Food & Drink

Here’s How to Make Your Holiday Shopping Easier

Knack lets you customize pretty gift boxes perfect for the Seattle-loving foodie in your life—all you need is the Internet and a credit card.

By Chelsea Lin December 8, 2016


We’ve already given you holiday gift recommendations—check out the gift guide from our December issue—but what if there was a service that did the gathering and packaging and mailing to your cross-country bestie? Knack to the rescue. 

(Disclaimer: This isn’t an advertisement, and we’re not in the business of writing gushing endorsements where they aren’t due. So know that I’ve tried Knack, on my own volition and with my own money, and it is awesome.)

Knack is a Seattle-based “modern gift-giving solution,” which is to say that it is a service that lets you select and send presents to friends both near and far. It works like this: you go to the website, browse pre-made gift sets or choose your own the “build from scratch” option, buy, and they’ll make it look pretty and get it to your destination a.s.a.p. There’s even a same-day Postmates delivery option, especially handy if you’re heading to a holiday dinner party after work and happen to have forgotten a hostess gift. 

“I thought there was a missed opportunity to involve shoppers in the personalization process [of gift giving],” says founder Laura Jennings, a former Microsoftie responsible for strategizing and launching some of the business’ most recognizable products, who spends her free time serving on hospital boards and empowering other bada$$ women. “Given my background in technology, I had the idea of building an ecommerce business around the customer as the creative force. That’s why every example gift set on the site can be easily changed, subtracted from or added to with just a few clicks. Customers can also build a custom gift from scratch, making every gift from us truly unique.” 

The company focuses on artisan products—and has a particularly great selection of food and wine gifts—so you’ll see local brands like Beecher’s, Hot Cakes, Marge Granola, Seven Coffee Roasters, and Tom Douglas’ Rub with Love among the curated list of merchants. I strongly recommend pairing the birthday cake cookie tin from Hello Robin with a couple of cans of Underwood’s pinot in a can for that friend that has everything—one can never have too many sprinkles or too much booze. 

We asked Jennings for a few recommendations, for those hard-to-shop-for folks in your life. Here’s what she would get for…

The holiday dinner party hostess?
“The Winter Spice Gift Set because everyone deserves the exquisite pleasure of dipping a fresh Hello Robin molasses cookie into a mug of hot cocoa by Pioneer Square’s Intrigue. I also love this one, because the ceramic mug is handmade by an artist duo in NY and fits into hands PERFECTLY.” 

The father-in-law that’s impossible to shop for?
“The Signature Bordeaux & Truffles Gift Set, because it features the 2013 Clos de Betz Red Blend and is the only way to get your hands on a bottle of this particular Betz Family Winery selection without being a wine club member…and that wait list is currently 90+ deep.”

Your hard-working (21-and-over) nanny?
“The Sip & Soak Gift Set because anyone who dedicates their lives to caring for other people’s children deserves to soak in hot bath and sip on a nice big glass of wine.” 

That coworker that deserves a little something special?
“The Majoring in Munchies Gift Set because this sweet/salty collection includes Northwest-made snacks to thrill any locavore and get them through their next Netflix binge-watching session. It’s also a GREAT college care package.”

The staff is incredibly responsive and helpful, so don’t hesitate to give them a shout if you have questions during the ordering process. They even send a photo of your Knack box when it’s on the way to its recipient, so you don’t have to wonder—as you do with sending flowers—if what you spent so much on is actually as gorgeous as the image on the website. Knack prides itself on the details, so you can expect your package to look lovely and arrive ready to open. 

It’s a pretty sad reality that we’re all so busy we can’t do our own shopping anymore… but if you’re ready to embrace it, Knack is an excellent solution. 

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