Emma Grede seems to have it all. Not only is business mogul the co-founder behind plant-powered cleaning brand Safely, but Grede is the woman behind the Kardashians’ sprawling fashion empires (she’s the co-founder and CEO of Good American alongside Khloe Kardashian and a founding partner of Kim Kardashian’s Skims). And with great power comes great responsibility, so she uses her platform and expertise to help promote Black businesses as the chairwoman of the Fifteen Percent Pledge, an organization that urges retailers to reserve 15 percent of its stock for Black designers and brands. If that isn’t a hard enough résumé to manage, she also just had twins, so add mother of four to her list.
With friends in high places and her own vacation destinations, designer closet, and luxurious lifestyle to match, what does Grede give and get for the holidays? For this entrepreneur, it’s not the sticker value that matters but the time spent with the people you care about (with a little bit of designer thrown in). As a mother, conscious shopper, and lover of limited-edition Hermès bags, Grede told ELLE.com exactly what’s on her wish list, the chicest thing you can gift under $30, and more holiday suggestions, below.
What are you most excited about during the holidays?
It has to be all the cooking and preparation! For me, food is such a source of nostalgia. All those smells bring back so many memories, and carrying on my family’s traditions by cooking for my kids makes me so happy and proud.
What is your favorite memory of opening a gift?
My favorite memory of opening a gift was my first Chanel handbag, because well…it’s a Chanel bag and something I will have forever. I always dreamed of having one and wouldn’t dare spend the money. Plus, it was such a treat that it came from my husband.
Do you have a gift-giving strategy? Are you meticulously going through lists or do you shop last-minute? Do you have a budget? Are you consciously shopping certain brands and designers?
As the chairwoman of the Fifteen Percent Pledge, I’m always conscious of the origin of products and specifically look for Black-owned businesses. This year, we’re encouraging everyone to take at least 15 percent of their holiday gift budget and support Black-owned businesses. In the process of shopping and supporting these entrepreneurs, I’ve discovered so many incredible brands and products that I probably never would have before!
What is the #1 thing on your personal wish list?
You have $50 to give something to your best friend. What is it?
Tea from Brooklyn Tea and the new limited-edition candle from Safely that I will be launching soon. It literally transforms your home into a luscious meadow out of a fairy tale. Plus, it burns for 60 hours—meaning you’ll have a beautifully-smelling home for every holiday, dinner, and cozy night in this season.
You walk into a big-box store. What are you buying for your mom?
I prefer to shop at retailers that have taken the Fifteen Percent Pledge commitment, like Nordstrom. I love their home selection and feel like moms appreciate something they can display—a little reminder of their daughter! You can never go wrong with a cute throw blanket or pretty coffee table book.
Favorite gift you found on Amazon?
The Oculus Quest 2! Even the 100th time I put this VR headset on, I was just as amazed as the first. Every day I’m discovering new possibilities and love being able to go on countless adventures, right from my couch.
What is the best gift that is not a physical object?
Time. There’s really nothing as valuable as time—something I hope we can all slow down and think about this holiday season. Especially as a mom and seeing my kids experience all of their firsts, the concept of time has really taken on a whole new meaning. I find myself wishing I could pause for a moment.
Congrats on your newborn twins, by the way! What is a great gift for a new mom that most people don’t think of that is actually helpful?
I think coming to see the mom might be the best gift. Everyone thinks you need time and I’m just like, “Come over and see me and my adorable babies already!”
What do your kids want for the holidays vs. what do you want to give them?
My kids want copious amounts of plastic in the shape of dollhouses and action figures. I want to buy them very small toys that blend into the house a tad more seamlessly.
You and some of your friends and business partners are a little fancy. What’s a gift under $30 for someone who seemingly has it all?
You can never go wrong with a good book that you’ve read and know they’ll appreciate. Or, if they’re not a reader, a fabulous candle from Frères Branchiaux.
What is a generic, but great gift you keep on deck? The kind of crowd-pleaser you can have in stock just in case you forgot someone on your list?
Oh, fancy lotion for sure. My current obsession is Safely’s Hand Cream. It’s at such a great price point but smells and feels so luxurious, I don’t feel bad having tons on deck for last-minute gifts.