Thursday, November 4, 2010

Q + A: Lisa Berglund of Olive & Cocoa



Lisa Berglund of Olive & Cocoa and I go way back. In fact, when I was on the verge of starting my own wedding planning company 16 years ago, Lisa’s was the first wedding I planned. It was a beautiful affair in Key West, Florida and she was a radiant bride. Lisa is such a vibrant and thoughtful person -  I find her enthusiasm for life down right infectious. So, when she embarked upon her new venture with Olive & Cocoa, it seemed like just the most natural fit. Each and every gift at Olive & Cocoa reflects Lisa’s thoughtful nature. Now that gift-giving season is upon us, check out Lisa’s tips below for great gift ideas and be sure to sign up for Olive & Cocoa’s beautiful catalog. Photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdy.

Tell me a little bit about Olive & Cocoa.
 Olive & Cocoa is a catalog and internet purveyor of flowers and gifts.  Our unique floral arrangements and gifts of décor, edibles, fashion and spa items are designed to be chic and elegant with a touch of whimsy.  All of our gifts are always mindful of the recipient and every gift is beautifully wrapped, most often in our signature hand crafted wood crates with luxurious satin ribbon.

Your wood crates are such a great touch and really elevate the gift experience. Can you tell me more about them?
 We really wanted our packaging to be as thoughtful as the gift inside. Not only did we want it to be beautiful, but we also wanted it to be functional beyond a cardboard box and wrapping paper. I love to hear stories of Olive & Cocoa gift-recipients using those crates to store anything and everything, from knickknacks to DVDs. We also do our share to be environmentally friendly - our wood crates are often made of reclaimed wood and contain a custom paper shred made from recycled paper, which protects the precious contents inside.

Each box can be custom branded with a logo or monogram. Once we create the custom brand, you can brand any box in the future for no charge. It’s yours to use for life – even on one gift at a time.

Why the focus on gifts?
 I’ve always been the person who remembers everyone’s birthday (and I mean everyone!). I think gift giving is an art, not an afterthought, and that both giving and receiving a gift should be a beautiful experience.  We want every interaction with Olive & Cocoa to be a reflection of our passion for giving, and have designed our catalog and website to be not just practical but pleasurable to browse and read as well.  In today’s world, we think it is more important than ever that we take time to acknowledge each other, and gift giving is a unique opportunity to do that well.

We also like to share our thoughts about how to use our products and how to navigate today’s complex social world.  We get lots of compliments on the etiquette, design, gift giving and entertaining tips we sprinkle throughout the catalog!

The Olive & Cocoa brand is so unique and fun.  As a wedding planner, I love how you will customize a gift with a design or theme from the wedding, while putting your own spin on it.  What are the top items you think I should suggest for my brides?
 We love to customize welcome gift crates to be reflective of the couple themselves, while being mindful of the fact that out-of-town wedding guests are likely to have to pack up their goodies to travel home.

For Gourmets? Our favorites include our Gourmet Fudge Infusion for something sweet, Fastachi Pistachios for a little crunch, and our Bistro Lunch, which features wine-infused salami with crackers and cheese for savory nibbling.  We also like to incorporate a small cutting board, to make sure that guests will be able to enjoy their snacks “en suite.” Our favorite presentation to date was a collaboration with you! We made a cutting board that we custom branded with the bride and groom’s monogram – a lovely touch that was both practical and provided a take home memento.

Want a more playful touch?  Add some gummy candies – maybe in a color that coordinates with the wedding theme – perhaps a bright, sunny yellow, or maybe all red or pink.


Olive & Cocoa is a great place to find gifts for all occasions (not just weddings!).  What is your best selling item since your debut in 2009?

Our floral designs are so beautiful and unique, our best customers come back time and again for everything from congratulations to thank you, birthday, sympathy, get well, new baby, business and hostess gifts.

As far as housewares, our wine and champagne glasses have been a big hit – maybe something to consider for the newlyweds as well!

And perhaps our biggest surprise?  The wonderful customers who just have to have our beautiful flowers, jewelry, fashion and décor items for themselves!

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