This time of year is all about gifting — weddings and anniversaries, recent grads, and plenty of party hosts that could use a housewarming trinket. If you’re getting married this summer, attending someone else’s nuptials, or seeking the perfect gift for the newlyweds, I am all about personalized items. Something special created just for the recipient — this extra bit of thought goes a long way, and doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
That’s why I love J & D Gifts — run by a California mom, this Etsy shop creates beautiful, personalized items for everyone on your list. I was eager to try out some of her designs and delighted when she agreed to sit down and chat with me about her shop — and even more delighted when my awesome new stuff from her collection arrived on my doorstep.
As a busy toddler mom running a business of my own, I never have enough room in my purse. I stopped using my diaper bag for shorter stretches outside the house with Willow because it’s just too large to lug around, but I love my rope-handle sparkly “Mrs. Gerson” black & white striped tote from J & D Gifts. Unlike a lot of things you can gift the bride-to-be or new wifey, this is one item that will come in handy (literally!) for years to come. Featuring a solid canvas construction and water-safe interior, plus a zipper closure to keep its contents safe, this bag has become my daily go-to. I absolutely love stuffing all my mommy must-haves inside and still feeling chic when we leave the house.
You can do these totes for your bridesmaids, or consider personalized tumblers or champagne glasses like those shown below. Custom gift items like these are a great way to punctuate a bachelorette weekend, girls’ getaway, or business conference, too.
I also love the personalized wedding pillow from J & D Gifts that I used to surprise Josh in our work-in-progress redesign of the master bedroom in our new home. Customized with our names and wedding date, this is a great accent pillow and again, at only $26, makes a perfect, affordable wedding or bridal shower gift that will be used and treasured for years to come. You pick the colors and Jamie creates the magic.
Not in the market for a wedding present or bridal shower swag? J & D Gifts also offers a wide variety of custom tshirts, onesies, and new baby decor accents for baby showers, new moms, and anytime. Browse the selection and find what’s right for your recipient. At this one-stop shop, you’re sure to find the perfect thing.
I sat down with Jamie of J & D Gifts to chat business, trends, and giving life to dreams.
I started J & D Gifts at October of last year. When my my baby boy was just born and sleeping through his “4th trimester” I started looking up Christmas crafts and realized if I want this stuff, maybe others would like it too. I offered Personalized Santa Sacks on my personal Facebook page and local contacts, and I ended up selling close to 200 by the end of November. Word spread that I could customize presents and could help inspire even the best gift givers with something different from just store-bought. It bloomed from there.
Talk us through the design process a bit. Where do you seek inspiration and how do you incorporate new ideas?
My customers! They’re the best. People come to me with ideas then we transform them into awesome totes, tees and cups for friends, team members or family. Typically, the customer brings me a phrase or theme with preferred colors or garment choice, I shoot them a digital proof with a few ideas, and we go from there.
Any summer and fall trends or personal favorite items?
The striped canvas totes have been my favorite. Whether it’s a bridesmaid gift, beach tote, teacher thank-you or team member encouragement they fit the bill for it all. Teal has been a huge Summer seller. I have nylon totes with a leather handle for easier cleaning capabilities en route now! An awesome purse convert and I’m hoping to stock them in multiple sizes.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out with a small shop?
Shoot for the moon, if you miss, at least you’ll end up in the stars. Total cliche, but that’s what happened. I never imagined my shop would reach the levels it has. I’m doing more sales in a week then I was doing in a month, just a few short months ago. Customer service, honesty, and integrity go a long way. Research SEO, register a domain, and create brand awareness. Talk to people in line at the post office and grocery store — you never know where you’ll meet a potential customer!
I love all these tips from Jamie as much as I love all the personalized gift items in her shop. And I want you to try out J & D Gifts for yourself. In order to sweeten your shopping experience, she’s giving Born to be a Bride readers FREE SHIPPING now through the end of August on all orders with code BORN2BE.
Make sure to give J & D Gifts a follow on Instagram and a like on Facebook so you don’t miss out on exclusive sales and new item previews. And if you have a small-shop dream, get on it today. Every single item you see in the photo below (okay, not the bed itself) was made by a hard-working mom. Still think you can’t do it? Re-read the interview and get moving.