We know coming up with gift ideas can be tough. It’s also what we do all day here at Quarterly. So we thought we’d share some of our own experiences. This post is by our own gifting guru, Mark——it’s the first in a series by our in-house experts.
There is always that one. It could be a relative, friend, or boss. I am talking about the individual who seems to twist your brain into knots as you embark on the epic challenge of the perfect gift. For me, it was my brother.
Location: Chicago, IL
Occasion: Christmas 2012
Florencio is a tall, burly man. We’ve been told we look identical aside from the fact he’s five inches taller and 50 pounds heavier. There are three main aspects to his “gift difficulty factor”:
- Florencio is a legendary gift giver.
- Florencio is selfless and doesn’t seem to understand the concept of receiving gifts.
- Florencio is incredibly particular about what he likes.
But it was time. I was going to do it. I was going to get him the perfect gift using a new approach:
- Pinpoint areas where he has influenced my style.
- Focus on particular aspects of his influence to help me speak his style “language.”
- Think about where he spends most of his time.
- Accept that I wasn’t going to find the perfect item the first time out.
After running through these steps several times, I realized: Florencio buys items that have longevity, are clean in both line and style, and tend to have a distinct purpose. It eventually became clear; the play was boots. I love boots because of my brother and had amassed a deep familiarity with his style from seeing past purchases as well as from asking for his advice on mine. It was the middle of winter in Chicago and I had all the time in the world to find the perfect pair. Eventually, I came across a pair of Frye boots that more than checked all of the boxes.
I was more excited to give him his gift than receive anything from anyone that year. He opened it, was quiet, and immediately tried them on. Later that night we were enjoying the last minutes of Christmas over a cocktail. He looked down at his boots, then up at me, and said, “This is the best gift I have ever received——thank you.” Styles are symbiotic. If you take the time to understand how a particular person influences your style, you are sure to give a great gift.
Quarterly curator I would have used:
Poketo & Head Butler
As mentioned, my brother focuses on longevity, simplicity, and purpose in the artifacts of his life. Pressing rewind, I would have been drawn to the unique and design-oriented nature of Poketo’s shipments. Ted and Angie’s items are clean and modern but have longevity. Florencio is also a classic gentleman, making Head Butler’s timeless culture picks a great match; he balances nostalgia with discovery in a way that I know my brother would enjoy. I’m proud that I nailed his gift, but I would not have minded having Jesse, Ted and Angie do some of the creative heavy lifting for me!
Mark is a CTM at Quarterly, where he collaborates with a variety of artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs to develop gifts that tell a story.