As time marches by I feel more and more delighted that scarves are the chosen object of my retail affections and the reason for setting up my own business. Simply put – no one wants the gift they have chosen for a loved one to end up banished to the present draw, the charity shop or worse still, re-gifted to someone more suitable. In the same vein I don’t want to sell products from CW and have them returned.
Returns are the bete noire of on line retailing and dodgy Christmas presents should be treated in the same way.
The idea of consumers going onto e-commerce sites and buying the same item in 3 colours and 2 sizes leaves me cold.
Invariably one gets kept, the others get returned a few days later and all that time they are unsaleable to others. This is exactly what I have tried to avoid with CW.
With scarves, assuming the quality is first class (which it is) and the sizing is not an issue (which it isn’t), and assuming you know the sorts of colours the recipient will like, there should be very little chance of getting it wrong. No chance of being flung into the bottom draw here; the scarf is more likely to be tried on there and then and you get to see what it looks like on the lucky recipient.
This leads me to thinking a bit more about Christmas gift giving. I went into my local town the other day and was beset by a sea of Christmas novelty jumpers.
What on earth is going on? It seems to me that these things have the shelf life of a banana with no option for alternative usage such as banana bread. Surely the perfect Christmas present is first and foremost heartfelt, secondly special and thirdly (dare i say it) practical?
Obviously scarves fall right bang slap into the middle of those categories but here are a few other ideas to help you on the way.
1. A wall calendar for Granny and Grandpa with images of the family and dates of Birthdays. Also great for anyone’s office wall. I always do one for my husband and know it’s his favourite present.
2. Anything personalised – I am giving our children personalised Nutella jars from Selfridges – Genius. They will love them.
3. On the personalised front there are so many great websites out there with personalised sections to cover all prices. www.marbletree.co.uk is one of my favourites.
4. A subscription to a magazine that is relevant to the recipient. My mother will be getting an interiors magazine as she is about to move house. I love this as it keeps going month after month and often isn’t something you would buy for yourself.
5. Anyone who commutes should be given a the CW Commuter Express silk cashmere scarf to keep them warm on the platform.
6. A book that is carefully researched so you are sure it is something they actually want to read and ditto with box sets. India Knight’s book “In My Prime” would be great for any girlfriend who is over 40.
My husband and I love having a stash of box sets lined up for “non drink” January – he’s getting House of Cards as I’m sick of people telling me how brilliant it is.
7. If you have bought a scarf or know a scarf lover a perfect little extra is the charming illustrated book “50 Ways to Wear a Scarf”.
Enough of the gift and more on the gift wrapping. Another minefield.
One poor man came into the CW studio and said that although our packaging was beautiful he would still have to “wrap the wrapping” so to speak or otherwise his wife would not think he had made the requisite amount of effort. Some helpful hints in that department:
If you buy a CW scarf it will arrive wrapped to within an inch of it’s life. There will be grosgrain ribbon, a bespoke black box, layers of tissue paper and cleverly wrapped stickers holding the whole thing together.
If you want to add the personal touch how about attaching a beautiful sprig of holly to the bow or better still, get the kids to make a beautiful hand crafted label to attach to the ribbon?
These are the things that will give your present the extra wow factor and can of course be applied to any gift.
Only 14 days left till the big day and whose counting? Me! By the way we can take orders right up until the 23rd December, one of the benefits of being small and especially useful for late comers to the phenomenon that is Christmas shopping.