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Behind the Scenes of D CEO’s Holiday Gift Guide

Dallas stylist Jamie Lyons takes us behind the scenes of curating gift ideas for business leaders of every personality.
Kelsey Foster

Curating a collection of gifts for high-level business executives was no easy task. We analyzed the pages of the Dallas 500 (you can take a peek at the 2022 edition here) to create six personalities and made mental notes of the clothing they wore to events, accessories they were drawn to, and what sort of items they used in their offices.

Giving special attention to local brands and retailers was a top priority. You’ll see this throughout the below vignettes, such as a spa robe from Peacock Alley and a few favorites of skin expert Joanna Czech’s in The Pampered, the signature camel iPad portfolio by Leatherology in The Professional, and the Globetrotter Travel Set by The Pillow Bar in The Traveler.

To bring it all together, we enlisted Dallas-based stylist Jamie Lyons. Here, she shares her take on each personality. Scroll to the end for a fascinating Q&A on how she approached the assignment. Happy shopping!

Quality is measured by thread counts and finishes for The Pampered, whether unwinding at home or jet-setting across the globe.

from Jamie Lyons: “They love spa days and all things health and wellness, so I’m thinking of ways to bring that spa-like experience to their daily life. I included picks from skincare guru Joanna Czech, like a dry brush, face massager, and microcurrent device. A set of pajamas from a brand called Tekla that is chicly unisex, a plush robe, a bottle that infuses your drinking water with crystals, a candle to set the mood, Sun Drops from Dr. Barbara Sturm (another holy grail skincare brand), a luxurious (and well designed) set of lotion and handwash that you’re equally as excited to use as a display, and some laundry detergent from a partnership with one of my favorite fragrance brands. (I honestly don’t know which scent I recommend more, they’re both so good.)”

The Professional is all about paying attention to details; accessories are purposeful, understated yet elegant, and made of premium materials.

from Jamie Lyons: “The person who is always at the office, so I’m thinking of something to gift that would make their time there more enjoyable. For me, this felt like a cool/unique lamp, some art that can hang out on their desk, a great smelling candle, or a beautiful handbag to carry their things to and from work. On the slightly more practical end, a leatherbound case for their iPad, or a sleek air purifier.”

Although functionality is a must, The Traveler blends a passion for technology with sophistication and style.

from Jamie Lyons: “They’re constantly traveling for work (or pleasure), so here I’m thinking about things to improve that experience, on the plane, at the airport, or in the hotel. I included a leather AirPods case, a blanket set to set them up for the best possible plane naps, a travel set from Aesop that smells divine and includes things like mouthwash and hand sanitizer, luxurious leather packing cubes, the best-designed sweater shaver I’ve ever seen, sheet masks for winding down in the hotel (or even on the plane!), some beautiful travel books, and, finally, an aluminum suitcase.”

The Foodie has an adventurous palate and is all about indulging in flavors, experience, and the latest kitchen gadgets.

from Jamie Lyons: “This person loves to cook (or maybe just eat great food), so I’m thinking of things to gift that they might not have or have tried. This ended up being a nice bottle of tequila, a really elevated set of salt and pepper grinders, some beautiful glassware, books with great recipes or stunning food photography, a pasta roller if they’re especially adventurous in the kitchen, a pizza oven that is an absolute game-changer to anyone looking to cook pizza at home, a bottle of aged balsamic to add something special to their dishes, a pan in a gorgeous shade that does it all, or a delicious Panettone to enjoy right then and there.”

The perfect watch or a chic pair of shoes embody The Stylish, and unexpected wardrobe decisions separate them from the pack.

from Jamie Lyons: “This is the person who loves fashion and just generally has fantastic taste, so I’m thinking of luxe accessories that are classic and fashion-forward, but also appeal to a variety of styles. This ended up being a couple of great coffee table books, a classic pair of loafers, chic elbow-length gloves, a cozy designer throw, understated but still statement-making gold jewelry, elegant sunglasses, a handbag that toes the line perfectly between being edgy and timeless, a watch, and a tie that’s still simple but with an artistic element that makes it something special.”

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From backyard campfires to off-the-beaten-path weekend getaways, The Adventurer is always up for an escapade.

from Jamie Lyons: “This person is into fitness and anything outdoors, so I’m thinking of elevated ways to add to that. A great throw for sitting by the fire on camping trips, a portable fire pit, a minimal LED lantern for everything from camping to dinners al fresco, what I’m convinced have to be the most beautiful set of wrist or ankle weights to exist, a Theragun for after their adventures, a great pair of glasses, a leatherbound flask, a (very aesthetic) book on gardening, and an Oura ring to track, well, basically everything.”

Q&A with Dallas-based stylist Jamie Lyons

Can you tell me about some of the stores you pulled from, and why you chose them? “I started with my favorite local stores: Neiman Marcus, Forty Five Ten, and Grange Hall. They all have a great buy and every time I’m in there I want multiple things without fail. D CEO is a Dallas-based publication, so it was important to highlight some great stores that we have here in the city. Local brands Leatherology and Eataly, which recently opened in NorthPark Mall, are also represented for their great gifting selections. After that, I chose things from brands that have been personal go-to’s for years (Menu, Le Labo, Byredo, Diptique, Aesop, Tekla, Away, to name a few), some of which can be found locally and some online. Others, like Oura, were new to me and were way too cool not to include.”

What are some of the standout pieces (in your opinion) and what do you like about them? “Nice candles are personally one of my favorite things to gift. They’re consumable and make everyday life feel a little more luxurious. I’ve also heard nothing but rave reviews about the Ooni pizza oven, and I think it’s going on my own Christmas list. I can just picture the fantastic pizza nights with friends and family, each pizza cooks in about 60 seconds. I also think the Balenciaga bag is really stunning. I love the design and versatility of the Menu lantern, and I feel like great pajamas can be such an indulgent gift. The aluminum suitcase is also such a standout piece for chic travel.”

What goes into curating capsules such as these? “When I select each item, I like to consider the likelihood that it would add value to people’s lives. Would I be thrilled to get it?  Are they likely to have something just like it already? The best gifts are things people love, of course, but also that they don’t have and might not have thought to buy for themselves. The categories are really important because they narrow the field even further and show you listen to and thought about that person’s individual interests. It was also important to me to include a lot of varying price points while keeping the same recipient in mind.”

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