Alison Chemla, the jewelry designer behind cult-favorite brand Alison Lou, knows how to celebrate an occasion. Just look at her latest collection, CeLOUbrations, which fêtes her first decade in business. And when the occasion in question becomes the entire holiday season, she’s the perfect person to ask.
For lots of gift-givers, jewelry is a go-to option for the holidays. But what do you get for someone who can make the pieces herself? Alternatively, what do you buy for someone who has it all, from earrings to necklaces and everything in between?
Enter: Chemla’s holiday wish list (and an inside look at what she likes to gift to friends and family, too). As a business owner, half (or more) of her company is geared toward making things that people want to gift to their loved ones, so take advice from an expert and scroll through her favorite gifts below.
What’s your go-to holiday gift?
I think it’s always nice to give something for someone’s home. My good friend Paul Arnhold makes these incredible vases himself, and they’re always such a hit. If I really want to go the extra mile, I’ll ask Missi Flowers to create an arrangement and deliver flowers in one of his beautiful creations (locally, of course).
Do you have a favorite under-$50 gift?
I live for lip masks, especially in the cold winters in New York. I know they say to put them on at night, but I honestly always have one in my bag and wear it all day long. It’s between Tatcha and Laneige that I absolutely love. I think it’s a great thing for anyone to have.
What’s the best present you’ve ever received?
I never really understood push presents until I gave birth; now, I tell every partner, no matter what, you better have a gift waiting after she pushes out a child! My husband custom-made a necklace for me with the help of my team. It is thoughtful and beautiful. I wear it everyday, and it reminds me of one of the most important days of my life: the day my baby Benjamin was born. I’ve received so many compliments on the necklace that we even decided to make a version of it for our site.
Best gift that can be found on Amazon?
Slip pillowcases—they’re gifts that will give you a better night sleep and clearer skin. You honestly can’t go wrong!
What’s the number one thing on your wish list this year?
I normally go for practical gifts that I don’t really want to buy myself but need. However, this year I would love a mom tote that I can fit all my extra stuff in. I absolutely love The Row’s Margaux Bag, especially the nylon one, because it can be easily cleaned.
Ideal gift in a last-minute scenario?
I feel like a last-minute gift needs to be some kind of gift card, so I like to share the secret of my favorite facialist who has been giving me facials for years, Sofia. She is now at Mia Wagner Salon in Midtown. She has magic hands.
What’s something you always have on-hand, just in case?
I have so many Jelly Hoops and Jelly Clips ready to go. If I need a last minute gift, I’ll normally put a pair of Jelly Hoops together in some cute packaging. It’s always a big hit!
What’s your go-to gift for kids?
Leset has my favorite baby clothes. Benjamin (my son) lives in them. I love to gift the teddy set. They are so soft and comfy, and they look absolutely adorable.
And for guys?
Guys are so hard to shop for…in the past I’ve done an engraved bottle of tequila which is not only something they can drink, but also display on their bar.
What’s your dream gift?
After a long year with a toddler and running on very little sleep, a vacation with my husband for some R&R sounds really amazing right about now. Maybe somewhere warm…Jamaica? Anguilla? I’ll take anything!