Category Archives: Favors and Gifts

Gift Guide: For Foodies and New Yorkers (and Brooklynites!)

ultimate bridesmaid gift guide for foodies and new yorkers

New Yorkers and Brooklynites: Jim Datz City Series Brooklyn | Rifle Paper Co. 2013 Cities Calendar | City Storyteller Scarf | Pixelated Brooklyn Bridge Tee | Manhattan Pillow

Foodies: McClure’s Pickles | David Rio Tiger Spice Chai | Cast-Iron Bacon PressDIY Cheese Kit | Wine Ice Cream

Gift Guide: A Book for Every Person on Your List

books ultimate bridesmaid gift guide

1 Edible Selby | 2 Mrs. Queen Takes the Train | 3 The Year of the Flood | 4 Mr. Boddington’s Penguin Classic Alice in Wonderland |  5 How to Be a Woman | 6 Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore | 7 The Newlywed Cookbook | 8 Zone One  | 9 Harry Potter Moleskin

Gift Guide: Fashionistas and World Travelers

fashion and travel ultimate bridesmaid gift guide Fashionistas: 1 Liberty Crystal Braid Bracelet | 2 Embroidered Clutch | 3 Flocked Penguins Cardigan | 4 Happy Socks | 5 Hepcat Shades | 6 Fair Isle Leggings | 7 Printed Briefcase

World Travelers: 1 Backup Battery for iPhone | 2 Scratch Off World Map | 3 I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded

Gift Guide: Quirky, Cool Finds for the Home

So, here’s what happened. I quite innocently thought, “Oh, I’ll make a gift guide for the site. That will be fun!”. Well folks, I may have a very serious problem. It quickly became clear to me that this sucker was going to need categories and a swirly number font. And multiple posts. If there is support group for people who obsessively create gift guides, please contact me. For the rest of you, enjoy. To come: Books, fashion, and the perfect finds for travelers, foodies and all those who love New York!

home goods ultimate bridesmaid gift guide1 Ombre Wooden Spoons | 2 Sumi Spoons Oblong Platter | 3 Mermaid Vase | 4 Letterpress Cork Coasters | 5 Penguin Friends Dessert Plates | 6 Ceramic Owl Speaker | 7 Click and Grow Basil Plant | 8 Pac-Man Mugs | 9 Himalayan Salt Tequila Shot Glasses | 10 A Morning Without Coffee Print

Best of: Etsy Bridesmaid Gifts

A roundup of a few of my favorite finds on Etsy right now.

A classy lady needs a classy flask, am I right? Groomsmen can’t have all the fun. The high-heeled boot and vintage-looking wash say “I’m a lady, but I can hold my liquor.”

You spent so much time on those wedding photos, why not present your maids with rustic custom frames to display them? Send the seller a picture of your bridesmaids’ dresses and he’ll hand draw a gown to match, then burn it into the wood along with your maid’s name.

Supply your girls with comfy and cute handprinted TOMS so they can dance the night away.

Perfect for those bridesmaid survival kits I know you’re planning on making. The seller will also personalize with your names, wedding date—whatever you want!

These button-front kaftans will look great and keep you from messing up your hair and makeup while getting ready the day of the wedding. Available in long or short styles, drawstring or buttons. The silk floral prints are stunning!

Why not just get them something cute? These patterned wristlets are sweet as can be with a dainty bow and perfect for storing their essentials the day of the wedding. No bulky bags, but cell, gloss, etc on hand.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid Stamp

Let’s admit it: We’ve all swooned over those sweet “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” kerchiefs. You know the ones I mean: vintage printed hankies with a little message scrawled in the center. But almost $30 a pop, the price can add up pretty fast, especially if you have a lot of bridesmaids. So imagine my surprise and joy when I stumbled on this “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” stamp from Southern Fried Paper! You can DIY as many hankies as you like for the price of one from some other retailers! The stamp is available in a classic cursive and floral motif. Just purchase hankies at the nearest flea market or make your own with a few yards of fabric and some iron-on hemming tape.

Bridesmaid Gifts from Lydali

I’m super excited to bring you a roundup of bridesmaid gifts from Lydali, a line of global handmade goods that connects you with artistans in developing countries around the globe. Oh, and it just so happens to be cofounded by my freshmen-year roommate, Ali Price! I’m so happy to see Ali’s business taking off and super impressed with the gorgeous collection she and her business partner (and fellow Wake Forest grad) Lydia Harter have curated. Here are a few of my favorite items, which would all be beautiful (and socially conscious) gifts for brides to give their maids. Ali was also nice enough to share a little about how her business got started, her tips for others hoping to do the same, and even a few special memories from her own wedding. Check out her interview below!

These banana bark and fabric bangles are absolutely stunning and highly stackable. Each bangle is handmade in Tanzania, where women peel the bark from the trees, treat it, then turn it into bangles with the help of colorful locally produced fabrics. $35 for a set of three

These soft cotton clutches handmade in Guatemala make perfect makeup bags or pouches for bridesmaid emergency kits. I particularly love the coral diamond print and the two-tone tassels. $24

I couldn’t resist adding a second set of clutches because they made me think about needlepoint in a new way. I’ve always associated this craft with bygone eras, but seeing it here in modern colors and striking florals (gotta love the pomegranate flower!) made me swoon. The bags come straight to you from a folk art fair in Uzbekistan. $25

I’ve always been a sucker for a leather-bound book and this one is no exception. These 40-page honey-colored journals are made by women in Northern India and the proceeds go to funding literacy in the region. $15

UB: So tell me about starting Lydali! How did you get the idea?

Ali: I was in Bali last year and I started talking to one of my friends who lived in Bali and was working with artisans there. She was employing talented people to make really beautiful jewelry and accessories, but she was having trouble finding a market for their products outside of friends and family. I had experience working with artisans in Kenya, and I knew that my friend’s issue was common—small groups of artisans were making really unique products with great stories behind them, but no one knew about it. I puzzled over that problem for the rest of my time in Indonesia, and then when I was on the 16-hour flight back to San Francisco, I came up with the idea for a store that housed a well-curated collection of artisan-made products from all over the world. Back in San Francisco, I talked to my buyer friend Lydia Harter about it, and she immediately signed on. A few months later, we launched Lydali.

UB: Can you tell me about how you track down these amazing artisans?

Ali: We have a couple of different ways of connecting with artisans, but most of the connections happen through friends and friends of friends. One of my favorite connections came from having my family friend, Jay, and his wife, Diana, who had just moved to the Bay Area over for brunch. They had been living in Haiti for the past few years, and Diana had been working with women who were amputees as a result of the 2010 earthquake. She helped to train the women to sew and make bags and hair accessories, and I loved the story and the products. A few weeks after the brunch, we had their products up on Lydali! (Here they are, if you want to see.)

UB: Do you have any advice for young women trying to set up an online business?

Ali: I was a little bit intimidated by the prospect of setting up an online business. Don’t be afraid to go for it, and once you start taking steps to make it happen, things start feeling easier. I reached out to anyone and everyone who was doing something even vaguely related and had conversations with them. So many great learnings came out of talking to others who had started businesses themselves or worked in similar fields. We also were really lucky to have lots of talented friends who wanted to help, so we had friends styling our products, taking photos, writing copy for our website, and helping us find more artisans to work with. Think about the talent you have around you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

UB: Since this is a bridesmaid blog, I have to throw in a wedding question! Can you share a special memory from your own wedding?

Ali: So, I mentioned that I worked with artisan women in Kenya when I was in college. Well, for my wedding, they sent me this hilariously awful pink plastic ring box that played music for our rings to be carried in for the ceremony. It clashed completely with my style and the style of the wedding, but it was such a sweet thing for them to think to send. We didn’t use it for the actual wedding, but we did bring it out beforehand for pictures so that I could thank the women for the thoughtful gift. (I attached the only picture of it I could find, which doesn’t really capture the true ugliness of this thing!)