Curate Chicago: The Crème de la Crème

Sometimes gift giving is hard. Everyone has that one person in his or her life that is impossible to shop for. You want to give them something unique but can never quite figure it out, and before you know it you’re running around like a lunatic on Christmas Eve trying to scrape together a suitable present. This year I plan to skip the drama and order my most difficult-to-shop-for’s gift from Curate Chicago. The chance to support local and not have to gift-wrap? Sign me up!

This modern gifting company was created by husband and wife duo, Christina and Marco Oropeza. After working in buying and merchandising for Bloomindales in NYC and Paper Source in Chicago, Christina decided it was time to start her own business. “It was a long time coming. I love paper and I love gifts and I wanted to do my own thing,” she shared. And out of that love Curate Chicago was born. The dexterous way in which they select and pair products for their gift boxes shows that they possess an eye for what works well together.


There is a long and thoughtful process behind assembling each curated gift box. “Every box develops a personality. My husband and I always laugh because we refer to them by their first names.” So how does the box building process begin? Christina and her husband travel to New York and visit NY Now, an innovative home décor and gift tradeshow, and search for the crème de la crème.

They look for items that are unique and beautiful, but still have practicality. “We work to pair products by occasion and then we make sure they look aesthetically beautiful, and then we make sure they make sense together. There is a lot of refining and making sure that the products are elevated.” They’re also quick to use items from local artisans. Some of their favorites include Tatine, Crash Candles and Up in the Air.

But the detail to attention begins with the outside of the box. Christina passionately said, “The packaging is an area of pride. My favorite artist is Jackson Pollock so I wanted packaging that was modern and interesting that stood out but didn’t have a logo. I wanted people to be able to use it at home but still know that it was ours.”


Photo Credit: Curate Chicago

She totally nailed it. The box is absolutely stunning — white, with a metallic gold splatter print and a large black bow, it’s distinctly unique (and something I’ve been keeping out in my living room). So what’s in the box? That’s totally up to you! There are a variety of boxes for every taste. I’m particularly drawn to the Julia, a box fit for foodies, and the Charlie, a special edition box that celebrates Chicago.

Photo Credit: Curate Chicago
Photo Credit: Curate Chicago

There’s even a box that is just for newlyweds and a box for babies, so you’ll literally never have to do any work putting together a shower gift again. Curate Chicago also just launched a new build-a-box service that allows users to go through the entire gift inventory and create their own box based on occasion and price point. So, what are you waiting for? Gifting doesn’t get easier (or more stunning) than this.

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