12 Days of Giving with The Gift Card Project

It’s no secret that this year’s holiday season is different. 

In years past, we’d all be focused on shopping, prepping, and planning for gatherings with our loved ones. This year, we’re reminded of what is most important in a completely new way. As many have altered plans due to the pandemic, we can’t help but think about those who are most affected this year. 

For those whose health has remained intact, there have been other repercussions:

  • 600 Connecticut restaurants have closed since March.
  • 35,000 businesses have closed. 
  • 277,000 jobs have been eliminated. 
  • 43% of Connecticut unemployment claims came from closed and nonoperational businesses, including restaurants, bars, nail and hair salons, and museums.

The season of giving brings out generosity and compassion every year – and this year is no different! I’m continuously amazed at all the incredible things individuals and businesses in our communities continue to do this year. 

Many have reached out to ask how to help along the Connecticut shoreline, and that’s where The Gift Card Project comes in!

The Gift Card Project

The Gift Card Project launched in March 2020 in response to the desire of so many people asking how they can help. 

The Gift Card Project aims to help in more than one way:

  1. By buying gift cards from small businesses, you help support your favorite local restaurants and shops.  
  2. Those gift cards are then given to someone who could use a boost. The Gift Card Project handles distribution to ensure gift cards get to those in need! 

Simply buy a gift card from a small business, email or send it to The Gift Card Project, and we’ll distribute it to those who need it most: families struggling to make ends meet, restaurant workers whose hours have been cut, and business owners forced to close their doors. 

From March through May, the Gift Card Project collected and distributed over $20,000 worth of gift cards to members of the community. This holiday season, we’re looking to match that amount!

Learn more about how you can help at The Gift Card Project.

Shop Small this Holiday Season!

There are two types of people: those who finish their holiday shopping and wrap all their gifts before December hits, and those who wait till the last minute. 

No matter what your shopping style is, this year, supporting small businesses is more important than ever. Walking into these local shops truly puts me in the holiday spirit. Decorations and lights, smiling people, and incredible customer service put the joy back into holiday shopping – no matter how long you wait to get started. 

Take a look at some of the local small businesses where you can do your shopping this season!

Home Design and Decor


Artisan Tile

Connecticut Lighting Centers

Page Hardware & Appliance Co.

CT Metal Railings

Madison Furniture Barn

The Rustic Barn

Saybrook Home

Mix Design Store

Treasures Old Lyme


Ella, Where She Shops

Tracy Brent Collections

Just Hatched

Lulu’s Chichi Boutique

Angie Lu

Robertson Madison

Ciao Bella

Country Shop of Madison

Neighborhood Vintage

Walker Loden

Toys, Books, and More

Jordie’s Toy Shoppe

RJ Julia Booksellers

Breakwater Books

The Purple Bear

Toys Ahoy!


Village Chocolatier

Sweet Creations

Thompson Chocolate

PaperScape Artworks

I know I haven’t included all of the incredible local shops – comment and let me know where you’ll be doing your holiday shopping!

For those who are looking for ways to give back during this holiday season, we’re still collecting gift cards for The Gift Card Project! Simply pick up a gift card while you’re at one of your favorite local spots, mail it to The Gift Card Project, care of One + Company, 350 Goose Lane Suite 201B, Guilford, CT 06437, and we’ll take care of the rest!

Introducing The Social [RE]design

I’m so excited to introduce you to The Social Redesign: a new platform where we can design and learn together. 

What led me here….

Those of you who were part of The House that Social Media Built know my love for design and community. That journey marked an amazing four years of learning, swooning over tile choices (among other design elements!), and connecting with incredible people and businesses in Connecticut and beyond. 

What many of you don’t know is that I do so much more than flips! As a real estate agent with over a decade of experience, I work with builders, developers, and homeowners on a regular basis. 

I realized in the past, I only shared such a small part of what I do. And the desire to share more sparked the next step on my journey.

The Social Redesign

So what is The Social Redesign? It’s a deep dive into all things home design – from dilapidated homes to brand new developments – from mood boards to floor plans. With each new project, I’m inviting you to join by voting on your elements and watch your vision come to life.

But that’s not all. 

I receive so many questions about interior design. And I thought, why not make those questions part of the journey? I’ll be featuring YOUR questions about YOUR homes, and giving you my best insights along the way. 

First Project

Right now, I’m gearing up for the first project for The Social Redesign – a blank slate in an award-winning luxury development at 66 High Street. Join me and the Horton Group team as we turn studs into something spectacular!

Can’t wait to see you there!

Follow along!

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