Holiday gifts: Erin Pihlaja

Erin Pihlaja photo credit- joe putrock.jpg

A Range Rover would be nice. Or socks.

Gifts and giving are on most everyone's mind this month. So we thought we'd ask a few people to share some thoughts on presents, past and present.

Erin Pihlaja is the mother of two girls, a Troy resident, and the executive director of the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District.

She envies people who can make their own gifts, but knows herself well enough to not try to knit or bake cookies.

What gifts would you like to get this year?

My dream gifts would include this weird Range Rover/camper hybrid vehicle that I saw online. I've been watching too many survivalist movies, so I'm sure that's influenced me.

On a smaller level, I work with a lot of independent boutiques in downtown Troy so I've been mind shopping all year. I'd be pretty happy with almost anything. What I'd want would be some handcrafted jewelry. What I need are socks.
What gifts would you like to give this year?

I love giving gifts. I used to try and go all out and give too much for impression sake. Now I lean towards smaller, thoughtful gifts that really make me think of the person I'm giving them to. My girls are still pretty young (7 and 5 years old) so they are into LEGOs and video games. My nieces and nephew are a bit older, so I have fun picking out unique clothing with cool screen prints and whimsical jewelry. Troy Cloth and Paper is a favorite -- all of the kids in my family own either the Kitty Attack or the TroyBot shirt.
What charity or cause do you want to support?

I try and support as many local charitable organizations that I can. This year, I'm going to try and help the Oakwood Community Center hit some of their targeted goals. They are working on building neighborhood connections in an area of Troy that really needs it. The Soul Café is a great event -- eat delicious food while helping the center, it's great.
What is your most memorable gift from childhood, holiday or otherwise?

My most memorable gift form my childhood was definitely a three-foot-long Barbie camper -- see?!? Survivalist themes all throughout my life! It was bright yellow, and totally awesome. My sisters and I played with them for hours, it was an imagination-building thing and when I don't get the Range Rover I might just try to find the Barbie one on eBay.

photo: Joe Putrock

More holiday gifts:
+ Lauren Hittenger Hodgson from AOA and The Thrifty Ginger
+Sean Desiree from South End Pallet Works
+ Rachel Person from Northshire Bookstore
+ Musical theater teacher and performer Brandon Jones
+ Katie O'Malley Maloney from Katie O' Weddings & Events
+ Illustrator Elizabeth Zunon
+ Musician Sean Rowe
+ Heather LaVine from The Confectionery
+ Lecco Morris from the Chefs Consortium


Erin--have you seen the fun socks at Truly Rhe? You may want to put some of them on your list!

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