Lindsay Schey, founder of The Gift Insider, shares how she became a gifting expert, what’s on her holiday wish list and her favorite Instagram accounts to follow.
By Rachel Schostak
Photography by Allison Farrand
Fortunate for me, I am friends with the gal who knows the best gifts to give for every occasion. Birmingham resident Lindsay Schey is my go-to for the best gifts to give and offers so many great gifting ideas on her website The Gift Insider. Learn about Lindsay, who graces SEEN’s November cover. She shares her favorite local spots, how she started her business and which gifts should be on your list this holiday season!
1. Tell us about your professional background. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin, I began my career in the publishing industry working for Esquire and Good Housekeeping magazines. I started the site as a small hobby blog called “With Love.” In 2010, the site really started to take off — I was traveling the country offering gifting tips on morning news shows, contributing to some amazing magazines and websites and was fortunate enough to be partnering with some really amazing brands. I decided to leave my corporate magazine gig and turned the blog into a full-fledged website thegiftinsider.com. I returned back to my roots in Detroit in 2013.
2. How did the concept of The Gift Insider come about? Giving the perfect gift is one of the best feelings. But finding the perfect gift, let’s just say — not everyone enjoys the search. I started the site at the beginning of the blogging craze — I would scour the web, magazines and local boutiques and write about my favorite finds, offering quick reviews, links to where to purchase them and exclusive discount codes. It’s always something I have had a knack for. At the time, there really wasn’t a site out there that was dedicated to helping people find unique gifts. I knew it was something I was uniquely good at, and there was an opening in the market, so I took a leap, gave it my all and here I am eight years later.
3. How do you go about finding the gifts to put on your website, or share on Instagram? I am constantly flipping through magazines, visiting local boutiques whenever I travel and browsing Pinterest, Etsy and Instagram to see what’s the latest and greatest out there. I speak at some of the big gift buying/trade shows, so while there, I scope out the latest products before they hit retailers.
4. Starting your own business is not easy. How has the business evolved and any important lessons you have learned? After having my 1-year-old son, Miles, my priorities shifted, and I really made it a priority to find balance in my life. I travel less and only take on projects and partnerships that I know I can handle while also making time for my son and family. I love that my job gives me that flexibility. But no, starting a business isn’t easy. I’m eight years in and still learning every day. A huge thing I’ve learned is that you can’t do it all. I’ve learned you need to focus on the things that will really advance your business and not just say yes to everything that comes along.
6. What is one of the best gifts you’ve ever received? When I went off to college, my mom made me a scrapbook of my entire life and narrated it on a cassette so I would always have her voice with me. It was the sweetest gift, and something I will cherish forever. I definitely get my creativity and gifting abilities from her.
8. What is the best gift to give for the person who has everything? An experience gift. Take them to Sfumato downtown to create their own custom fragrance, or plan a staycation at the Foundation Hotel complete with a day of shopping at the downtown Holiday Markets. We’ve rounded up some great local ideas in SEEN’s gift guide in the November issue as well.
Now on to your style…
9. Three words to describe your personal style? Fun, trendy and comfy.
10. Your go-to brands? With a 1-year-old, I pretty much live in stretchy athleisure outfits. I love my black shiny Koral leggings, spiritual gangster tops and Rag and Bone white sneakers. For non-athleisure, I love A.L.C, Veronica Beard, Rag and Bone, IRO and Mackage for jackets and L’Agence for denim.
11. Who inspires your style? Whenever I travel I am constantly inspired. I love finding unique boutiques and finding things that no one else has.
12. One item you can’t leave home without? My push present, a David Yurman necklace with the letter “M” for my son Miles. I normally have to give my husband a few hints at what I want, but for this he went out and totally surprised me and got the perfect thing.
13. You’re never full dressed without___ My Bandolier cellphone strap —I’m not sure how I lived without it.
15. Your current Insta follows? I love when celebrities or influencers keep it real, so I’m a big fan of @blakelively, @chrissteigan and @ariellecharnas. For gifting/DIY inspo, I love @studioDIY, @violettinder and @abeautifulmess.
Your Local Love List…
16 What are your three favorite items from our new SEEN Marketplace?
SHOP: Modern lucite backgammon set, $140, Found Objects.
SHOP: Vita juwel waterbottle, $78, White Birch.
SHOP: Classic striped pajama set, $465, Supernatural Lingerie.
17. Your current go-to for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Commonwealth and Streetside are my Birmingham go-tos. I love exploring all the new spots downtown as much as I can: Prime + Proper for special occasions and Mabel Gray whenever I can get a table.
18. Favorite place to hang when not working? You can pretty much find me, Miles and my hubby at Howarth Park anytime it’s nice out.
19. What do you enjoy most during the holiday season? I love it all. It’s always a difficult time of year for me to balance work and family, but this year we’re headed on a family trip to Mexico, so I’m looking forward to relaxing after the holiday craziness.
20. Favorite quote or words to live by? “Create the things you wished existed.”