By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
Even in a fieldwork heavy career like private investigation, a disproportionate amount of the legal support industry staff days are spent in drably designed office spaces. Denver's co-working spaces are bountiful but the need for confidentiality frequently precludes a firm that isn't in a position to rent a co-working suite. Meanwhile office spaces can remain as austere and impersonal as the file folder piles they contain.
Enter the 2019 holiday season with it's new opportunities for helping your fellow private investigator friends, colleagues or spouses personalize their workspace in a way that is convivial, contemporary and on-brand. The right office gift not only makes a private detective's practice more appealing to coworkers and colleagues who spend an inordinate number of hours working in this space. A well decorated space appeals to prospective clients as the firms transition to 2020.
See also: gift ideas for private investigators
A hard-boiled private eye may not want to admit it but their office space can make or break a client or collegial relationship. While a single poster or coaster referencing a gumshoe's early fictional or historic inspiration may not make or break a client, it is a great conversation piece. Gifting the PI in your life something to capture the imagination of a prospective client or legal partner who is unfamiliar with the field helps their business. It is also a fun way to re energize a slow afternoon by reminding private detectives of the field's rich literary and cinematic history.
These are our office gift suggestions for the 2019 holiday season:
1.) Pinkerton Logo on Wood Panel by Vass Design: obtain this and you wont have to visit the newly renovated International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. to admire a framed version of the Pinkerton logo. Vass Design has created a 12 x 16 inch wood reproduction, perfect for an office wall or lobby waiting area. If rustic is your thing even better, since it brings out the crackle texture of the wood surface giving the sense this firm has been around for a long, long, long, long time. Perhaps it even goes as far back as Chicago, 1850.
See also: a Visit to the International Spy Museum in the Denver Private Investigator Blog and in PursuitMag
Vass design is also an environmentally conscious Canadian based maker who uses water based and eco friendly stains, paint and glue. The framed wall hanging costs $55.04 and is a great asset to any private investigator firm wanting to emphasize the fact that their services and expertise are available round the clock.
If, as a Colorado private investigator you'd prefer not to plug anything Pinkerton because of their infamous involvement with Colorado's Ludlow Massacre ---also, technically speaking, they're a competitor-- we have alternative wall art to enthusiastically recommend, starting with some pics inspired by timeless songs by The Clash and Bob Dylan.
2.) Detective themed London Calling and Thin Man posters by Todd Alcott Graphics: Former New York playwright turned LA screenwriter, Todd Alcott's day job may be writing for much larger audiences but the Etsy shop he now he now runs is solo operated and makes his cinematic mashups available for spaces ranging from 11 inches in height to 36 inches tall.
The etsy shop has been earning international recognition and it's detective themed posters featuring classic album mashups fuse poetry, nihilism, pulp fan fiction and noir with phrases from the most pyrotechnically brilliant lyricists of the 20th century are about as iconically nuanced as it gets for people someone looking for just the right personalized gift for the Clash or Bob Dylan fan.
"I had just been listening to the Clash and came across this detective magazine, and the tension between the apocalypse of "London Calling" and the kind of tawdry sexuality of the detective magazine cover made me laugh," explains the screenwriter turned graphic designer. "The other thing I loved about the image was that it was really mangled and water stained, which I love to work with. I like my finished images to look as "authentic" as possible, and details like the water stains really added to it. Detective magazines like this always have a lot of headlines, usually each one trying to top the last in terms of sensationalism, and I love taking those headlines and making them song lyrics, again, setting the doomy lyrics of the song against the luridness of the magazine cover." Posters start at $25 and go up to $150 so you can adjust for budget and wall space.
Bonus points for giving Ballad of a Thin Man to anyone who also happens to be a fan of the Denver's popular East 17th avenue hangout (2015 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80206) with the same name.
3.)Vintage mystery fiction writer tea - Tea totalers and tea enthusiasts alike can sip the snowy afternoon atmosphere with these private eye themed tea bag gift sets. "I'm a big mystery fan and true crime podcast listener so these collections were particularly fun to design and they include some of my favorite authors," says the set's creator, Robin Stelling.
Chose one --or both-- distinct tea sets. They are organic and elegantly packaged with each set running $34 on the FavorFavour.com website. Writers referenced include Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, Ngaio Marsh, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L Sayers so it can also get gifted along side a Tattered Cover gift certificate if you want to include something locally and literary.
4.) New books by local Colorado authors - If your office library wants to include some of Colorado's hottest contemporary mystery, thriller and crime authors you can also gift detective themed sets sets with books by Peter Heller, David Heska Wanbli, Kali Fajardo-Anstine and Erika Wurth. "Sabrina and Corina" by Fajardo-Anstine is a National Book Award Finalist
5.) Handmade Nancy Drew Coasters - What would holiday gift recommendations be without some Nancy Drew. Especially relevant for anyone following the new CW television series. But back to coasters: they are sealed for hot and cold drinks and will be a year-round asset to any office space. Available along with a vintage book selection via the KarlandArrow shop on Etsy and are available for $5.00 each.
6.) Handmade Nancy Drew cash envelope system wallet: if you're paying cash to cover your tracks it may not be the wisest move to do something as conspicuous as paying with cash extracted from a Nancy Drew cash system wallet. If, on the other hand, you're doing the cash envelope system (which Dave Ramsey takes credit for although the system pre dates Ramsey's monetization of it--and making it relevant to budgeting in today's digital world) this is a dope way to motivate yourself to switch to a cash system to save money. And what could be sweeter than doing so with Nancy Drew as your copilot!
"I grew up with her books in my home. My oldest sister had almost all the books. As the third and middle child I read them when she was finished with them," explains Vintage Fabric Finds maker Tammy Andrews-Tucker, who messaged me that she has a limited amount of fabric left so if you're going to order one of these custom finds, do it soon. Prices range from $35.50 to $85.50 depending on the number of envelopes you plan to get.
"I admired Nancy’s curiosity and her intellect. Her ability to process situations and events and look at them from a different angle. That things often were not as they presented themselves. I also admired her ability to maneuver freely in the world without restrictions, to be listened to, respected and I admired her tremendous resourcefulness" Andrews-Tucker, concluded.
A "cash wallet system" for a busy private investigation firm could simply be a good way to organize a kitty multiple team members draw upon. It is unlikely you would want to leave it lying around. That said, it's a righteous accessory to use yourself or give to a colleague for budgeting in the New Year so we're including it in our 2020 holiday gift recommendations, anyway.
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
If your spouse or significant other is a private investigator they're going to love anything with a detective theme. Not like we're biased or anything but with all the Detective stories and detective inspired iconography out there, how can you not get a detective themed Valentine's Day gift for someone you care about?
But where do you find unique Valentine's Day gifts for private investigators? We did some investigating ourselves and here's what we came up with:
Soy Detective themed candle What better way to transform an office space into the beginning of an episodic 8411 ½ Sunset Strip to evoke the office of private investigator, Lew Archer, Hollywood, 1949 or the 222B Baker Street candle to conjure the essence of Sherlock a handmade soy candle by Flame Noir the detective novel inspired handmade candle company. This particular one even includes a hint of old fashion shaving cream!
Handmade wooden clip board If you missed our last post or didn't read to the end please note the featured photo of Colorado process server Tom Mills demonstrating how to hold a phone with a clipboard when severing papers.
If your partner is spending a lot of time serving papers then get them a nice, handmade wooden clipboard they're going to love like an Everlasting furniture or Estatoe Woodworks.
Wooden phone holder to carry with the wooden clip board since it's Colorado where you can all out with mountain, pine tree themes round we thought we'd also recommend a phone case to match your clip board. This WOODgraw shop phone case has a mountain range actually etched into the wood and this Mandallion has one with "The Mountains are Calling and I must go," engraved.
If you're doing serves in Estes Park, Aspen, Vail, Leadville, Basalt, Carbondale, Evergreen, Winter Park, Avon, Glenwood Springs, Dillon, Manitou Springs or Nederland you'll blend right into mountain dweller culture.
If you'd rather go the safe and subtle route by calling as little attention as possible to your phone there are plenty of plain wood phone cases on Etsy and you can always ask makers for a custom clipboard and phone set so the fact that the serve is being recorded is all the more discreet.
Detective mug coffee mugs are always great gifts for the hard boiled sleuth and we found some nice ones like Themuglyfe's "Only the Strongest Women Become Detectives" mug.
Agatha Christie Charm Bracelet - if the investigator in your life is an Agatha Christie fan they're going to love this Hercule Poiro charm bracelet. The maker, Murder She Tote, also sells an Agatha Christie Bracelet a Miss Marple Bracelet and a Nancy Drew bracelet!
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
Apparently even the CIA wont carry the 2017 Secret Ops of the CIA calendar that is available through The Spy Museum gift shop.
According to The Washington Post this is because the "inaugural “Secret Ops of the CIA” calendar was produced by the nephew of an agency contractor killed in the line of duty and features reproductions of the actual paintings that have hung for years in the hallways of CIA headquarters in Northern Virginia." however, "Toni Hiley, the longtime CIA museum director, said the gift shop can’t sell the calendar because “it’s not an official work of the U.S. government.”
The Spy Museum gift shop is, of course, over the moon about the exclusivity as well as the fact it has the actual CIA logo on. So if you plan to order one for your office, we recommend doing it before these calendars sell out!
The 2017 Sherlock calendar is put out by the BBC and comes with photos and quotes from a whole slew of characters, not just the stern faced, deerstalker hat clad Cumberbatch. Although we don't mind the fact they chose to include a couple of those, as well. If you're a fan of BBC's Sherlock this is a calander to be adored and/or coveted.
What would a private investigator's office be, if it didn't include an homage to film noir. The Film Noir 2017 calendar we found on Etsy. It's wire bound, glossy and ships directly from New Zealand. It also provides a colorful and comprehensive sampling a a wide range of noir movies, not just the classics and if you visit the site you can choose from three different noir calendars as well as a Casablanca calendar. Casablanca, btw, will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2017!
The Things We've Learned From Nancy Drew calander is the brainchild of the brainy Nancy Drew fan club president, Jennifer Fischer and its Dastardly Villians calendar was also enthusiastically endorsed in our holiday gift article in PursuitMag. Take your pick of illustrations and crimes.
By Susanna Speier
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
What do you get the person who has access to everything? Holiday gifts for private investigators aren't easy because --if nothing else-- you'll want to avoid the obvious. That said, we've come up with the following options for prices that range from $10.00 to $99.00.
The International Spy Museum's, "Agent You Don't Gnome Me" ($18) Gnomes are kinda weird, kinda useless, and kinda fun. Plus, if you or someone you gnome is into the trench and sunglasses cliche but doesn't actually want to wear them, you can place the gnome as a fashion forward stand in or buy the spy gnome tree ornament --which is also available through the Spy Museum website shop. What we like about it for Coloradoans in particular is the fact you can plant it anywhere along the front range landscape and send us the photos to share with our Twitter and Facebook followers. You can even use it in your prairie garden!
Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage by Gordon Corera is available at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in hardcover ($29.95) MP3 CD ($44.95) paperback ($16.95) and CD $118.00. Rich with historical detail and characters as well as contemporary international insights, the book will put the reader on solid ground with the present and future of cyber espionage.
Women with jobs that require them to carry a concealed firearm for self protection can express their enthusiasm for the Colorado outdoors and simultaneously misdiret a potential attacker by carrying a faux leather Gwyneth Realtree Concealed Carry Tote ($54.99). The faux leather also makes it perfect for vegetarians. Handbag contains a hidden gun holster on the inside outside, a pattern of what one may see on a typical hike through Estes Park. Available on Gun Goddess.
A spy specializing in surveillance who wants to teach his or her kids what mommy or daddy does for a living would be well served to invest in a few Santa Cam ornaments ($10+) And if they're not Etsy savvy, perhaps a friend is willing to track one down on their behalf or --if the kid insists on viewing the footage-- dress in costume to place gifts. This Etsy shop happens to be based in Denver, Colorado and offers personaliztion and multiple color as well as glitter options.
A Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC) apprentice membership is the perfect gift for the fledgeling PI in your life who is looking for ways to grow their career. The annual cost is only $99 and it will connect the to a savvy and supportive regional community through training, networking events and mentorship.
This particular membership is designed for the PI with less than 2,000 hours of experience. For PIs with more experienc, Associate, Senior and Premiere Senior memberships are also available for $125.
Have a happy and safe holiday season. Fa la la la la la la la la.
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