Personal stylist turned LA’s most trusted gift-giving guru, Simone LeBlanc, created her dream job—traveling to alluring destinations to source and curate her well-adorned, lavish gift-boxes for friends, clients, and celebrities alike. This month, we sat down with the gifting queen in her Hollywood Hills home and talk personal taste, the meaningful touch, and of course, life on Sundays with her adorable daughter Lillian…
Describe your typical Sunday.
I love Sundays that are full of family, friends, and food. We start the morning in our garden. My daughter, Lillian, is so intrigued with the little ecosystems that are forming. We'll head to the Melrose Place Farmer’s market or breakfast then out and about to meet up with friends, either at a park, museum or one of our homes. The afternoon leads to the evening which means a delicious glass of wine for me, cooking something simple, and winding down the day so we can recharge for the week ahead.
You have an incredible eye for design and impeccable taste. How did you first get into the gifting business?
I was a personal stylist and tastemaker, creating objects and gifts that were ‘just the right thing’ for my clients and their networks. I loved it and decided to transition my perspective of weaving personal touches with the meaning and value of connection into my business as it is today —an online shop that makes tasteful, quality gifting easy. We work with businesses large and small, event planners, private clients and individual customers. I enjoy it tremendously.
As a personal stylist turned professional gift-giver, does your keen fashion sense ever play a part in curating the perfect gift?
The tools that I honed in the world of clothing fabrication and styling are so relevant in my current business. Composition, color, balance, quality, an essence of longevity and timelessness are essential to both worlds and something I still think about every day.
The power of gifting is a meaningful gesture that is often difficult for most people. What is your philosophy on creating the perfect gift? Any advice for a gift giver who doesn’t know where to start?
Be mindful of your relationship with your recipient and the message that you want to send. The perfect gift is something unexpected, yet at the same time on point and personal. It's meaningful and nuanced and resonates clearly and directly with the recipient. For personal (non-business gifting) think about your recipient in terms of who they are and what they love. When in doubt, seek a second opinion. There is no harm in engaging a bit of backup from a trusted source. Most importantly, be real. If you love what you’re gifting, the authenticity will carry through.
Curation and editing take an incredible amount of time as well. From refreshing herbal teas to soft cotton robes, your gift boxes are quite an indulgent treat. Can you let us in on some of your favorite tips to source unique pieces?
I’m always ‘on’ so sourcing for me is really about editing and deciding what works best where. An object may catch my eye and inevitably, if it doesn’t make sense now, it will at some point down the road.
And while curating for work, has this lead you to any beautiful places around the world that you’ve discovered along the way?
Oh yes, my sources run deep. Let’s just say each city provides masterful craftspeople and a legacy of production. Paying homage to the lineage of a location can lead to worlds of wonder and discovery. Stay curious!
With fall just around the corner, what seasonal pieces are you most excited to include in your gift boxes?
I’m loving simple and easy lifestyle objects. Pieces that have longevity and purpose of being, with a touch of livable elegance. Metallic touches mixed with stone and ceramic, handmade incense and vessels cast from brass, leather bound journals in soft gray leather with gold leaf pages, silk velvet, throws that work beautifully as a wrap or on the bed. Multi-use, quality, with a purpose of being.
What is the most memorable gift that you’ve ever received?
A handmade miniature ceramic boot with grosgrain ribbon from 1890’s France. It’s the first gift my (then boyfriend, now husband) gave to me, and he was compelled to bring it to me against the advice of the shopkeeper and everyone around him. When I opened the box, I almost dropped it as it was shocking how apropos the gift was. Unbeknownst to him, I've long collected miniature shoes and, well, France in the 1890’s is my most simpatico era. I knew then that my life was about to take an entirely different direction.
Has life changed for you since becoming a mother to your daughter Lillian? What’s your favorite way to spoil her?
In every single way. My life as a whole has cracked open to a level of love, self-acceptance, and empathy that I never knew possible. It’s the most challenging yet phenomenal experience. At this point, the spoiling comes through snuggles, time together, and a lot of play. And let’s face it, cute European toddler clothes.
Any exciting projects in store for the upcoming season?
Yes! We have some very specific, very refined collaborations coming up that I can’t wait to share. They’re still under wraps, but you’ll be hearing more about them soon. Holiday will be big, bright and shiny on simoneleblanc.com!
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Co-Founders of The Hive
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PARTNERS AT SWEET LAUREL BAKERY
Friends-turned-business partners Claire Thomas and Laurel Gallucci are the duo behind whole foods focused baking company, Sweet Laurel Bakery.
On getting into the gifting business: “I was a personal stylist and tastemaker, creating objects and gifts that were ‘just the right thing’ for my clients and their networks. I loved it and decided to transition my perspective of weaving personal touches with the meaning and value of connection into my business as it is today —an online shop that makes tasteful, quality gifting easy.” Pictured: LeBlanc in the Devitri Silk Top and the Caia ClogsPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On what makes an item stand out to Simone: “I’m loving simple and easy…Pieces that have longevity and purpose of being, with a touch of livable elegance.” Pictured: LeBlanc in the Devitri Silk TopPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On favorite Sunday afternoon pastimes: “We'll head to the Melrose Place Farmer’s market or breakfast then out and about to meet up with friends, either at a park, museum or one of our homes.” Pictured: LeBlanc in the Anissa Sweater , Mariner Crop Pant and the Barlow Suede BootiesPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On sourcing unique pieces: “I’m always ‘on’ so sourcing for me is really about editing and deciding what works best where. An object may catch my eye and inevitably, if it doesn’t make sense now, it will at some point down the road.” Pictured: LeBlanc in the Anissa Sweater and the Mariner Crop PantPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On what she considers as the perfect gift: “The perfect gift is something unexpected, yet at the same time on point and personal. It's meaningful and nuanced and resonates clearly and directly with the recipient.” Pictured: LeBlanc wearing the Lakelyn Layered SweaterPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On her ideal Sundays…: “I love Sundays that are full of family, friends, and food. We start the morning in our garden. My daughter, Lillian, is so intrigued with the little ecosystems that are forming.” Pictured: LeBlanc wearing the Berit SweaterPhotography By Alex La Cruz
…and winding down after a restful weekend: “The afternoon leads to the evening which means a delicious glass of wine for me, cooking something simple, and winding down the day so we can recharge for the week ahead.“ Pictured: LeBlanc wearing the Berit SweaterPhotography By Alex La Cruz