The other day I received a phone call from a long-time client wanting to know if I had any out-of-the-box (literally!) gift ideas. She wanted to give her stylish employee something different from the usual go-to retail gifts from a mall or a boutique, something unexpected that would make her employee feel special.

And of course I had plenty of inspiration to share. I love gift-giving - who doesn’t? I also love sharing unforgettable experiences with people, so I try to give gifts that are meaningful and make that special someone feel good about themselves.

Gifts celebrate a special moment or event in time, they mark memories, yet it can be a challenge to find the perfect gift. Plus, what present do you give to the woman who already has everything? Or the woman who would love something unusual and different? Shopping for a gift can be overwhelming. And while giving a pretty present in a box can be nice, when you gift a loved one with an experience, you are giving a gift that lasts forever.

As a stylist, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible women, and what I’ve learned from my clients is that every woman loves an experience that makes her feel spoiled like a queen and unique as an individual.

Here are my top 5 unforgettable gift ideas that will make any woman feel special. They’re so inspired that you may just want to gift one of these special presents to yourself.

  1. Personalized and Fully Customizable Styling Session with Personal Stylist, Tali Kogan (me :)): Who doesn’t want to feel like a celebrity for a day?  In my personalized styling sessions, I work with clients to help emphasize their personal style in a flattering, fashion-forward way. Maybe your special lady would like an expert eye to help her with her wardrobe or perhaps she’s got an event coming up for which she’d like to look extra special. A two-hour session starts at $250, and I’ll share my top styling secrets for everything from outfits, day to night looks, special events, accessories, shoes, hair, makeup, and even a personalized shopping list.

  1. Blogger Photoshoot with Personal Stylist, Tali Kogan, and Top Fashion Photographer: In this photoshoot, I will arrange everything for your aspiring blogger’s special day, from styling, makeup and hair to booking one of Chicago’s best fashion photographers for the job. The photos and images on your blog are what set you apart from others, yet many bloggers tend to slack on photography as it can be costly and confusing as to what really works and what doesn't. Whether you’re already an established blogger, dreaming of becoming one, or simply want to play the role for a day, you’ll walk away with stunning photography that lets your inner beauty shine! Packages start at $300 per session.

  1.  Private Yoga Session: As you may already know, I love yoga. Gifting your friend, colleague, sister, mother, or wife with a private yoga session will make her feel absolutely wonderful. What I love about private yoga sessions is that you get the the special attention from your yoga instructor needed to really perfect - or at least work on - your individual practice. We all want to devote more time to mindfulness and wellness, so what could be better? Private yoga lessons start at $80 per hour, and I highly recommend Alexia Bauer, (She’s a master at Ashtanga), and Linnea Schlegel who’s a Viniassa Yogi, both in the Chi-town area.

  1.  In-Home Massage with Chicago’s Best, Becka Bravo. Becka is an incredible clinical manual therapist who’s been serving Chicago since 2005. She offers various packages of massages and healing bodywork that you can enjoy as a couple, pre, post, peri-natal, or just because. What I especially love about Becka is that she brings customized healing and restorative touch directly to you, in the comfort of your own home. I love that she believes that health is not a luxury but actually a priority, and her life-changing sessions are truly special. Contact Becka for pricing in your area.

  1. Family or Mommy and Me Photoshoot: This is a gift that keeps on giving because your loved one will receive a keepsake that lasts a lifetime and can be cherished by the entire family. Let me help style your family for your special session, from head to toe, and coordinate all the moving pieces so you can focus on the special memories you and your loved ones create together. This is especially great for the holidays. Packages start at $300, and I work exclusively with some of Chicago’s top photographers. I especially love working with Hallie Duesenberg and Jonathan Cohon; they both truly have a knack for capturing the emotion and essence you want to come through in your special photos, Katya and I love working with them!

I try to give to others what I’d want given to me, and I can say wholeheartedly that each of these 5 inspired gift ideas are experiences that I enjoy, myself. Want to know more about any of these presents so that you can spoil someone you love or even treat yourself? Contact me for more info and comment below with your own personal unique gift ideas!

Shana Tova, Happy New Year!

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