Gifting and receiving: Melissa Milakovic of Love Like Red

design Gifting and receiving Makers Q+A

At BRIKA, nothing thrills us more than customers coming to us with gifting needs because as far as solutions go, we’ve got a whole lot of ‘em. As we put it in our post 39 tips to master the art of gift giving, our curated assortment of well-crafted goods is a great resource for gifting for all occasions. As such, it’s only fitting that we delve a bit deeper into gift giving with our new series Gifting and Receiving, because it truly is an art unto itself. First in our series is Love Like Red’s Melissa Milakovic, whose handcrafted line of paper goods features beautiful design and watercolor wash – the kind of pieces you love enough to gift yourself. Without gift giving, Love Like Red would not exist as it does today. Read on for the story! What's the best gift you've ever given? The truth is I love gift giving (and surprises). It's pretty much why I do what I do. There are some pretty good ones but the most recent was this: for a friend's birthday, who lives in my neighborhood, I went to five of her favorite places (coffee, lunch, spa, clothes, wine) and bought $10 at each place and called it a day in your neighborhood. The best part, or at least my favorite, was tucking each gift card into a cute, colored envelope (thanks paper samples!), giving a small hint on the outside with a tiny illustration, setting it up in a beautiful gold box (thanks again, paper samples!) and tying it up with a lovely ribbon and fresh lavender. Of course, I tucked in a Love Like Red card with a personal birthday message! It wasn't an outrageous gift but it was well thought out, which I think is always more appreciated than over the top.  Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 5.31.46 PM What's the best gift you've ever received?  Three years ago, when my now husband was my new boyfriend, he gifted me an online art class. I hadn't been practicing art in any real way for years at that point, but the class seemed perfect and totally out of my budget. I casually mentioned it one night when he immediately pulled out his iPad, asked me what the class was called, and signed me up. It still gets me teary-eyed when I think about it. That was my turning point for choosing a fully creative path — because he believed in me 1000% and still does. The greatest part of that gift was being able to see how far I've come in skill and creativity. When I took that class I had never even seen Photoshop or Illustrator, and had only ever dabbled in painting (murals mostly). Only three short years ago the work itself wasn't very good, but it's hard to be embarrassed by it when it's the beginning of my story. That's how it started. It was then that the seeds for Love Like Red were planted and I've never looked back.  Why did you decide to turn your designs into giftwrap? What value do you think a beautifully wrapped gift plays into the art of gift giving?  Thoughtfully wrapping a gift, in my humble opinion, is just as valuable as the thought you put into the gift. Human beings inherently appreciate beauty, no matter who you are, so adding small touches to the gift you are presenting will always be enjoyed by the person receiving it. Yes, it's about making a boring old box look just as pretty as what's inside the box, but it also represents the time and thought you put into it, all of it. I include giftwrap in my collection for these very reasons — I sincerely believe that every inch of gift giving is about making someone feel special and cared for. Giftwrapping is going over and above gift giving, perhaps not always necessary but certainly always appreciated. Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 5.32.01 PM What BRIKA item tops your wish list?  Kalaki Riot's Band + Cuff Ring! It's stunning! Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 5.39.23 PM

Band + Cuff Ring, $145, Kalaki Riot


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