How to Gift Well According to Erica Coffman and Lauren Kolodny


Since launching their design blog Honestly WTF in 2010, best friends Lauren Kolodny and Erica Coffman have turned their love of great discoveries into a digital destination for just about everything, from recipes to street style, up-and-coming artists to chic DIYs. In the holiday spirit of sharing, we asked the web-savvy, California-based pair a few questions about how to #giftwell IRL.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given someone?

Lauren: One year, my boyfriend, an artist, asked me to paint him the meaning of life. I painted him a life-size plaster statue of our bulldog, Gordos.

Erica: I had snapshots from recent family vacations printed and bound into beautiful hardback photo albums from Artifact Uprising. My parents absolutely loved it.

Tell us about a particularly practical gift.

Lauren: I received a crêpe pan and cookbook one year, and though I would never have bought it for myself, I loved that thing and used it weekly.

Erica: I gave my in-laws a nonstick pan. I can’t tell you how much more enjoyable it is to make eggs at their house on the weekends.

What’s the best gift the Internet has ever given you?

Lauren: First, a career. Second, a community. Once, I Instagrammed a photo of acorns and a lady in Texas told me hers were twice the size of mine and sent me a box. She was right: Everything is bigger in Texas.

Erica: The most enjoyable, inspiring job I’ve had to date: being the executive editor of our two blogs, HonestlyWTF and HonestlyYUM.

How does HonestlyWTF celebrate the holidays?

Lauren: Making pom-pom garlands. This was one of our first DIYs, and now we use them for Christmas, birthdays, baby showers, weddings, everything.

Erica: We throw a big dinner party with friends and family. Did we mention the pom-pom garlands?

What’s your favorite way to give back?

Lauren: Erica and I both grew up in Southern California just minutes from the water, so we love Heal the Bay’s mission to preserve and protect our beloved beaches and bays.

Erica: My childhood memories, like Lauren’s, are directly connected to the surf, salty sea air, fine sand and majestic sunsets, so you can imagine how upsetting it is to see our beaches polluted with untreated wastewater and litter. We’re totally behind Heal the Bay.

You need to take a holiday moment for yourself—how do you de-stress?

Lauren: A quick visit to the Korean Day Spa for a soak and scrub.

Erica: Sitting alone to wrap presents with a glass of wine. I love wrapping presents—it’s meditative.

What’s your strategy for making your gift list? Pinboard or actual list?

Lauren: Even though I love to pin, I prefer the old-fashioned way.

 Erica: I keep a running list on my iPhone so I can immediately jot down ideas.

Who’s one person you’ve never given a gift to but really need to? 

Lauren: Probably lots of people!

Erica: My FedEx, UPS and USPS deliverymen and women. I’m on a first name basis with most of them, so it’s about time to add them to my gift-giving list!

Lauren and Erica are wearing their own Madewell jeans. Shop our entire assortment of denim here.

Shop Lauren and Erica’s gift guide picks here.

Photography by Angi Welsch.