I started my business shortly after getting massively frustrated over birthday presents - I love giving presents and always try to make them a bit different. Of course, if a friend has been kind enough to make a wishlist, that saves me a bit of trouble, but finding something special for those who don't was such a pain.
Of course, you could go for the latest thing - but then you risk duplicate presents. You can try clothes, but if you get them in the wrong size you can cause offense, mass produced smellies contain lots of irritants and colourants that can upset even the hardiest of skin types - even buying a birthday card can be dangerous as you'll find the perfect card which suits the person down to a T, but so will everyone else - the curse of the high street.
So I went online and searched for handmade gifts and to my shock found the sites that sold them either :
1: Sold 'handmade' gifts from abroad, where the only handmade part was someone sewing on a button.
2: Was a massive warehouse style craft-fair esque site where you had to wade through hundreds of listings of similar or poor-quality items just to find something.
This, I thought, isn't right - surely there needs to be a place online where you can easily find a selection of high-quality, completely handmade gifts made by UK people?
So I made one! (http://www.theemporiumoundle.com/)
We have a varied pool of items, but only one or two crafters for each - each of our items are in stock with us, tried and tested for quality and can be gift wrapped or customised. From cards to jewellery made from silver and seaglass, from handmade cold process soaps (made from UK honey and beeswax with absolutely no artificial colours, preservatives or scents) to gorgeous bags.
Everything is made in limited amounts, I can tell you the name of exactly who made each item so you are guaranteed to give something unique and wonderful - our testimonials page is a tribute to that! (http://www.theemporiumoundle.com/pages/Testimonials.html)
Pop over to our website to see for yourself! We offer wishlists, gift wrapping, custom orders and wedding favours - a fully personalised service where we strive for the very best.
If you are a local crafter and make something you think we'd love, please get in touch, too! We are always looking for unique, UK made crafts with something a bit special.