Put a Bow on It!
“How you give is more important than what you give,” Tara Riceberg says. Which is fitting for the self-described “Curator of Happiness.” Riceberg’s two Hollywood stores, Tesoro Los Angeles and Tesoro Beverly Hills specialize in one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items from around the world and the best part, they are ALL pre-gift wrapped.
Known for their gift wrapping, the Tesoro stores use chic papers and festive bows to ensure their customers have the best-dressed gifts at the party. “We’re obsessed with presentation. That’s why no one wraps like we do. We believe a beautifully wrapped present communicates thought and effort. Wrapping is our art so the details are very important,” Riceberg says.
Riceberg’s introduction to the design and entertaining world came through Tesoro, her family’s home design store. “My mother taught me that you should fill your home with necessary luxuries – objects designed to enhance your life quality. I’ve inherited her preference to live with less as long as it’s the best. I believe you should treasure your life by filling it with valuable pieces and memories.” Tesoro means treasure in Spanish and Italian and her stores are a true treasure trove of inspiration.
Gift Shop® Plus caught up with Riceberg to learn more about her unique stores and the art of gift wrapping.
You’re known for your grab-n-go pre-wrapped gifts. How did that tradition start? Are these gifts available only at the holidays or do you offer these year-round
Tara Riceberg: I was working in my mom’s store in the late 90s. A customer purchased a large platter that I had to gift wrap. She asked how long it would take. I replied, “around 15 minutes.” “What do you mean 15 minutes? I don’t have that long to wait.” “I’m sorry. First, I have to build the box for your 30” platter. Then I need to overwrap the box. I’m putting all my energy into working on your gift. But it physically will take me 15 minutes to wrap it.” When she left, I turned to mom and said, “if I ever have my own store, I’m pre-wrapping everything so no one will bark at me.”
I now have the world’s only, entirely all pre-wrapped gift store. My store is pre wrapped for grab-n-go convenience year round.
Does each store have a distinctive clientele, and if so, how does the décor reflect the location?
TR: Each shop has its own vibe and personality. In terms most people can understand, my LA location is my MoMA and Beverly Hills is my Bergdorf’s. My LA store has evolved over the years and has a vibe and décor that reflects a space that’s been lived in for over a decade. My Beverly Hills shop feels set decorated like a cover of Architectural Digest. It definitely was styled to appeal to a high net worth customer.
With your background as an interior designer, could you share some advice for new retailers about creating high-end impact in a small space?
TR: I’m a home stylist. From all my years of working in a home décor store, I was able to apply those skills to tweaking clients’ homes. Lighting is key to bringing a space to life. Always spend on lighting. Also, choose white and light colors as your backdrop. I prefer to curate in neutral colors and mixed metals for Beverly Hills. My LA store is vibrant and all the colors of the rainbow.
You have explained that you unpack new merchandise and immediately gift wrap it, overwrapping with cellophane to easily clean those gifts on the shelves. Have you always done that? That seems especially pertinent in these days of COVID. Are there any other necessary steps you’ve developed?
TR: Cellophane also makes it easier to wrap gifts. It prevents the paper from tearing and you can’t see the tape on the plastic. Since tape sticks and re-sticks on cellophane, you make fewer mistakes aligning paper on a gift. Another bonus is that the paper can be reused. You don’t tear the cellophane when you unwrap. You simply un-tape the gift paper.
Tell us about this year’s choice of gift wrap…
TR: I always use the same rainbow colored paper for the kids’ gifts but I’ll add ribbons and embellishments like glitter balls and metallic twists. For the adults, I stay with my core wrap colors of gold, black, and white. I’ll add snowflakes, pinecones, and pompoms with metallic details.
Do you offer gift wrapping for online orders?
TR: As my shop is already pre-wrapped, all online orders ship wrapped. If a customer specifies that wrap isn’t necessary, then we won’t add a bow.
But as Riceberg states often, “there is always time for a bow!”