Let’s be honest - there have been years that I 100% phone it in for the holidays and spent a couple of hours at TJ Maxx, wrapped that stuff up, and stuck it under the tree with a stick-on bow. Those years always made me resentful of the season of gifting. Why exchange random candles or discount store vases, aromatherapy contraption or strangely scented bath products or, for the love of all that is holy, not-especially-funny mugs?? It’s a chore and a waste of money. But really honestly and truly, I love gift giving and the years that I really take my time shopping or making just the right thing for the people I love are magical.
Now, as a store owner, I take gifting very seriously. It’s my job to find wonderful somethings for you to gift to people you love. I inevitably have a conversation in August about how I’m already in Holiday (always capitalized because, as the name of a season or collection, it’s a proper noun in the fashion industry), planning windows, color themes, finding scarves to match hats, and hunting for the small thoughtful things that we love to see you gift.
Every year we go all out for the Christmas windows at Brim - I love window shopping and, as a general rule, think that shopping should be a joyful experience. So many of the places we all shop are routine and dull, over bright with florescent lights and a sea of variations of the same things. It’s boring and uninspiring. I love visiting a store where I am surprised and tempted by so many beautiful and unexpected things; I love walking by a crisply executed and thoughtful window display. I take pride in providing such experiences for everyone who visits Brim or walks by our windows. I love the look on customers’ faces when they find something they didn’t know they were looking for, for someone they love.
It’s a public secret that since opening Brim my favorite day of the year is Christmas Eve. I usually share a bottle of prosecco with my staff, and, since Jane joined our team, we have birthday cake. People are always cheerful, giddy with the excitement of the holiday. On Christmas Eve, if someone is choosing to shop in the Oregon District rather than a big store, they’re either picking up a few more special somethings or, if they haven’t started their shopping yet, they’ve decided to get everything from the neighborhood shops, knowing that even if it isn’t the right something for the person they’re buying for, they’re supporting businesses that they love which is a gift to us business owners and our employees.
All of which is to say, I’m truly grateful for you choosing to shop with us – and I assure you that the other small business owners out there feel the same way. We know it’s not always easy to shop small for everyone on your list and I realize that hats can be especially hard to gift, with shape, color, size, and individual taste to navigate. So I’ve put together my top tips and tricks, and favorite not-a-hat-gifts for the hat lovers in your life.
If you want the gift of a hat, you can increase the likelihood of getting a hat you want by:
- Using the wishlist function on the website where you can make your choices (don’t forget to select the size before you heart the hat!) and sharing them with your people.
- Using your account when you shop with us in store (that annoying thing we do when you’re checking out and ask if you’ve shopped with us before and then ask your name and/or if you want to make an account). We can look up your size and guide your friends and family toward things we think you’d like based on past purchases.
- Asking us to write down the details for the styles you love so you can leave our business card with your choices for your loved ones.
If you want to buy someone a hat:
- Check to see if they’ve shopped with us before - we can look up size and preference details in our system and give you suggestions based on past purchases.
- Bring in a hat that fits them – even a baseball cap works – and we can measure it with our hat ruler and easily get an accurate size.
And last but not least, our top gifts for hat lovers that aren’t hats:
- A hat magnet - they’re practical and fantastically helpful in airports and at festivals (and also my favorite little giftable thing we’ve added this year!)
- A hat care kit – pick up a box and a hat brush to help keep their favorite hats in tip top condition
- Brim lifestyle gifts - whether it's a scarf to match their favorite hat, cologne, incense, or an inspiring book we've got great options that aren't size dependent
- Something from the hat bar – we have all kinds of wonderful bands, feathers, and hat pins that can transform an old hat into a new hat. A collection of interchangeable hat bands or feathers make great gifts either by themselves or with a…
- A gift certificate - it’s fun to make the gift a day together - lunch and hat shopping is a winning combination. And you can buy one online any time, even if you’re panicking moments before your family Hanukah celebration or on Christmas morning.
P.S. Each of us here at Brim put together a list of our Top 9 Gifts. You can find Amelia's, Debra's, Jane's, and Krissy's lists by clicking on our names. We also put together our favorite hats for Holiday Parties and our favorite Stocking Stuffers.