Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Gift Like A Boss – Tips from a Pro

At a recent holiday preview hosted by Marshalls, Winners & Homesense, I had the pleasure to chat with, the super lovely, L.A.-based celebrity gifting expert Cynde Cassel, gift giver extraordinaire and the founder of Star Treatment, one of Hollywood’s most successful professional gift services. Think of her as the female, more stylish, Santa Claus with a swanky ‘nice’ list – including George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Lady Gaga, Emma Stone and the Affleck-Garner crew. But, she assures, you don’t need a celeb budget to be a world-class gift giver. Here are her top three tips to get you through your holiday shopping.

Nobody should go broke trying to buy something for the holidays. People just want to be thought of. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift.
Candle $10 at Marshalls.

Candle $10 at Marshalls.

Wooden Train $20 at HomeSense

Wooden Train $20 at HomeSense

Neil Young: The Definitive History $13 at Homesense.

Neil Young: The Definitive History $13 at Homesense.

Make a Statement

I’m loving jewel tones; we’ve been talking about a pop of colour for a long time but people tend to be safe with their home decor. With gifting it’s nice to give a little something that stands out and has a bit of colour to it: throw blankets, candles, an accent piece; it doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s always nice to give something that they wouldn’t have gotten themselves – like they may buy themselves black gloves but get them the colour block ones  – and they’ll remember you every time they wear them. Poured Glass 

Plan Ahead

I use my Evernote app, so when I’m out shopping I try to pick up [gifts] ahead of time. For instance, I know the Garner Affleck’s like to gift educational children’s toys to their friend’s with kids. I keep that tidbit in [the] app and add to it whenever I hear about a great new educational game.

I find when I get closer to the holidays, and I have my family to shop for, I tend to overspend on them and then I don’t really pay attention to the other people who I really do want to give a little something to (the pediatrician, manicurist... people who take care of me all year long who I see frequently.) 

Go in with a list of who you know you have to shop for starting in priority because it’s easy to get overwhelmed, see something shiny, go in that direction, and forget the reason you’re there. 

Get Personal

There are plenty of things you can give that have a personal touch – stationary with a monogram, home tray with a monogram... That’s the big deal, thinking about the person, because it’s not about what you like, it’s about what they like. And that’s the personal touch. As people we want to know that we’re valued, that people se us. 

The Cool Kid's Gift Guide

Ultimate Gift Guide 2014