He could be your business partner, he could be your boss—everyone has a friend or colleague who seems to have everything. Rather than scratch your head wondering what to get him this year, take a look at these ideas for custom gifts and give him something he’s never gotten before.
Better go bespoke
Getting custom clothing can always be tough, given that sizing is a key factor—good luck getting a suit tailored without your boss knowing. However, many stylish accessories can easily be commissioned at the right tailor. It’s not impossible to get a pair of leather dress shoes made (Oliver Moore’s a great place in NYC), and there’s always the option of making a creative gift from bought accessories such as cufflinks or a Romain Gauthier watch by giving them a personalized inscription.
The art of gifting
No matter your price point, art is a unique gift that can go a long way, not least by showing that you understand the receiver’s personality. Artwork is available at many auction houses for the high-end stuff, but you can give a little back to local artists by scoping out local coffee houses and pubs for some local art. Another great aspect of art is that it represents a small investment, and may go up in value as the artist gains notoriety.
A Christmas classic for sports fans, signed memorabilia is guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind, if a little hard to source. Jerseys, books and game-winning basketballs are found easily on eBay, although their authenticity can often be questionable. Because it’s hard enough getting into the locker room, turn to established dealers, such as this site, for the real stuff.
Rare and limited editions
Sure they’re not technically unique, but as any sneakerhead knows, there are only so many sneaks that will ever be made. Limited edition kicks that will drop this holiday season aren’t too few, so line up at your local Footlocker as soon as you can. For those harder-to-get collectibles from seasons past and present, you can also turn to the fine folks over at Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique in Detroit—they’re a sneakerhead staple.
There’s commissioned, and then there’s handmade. Take a trip to your local craftsman’s collective in the hipper part of town, and look for beautiful (but useful) objects. If a location like that doesn’t necessarily exist, take a walk into a Restoration Hardware or other store that deals in uniquely crafted items. They’ve got handmade leather desk accessories that include all of the charming imperfections that let you know they’re unique to the receiver.
Be the teacher
As they say, teach a man to fish and he’ll never go hungry. Give the guy something that will unleash his creativity, and you’ll give him the satisfaction of having created some amazing himself. Beer making kits are often a waste of money, but enticing him to up his cooking game with a new cast iron pan or copping a new digital camera so that he can finally delve into photography are well worth the dough.