The Taigan team has been a big fan of Jess Graves and her blog The Love List for years now. Her honest approach to blogging is completely refreshing in a largely superficial space. Jess has spent the bulk of her career in freelance creative services – specializing in branding and social media since 2007, working with retailers, designers, and creative brands large and small – this year she took on her current role, as the Creative Director of Shops Around Lenox, Buckhead’s premiere boutique shopping and dining district. Here Jess shops for everyone on her list for the holidays!
1. For your hard-to-please Mother-in-Law: an A.Barclay scarf – My friend Anna set up shop here in Atlanta selling these sumptuous Italian beauties and I love them – they’re like wearing a deluxe blanket around your neck. I flat out don’t see how anyone could turn her nose up at a cashmere scarf, but then again, I could have given my ex-boyfriend’s Mom a new Mercedes Benz and she’d have probably complained about the color.
2. For the cocktail enthusiast and/or your guy friend with a neck beard: a bottle of Jack Rudy Tonic – In Atlanta we’ve got a part of Midtown we call “The West Side” that’s chock full of dudes looking like Avett Brothers all clad in chambray shirts. They’re the trendy type who take Garden & Gun as gospel and fuss over the fernet in their coupe-glassed cocktail. God love ‘em. I do. There are certain names you hear often in those circles – Billy Reid, Sean Brock, Jason Isbell… oh, and Brooks Reitz. I like to joke that he’s the unofficial Homecoming King of the South. I like Brooks and I like his tonic – so much that I’m on my third bottle of the stuff and frequently give it to expat Southerners as a host gift when I stay with friends in New York. Don’t worry neckbeards, Garden & Gun likes it too.
3. For the snowbird: a piece of House of Lavande jewelry – I lived on Palm Beach for awhile, and right near me on the island was House of Lavande’s home base, which I liken to a candy store for big girls. It’s all mirrored trays and glittering baubles, and going in there to pick jewelry for events was always something that made me feel extra-special. I dare any woman to walk in and not lose her mind cooing over vintage YSL clip-ons and estate cocktail rings. Anything you walk away with you can rest assured is an item no one else is gifting.
4. For the cheeky hostess: August Morgan cocktail napkins – By the “cheeky hostess”, I really mean myself. Me. Because I want these. Santa, are you listening? However I suppose if you don’t know me but do know someone else who likes to host lots of cocktail parties, these would work for her, too.
5. For yourself: fresh-baked Callie’s Biscuits – Because frankly who the heck wants to give these away to someone else? If you want one, you can come over to my house and I might give you one with some ham or jam. Maybe. But you sure as heck aren’t getting the whole run.
6. For your favorite gay WASP: a pair of CJ Laing ikat shorts – If you didn’t know, this is a thing, y’all. If you ever grace twitter with your presence, I highly recommend the @gayWASP follow. That being said, I know more than one fabulous man fitting said description with great legs who would rock these with a pair of Stubbs & Wootton slippers.
7. For your Mama who’s still got it: a Claridge + King night shirt – Back in the baby days of my blog, The Love List, I ran across this brand started by two Texas girls and immediately bought and wrote up these gorgeous pajamas (note that I said “buy,” contrary to popular belief, bloggers do not get everything for free.) I’m so glad I sprung for the monogram because it makes sleeping in that shirt all the more special – I even have it dry cleaned so it’s nice and crisp when I slide into it. The fit is pretty universally flattering – paired with a bath robe or a nice pair of socks, you can’t go wrong if you’re still a little stumped shopping for Mom.
8. For your sorority sister who moved North: a Glamourpuss hood
9. For your Labrador-lovin’ Uncle: a Harding Lane baseball cap – Because this is exactly what I got my Labrador-lovin’ Uncle Brad for Christmas. Spoiler alert, UB!
10. For your Southern-bred beau: an Old Try print – Before I say anything else – I advise you to spring for the frame when gift giving. That being said, the prints are affordable, sentimental Southern keepsakes that are made with love (literally) by a very cool husband and wife duo. The South’s like the Hotel California (even to expats), you can’t really ever leave – so these make a great gift to anyone with ties down here, even if it’s only their heart that’s in Dixie.
12. For your uberluxe Bohemian gal pal: an S. Carter piece – Because we all know a Jessa.
13. For your co-worker: Schermer Pecans – A little while back I was asked to speak at the Southern C Summit in Athens, Georgia which is where I was first introduced to Schermer Pecans. I am utterly convinced they secretly lace these with crack cocaine because I honest to God can’t stop eating them. They’re great to have around for that last-minute holiday party that you don’t want to go into empty-handed and also make great office gifts… if you have enough willpower not to eat them yourself.
14. For just about anybody: a Sydney Hale candle – Honestly, who doesn’t like nice candles? Everybody likes nice candles. And they consistently rank high on the things-you-don’t-buy-for-yourself-but-still-want list. Sydney Hale’s got a slew of scents and not all of them are girly, so between that and the unisex packaging, you could safely gift these to a guy.
15. For the whiner-diner: cheese from Sweet Grass Dairy – Because not liking cheese is like not liking French fries… or puppies.
16. For the style-setter who has everything: a Roarke NYC scarf – Beautiful, precious, and totally unique. Guaranteed to please even the most thoroughbred shopper.
17. For your Dad: Peter Nappi boots – If your Dad’s the rugged type or more the type who needs to feel rugged, guaranteed by lacing these boots up he’ll feel like a manlier man.
18. For the bro who just won’t stop fratting so, so hard: a Bird Dog Bay tie – Whether he’s actually still in a fraternity or he’s 29 years old, we all know that guy. His shorts are short and his car is a Chevy, and he’s going to need something presentable to wear with those croakies on gameday. Toss me a fratwater, Bro Montana. ‘Merica.
19. For letting the wild rumpus begin: Nathalie Lete children’s tin drum – For your inner child… or an actual child. Bonus points: give this rowdy noisemaker to your sibling’s kids as payback for the pummeling you endured as a child. Not into stirring the pot? Oh fine, get them a cute stuffed bunny you wuss.