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Fort Worth’s Most Distinctive Store — Step Inside Gifted for a New Level of Personal Presents

Woman Entrepreneur Highlights Artists and Makers in Her Foundry District Haven

BY // 09.25.19

When I met Esther Miller, founder and owner of Fort Worth’s Gifted, I was immediately struck by her California cool style and warm aura. After we sat down, I quickly learned that Miller is more than chic style and good taste. She’s an extremely capable business woman with a penchant for buying swoon-worthy items and gift wrap.

Miller comes from a long line of entrepreneurs that came to the United States from Korea. However, her parents followed their passions instead of getting involved in family businesses.

Her mother is an artist and her father is a history professor, a career path that would lead him to eventually accept a position at TCU that would bring the family to Fort Worth. Miller learned from her mother to always value the process of creating, but she has entrepreneurial blood running in her veins.

With that powerful combination, she began noticing a gap in Fort Worth for a high-end store that carried one of a kind, artisanal items. Previously, Miller worked for Dickies where she traveled internationally often and became an expert at shopping in boutiques and picking up on eccentric details.

Armed with this knowledge, she decided to open Gifted as a destination lifestyle store that carries design-conscious and highly personalized gifts for the home and individuals. After opening in the Foundry District in the summer of 2018, Gifted has quickly gained a reputation around town as a store to buy a pick-me-up for yourself or a place to pick up a little something for a hard to buy for relative.

“In recent years, I feel there’s been a lot of resentment in retail,” Miller tells PaperCity. “There needed to be a store in Fort Worth where people could fall in love with the shopping process again. I also really wanted to create a space for artisan-made gifts because I have so much respect for those makers. I want to be a vehicle for those artists and their goods.

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“After a year in business, I learned that I can’t do it alone. After leaving the corporate world and opening Gifted, I was so hungry to challenge myself and learn something new. My motto was to say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity, but when I did that 24-7, 365, I was drained.

“I was trying to balance being a mother, a wife and business owner. I began to realize I needed a team.”

In true Miller fashion, she made it happen. She now emphasizes a positive customer experience as the utmost important goal with her staff, second only to constantly researching new makers.

Another tip for thriving one year into this venture?

“Celebrate the small wins,” Miller says. “Everyday someone comes into my store and purchases something is a gift because in the beginning I had no idea if anyone would.”

When you walk into Gifted, you’re greeted by the intoxicating spa-like scent and the overall minimalist, but never stark, atmosphere. Then you cannot help but be struck by how incredibly well curated each corner of the store is.

You automatically feel at home, or at the very least, like you’d like to take it all home.

“It is the ultimate compliment when people come in and say they want to live in my store,” Miller says.

Gifted Fort Worth
Gifted is a Fort Worth haven for distinctive finds.

Gifted carries skin care and cosmetics, none of which are mass-produced. Brands like Noto, a Sicilian made, all natural, multi-use and gender fluid cosmetic and skincare line are stocked on the shelves. Handmade intricate jewelry lines the store as well. Sustainable brand Machete with its trademark tortoise acetate earrings are artfully laid about the store.

More recently, Gifted began carrying Gjenmi jewelry, a high end line of dainty 14K gold jewelry begging to be turned into family heirlooms. You can also find ceramics from Kendall Davis Clay, a local artist renowned for her minimalist aesthetic and Virginia Sin designs that are innovative and unique.

The store also features stationary, various home goods and children’s toys. When all is said and done Gifted features more than 100 makers and artists in store. Gifted truly stands out from the North Texas crowd because of the degree of thoughtfulness that goes into every bit of the store.

From the customer service, to the layout, the extensive selection and even the gift wrap, this store has quickly emerged as a Fort Worth must-visit.

Gifted is located at 212 Carroll Street in Fort Worth’s Foundry District. For more information, click here.

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