There’s nothing like a good gift. That’s why Love Barrel & Company specialise in creating the best gifts possible, crafting a gifting experience that will elevate any wedding or special occasion. Founded in 2017, the company creates a range of gifts inspired by Paris, love itself and a host of other influences, all perfectly designed to create a memories that will last a lifetime. Schön! speaks with brand founder Sundas Ahearn for insight into the brand.
When did you realise that your passion lay in gifting?
I don’t think I can put a time stamp on it — I’ve always been a giver! I love wrapping presents, and was one of those people who would spend entirely too much time wrapping presents during Christmas and trying to tie the perfect bow. I love the aesthetic of a well wrapped gift, and I also think it is a way to show my love for someone. Like, it’s pretty apparent when someone takes their time to wrap a gift and the recipient can see the effort put into it, you know?
What was it like transitioning from forensic science to running a business?
Well, I started working on the concept while I was still in grad school, so it was never a sudden transition…even now I still work a full-time job as a consultant. But in terms of the fields, they are total opposites! During the day I am incredibly serious and a ball of stress! I love my day job, but the stakes are relatively high. Love Barrel is my happy place. I get to be innovative and exercise creative, happier parts of myself that I don’t get to during the day!
How do your services alleviate stress for brides planning their wedding?
At Love Barrel, we create Gifts for Her, including Brides and Bridesmaid Proposal Boxes. A Bride would essentially choose the item(s) (e.g. robes) she would like to gift to her bridal party, and we carefully package and ship the items in a beautiful Love Box with a proposal written inside, e.g. ‘Will you be my Bridesmaid/Maid of Honor?’ Creating and packaging the gifts take a lot of time and effort and (as we all know) weddings are a ton of work! So by doing that piece for our Brides, we get to be apart of real love stories while also alleviating the stress of the BIG day!
Which 3 pieces from your collection do you wish you had at your own wedding in 2017?
I would say the Proposal Love Boxes, Rose Teddies and the Crystal Heart Pendant Sets
Dressed in your bridal party robes of course, how would your dream Hen party play out?
My dream bachelorette party would involve an intimate circle of my girlfriends, a spa day, getting our nails, hair and makeup done (photograph ready so that we can get some content for the Gram) while Breakfast at Tiffany’s plays in the background. Top that off with a cup of French Hot Chocolate — relaxing and soul-fulfilling!
Which celebrity is the Love Barrel archetype?
If I could reach back in history I would say Audrey Hepburn; in present times I would say Anya Taylor-Joy. Such classic styles, and truly iconic.
As well as brides-to-be, who do you cater to?
We primarily cater to “Her,” as a female led brand, but the heart of Love Barrel is just that: LOVE. So we cater to all those who want to express their love in the form of a gift. While our style is incredibly feminine, and we certainly celebrate femininity with a burning passion, the brand is available to all and any who appreciate the aesthetic.
Your brand is influenced by Paris, what is it about the city that inspires you?
The City of Love — need I say more?! If there were ever a place on earth that exudes love, for me it was always and will always be Paris. To me it was always the hub of romance, luxury and fashion — three things Love Barrel is birthed by. I want that feeling to be transferred everywhere I go, and wanted to bring that vibe to the United States. Ultimately, I want us to be known as the romance-inspired gift shop that incites the same feeling one gets when they kiss their lover in front of the dazzling Eiffel Tower, or as they stroll on the avenue of Champs-Élysées with a fresh florist bouquet in hand, shopping for luxury goods. It’s an entire experience!
Do you think there’s more love in the air post-Covid?
Absolutely! Covid certainly had an incredible impact on everyone across the globe. And although we were forced to shut down societies and distance ourselves from one another, I think, in some ways, it brought us closer together. We went through a globally-shared trauma that has bonded us in ways unimaginable.
What makes a truly magical wedding?
It will sound clichè, and perhaps it is, but the answer is ‘love.’ There is no single ingredient that is more powerful. I remember on my wedding day, I was incredibly stressed. I had finals for CSI leading up to the day — my dress did not fit right, my veil clip broke, my makeup messed up and I had a meltdown (not really sexy). We had spent an entire year planning the nitty gritty, had poured so much of our savings into the occasion, and when it came down to it, things went wrong and it wasn’t entirely glamorous. My single favourite moment on that day was getting to the end of the alter and holding my husband’s hands. He gave me a squeeze and looked into my eyes and that was it for me — I could have been in a shoebox with that man holding my hand and I would have been the luckiest woman alive. It truly is, all about love.