Shop Talk: Hostess Gift Ideas From an Artisanal Gifting Company Owner
Plus: A rabbi from Silver Spring who bends cutlery into jewelry
Photo by Matthew Stebenne
Around the Bend
When we’re bored during commercial breaks, most of us turn to our phones. When Silver Spring’s Doug Heifetz waited for Vikings to come back on in July 2015, he started bending cutlery. It wasn’t a new hobby for Heifetz, then the rabbi at Oseh Shalom, a synagogue in Laurel. He’d turned a few forks into bracelets while he was studying at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
“They weren’t much to look at, but they were conversation pieces,” he says.
By August 2015, Heifetz was sourcing antique flatware, cabinet hardware and copper online and from Value Village and Unique Thrift, both in Silver Spring. Then he used tools he had around the house to bend materials into pendants, rings, watchbands, money clips and candlesticks. He posted his mystical-looking creations on Facebook, where purchase requests from friends—and soon strangers—started rolling in.
Sensing an opportunity, Heifetz concocted a business name—Lost & Forged—and opened an Etsy storefront that November (he also sold items at his synagogue’s gift shop). In December 2015, he took a three-month sabbatical to enroll in a silversmithing class in the District, where he refined his movements, and replaced his bolt cutters and bench grinders with proper jeweler’s tools.
Though still a novice, Heifetz applied to exhibit at Baltimore’s Artscape, where he was selected as a 2016 emerging artist. He was able to get silver demitasse cuff spoon rings—his most popular item—included in celebrity swag bags at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards through The Artisan Group, a California-based organization that helps small-scale creators with celebrity product placement. Lost & Forged jewelry has appeared on Freeform’s The Fosters, and has been wor n by MTV actresses Danielle Savre and Benita Robledo.
Heifetz, 43, married with two children, ages 7 and 10, is pursuing his entrepreneurial passions full time now (he also runs slingitback.com, which enables users to donate automatically to Planned Parenthood each time President Donald Trump tweets, and mosaicverse.com, a searchable digital library of sacred writings). But he won’t forget the influence his religious work has had on his metalwork.
“I’ve always loved rescuing old things—old materials, old ideas,” Heifetz says. “I love finding things that could be of value that are undervalued or forgotten. And that’s true to some extent [in religious work]. In either scenario, I find the gems of the past and rework them so that they can add to people’s lives today.”
Photos courtesy of Lost & Forged
1. Leilani Silver Whole Spoon Ring, made from a vintage demitasse spoon; $40
2. Apple Watch Sterling Silver Fork “Watch Tips” Watchband (watch not included), made from two vintage dinner forks; sterling silver, $360; silver plate, $230
3. Melodia Sterling Silver Fork Pendant Necklace, made from vintage flatware; $250
4. Reclaimed Miracle Silver Hanukkah Menorah, made from 11 vintage silver spoons; sterling silver, $1,000; silver plate, $500
Lost & Forged jewelry is available on Etsy, at lostandforged.com and at Kensington’s Goldsborough Glynn. Prices range from $20 to $1,000; custom work and engraving is also available.
A Warm Welcome
Need a hostess gift idea? Jamie Kutchman Wynne, owner of Marigold & Grey, is an expert at putting together gift baskets. She’s pictured with a collection of treats that would make a nice gift for your next event. It could include Enid Romanoff notecards (8 for $14 at The Blue House in Bethesda), a milk chocolate tablet ($9 at Tout De Sweet Pastry Shop in Bethesda), or the Chouquette Monument chocolate set ($6 at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda). Add local coffee, coasters or a candle, too. Photo by Michael Ventura
Before her 2012 wedding in Lexington, Virginia, bride-to-be Jamie Kutchman Wynne spent 40-plus hours on welcome bags filled with local treats and tips for enjoying the small town. Then her planner delivered the bags to the wrong hotel. The less-than-stellar experience inspired Wynne to found Marigold & Grey, an artisanal gifting company, two years later.
Today, the Chevy Chase resident creates wedding welcome gifts that include something salty, something sweet, a beverage and a keepsake. She hand-delivers them to hotels within an hour and a half driving distance.
From breakfast-in-bed gifts for a French-inspired wedding at The Mayflower Hotel to a socially conscious gift for a modern Long View Gallery wedding, both in the District, Wynne focuses on customization. She includes products based on wedding locations—which cross the country—and the special day’s aesthetic, and other items that are personal to the couple.
Working out of a 2,500-square-foot Kensington warehouse, Wynne has catered to high-profile customers such as NBA player Harrison Barnes, who got married in Rhode Island and shared items such as Newport popcorn and saltwater taffy with guests. Corporate clients such as Capital One and The Hay-Adams hotel in the District also use Wynne’s boutique gifting service. Prices begin at about $2,000 per project. marigoldgrey.com