Read the recent interview Lisa had with Amanda Dahl of STL Today and St. Louis Bridal.
What’s the best way to celebrate your love and your love for the Gateway City? Customized gift sets! Whether for your guests, for the bridal party or even just as a thank–you for your parents, nothing captures the memory of this life moment quite like personalized reminders to take home.
Luckily, Union Studio specializes in unique, locally made items that will leave the desired impression.
“The fact that everything we have is handmade and local, by virtue, pays homage to St. Louis,” co-creator Sarah Kelley says. “[My business partner,] Mary Beth, and I personally know all 100 artists that we work with. We do our best to share their stories … with the people who shop here. Community-building happens here.”
Lisa Paden, owner of The Personal Gift Basket Co., believes the key components to a perfect gift depend on your knowledge or your relationship with the person in question. Gifts from the heart for those standing by your side on your wedding day can be as simple as offering a matching shade of nail polish and Champagne glasses or as elaborate as writing a handwritten note in dark chocolate leather notebooks, Paden says.
“We try to get to know the recipients; sometimes that’s easy and sometimes that’s not,” she adds. “That’s the fun part, coming up with the ‘why’ you’re gifting.”
The born-and-raised St. Louisan appreciates introducing her beloved city to others and collaborates with couples to find the right fit for each personalized gift basket. An entrepreneur, Paden has even captured the flavor of St. Louis in a one-of-a-kind treat.
“I work with a women-owned company out of California [called The Art of Caramel],” Paden details. “They asked me if I [wanted] to make a popcorn based on my city. I went to my friend, Gooey Louie in St. Louis, and asked him for four mini cakes that I overnighted to the girls. They loved them and said, ‘We definitely have to make a popcorn with this flavor.’ And that’s what we did!”
At Union Studio, a plethora of local artists allow for endless varieties – and Kelley and Bussen are attheready to flesh out your notions for the ideal gift set. Almost the entire inventory is available online, and you can call or connect with the owners via Facetime for further information. A walk-up window allows you to see items inperson – just be sure to wear your face mask.
“Our mission is connecting makers to people who want to support their work,” Bussen says. “People are still making and, on the other side, wanting to connect even more. When it’s handmade work, that intention doubles.”
Connection is the reason to gift your loved ones on your big day – something many crave during this historic time. Paden says it best: “My mantra is it’s always a great day to give a great gift.”
For couples seeking that signature St. Louis style to make a DIY gift set, pick gifts and treats from your favorites, like themed prints by Kelly Sieckhaus Designs; drink blends from Big Heart Tea Co. or Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co.; sustainable stainless steel straws from Ted Drewes Frozen Custard; specialty sauces like barbecue from Pappy’s Smokehouse or hot sauce from 4Hands Brewing Co.’s collaboration with Mission Taco Joint; or snacks like granola from Made Fare Co., salty nibbles from Billy Goat Chip Company and Just Popped Popcorn, or sweets from Bissingers.
The Personal Gift Basket Co., Wentzville, 636-240-3049, thepersonalgiftbasket.com
Union Studio, 1605 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314-771-5398, stlunionstudio.com