Choosing a gift seems easy: just give them something they’ll love. In reality, it can sometimes feel like trying to ride a unicycle. In heels. Backwards.
That’s where specialty retailer owners like Linda Kleinbaum come in. The owner of a 41-year-old family business, Garden of Eden in St. Paul, Linda and her staff know how to turn the search for a gift into a mission accomplished.
During the holiday season, nearly half of Garden of Eden’s customers want a little help. Linda’s team is happy to be of service.
“It’s our mission to make it a memorable gift,” Linda says. “On a personal level, it gives me great pleasure to see a customer leave with a gift that’s wrapped and ready to give, knowing they are giving a quality gift, and that the person receiving it is going to be happy with it.”
Not sure where to start? Voilà, Linda’s 10 tips:
1. Consult the expert behind the counter. Many people walk in and get unnerved or overwhelmed. I suggest to them, let’s have a conversation, and we’ll help you figure it out. We know the merchandise better than anybody. The vast majority leave happy and confident of their choices. We help customers give meaningful gifts.
2. Reflect on the person’s tastes and habits. If you know someone likes a floral, Kimono Rose is a no-brainer. More earthy? Clary Sage Tea is an option. Someone outdoorsy, they’ll like Eucalyptus. Someone more indoorsy might like Mandarin Coriander. We also try to find out as much about their bathing practices as possible. For instance, do they prefer a bath or shower? If a nice hot bath is their retreat, I’d suggest giving a foaming bath. If they’re a shower-and-out-the-door person, a bar soap is a better option.
3. Think about the intended use. Do you have an idea of how you want this gift to be used? Do you want to use it together, like a candle? Or as a solo retreat, like a bubble bath? If you can isolate the purpose of your gift, how it will be used—to relax, invigorate, moisturize—you can figure out which items will be most appropriate.
4. Be open minded. If you’re not sure what you want, be willing to explore different ideas. You might never have thought about giving a room diffuser or a sink set. Consider a Thymes Mandarin Coriander Reed Diffuser. I can’t imagine a better fragrance to walk in to at the end of a hard day; the citrus gives you energy. The more open you are to the possibilities, the happier you’ll be with the gift.
5. Consider the nature of your relationship. If you’ve only had a couple dates and you give her a perfume, she might think you want her to smell like this, which might come off as too forceful. But, the gift of a candle can be very romantic. It can be as personal as the receiver likes it. And, if she likes it, you can let her know that it’s also available in a perfume or lotion. Or, if you’re giving a gift to a client or an employee, think about a seasonal item, such as a Frasier Fir candle. It’s personal—without being intimate.
6. Stumped? Contemplate a candle or cream. Fragrance is personal. Fragrance is emotional. Smell is the most evocative of your five senses. You can give a candle, which can be personal, but the fragrance isn’t on their body. Thymes candles burn exceedingly well, they’re long lasting, and they’re lovely. Hand cream is another useful gift and a good way to introduce a fragrance without it being on your neck. Thymes hand creams are excellent. They work very well. Mandarin Coriander hand cream is effective and it smells great.
7. Know what they love? Expand on that. If you know the recipient loves Kimono Rose, find out whether there’s something in that fragrance with which you can surprise her. A candle? A rollerball perfume that she can carry with her in her bag? New products are launched often, so we may have something new to show you. And just imagine the look on her face when she opens the present!
8. Don’t overlook the tried-and-true. If you don’t have a good idea which fragrance family the recipient prefers, sticking with a middle-of-the-road option—Eucalyptus, Lavender, Olive Leaf—is always a good choice. Eucalyptus and Lavender are top sellers at Thymes, and there’s a good reason for it. They’re unisex, they’re fresh, and they’re incredibly appealing.
9. Know your budget. Having a range in mind helps us narrow possibilities to create the biggest impact. With a modest budget, we can help you find one or two gifts they’ll like best. Of course, a larger budget allows you to choose a variety of products, to assemble in a gift basket. What’s the greatest benefit with bath and body care products? You can always give something that’s beautiful, fragrant and fun, no matter how deep your pockets are.
10. Get a gift receipt. If it’s not the right thing, bring it back. Or encourage the recipient to return it for something more to her or his liking. We’ll gladly accept returns within 30 days of purchase with a receipt, if you haven’t used it—and smelling isn’t using. Sometimes as a retailer, it’s not a bad thing to have someone return a gift if they find something they like better. We always want everyone to be happy.
To experience the customer service a store like Garden of Eden provides, visit your local specialty retailer. Happy giving!
I am SO cheered that you have reinstated Fig Leaf and Cassis - though I found a substiture here and there, nothing compares to this subtle, lovely, lingering fragrance. It is my all time fave!