Faces of our Community: Protea Gifts and Goods

Faces of our Community | Protea Gifts and Goods


Meet Mary Willer and Jenna Motola of Protea Gifts and Goods.


Q: Tell us a bit about your business. 

A: Protea Gifts and Goods is a curated gift box and floral business that takes the guesswork out of finding the most stunning gift for any occasion. Currently, we serve the Santa Barbara region, and recently opened up our online store at We are a small business, composed of two grade school friends from Santa Barbara, who delight in thoughtful gift giving.


Q: Why did you start your business? 

A: The inspiration for the business struck while trying to find the perfect baby gift for a friend.  To put together the gift I had in mind, I had to drive to 3 different stores, over 30 miles, and it took me quite a while.  The effort involved felt oppressive and took away from the joy of the act of giving.  Recognizing that this was probably a similar issue for others, we decided to start creating small boxes for friends. The idea took off, and our business has thrived primarily through word of mouth.


Q: What makes you the most passionate about your work?

A: Seeing gratified customers, who know they are gifting items that are thoughtful and of good quality, is so rewarding. We appreciate the little things, the details, and know our customers do as well.


Q: What are some of your favorite products?

A: We love discovering high quality, delightful brands that we can include in our boxes.  Some of our favorites right now are Love your Body Oil by local Nina LaFuente and Makana candles, which have such a gorgeous, natural scent.  


Q: Connection to Santa Barbara, why do you work/live here? 

A: Born and raised in Santa Barbara!  My parents told me I could leave Santa Barbara but I would never find another place in the world like it. At the time, I didn't believe them but they were right! We both grew up here and now are raising our families in this gorgeous outdoor community. 


Q: Describe your perfect day in Santa Barbara.

A: A perfect day in SB starts with a morning surf at Rincon, followed by an afternoon in the Funk Zone or on a boat in the harbor. Dinner would be at Sama Sama or Lucky Penny. 


Q: Contact & social media

A: IG: @proteagift; website:


Q: Pro tip (anything you can share with our audience that they can apply in their own lives)

A: It’s the little details that take a gift from ordinary to impressive!  Dress up your gifts with a sprig of lavender or rosemary and don’t skimp on your container or gift paper.  The first impression that your gift imparts will color the recipient’s whole impression of the gift!

Work With Us

One of the Santa Barbara region's most illustrious real estate leaders who has assembled a sales history that spans over three decades and includes the area’s most legendary estates.

Contact Us
Follow Us