Vicki Roan is the Grande Dame of delight. As the founder and proprietor, visionary and ambassador of Austin’s most luxe and lovely jewel box, the aptly named The Menagerie, she curated a collection of everything from tableware to arm candy, and every bespoke little gift in between, to add that certain cush and sparkle to your life.
Ever the southern lady, Vicki has recently taken to Instagram (and a soon-to-be-launched blog) to share her time-tested tips and tricks from Miss Manners rules of table setting, to how to stack a row of bangles on the wrist. She invited A Fashionating Life to collaborate on her famed personalized service, The Wish List.
And what better time than the holiday season to make a grown-up Letter to Santa than with the ultimate Ms. Clause herself, at this glammed up but proper lady’s – and gentlemen’s – North Pole outpost*. Who needs Santa’s workshop when you have got Vicki’s Menagerie! (*They do have gifts for kids as well, but this is the adult’s toy store, so leave them at home.)
As you can imagine, we were delighted when they asked if we would curate a Holiday Gift Guide for them and could not wait to get started!
I have known Vicki and her family for years. I have bought jewelry from her, as well as everything from weddings to baby gifts, even corporate business treats. You cannot walk in without seeing a dozen things you immediately want to take home. Vicki carries the top lines in China, crystal and silver, and has a jewelry case whose twinkle and shine rivals Harry Winston. She has custom pieces, designer lines, and one of a kind heirloom treasures. But Vicki also carries unique personal gifts, from the necessary (desk calendars, letter openers, ice buckets) to the gift for that person who had everything (a giant powder puff, whimsical flasks, Lucite antler candelabra). You cannot help but find something for everyone on your list. There is so much more to say about Vicki – talk about a Fashionator – and we will profile her in a separate post. Trust us, if you do not know her, you need to.
As you may know, I was born in NYC, which will explain why my reaction when I first walked into The Menagerie was, “Holy Moly! This place is like FAO Schwartz for adults!” The store sparkles on a normal day, so when it is the holidays, it is downright dazzling. Like an insect to a bright light, I want all the pretty things. When it comes to home décor, I tend toward minimalism, slightly Scandinavian, with an eclectic, vintage feel. Upon first glance, The Menagerie might look a little too glam, Hollywood Regency for someone with my tastes, but there is PLENTY to put on my Wish List. I want that Lucite bar cart and most of the accessories. And since I am arguably one of those people who has everything, I am coveting the aforementioned Lucite antler candelabra as well– also pictured below. They have great cocktail books, stationery, and pens, candles, jewelry dishes and the jewelry to go in it. There is that one special something for every person on your shopping list this holiday season.
We both agree that any gift you buy from The Menagerie is destined to be that one gift that is not only still on display but appreciated and cherished long after the holidays are over. Without further ado, here is our Holiday Gift Guide with The Menagerie:
- Edible Treats – The Menagerie’s holiday only offering. From Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls and melt in your mouth peppermints, to her famous Menagerie Munchies cheese wafer bites, Vicki checks the “holiday nibbles” box of entertaining and gifting.
- Wooden Boards – Massive and beautiful in a variety of shapes and sizes. Use this for anything from serving charcuterie and cheeses to a rustic alternative to a cocktail tray. This marble and onyx one line is an Honorable Mention.
- Decorative Holiday Tea Towels & Bar Napkins – The Menagerie is the only place in town that sells Austin original August Morgan (one of our favorites!) “punny” embroidered linen cocktail napkins in singles. Everywhere else sells them as sets. It is even more fun to mix and match your custom collection with Vicki and her staff, and support TWO local women-owned businesses with one purchase!
- Scent-sible Gifts – From candles to diffusers and powder puffs, oh my! No home is complete without appealing to the olfactory senses and The Menagerie offers a delicious variety of fragrances in multiple forms for your house or as a hostess gift.
- Barware – Just one piece from their Lucite and gold barware is an amazing gift. Very au courant modern pieces mixed with exquisite cut crystal appeals to all tastes and lifestyles. Honorable Mention, this tequila shot set. #Texas
- Lucite Bar – With gold accents. Enough said. This was the wow piece – aside from the jewelry case which we will get to in a minute. We would both get this gorgeous Palla Pitcher to sit on top of it. This sleek Double Wall Party Tub that holds 12 bottles of wine is a fantastic Honorable Mention.
- Flasks – The antler inlay in a few of the flasks pictured make this a perfect gift for the man in your life. The silver one with the bass detail is great if that man is also into fishing (and if he hunts, click here. But there are plenty of flasks for the ladies too. And they are a perfect size to slip discreetly into that evening bag. Honorable Mention, The Menagerie sells darling vintage evening bags with the most delicate beading.
- Desk Calendars & Accessories – Beautiful letterpressed card stock calendars on dainty easels are an old school way to keep up with the ambiguity of the days in which we are living. Another all-time favorite go-to gift is the “pound of paper“ monogrammed notepads complete with a Lucite tray to hold it. These are perfect for men, women, and children, at home, office, or (home)school to make lists, notes, or just doodle on. Everyone we know will be getting one!
- Tiny little bowls – For placing on a coffee table filled with nuts, to slip your rings on your nightside table or on the bathroom vanity. These Buccellati sterling dishes in the shape of dainty flowers are perfection.
- Jewelry – We saved the best for last. Even if you are not in the market for a sparkler, Vicki and her team are just as happy to host you at the jewelry case to play dress up and dream. Because this is where it all started. From the little gold bead necklaces she began buying wholesale at-market for her friends, to the one-of-a-kind keepers in an array of carats, and everything in between.
We had SO. MUCH. FUN. creating our Christmas wish list at The Menagerie* and encourage you to go do the same. Tell them A Fashionating Life sent you. Shopping at The Menagerie is more like having a grown-up play date with a new girlfriend. And as the name of the store suggests, as you can see from our list, it is indeed the menagerie of treasures in Texas and beyond.
The Menagerie is located at 1601 West 38th Street, Suite 7 in Austin, in The Jefferson Square Shopping Center. They offer the best, personalized customer service if you want to call ahead at 512.453.6466. To view their website, click here.
*We also felt extremely safe shopping at The Menagerie, as they are following all COVID protocols, including requiring masks for entry and limiting the number of people in the store at one time.
Photography by B & L Creative and A Fashionating Life