If chocolates and flowers just won’t do for Valentine’s Day this year, I have a surefire gifting tip that your beloved is certain to love: Manofatto handmade, personalized gift boxes. Each one is a true work of art, no two are alike, and each is custom-designed to delight the individual recipient.
I first spotted Manofatto custom gift boxes at The Denver Flea a year or so ago, and the dreamy boxes mesmerized me. Manofatto creates “handmade gift boxes filled with lush blooms, artisan sweets, organic coffee and other small-batch, American-made goods.” That description might pique your curiosity, but you need to browse the online photo gallery (or their Instagram account) to truly appreciate how this can translate into the perfect gift.
The concept is simple: a personalized gift box thoughtfully curated to suit your recipient’s taste and the occasion. But it’s the execution that makes it unforgettable: carefully selected gifts, perhaps some fresh flowers, sweet nothings handwritten in a modern calligraphy, and all of it stylishly packed in a handcrafted wooden box. Each presentation looks like something out of an artsy catalog — though no catalog I’ve ever seen.
Manofatto is the brain child of Denverite Katelyn Stalowy, who drew inspiration from her Italian heritage as well as the lack of personalized, affordable gift boxes in the marketplace.
“I previously worked in corporate event planning and was frequently responsible for client gifts. I felt like there was a major gap between what I felt was impactful or meaningful and what I could actually buy!” says Katelyn. “I also have always loved giving a variety of gift items to a family member or loved one as opposed to a single gift — one item just always felt lacking.”
She adopted the name Manofatto, Italian slang for “handmade.” It was how her Italian great aunt (who turns 100 this summer) referred to all of the delightful creations she churned out with her own two hands. From baking to cooking to creating, Katelyn says, “Manofatto has dug its roots into my life.”
She explains how they design and handcraft each custom gift box with care. “To this day, my husband Craig makes every one of our boxes by hand. I run the overall business and put together all of our orders and do the floral arrangements. My sister, Gabby, does all of our hand-calligraphy cards. It’s totally a family affair. Very Italian of us.”
And Manofatto gift boxes are not just for Valentine’s Day. In fact, Katelyn says her top-selling boxes are housewarming, babies, birthdays, weddings, and sympathy or get well soon.
“I’ve done wedding gift boxes geared toward the couple’s honeymoon with lots of travel necessities. Or a few have been for their honeymoon to Italy, which, of course, I loved! And then when I have the chance to deliver a box to someone going through a hard time, it really is the reason why I am doing this. I hope our customers feel like we’ve put heart and thought into these gifts.”
Katelyn’s impeccable taste shines through in the curation of each gift box, too. The chosen goods are what one might call an affordable luxury, but a luxury nonetheless.
Lest you worry that the gift not seem personal enough since you’re not assembling it yourself…this gifting process truly is a collaboration between you and Katelyn. You tell her your gift theme and your recipient’s preferences, and she helps brings the ideal gift box to life.
Personally, I love that a Manofatto gift box can be a fun way to announce an even bigger surprise…a long-wished-for trip perhaps or maybe even the arrival of a new little one.
Manofatto custom gift boxes come in six sizes from the smallest (with 4-5 items) at $100 to the largest (with 12+ items) for $250. The not-quite-two-year-old company operates solely online and at pop-up events. You can get up close and personal with Katelyn and her Manofatto gift boxes at the Valentine pop-up event at Corvus Coffee (1740 S. Broadway) this Saturday, February 11, from 8am to 1pm.
Order a Manofatto custom gift box by completing the online form. (Or visit Katelyn at the aforementioned Corvus Coffee pop-up this Saturday). Manofatto requires 48 hours notice for local delivery to Denver, Aurora, Littleton, Parker, Englewood, Lakewood, Arvada, and Westminster. Delivery fees vary. Shipped orders can generally be ready to ship in 24 to 48 hours.
For questions, email email@example.com. Katelyn says she will aim to take her last order on February 13. But as each gift box is hand-selected and created, you might be out of luck if you wait too long!
All photos courtesy of Manofatto.