Valleybrink Road's Gifting Guru Barrett Prendergast On Creating the Perfect Last-Minute Gift Box
Photos: Niki Sebastian unless otherwise noted
Take a scroll through Valleybrink Road's Instagram feed and we can guarantee you'll feel inspired to pick up fresh blooms at your local flower mart or create an organic farm(er's market)-to-table meal from scratch. The floral design and luxury gifting company is the brainchild of FMLA Barrett Prendergast, who puts her magical touch on everything from inventive bouquets and inspiring tablescapes to wholesome smoothies and the most thoughtful artisanal gift boxes.
Here, we get to know the stylish gifting guru to find out how she arrived at Valleybrink Road, what it's like to live a day in her shoes, her top gifting hacks (we're all ears!), and more. Read on below, then take a peek at her website for more lifestyle inspiration, recipes, and more.
What do you do, and what has been your career journey thus far?
My husband, Andre, and I own a floral design and luxury gifting company based in Los Angeles called Valleybrink Road. For most of my twenties, I worked in fashion. Andre and I had a handbag line for a few years and, after we closed it, I started to really think about what I wanted to do with my life. Everything kept coming back to entertaining and making beautiful things. So, I started a little blog called Valleybrink Road. The rest is history.
What's the name and age of your little one?
Costa Valentino Vippolis, who's almost 3 years old.
What's a typical workday like for you, from the moment you wake up?
Costa is an early riser, so a lot happens in the morning. We wake up, snuggle for a little bit, and then head to the kitchen. He's usually super hungry so it is always kind of a rush to make him something to eat right away. He usually helps to make a smoothie or whip up some scrambled eggs. I love cooking with him and it is our special time in the morning.
Then, we play for a bit, get ready for preschool and work, and head out for the day. Once I have dropped him off, I head to our warehouse in Glendale where I oversee all of the daily gift box and flower deliveries going out for the day, return emails, shoot some content, and kind of keep at the endless work hustle until it is time to go pick up Costa from school.
Once we get home, I start dinner right away and we eat together as a family and talk about our day. We then have some play, relaxation time with Costa, and then bath, pjs, reading, and bed. To be honest, I pretty much go to bed right away after all that! It is exhausting!
We've all had those frustrating moments in motherhood — what's one that you can laugh about now in retrospect?
I have literally cried when Costa has thrown a perfectly good dinner on the floor. He was tired and irritable. And, I was tired and sensitive. A terrible combination!
Photo: Morgan Pansing
Given that you're the queen of thoughtful gifting, what were some of the most treasured gifts that you received when you were a new mama?
Homemade food! I was so blessed when I had Costa to have so many friends come and bring us delicious, home cooked meals. You are ravenous when you are breastfeeding, so it was such a treat to have the fridge stocked with quick things to eat. Also, a friend brought me these amazing lactation bars from a woman named Mama Mandy. She calls them Mama Bars and sells them on her site. They are so delicious and filled with super foods that are known to increase a mama’s milk supply.
What are your top "gifting hacks" when you're in a rush and need to put something together fast?
- See if you have any extra candles or unused beauty products lying around
- Use kraft paper as wrapping paper
- Add some greenery or fresh flowers from the yard as the finishing touch on top of the gift
- Have your child make an adorable “homemade card” when you realize you have run out of stationery
- Use a mason jar as a vase and fill it with greenery, herbs, and any blooms that you might be able to find outside
Favorite healthy snack recipe(s) for you or your little one and why do you love it?
These gluten-free peanut butter energy balls are amazing. Costa and I have been living on them. They are so easy to make, keep for a week in the fridge, and your kids will love them too!
Current favorite kids clothing brands?
Nico Nico Clothing and Zara.
Current favorite grown-up clothing brands?
Beauty product you can't live without?
True Botanicals' Nutrient Mist.
Best advice for women who want to succeed in your field?
Be ready to work harder than you ever have before. When you fall, remember to get back up again and keep moving forward.