Want to make your holiday gifting effortless? Then check out the new Oakland-based company, Bestowe. Founder Catherine Weis has merged her love of entertaining, background in design, and desire to give thoughtful gifts with meaning into boxes that are well curated and having staying power, regardless of the season or occasion. Each box creates an experience and highlights the work of artisans and makers, largely made by hand and not mass produced, that tell a story. Come see inside this local company, get details on the event they are hosting at Penrose this weekend, and choose which box will be your favorite to give – and get! You won’t want to put its practical and gorgeous items away come December 26.
From Catherine: I started my whole business with the idea that I would be launching in the holiday season. With that said, I spent a lot of energy and put in a lot of thought into what people tend to be doing during the holiday months. Lucky for me it fell right in line with what product I was finding most influential out there, and what categories of gifts I wanted to center my gift-giving around. What are people doing during the holidays? Cooking, spending time at their home and with friends and family, and hopefully taking some much needed time to relax and travel. The categories were born naturally from what I see out there in the market, but also this list: home, family, cooking, babies, men, women and self-care.
For instance, the Host Your Heart Out box was designed with holiday entertaining in mind. By giving someone the perfect presentation for a cheese platter with this unique custom board from Vestige Home, as well as with other beautiful and yummy accessories, it wouldn’t be hard to impress guests or make a small cheese plate feel special. The craftsmanship behind the products within the box are what really get me excited.
The Relax and Restore box was born out of the importance of taking care of self, especially during a stressful and busy season. The products in the box are there to help one feel pampered and warm. Urb Apothecary products are simply delicious and warrant a long soak in a warm tub. Making an experience out of the relaxation is also part of the story. I wanted the receiver to have indulgences, products carefully crafted like this ceramic bowl by Totem, and reflect on the story and energy of warmth during the holidays.
Bundle Up Baby was actually one of my first boxes. The blanket in this box is made from an incredible artist, a painter. Hillery Sporatt actually draws and paints these beautiful and whimscial drawings of scandinavian-like scenes. From there is where the magic happens. She has them woven into soft cozy blankets. I remember my first, hand-made blanket. I still have it, and now it’s my son’s favorite blanket. It has character and a story that will live so much longer than a swaddle. I am drawn to the unique products that tell a story, and this blanket, paired with a hand sewn rattle by Emergolde, and this yummy smelling baby-safe room spray, leave something for all members of the new family to enjoy for a long time.
And lastly, Start Cooking. This apron by GDS goods is custom to Bestowe. It’s fitted for both a man and woman and after many washings, feels amazing with the selvage denim. Honestly, with all the cooking during the holidays, having that apron is a no brainer, yet also something that not everyone has. So, hence, the perfect gift. Pair that with some products that I think are incredibly useful in the kitchen, and that everyone would be pretty happy to get, and you have made a great box for anyone.
About Bestowe’s products and vendors: Most of these products weren’t manufactured in a large factory, they made by hand, with a story to tell. Hopefully this story that the artists have made with their individual products, as well as the story that I’ve woven together with the various artists, shows the quality and uniqueness of each box. My vendors are picked from a few different criteria: the scale of their art, their personality, quality of product, and uniqueness yet practicality of their work. I find them from all over: Etsy, trade shows, craft fairs, and friends.
What makes Bestowe unique is that I share the artists and makers with the receivers, whether through my website on my artisan page, or in a card that I put in each one of the box with explanations of each artist, or during an artist studio tour that I feature on my blog. These boxes aren’t all about me or Bestowe (I don’t sell Bestowe candles and Bestowe towels), they are about the people who make the product in there. I’m just doing what I do best: curation and making connections.
Need a custom box for the perfect event? I have a custom design side of my business. Bestowe creates exceptionally curated and beautifully packaged custom gift boxes for any corporate or personal event. We work closely with companies to design and develop unique, memorable gifts that will leave a lasting impression on clients and colleagues, or friends and families for events.
One more thing: I recently designed the gift boxes for MotherMag’s first ever women design conference this fall, In Good Company.
Catherine is hosting an event this Saturday, December 2nd from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Penrose Garden: 3265 Grand Ave, Oakland (formerly Grand Fare Market). Come see her signature gift boxes and gift wrapping demonstrations…and get your holiday shopping DONE!
For more on Bestowe, go here.
Images via Bestowe by Featherweight