Of course with teenage children I’m a little on the old side to have friends having babies, but whilst there is not the rush I knew 10 years ago, there are still a few brave souls pregnant in their 40’s and of course a few second time round marriages with men my age and their new partners just a tinsy winsy bit younger (on the whole). And then of course my cousins children seem to be reproducing quite nicely and as the baby expert in the family I need to try to be a little imaginative with these new arrivals. Presents from JoJo have to be VERY generous since everyone thinks they are not costing me a penny – which is actually not true since I generally do pay so that the relevant store does not lose out on their targets! Plus of course one must keep the tax man happy (yawn).
However, I still think that a JoJo gift box, beautifully packed with tissue and some of our more gorgeous styles – cashmere mix knits in the winter and pretty, quirky classics in the summer, can’t be beaten. The gift boxes, which we sell at cost price as a customer service, are great for keepsake boxes and I’m often told how much they are appreciated. But every now and then I like to shop somewhere else and when I do, I want to be original – a leader not a follower. So here are some of my great ideas for presents for new-borns, christenings, marriages and even notable birthdays.
The Day That – This stunning idea is the brainchild of Gavan Goulder, a Cornish photographer, who had the genius to decide that a photograph of dawn on a memorable day would not only make a great present, but also a really stunning print to put on your wall and keep for life. His images are all exceptional and each one different. It would be so easy to photograph dawn in the same place each day, but not with Gavan. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Cornwall when I was speaking at an entrepreneurial event and he kindly sent me this stunning print taken at dawn on the day.
Giving motivational speeches can be a thankless task if the reception is unenthusiastic but the feedback from Gavan and numerous other smaller Cornish businesses was really encouraging. You may order a stunning framed print or for a less expensive gift the print without a frame. Nobody can fail to be moved by the beauty of the photography.
For more information take a look at www.thedaythat.co.uk
We all need encouragement and I especially like championing craftsmen with businesses run from workshops in rural areas. This brings me to my second great idea for personalized commemorative presents …
Not wishing to be nepotistic, but Border Sundials, a fantastic small business run by my brother Capel Tenison from his home in the Welsh Borders, is unique. Capel, who exhibits at Chelsea Flower Show and a few other shows, hand makes his sundials in a totally traditional way. These works of art are not machine made, in fact far from it. If you were ever to visit Capel’s workshop you would find him alone in the barn next to his farmhouse working away on the latest creation. He works from home to be close to his children when they get home from school and as a hands on father he is constantly back and forth between making breakfast, (his own home cured bacon and sausages) and the sundial workshop. This is true country life as it was 50 years ago. The Armillary spheres are amazing – making a real centre piece for your garden and can be inscribed with the commemorative text that you wish for. But Capel will also make you a smaller sundial at a very reasonable price – ideal as a new baby present, especially for a group purchase such as workmates.
Here are some images of Capel at work and one of the little brass sundials. For more information take a look at www.bordersundials.co.uk or call Capel on 07976 850 790.
Finally … what about a unique solid silver charm? These make beautiful gifts for new parents or even Grandparents and can be personalised with images, finger or handprints and names and dates. Easy to use, you just purchase a pack containing everything needed (including a baby-safe ink pad) and the recipient can either make a hand print, or send a child’s drawing with their special names and dates.
There is a good choice of charm shapes and they can be worn around the neck or attached to a keyring. They are really classy and pretty good value. Your present will be totally unique and will remind the recipient of you for years to come! They can be ordered from our website, so take a look at www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk – the quality of the finished product is far nicer than many examples we’ve seen and they arrive in lovely gift boxes so you don’t even need to dig out some baby friendly wrapping paper.
I’m now expecting a flurry of emails from long lost friends and relations, telling me their good news!