If you’ve been noticing that people are personalizing everyday, utilitarian items to make them feel unique, you’re not alone — it seems like just about anything you can buy these days has the option to be bespoke. I personally hopped on the boat tote craze a few months ago, a twist on customizing the beloved L.L. Bean bags with ironic monogramming like “Old Celine” or “ForThePlot.” Not only are these go-with-you-everywhere bags sturdy, but the also have had a resurgence of being cool — especially when emblazoned with a cheeky phrase.
But it’s not just bags that people are customizing — everything from matchbooks to keychains to pet bowls seem to have an option to upgrade with a personal twist. Katie Kime, owner of the eponymous home goods and fashion brand, says to think outside the box when you’re trying to modernize the monogram.
“My advice for taking on this customization trend with a fresh perspective? Instead of the classic three-letter interlocked monogram, try a simple block font, or get creative with the message you want to inscribe — maybe a nickname or a favorite phrase,” she suggests.
If you’re wondering why this trend is having such a resurgence, there are two reasons. First, people are embracing little luxuries and love having something unique to them — even if it’s just a simple, everyday item like a pen. The second is simpler, says Kime. “The beauty of customization is that the options are endless!” Below, see some of my favorite ways to personalize just about anything.
Throw Back Trend for 2024
Jordan Ferney, creator of Oh Happy Day! and The Color Factory, is one of my favorite sources for clever gift ideas and general decorating eye candy. I’ve seen her talking about customizing the humble pencil to make back-to-school supplies just a little more interesting.
Yeti is known for their exceptional quality, and this mug is no exception. I love that there are so many fun colors to choose from (I’m all over that Cosmic Lilac colorway) and you can choose from their gallery of designs or upload your own, which is so fun.
Apple offers free engraving when you purchase AirTags through them, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of that? I want to buy one for my pup, Pidgin, engraved with her name or a little bird emoji.
I got one of these cases recently and have been loving it. I just did my monogram, but I can see having fun with it, a la the ironic boat totes. A bonus is that the texture of the case is oddly satisfying and when I’m feeling fidgety I’ll trace the letters with my fingers.
I’m obsessed with these cuties. You can tell the shop owner some details about your pet, like that they love hot dogs and swimming in lakes, and they’ll personalize the bowl accordingly. It would make me happy every time I filled up my dog’s water!
Yes, I’ve jumped on the pickleball wagon, and I love this cute drawstring tote that’s a more chic way to carry your paddles to and from the court.
These come in a good range of colors and will make finding your keys at the bottom of your purse a little easier.
Remember those monogram necklaces that were so popular in, like, 2010? Consider these to be the modern take: The shop owner takes the letters of your name and creates a uniquely shaped pendant that looks more like art than letters.
Of course, names don’t have to be the only way to personalize items — personalized gifts or accessories can take on a variety of forms. Whatever you pick, it’s sure to stand out, so go ahead and be as unique as you want!