The Perfect Gift
Throughout the remainder of her childhood and into her college years, Megan continued to paint and personalize gifts, while developing a background in graphic design. She also helped entrepreneurs open retail businesses and worked on the marketing, design, and advertising aspects of those new companies. Realizing how much she enjoyed the work, she decided it was time to create her own retail business. Starting small, she began working out of her own home, personalizing and selling candles—a gift she believed was ideal for almost anyone. By November of 2010, she moved her work to a retail space in west Lake Forest and officially opened Gifted.
One year later, Gifted has become a local hot spot for charming home décor, imaginative children’s items, and all types of artistic gifts. Some of Megan’s regular customers compare it to an antique shop, because the merchandise is unique, constantly changing, and you never know what treasure you’ll find with each visit. Although the shop contains an immense collection, each gift is mindfully tested or selected before it comes into the store. “My rule of thumb is that if it isn’t something I would put in my own house, I won’t buy it,” Megan explains. When it comes to selecting gifts for the shop, Megan also focuses on American-made, fair trade, or locally created items.
As a result, the shop is filled with high-quality products—from bath/body care and jewelry to baby clothing and kids’
lunchboxes. Plus, Megan can personalize almost anything (such as purses, frames, candles, and photo albums) with a monogram, company logo, school colors, or whatever else the customer can imagine. “If you don’t see it in the store, ask,” she says with a smile. “Because there’s a good chance we can build it, make it, find it, or create it.”
Aside from offering an impressive selection of noteworthy gifts, Gifted has also become a social hub for the community. Friends often meet up at the store to browse together and enjoy the casual, comfortable environment. This past summer, when storms caused a power outage in Lake Forest, Megan hopped on Facebook to let her customers know that the store’s power was still on, and that they were welcome to come in, charge their phones, and enjoy a cup of coffee—which led to an impromptu community gathering at the shop.
Whether bringing friends together or helping customers find the perfect gift for any occasion, Megan and her team at Gifted have accomplished much in the past year. In the gift industry, the old adage, “It’s better to give than to receive,” holds true. Yet, the team at Gifted also understands that a gift must be carefully chosen and have significance. “I believe that any gift, regardless of cost, can be better as long as it’s meaningful,” Megan says. “It’s not the price of something; it’s how good you feel about giving it.”
Gifted is located at 840 South Waukegan Road #111 in Lake Forest. For more information, call 847-235-2573, or visit giftedlakeforest.com.