Phyla is a new online shop based in Santa Barbara that’s changing the art of gifting. Through the website phylashop.com, users can select from a wide range of products to create an entirely unique gift basket or choose one of the site’s specially curated bundles of goods.
Phyla founder Caroline Law’s goal is to step away from the “gaudy, over-the-top, tacky gift baskets and move towards a clean, modern aesthetic.” Consequently, Phyla’s selected products reflect a bright minimalism, for Law “wanted to put together something beautiful and crisp and succinct in its presentation.”
Beyond the visual appeal, Phyla supports independent makers and sustainable production, and it donates to nonprofit organizations with each sale of a premade bundle. “It’s nice when the caring and gratitude that comes with giving isn’t at conflict with what it is that you’re giving,” said Law. “Because if you’re just giving a cheap, mass-produced item that has actually done some harm in being produced, then there’s a lack of congruity there that is disruptive.
“I like making choices that promote a more beautiful world in my own life, and I know that those choices aren’t always possible or practical,” she explained. “But choosing to give exceptionally beautiful and meaningful gifts that support the kind of world that we want to live in is one of the simplest and best things we can do.”
We asked Law to suggest bundles best suited for the different kinds of people in your life, and here’s what she advised.
For a coworker? The Untamed Bundle. The untamed bundle includes, among other items, “delicious dark chocolate from Oakland” and some great cocktail mixers. “The idea of it being ‘untamed’ is perfect for a coworker, for it’s a nice way to encourage them to enjoy themselves on the weekend and to relax,” said Law.
For your significant other? The Green Glow Bundle. For a gender-neutral option especially, the Green Glow Bundle is a great choice. Among other products, it includes “a really good green tea, a strainer to brew it with, and this beautiful handcrafted tea scoop from Ojai.”
For a friend? The Good Host Bundle. “One of my favorites is the Good Host Bundle,” said Law. “It’s got beautiful linen napkins that are made in Portland, along with just a little bit of everything. It’s a nice all-around gift for somebody that you know enjoys entertaining, and also to help them build the kind of pantry that would allow them to feel more comfortable doing it.”