Tara Riceberg, the dynamic owner of Tesoro gift store, wears many hats. In 2004, after more than a decade of overseeing her family’s home design store on Beverly Blvd, she closed Tesoro to launch her home styling company called Tweak. By December 2004, she pivoted back to retail by opening a holiday pop up pre-wrapped gift store inside Saks Fifth Avenue and had successful holiday pop-up for the remainder of the decade. Following requests from her clients, Tara expanded her business and reopened Tesoro on Canon Drive in December 2019. Alongside her entrepreneurial pursuits, Tara has lobbied Congress on behalf of the National Retail Federation. And recently, she was appointed as an advisory member of the Beverly Hills Recreation and Parks Commission, beginning January 1st, 2024.
I discovered Tesoro when I met with friends for lunch at Il Pastaio next door. Tara, a self-described ‘Curator of Happiness’ is a warm and vibrant natural beauty with a dazzling smile and long blonde hair, bearing a resemblance to the iconic beauty, Farrah Fawcett. As a recognized expert in home design and retail, she is often quoted in national publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.
“Do you know why we’re the best gift store ever?” Tara asked me enthusiastically, holding up a pretty wrapped book. “We believe in gift wrapping. Jasmine actually hand-paint the wrapping paper. Then at the time of purchase, that’s when I put a bow on it.”
The name Tesoro, meaning “treasure” in Spanish and Italian, perfectly encapsulates the diverse selection of luxurious gifts for all ages. The sunlit store is enveloped in neutral tones with marble floor and shelves displaying exquisite hostess gifts, including elegant coffee table books, crystal frames, beautiful candles, gold and silver salad tongs, as well as an elegant 12-inch stone bowl. You can also find greeting cards, books that are both unique and humorous, and other gift items at wide-ranging price points. For instance, several books and pet toys, such as a Pawtier Watch stuffed animal toy can be purchased for a modest $19, while those seeking a more extravagant option can choose one of Michael Aram’s handmade, limited edition sculptures, which carry a price tag of $2,700. Tesoro also creates corporate and custom gifts that no one else has. To further enhance your shopping experience, Tara offers beautiful complimentary gift wrapping, ensuring convenience and elevating the overall presentation of the gifts.
We speak with Tara to discuss her plans for Tesoro in 2024 and her aspirations for continued success.
How would you describe Tesoro gift store?
Tesoro is the world’s only entirely pre-wrapped gift store. The concept is there is a sample to discover and the backstock is already wrapped for grab-n-go convenience.
How did you become involved in Tesoro?
I’m a second-generation retailer. My late mother moved Tesoro from Robertson to Canon Drive in the 90s. When I inherited the store, I moved it to Melrose. In 2019, I was able to move back to Canon Drive.
What have been some of the standout moments at Tesoro?
The most meaningful moments are when clients share that they remember my late mother or still have a platter from her store. It reinforces my love of retail for its connection and sense of community.
What do you hope customers come away with after their visit at Tesoro?
I treat my store like my home, so customers are guests. I can’t control who comes in or what they spend. But I can control that they leave happier after spending time here.
What are the top 3 selling gifts at Tesoro?
Italian salad tongs; Mexican onyx heart dishes; Natural jewelry wash.
How has your approach to selecting gifts evolved?
My curation has shifted to buying from people and companies who I believe in and want to support. The products then must be inspirational, educational, or create joy.
What makes gift shopping at Tesoro different from other stores?
If you have the challenge of gifting someone famous or very wealthy, I guarantee I can source something unexpected, considerate, and delightful.
What does luxury mean to you?
Luxury means having something that no one else has. How gifts are presented are even more important than the gift itself.
What is your long-term vision for Tesoro?
I want to continue to be known for my informed curation, stunning gift wrapping, and most importantly, the most delightful retail experience.
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