It’s not about the gift, it’s the whole presentation. Gifting should be joyful and filled with attention to detail. There is no substitute for a thoughtful present. A common item can become extraordinary with simple additions such as gorgeous ribbon or fresh greens.
When presenting a Hostess gift, be mindful. She has taken great time to invite you to her home. Treat her time with respect and offer something with a lasting impression.
Here are our favorite, local, beautiful, creative items – some are giveaways and some are just must-haves! And, make sure you grab a few extras to keep on hand, just in case you get invited to a few extra parties that you didn’t have on your calendar!
Merry, merry to all of the amazing hostesses in the QC!
Love, CSP and all of our fabulous friends
Cloister Honey was started by dear Smarty friends, Randall and Joanne, as a fun hobby back in 2010. That hobby has turned into a thriving product line sold all across the country, I couldn’t be more proud! I’m pretty sure one of the first hives was at the top of the Ritz Carlton in uptown Charlotte and I just may have been their first customer! Cloister Honey is artisanal honey that is poured and paired like a fine wine. They are always whipping up a new perfectly blended mix of honey and something incredible – like the new salted honey or bourbon infused honey. Put any Cloister concoction in your nighttime tea and it will be heavenly bliss, pinkie swear. My kids have grown quite fond of this honey too because their Smarty mama makes the BEST PB&Honey sandwiches on the planet:-)
Locally you’ll find Cloister Honey in specialty retailers such as Whole Foods, Dean & Deluca, The Fresh Market, Earth Fare, Reid’s and more. Here is what I recently took to a girlfriend as a hostess gift, so adorbs, right?!
Our lucky Smarty will win a custom set of honey, handpicked by the Cloister bee-keepers themselves:
-Power Seed Honey
-Whipped Cinnamon Honey
-Vanilla Infused Honey
All wrapped up in a hip Uashmama bag – total value, $85:
About Cloister Honey:
At Cloister Honey, we’re dedicated to preserving the incredible flavor and healthful benefits of natural honey. We attend to the hives, observe the behavior of the bees, follow a time-sensitive harvesting process and carefully transfer the honey from the hive to the bottle. This labor of love is entirely different from what happens with mass-produced, supermarket honey. And we’re certain you will taste the difference.
Ella B Candles
My other go-to gift this season are Ella B. Candles. Whether it’s a neighborhood candle or one of the three holiday fragrances, they make the PERFECT hostess gift!
Ella B. Pure Soy Candles are known for the clever neighborhood names, like SouthPark, Myers Park, Foxcroft and more. They are hand-poured with love right here in Charlotte at the “Hive”. Each candle bears a distinctively “Charlotte” name and boasts a delightful, unique fragrance and exceptionally long burn time.
Founder of Ella B., Smarty Mama Julie Tassy, started the Ella B. Candle line to show her children how to create a product line. She has always enjoyed business, and wanted to pass that on to her girls. What started as a small side gig in just 6 local stores has grown into a thriving business of in retail stores across the country. I couldn’t be more proud of Julie and her crew. I’m so lucky to call her “friend”.
Be sure to check out Ella B’s limited edition holiday fragrances: Carolina Christmas, Christmas in Charlotte and Queen City Holiday – these are so festive!
Our lucky hostess will win a Holiday fragrance candle valued at $35!
You can find Ella B candles at:
Or check them out at the hive on Monroe Road (9517 Monroe Road, Suite C Charlotte, NC 28270)- you just might meet some of the candle artists fast at work!
La Senorita Jolie
Scarf it up at the holiday party! Surprise the hostess with something just for her this holiday season. Everyone loves a cozy, super soft blanket scarf, and this beautiful La Senorita Jolie Cyprus will not disappoint. A luxurious oversized gray color block scarf.
One lucky hostess will win the Cyprus (Blanket Scarf), Value $42.00
About La Senorita Jolie
La Senorita Jolie (LSJ) “A Beautiful Girl,” A Charlotte created label by the beautiful Jennifer Dixon. A lover of glamour, albeit a self-processed “t-shirt and jeans” girl found that women tend to spend more time in casual clothing these days. She saw an opportunity for a casual twist in the market place and LSJ was born!
Palm Beach Hostess
Wrap yourself in sunshine! You don’t have to be good in the kitchen to want to wrap yourself in one of these stylish and chic aprons from Palm Beach Hostess.
Our hostess-with-the-mostest will win a Mommy and Me set of aprons made by Palm Beach Hostess. Value $60
About Palm Beach Hostess
Palm Beach Hostess (Anne) is a single mom with a 20-year old daughter in college. 14 years ago, Anne began battling stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Forced to retire her former business, Anne decided to turn her hobby into a business and Palm Beach Hostess was born. As a longtime lover of Lilly Pulitzer, she thought it would be fun to upcycle Lilly Pulitzer clothes into fun, chic aprons. All aprons have a lining on the back and are trimmed with rick rack, pompoms, daisies and ribbons that are like the materials Lilly Pulitzer has traditionally used in accenting her clothes.
Check out her Etsy sites, Palm Beach Hostess and ArtHappy. Not only does Anne make the most amazing aprons she makes shift style dresses (using Lilly Pulitzer fabric and other preppy patterns) for American Girl Dolls and sells the coolest vintage items and clothing.
Carolina Crate Company
Say my name! Say my name! Give your hostess a personalized gift this year from Carolina Crate Co. Personalization is all the rage these days and who doesn’t love the rustic look. This personalized iPad stand, perfect for when trying to read recipes in your kitchen.
Our lucky hostess wins the iPad stand including personalization, value $49.00
About Carolina Crate Co.
Carolina Crate Co. is owned and operated by Julie DeChellis in Statesville, NC. Carolina Crate Co. LOVES personalized décor and the art of gift giving. All items are handmade and made to order. They believe adding a personal touch demonstrates thoughtfulness, love and uniqueness. ( I have to agree!)
Carolina Crate Co.
Tuscan Herb Olive Oil (200 ml)
Tuscan Herb Olive Oil is infused with a delicious blend of Tuscan basil, sun dried tomatoes, Italian flat leaf parsley, garlic and rosemary. This incredibly versatile oil is Olive This’ bestselling olive oil. It can be used in a variety of ways: salad dressing, sautéing vegetables, marinades, cooking eggs and for dipping bread.
Traditional Balsamic Dark Vinegar, Aged 18 years (200 ml)
Imported from Modena, Italy and made in the traditional way of cooking the grapes down in copper kettles and aging for 18 years in oak barrels. The result is an amazing thick delicious dark vinegar and it pairs beautifully with the Tuscan Herb.
Our hostess wins a 200ml Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and 200ml Balsamic Dark Vinegar Gift Set Value $25
About Olive This!
“Discover. Taste. Love” ~ Olive This
And now on to a few more of our must-haves. These aren’t necessarily giveaways, but definitely items to put on your list for your favorite hostess!
Savory Spice Shop
I can’t say enough good things about the Savory Spice Shop in South End. I could easily buy everything in it. Their items make the best gifts or the best treat for yourself in your own kitchen. Savory Spice Shop carries over 400 fresh spices, handcrafted seasonings and over 40 gift sets at great prices. Visit them in South End and let them help you find that secret ingredient or perfect gift!
I found two fabulous Hostess Gifts when I was in last week:
-The Cup’a Joe gift set is designed to perk up your morning cup. All of these coffee flavorings can be used alone or in various combinations to bring some excitement to your daily ritual. It’s a coffee lover’s dream. ($24.95)
-The “Homemade With Savory” jar includes a recipe and the Savory Spices to yield a jar of Cinnamon Streusel Creamer. ($6.95) You may never use store-bought coffee creamer again once you try this easy DIY recipe. Equally as perfect and so cute to give away. Who wouldn’t love this?
Candy Girl Confections
Candy Girl – Not only does Candy Girl have everything a kid could want. It has most everything adults want too. It has gifts for everyone! Whether you need something big or small, Candy Girl can create a customized gift for you. They wrap it too so you’re all ready to go. Need a few hostess gifts or something for the neighbors? They have these cute Christmas mugs ($25.95), Holiday Napkins ($7.95) or these Hot Chocolate Sets ($12.95). They have everything festive and more. Stop in to Candy Girl and get a few gifts under your belt. Grab some for the kiddos and also your friends. They have beautiful jewelry and plenty any girl would love!
You can find Candy Girl Confections at:
Candy Girl Confections
2910 Selwyn Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28209
I first discovered Ogre Sauce from a neighbor who happens to be Ogre Sauce co-owner, Mike Vagianos. We are big grill fans at our house and once we tasted it, we were sold! Ogre Sauce is an incredibly versatile, craft BBQ sauce. Fans have loved it on everything, from ribs and wings, to chicken & grilled veggies and even seafood. Ogre Sauce started from a family recipe and is making its mark in Charlotte and beyond. It goes with absolutely anything! It’s perfect to take as a hostess gift. Stock up so you have extra around the house too. Also, it would make a great gift for your hubby, brother, etc. Have anyone in your family that loves to grill? This is the perfect gift for them.
The 12 oz. bottle retails for $10 each so grab one or two. You’re sure to love it and so will your friends. Made in NC and started by friends here in Charlotte. Don’t you love supporting local?
They can be purchased locally in Southend at Ogre Sauce’s NEW Office at 2304 Dunavant St, Charlotte, NC 28209 or online at www.ogresauce.com.
Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen Spreads
If you’ve heard of Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen before, you know everything she does is top notch. So when I heard she created these new spreads, I knew they’d be a hit: Smoked Chili and Rosemary Mustard & Champagne-Tomato Jam ($8 Each). Each product represents the style of food Chef Alyssa loves to create: healthy, light, fresh and all-natural. Both the Jam and Mustard have been used for dinners, demos, menus and other special events. Just like their award-winning hands-on cooking classes, their goal is to making cooking at home easier, tastier and healthier. These products are truly a creation of the way of eating that Chef Alyssa believes in. These spreads make great hostess gifts and only at $8 you can treat yourself too. Grab some today. They’re amazing.
They are currently being sold online at www.chefalyssaskitchen.com/products and in EIGHT retail locations – Earl’s Grocery, Reid’s (South Park), Pour Olive, Savory Spice Shop, Pasta & Provisions (both locations), Queen City Pantry and Rhino Market.
You can find Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen at:
Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen
2104 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203
Smarty Hostess Giveaway
Six lucky Smarties could win in our Smarty Hostess Giveaway. Here’s a recap of the loot:
– One lucky Smarty wins a custom set of honey, handpicked by the Cloister bee-keepers themselves, valued at $85
– One lucky Smarty wins a Ella B. Candles a Holiday fragrance candle, value $35
– One lucky Smarty wins the LaSenorita Jolie Cyprus Blanket Scarf, value $42
– One lucky Smarty wins the Palm Beach Hostess Mommy and Me apron set, value $60
– One lucky Smarty wins the Carolina Crate Co. personalized iPad stand, $49
– One lucky Smarty wins the Olive This! 200ml Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and 200ml Balsamic Dark Vinegar Gift Set Value $25
Entering is easy. Simply do the following:
1. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We also encourage you to follow all of the hostess gift participants – let’s show local businesses our L-O-V-E!
2. Tell us in the Comments section below which item you hope shows up at the next dinner party you’re hosting and why.
That’s it! Winners will be announced on Tuesday, December 13. Good luck, Smarties!