags are made of endlessly reusable food grade silicone and come in a variety of lovely colors and three perfect sizes – snack, sandwich (pictured below), and stand up mid bags. These bags are microwave, dishwasher, and oven safe, and they are leak proof, making them perfect to throw in a bag or lunch box. Plus, you can label the bags with a non-toxic chalk or dry erase marker (you know teachers love a label!). These bags make a handy, eco-friendly gift that can be used over and over again. Toss some homemade cookies in a snack or sandwich sized Stasher bag to make your gift extra special!

Mugs are very popular teacher gifts, but many teachers can have one too many mugs, many festooned with apples or pencils. A more useful alternative to a traditional mug is a to go cup, like the Terrazzo Porter mugs. These mugs are colorful and stylish, as well as dishwasher and microwave safe. They fit in most car cup holders and are splash resistant, making them a great option for taking into school in the morning. The new mint green mug is so lovely and fun, while the charcoal Porter mug is a classic, gender neutral option. We also have a variety of Corkcicle drinkware products available in our store that will keep a teacher’s coffee piping hot for hours.

Finally, there’s one more gift that could work for any teacher (or person) on your list – a Personify gift card! You can decide the amount and then either pick up a card in our store or order one online. Online gift cards are delivered straight to an email address with instructions on how to redeem the gift card at checkout. Either option is a low stress way to give a great and thoughtful teacher gift. With a gift card, your kiddo’s teacher can find something that will truly love.

Happy shopping! Please join us again next week as we share last minute stocking stuffers and gifts for everyone!

Personi-guys Gift Guide

Welcome back to this week’s gift guide as we share gift ideas for all the men in your life!

Is it just us, or are men notoriously difficult to shop for? Dads, brothers, husbands, fathers-in-law, uncles, sons… they can all be a mystery! Finding a great gift for guys can be a struggle, but never fear – we are here to help!

If the men in your life enjoy drinking spirits like whiskey, scotch, or bourbon, the Corkcicle whiskey wedge set is the gift for you! Each set comes with a glass and a silicone ice form, allowing water to freeze in a wedge shape along the side of the glass. This allows the ice to melt slowly, helping the drink stay flavorful and undiluted for longer. Pair this with a new bottle of whiskey or their favorite spirit for an easy gift!

Another handy and useful gift idea comes from the company Stojo, maker of collapsible drinkware. We carry 16 oz collapsible cups and 20 oz collapsible water bottles in several neutral colors, like light grey, black, and sage green.

Each cup or bottle is leakproof and dishwasher safe and collapses into a small disc or base for easy storage. Stojo cups and bottles are perfect gifts for a frequent traveler or someone with a long commute. They’re easy to clean and great to throw in a carry-on bag or backpack on the way out the door!

If your guy is adventurous or loves to travel, consider giving him a Wildsam field guide. These field guides tell the true stories of a place, invoking curiosity, connection, and wonder. Each field guide is made with the help of over a dozen experts or local voices to help the reader engage in authentic experiences in each place they visit. Each field guide is also pocket sized, making it easy to pack and carry on an adventure. We have more local guides, like the Atlanta or American South Field Guide, or national guides, like the Yellowstone or Grand Canyon Field Guide. We even have a galactic field guide, A Field Guide To The Moon, which would be a sure hit for anyone interested in space! 

Finally, keep the men in your life smelling and looking great with a variety of Duke Cannon Supply Co. products. Duke Cannon is an American based company that specializes in men’s toiletry products. Duke Cannon uses quality ingredients in their products and also gives a portion of their proceeds to benefit veterans and active duty members of the military. A win win! We carry a full line of Duke Cannon products at the store, but a special selection of gifts are currently available on our website. The Winter Survival Tube would help any guy survive the cold winter. It features hand balm, lip balm, and face lotion to help men’s skin make it through the winter, as well as three bonus cooling field towels that could be used year round.  

Perhaps you know a man whose working from home beard might be a little out of control? The Best Damn Beard Wash and Beard Oil would be a great fit for him! These products will help tame your guy’s unkempt beard without drying out his skin or causing break-outs. 

Finally, these festive soaps make fun and hilarious stocking stuffers. Each hefty soap weighs 10 oz, which is about 3 times larger than other seasonal soaps. These big ass bars of soap come in seasonal scents that will be enjoyed during the holidays and well into the new year. The Griswold in me loves the Illegally Cut Pine Soap, but the Frothy The Beer Man and Big Ass Lump Of Coal soaps are also winners!

Happy shopping! Please join us again next week as we share a few gift ideas for teachers!

Personify Gift Guide – Host Gifts

The holiday season is upon us, and that means the gift giving season has begun! Over these next few weeks before Christmas, we here at Personify will be sharing some of our favorite items to give. We will be providing gift ideas for all the people in your life, even those who can be very difficult to shop for (looking at you, husbands, brothers, dads, and fathers-in-law!). Our hope is to make this holiday season a little easier and certainly more merry! Let’s begin with host gifts!

Planning, preparing, and executing a big family meal or a holiday party is no joke, so what better way to say thank you than preparing a thoughtful and useful gift for your host? A wonderful way to say thank you is with a seasonal tea towel, candle, or wine glass.

We have a variety of beautiful tea towels in the shop right now that would make perfect host gifts. These towels make a great stand alone gift or can be used as gift wrap for another present. Wrap one of these towels around a bottle of wine or a seasonal spirit, tie it with a festive ribbon, and your work is done! A sweet and beautiful host gift is in the bag!

This Christmas tree farm tea towel from Rifle Paper Co. has a classic, vintage vibe that we are here for!

These holiday tea towels come in a more natural and rustic oatmeal color, which is easier for disguising cooking stains. These would make a great gift for a host who loves to cook, but might also love making a mess.

The Dobby plaid dish towel set is not only beautiful, but it comes with three towels – three potential gifts! Snag one of these sets, and you could even save one of these towels for yourself! 😉 While these towels come in seasonally appropriate plaid colors, they do not have any holiday images and messages and, thus, could be used by your host all year long.

We have an assortment of holiday candles from Nashville based Paddywax that will be sure to please your host. These beautiful holiday tin candles are small, but mighty with burn times of 35-40 hours each. Each 5 oz candle features soy based wax, an all cotton wick, and a lovely, seasonal scent that will delight the senses.

As a company, Paddywax ensures that their vessels can be repurposed after the candle’s wax has run out. These glass candles feature cheery messages and delightful scents, and the jars can be reused and repurposed for next year’s eggnog or holiday cocktail. Spread joy by giving a gift that can be used and appreciated year after year.

Finally, we’ve saved the best for last! A store favorite from this season is back – the very fun stemless wine glass with star figurine! These have been super popular in the store, and we are delighted that they are restocked. These glasses are so cute and festive. Gift these with a bottle of white wine or the ingredients for a festive seasonal cocktail, and it will be a hit with your host!

Join us next week for our first ever Personi-GUYS gift guide! We’ll be sharing ideas for all the men in your life.

Our new Brick + Mortar in Duluth

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We are three weeks into our new space and starting to feel settled and SO HAPPY. I wanted to post some pictures for those of you who are out of town or haven’t had a chance to come in.

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Our wall shelves are filled with some of our favorite makers’ work and home goods.

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The view from our front doors (the left side).

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SO.MANY.PAPER.GOODS.

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The other side of the shop (right side).

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Our spring clothes … they’re just too good. We get new things in weekly, and sometimes daily. Please let me know if there’s something you see here that you don’t see on our online shop – we ship all over.

I also wanted to give you guys an update on our Lakemont shop. If you’re subscribed to our newsletter you already know this (if you’re not – subscribe here) . BUT after many conversations, thoughts, and prayers we have made the decision to focus our energies to our new Duluth location and not reopen Personify in Lakemont. This was a very difficult decision for us as we’ve invested SO MUCH the past three years in this lovely little town and have met many many wonderful people. It was the best decision for our family and we are excited about the future of Personify.

If you’re a Lakemont customer please please please do not be a stranger. We miss you guys already and want to hear from you! Let me know how we can keep you stocked on all your fave Personify goodies.

Happy days,
Maddie

 

 

Our New Location: On a Personal Note

In case you missed our big news, we are opening a second Personify location in the lovely historic Downtown Duluth this spring! Yay! We can’t believe it’s *actually* (read: finally) happening. We want to thank the many of you that have already shared your excitement. We are working hard to get open ASAP!

Tammy & I (Maddie) wanted to each share on a personal level some of the things we are most excited about and how we landed at our Duluth spot.

Read our thoughts below and stay tuned for more updates as we get ready to open soon soon soon.


[From Tammy]

I never dreamed that the Personify Girls would end up in my own back yard! How good is God?

I remember many years ago jogging with Maddie in a stroller through the streets of Downtown Duluth loving my home town and dreaming, thinking and praying of what it could be, never thinking that one day she would be running Personify Shop right next to the old City Hall. What a joy it is for me to participate in supporting my daughter’s dream and watching her exercise her gifts and abilities, just as I have tried to do with many other young people throughout my life.

It’s been a real joy for me to personalize my home and my life, with treasures new and old both with flea finds and fine pieces and it’s our hope to share both ends of the spectrum with you in the near future. How fun it is to create a beautiful life that is uniquely yours?!

My prayer is that we would be a blessing to many and that our family, including our three dogs (come and meet them!) would thrive in Duluth.


[From Maddie]

I am equally surprised, and yet also thrilled, that Downtown Duluth is where the flagship Personify has landed.

We fell head over heels with our building the moment we saw it. After about a year of looking and a few dead ends, we were cautious about getting our hopes up but in our hearts just knew this is where we needed to be.

Mom and I are itching to get started and can’t wait for you to see all the new goods we are bringing in. We are so lucky we get to do this together!

I am the most excited about the everyday joys of having a brick & mortar: meeting new people, sharing the things that we find, helping you pick out that perfect gift, cleaning, tagging, getting in shipments, chatting with the neighbors…just all of it.

I’m also excited about the community we will be a part of. There are so many new businesses coming into Parson’s Alley: Noona, Simply Done Donuts, Good Word Pub (from the Brick Store Pub), and more, along with the amazing current residents like the Chocolatierie, Dreamland BBQ, Pure, the Farmhouse, Crave Pie, Old 4th Ward Pizza, Peace Love and Decorating, Eddie Owen at the Red Clay Theater, Piatto, 2 Smith Art Galleryand more.

My all-time favorite part of the business, though, is the hunt for unique treasures for you and your home. I know you’re going to love our modern + whimsical goods. Thanks for being along for the ride.

Cheers, friends!

 

 

 

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Artist Series: Yas Imamura of Quill and Fox

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I’m very excited to share this Artist Series with you today coming from Portland, Oregon. Quill and Fox is a whimsical card and stationary line created by Yas Imamura that evokes a sense of nostalgia, coming from Yas’ love for quaint illustrations. These designs fit in perfectly in the shop, from their colorful nature to the hand done imprint on the illustrations. When I first saw her work, I knew we had to have it in the shop.

Yas Imamura of Quill and Fox

Enjoy our interview with Yas below!


Quill and Fox Card and Stationary Line

How did you get started with Quill and Fox?

It began when I designed my own wedding invites, and started taking commission work for announcement cards. I started with just a small line of cards that reflect my passion for children’s book art as well as my affinity for nature and gardening.

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  1. How would you describe your aesthetic?

Imperfect and natural. I’ve been adding more watercolor paints in my work and less gouache to show these even more so, especially with how watercolor glazes over each layer and doesn’t dry flat colored like gouache. I love showing the paint strokes in my process and finished work.

You're out of this world card by Quill and Fox

[Editor’s Note: I love this picture of the original drawing of the You’re Out of this World Card. Love the peak into how much work goes into each design.]

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  1. What’s your favorite thing about your business?

Having my own time and being my own boss! I also love the freedom to pursue a creative endeavor.

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  1. What’s your least favorite?

Not being able to switch off work because it’s always around me.

  1. Business advice?

Branding and presentation is just as crucial as your craft (but definitely work on the latter first), especially in a visually curated environment of social media.

6.     My favorite party question: If you could hang out with any three people this Friday night, who would you pick? Andrew, my dog…..and Michelle Obama.

photo by Angie Webb Creative and Styling by Mad and Dusty

photo by Angie Webb Creative and Styling by Madison Beaulieu

Summer Reading

Yes, yes. Summer’s almost over (even thought it’s still sooo hot), but we just got a bunch of new books in and I couldn’t resist the title. They are all too good and I couldn’t pick a favorite if I had to.

  1. Taste: The Infographic Book of FoodTaste: The Infographic Book of Food
    Illustrated by Vicki Turner (one of my favorite illustrators) this book has so much eye candy it’s unreal. The author, Laura Rowe, explores the complex, colorful and at times controversial world of food.Taste: The Infographic Book of Food
    See what I mean about the eye candy? At the intersection of food and art.Taste: The Infographic Book of Food
  2. Styled by Emily HendersonStyled by Emily Henderon
    Styled by Emily Henderson features more than 1,000 design ideas for how to style a room from HGTV Design Star winner Emily Henderson. Emily’s designs are two parts midcentury modern and one part Hollywood regency, and she’s a doll. She just did a touching whole-house makeover for her family’s nanny. Try not to cry.Styled by Emily Henderson
  3. Once Upon an Alphabetonce-upon-an-alphabet
    Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
    is a whimsical children’s book with lovely illustrations and quirky short stories about each letter of the alphabet.once-upon-an-alphabet
  4. Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto9781607747208
    Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay features a complete meat and smoking education from one of the top barbecue masters and owner of the wildly popular Texas restaurant Franklin Barbecue, which I’ve actually had the privilege of visiting during SXSW this year in Austin. Ben loves his show on PBS… BBQ with Franklin.

    franklin-bbq-1 Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto

  5.  Nature’s Day

    Natures DayNature's Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll at Personify Shop
    Nature’s Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll is a beautiful children’s book showcasing the natural beauty that’s right outside our doorstep. Danielle Kroll is another one of my favorite illustrators ever. See more of her work here. I have pinned many of her illustrations.
    Nature's Day by Kay Maguire and illustrated by Danielle Kroll at Personify Shop
  6. Food with FriendsFood with Friends by Leela Cyd
    Food with Friends by Leela Cyd is a gorgeously styled and inventive cookbook about special gatherings with friends. Leela is a styling genius and this book is absolutely lovely (as you can tell from the pictures). Follow her on Instagram here and her website is also beautiful.Food with Friends by Leela Cyd
  7. Start Where You Are Journal

    Start Where You Are JournalStart Where You Are is a visually stunning journal for self-exploration featuring illustrations and lettering from Meera Lee Patel. I’m looking forward to working through this.Start Where You Are Journal
  8. One Thousand Things One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses
    One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses is a lovely visual encyclopedia of one thousand first words to see and say. Search-and-find Little Mouse on every page and discover new words with every turn of the page.
  9. Felicity by Mary Oliver

    Felicity By Mary Oliver
    This collection of Mary Oliver poems is a poignant and hopeful picture of the ways we connect to the people around us. I love Mary Oliver and I love this collection of poetry. I wrote this personal blog post about it, if any of you care to read it. These poems will lift your soul.

Check out our complete selections of books here. I spend a lot of time sourcing the best books for the shop and I think you’ll really enjoy them. My first love was books and I’ll never get over that exhilarating feeling of opening a book and diving into a completely different world. I hope some of these give you that feeling too. Xoxo.

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Christina Tosi’s Ritz Cracker Ice Box Cake from Milk Bar Life Cookbook

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I asked my friend (and very talented stylist/photographer) Stephanie of Abbitt Collective (read my interview with her here) to make some recipes out of one of our cookbooks: Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi for the blog.

I was first introduced to Christina Tosi through the PBS show Mind of a Chef. The first season features chef David Chang, of the Momofuku empire, and his pastry chef, Tosi, the mastermind behind Momofuku Milk Bar. They both have incredible tv personalities (don’t bother watching other seasons of the show when they’re no longer in it) and inspiring stories. Needless to say, I was hooked.

I’ve made a couple of recipes out of Tosi’s first cookbook, but fell in love with her newest release: Milk Bar Life (which we carry in the shop!). The recipes are often twists on old favorites, and feature creative plays on prepackaged ingredients. I think she modernizes baking and pushes the limit on the ways we snack in this cookbook. One Sunday afternoon I plan on reading through the whole cookbook. It’s a gem.
Milk Bar Life

See the recipe for the Ritz Cracker Ice Box Cake and Stephanie’s tips below. YUM! P.S. There are only 3 ingredients… Whaaaaaaat.


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Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Grape Jelly
2 (8-oz) containers Cool Whip, defrosted in the refrigerator
1 (11.3 oz) Ritz crackers

Recipe:
1. Heat the jelly in a large microwave-safe bowl for 30 second intervals, whisking after each blast, until it is just fluid but not hot. (If the jelly is hot, set it aside for a minute or two before proceeding.)

2. Whisk 1 cup of the Cool Whip into the jelly until the mixture is smooth. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining Cool Whip until completely homogenous. (This is how even the fanciest pastry chef incorporates a flavoring ingredient into whipped cream.)

3. To assemble the cake: Spread a very thin layer of the purple Cool Whip in the bottom of a pie tin or on a cake stand. Anchor in an even layer of Ritz crackers so that they touch each other but do not overlap. Top with a thick layer of Cool Whip (about 1 cup) and another round layer of Ritz. Repeat this process until the Cool Whip and crackers are used up and the tower is complete.

4. Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours, or, preferably, overnight before slicing and serving. Leftovers, should there be any, will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

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This is a GREAT quick dessert to make when you are running late! (Which I was.  ;)) I am ALL about simple recipes regardless, but this one is golden. My husband and I were on our way to a friend’s house for dinner and our job was to provide dessert. I love the idea of a sweet and salty dessert! I am a huge sweet tooth, but having something salty to compliment the sweet; it’s the best. I have never really worked with Cool Whip before, so this was definitely a learning curve! I actually messed the Cool Whip up the first time and it was way too runny. I was a little over zealous with my blending of the Cool Whip and the grape jelly. Once everything was mixed together (aka, I finally got it right), you put it in the refrigerator for a bit then make your cracker + grape whip tower! This recipe was a hit. My husband has been eating all of the leftovers because he loves it so much!

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