I had a general idea of the meaning of lagniappe and when I looked up the definition to be sure, I realized it truly describes a custom I’ve long loved and adopted. The word's French/Spanish origins link it back to New Orleans in the mid-1800’s. A lagniappe is a small gift given to a customer at the time of purchase.
Who doesn’t like to receive something extra?!? When pottery is purchased directly from me at a show or through my website, I like to gift an additional little item with the sale. Sometimes it’s another little piece of pottery from my inventory. It might be a full set of printed recipes I love to cook. On custom orders, I might make an extra item to complement the purchase.
On the flip side, I find I like to frequent local shops that also abide by this practice. The Muse provides complimentary boxes and beautiful gift-wrapping with purchase. The Knot House may throw in a yarn pattern, a note pad or little accessory from time to time. I want to support businesses that appreciate my purchases and go the extra mile. It helps personalize the transaction. It makes me want to go back again and again.
We all can practice lagniappe in our lives. I think this generous concept can go beyond a physical gift with purchase. Do something extra for a friend or stranger. Give an unexpected gift of kindness, time or small action to someone and you’ll both feel good!