Sioban Ferguson, the creator and author behind the Pretty Cities of Instagram and book series, styles her creations with the Correspondent Collection. Explore her latest book, focusing on our founder's beloved Dublin, here.
As I write this I am surrounded by mounting handheld cases and a panoply of gifts! Whether substantial or small, these are objects of affection I have been gathering with my far-flung nearest and dearest in mind, as well as the many people I want to thank for their immeasurable support this year.
I was so excited to pack this year’s care packages, giddy about all the fabulous things I’d found and special items to which I feel connected through this year’s collaborations. But I became tearful as I filled each case, taking a journey through my closest relationships. Instead of seeing my loved ones, I was writing their names on labels! My mixed feelings summarize the emotional ride of the past year…
While I have spent much of the past year meditating on the immaterial, those priceless acts of kindness and community care, I still adore beautiful things as symbols of creativity and personal style. So in addition to a robust calendar of holiday Zooms, I am taking the time to send care packages the old-school way. These are gifts I have built with items I admire and boxed with the freedom to add notes (no character counts) and contributions—some finer than others!—from my four little lads.
And, as the saying goes, it does feel even better to give than to receive. Like Christmas stockings, care packages are a chance to reflect of what I have noticed and appreciate about someone—preferences I’ve picked up on that convey their personality, things that make me think of our particular relationship, and circumstances I am privy to that this or that gift may help with or enhance, whatever the case may be. It's a chance to say I'm paying attention as well as communicate affection.
So whether it’s for the friend who used to have a glamorous office job and could use a little luxury at home, or someone creative with a passion you want to support, here are some items I’m filling SteamLines with to various beloved in my life. My hope is that these personal touches convey a fraction of the love that normally fills the air between us until we can be together again.
First Things First: The Base to Your SteamLine Care Package
From the Mini for small treasures or a Vanity full of self-care items, to an imaginative Hatbox or Briefcase trousseau, a SteamLine filled with your favorites is the ultimate care package. Here are some of our suggested care package cases:
The Alchemist Small Hatbox | The Botanist Mini (currently available in three colorways) | The Correspondent Vanity
Hatboxes are a great option to start with, for they come in many sizes, as well as colors. The Alchemist's Small Hatbox makes for gorgeous carrying and is the perfect size for a variety of charming items (as well as hats), including our new Travel Journal.
For smaller treasures, the Mini is ideal. Currently available in 18 motifs, there is really a Mini for everyone. Fill it with some favorite beauty minis, something shiny, or a sweet treat and you will make a special someone beam.
Last of our traditional handhelds is the Vanity. Pictured here in the Correspondent Collection's gorgeous soft pink, the Vanity is big enough for more substantial pieces while maintaining the day-bag ease of the Mini.
Now for Sara's Top 20 Holiday Favorites...
In no particular order, these are an assemblage of beautiful and meaningful items our founder stumbled on—many through her partnerships—over the past year. Enjoy building your stocking or SteamLine with those that inspire you!
1. Lake Pajamas are simply the world’s softest. A button-down pajama set looks incredibly dignified, even when you feel like anything but.
2. These silk travel masks by Reuben Avenue keep selling out for a reason. Naturally antimicrobial and easy on skin, they are so flattering, they make mask-wearing as elegant as it is ethical.
3. Gotham Chocolates' New York-inspired range of bean-to-bar chocolates are works of art inside and out. Naturally, our favorite is called Adventurous, meticulously made using 70% dark chocolate from organic local farms in Idukki Hills, India.
4. Algenist is a cosmeceutical-strength vegan skincare range born from algae that is naturally sourced and sustainably produced through biotechnology, the innovative green science that respects nature.
5. Where to start with Jamie Becks’ breathtaking fine art and prints? Most of all we admire the seemingly bottomless well of ideas and commitment that inspired 60 exquisite works of #IsolationCreation during her quarantine in Luberon, France.
6. There is simply no end to how much I adore Of Rare Origins’ cage earrings and the brilliant personality that pours from their brand. I also love everything about their founders’ family story of international heritage. Find and follow them!
7. NEST candles are among the world’s best and I love this Amalfi-inspired combination of zesty lemon and orange bergamot blended with fresh mint and a hint of driftwood. It’s an instant mood-lifter.
8. I am so proud of our first SteamLine Travel Journal. Customized for us by Duffy Bookbinders, Ireland’s oldest bindery, it is hand-bound with linen-finish cloth and holds 160gm ivory paper, inspiring you to, as my motto goes, "slow down and look up."
9. Yoga, yoga, yoga. How do I count the ways you ground and stretch me inside and out! I have missed our classes with studios closed but do my best at home with this fabulous leather mat by Cuyana.
10. I’m over the moon about these Stubbs & Wootton slippers, found on Over the Moon! Even when no one can see my feet, they provide instant dignity and keep me smiling (and warm, and cozy) at my desk all day.
11. Eugenia Kim’s hats are works of art, and her packable options are as gorgeous as they are convenient, even if you are traveling with a protective SteamLine Hatbox. Read our blog about “Ingenious Eugenia” here.
12. These handsome and comfortable headphones by Sennheiser have gotten me through WFH. With the din of my four little lads in the background, they have allowed my meetings to go on uninterrupted—with the occasional screen bombs of course.
13. I can’t say enough about MooGoo’s baby products and must try their adult range. They smell amazing and work wonders on dry delicate skin.
14. I am completely taken Maison Margiela REPLICA fragrance range. With scents inspired by places like a jazz club, fireplace, and library, they are an olfactive journey after my own heart. And this Mini Discover Set lets me scent dabble daily as I am wont!
15. When it comes to hand sanitization, I’ve been getting large bottles of Aesop’s wonderful rinse-free options and decanting into their purse-sized bottles for on-the-go. I love that this year’s holiday gift sets are inspired by literature and travel.
16. We love Nordstrom-made brand Zella because it's a line of comfy performance wear for the whole family. We appreciate their mission to create progressive designs that help us "feel strong, balanced, engaged in the now and ready for what's next."
17. Puzzles have been a mainstay of our home’s COVID survival kit. A lover of Frida Kahlo’s work and life (who isn’t?), this puzzle is a fun and colorful family activity with imagery that parents will appreciate, too.
18. Lauren Taylor’s brilliantly illustrated iPhone covers make me happy every time I see them. They are so whimsical and chic, and of course my favorite is this one with the old-school map. Nostalgia and irony combined!
19 & 20. And saving truly the best for last, our luggage sticker collaboration with Irish film designer Annie Atkins was my shiniest silver lining of a cloudy 2020. IF you can get your hands on her book, sold out BEFORE the New York Times included it in their gift guide, it’s a revelation about her work on films from Joker to The Grand Budapest Hotel. However, we do have stock in her luggage stickers, and they are mini masterpieces of graphic design inspired by these heroic women travel trailblazers. Read our rich interview with Annie here.
Further Fascinating Reading
- Learn about the high quality materials that make SteamLine Luggage cases both beautiful and durable.
- Catch up on important travel tips with our road trip travel guide.
- Explore ways to use your SteamLine case as sightly storage and home decor between sojourns.
- Enjoy our Inspired By series, featuring the influencers and editors who grace our imagery and the world.
- Subscribe to our mailing list to hear from just just once or twice a week — and, we promise, the emails are worthwhile!