A few months back over on our sister website, Sbri, we shared an A-Z of our small business, telling you cool facts and interesting nuggets about all things Sbri. It was really fun to write so we decided to put together a similar list on our CGL site too: The A-Z of Create Gift Love. From the sustainable materials we use to the inspiration behind our products and business, we've put together the ultimate fact file, telling you all you need to know about Create Gift Love. Here we go...
A is for Anniversaries
Starting with one of the big occasions customers visit us for: anniversaries - usually wedding anniversaries but all other kinds of anniversaries throughout the year too. We have a whole selection of personalised anniversary gifts at Create Gift Love and we love being a part of your anniversary celebrations, helping you to mark those memorable days in your calendar. Third and fifth wedding anniversaries in particular are big for us because those are the traditional years of leather and wood.
B is for British
Everything at Create Gift Love is handmade in Britain, a fact we are very proud of. Being British-made supports local people, the local economy and the other small businesses we work with nearby. It also helps to keep our carbon footprint small as we source our materials as locally as possibly from responsible British suppliers.
C is for Cufflinks
Did you know that our small business started because of a pair of cufflinks? Back in 2011 our founder Emily decided to make some wooden cufflinks for family Christmas presents, they were a big hit and she soon had friends requesting wooden gifts for them too. Emily started to sell her cufflinks online and spent all her free time in her shed keeping up with orders - fast forward 10 years and we're still here making personalised wooden gifts for all kinds of special occasions. We still sell the original wooden cufflinks too, but we have slightly outgrown the garden shed.
D is for Drawing
One of the ranges we're most proud of is our children's artwork collection, where we can transform your little one's drawings into beautifully made keepsake gifts. The range started with our personalised leather coin purses, which we print with a child's design, and has grown into a whole collection including personalised bookmarks, coasters and passport holders, all printed with kids' treasured drawings.
E is for Emily
Emily is our founder and heads up Create Gift Love along with her husband Tony. Em started out as a trained pharmacist but her career took a turn when those cufflinks we mentioned became more popular than she could have ever imagined. When the business started to get busier and busier Emily moved away from pharmacy to dedicate her time to personalised gifts and she's never looked back.
F is for Father’s Day
Besides Christmas, our busiest time of year is Father's Day at the end of June. For a few weeks from mid-May onwards things go a bit crazy in our workshop as we work around the clock to keep on top of your orders for Dads and Grandads celebrating Father's Day. Our personalised gifts are perfect for a new daddy's first Father's Day, a Grandpa who deserves a treat and the Dad who seems to have everything already. Our photo keyrings in particular are always the most popular around Father's Day season.
G is for Gift
Gifting is about celebration, showing someone they are loved and appreciated on special occasions or with spontaneous reminders. It’s what we do best – gifting is quite literally at our centre – and every time you come to us for a heartfelt personalised gift you can be sure we will offer you something unique and special.
H is for Handmade
All Create Gift Love products are handmade here in our New Forest workshop. We don't have a giant factory or a super long supply chain - everything is done right here by real people who are great at what they do, and you can really tell from the quality of our products. We pour love and care into making all your handcrafted gifts and it makes them even more personal than they already are.
I is for Independent
Create Gift Love is an independent small business - our favourite kind of business! When you shop with us you're supporting a small team with great values, not a faceless corporation who puts profits before people. We love being part of a small business community and encourage our customers to shop small whenever they can. You can read more reasons to shop small here.
J is for Jigsaw
You might have spotted a theme with some of our designs - we have a whole range of jigsaw-inspired pieces. From wooden coasters to personalised keyrings and Christmas decorations we've always been inspired by the jigsaw shape and everything it represents: the missing piece in your puzzle, the way couples just fit together or the individual pieces that make up a family. Our jigsaw range is all about connection.
K is for Keepsake
The gifts we make are designed to celebrate your most important memories and moments. They are so much more than throwaway gifts - they're keepsakes, designed to be loved and treasures for years to come. From the quality of the materials to the way they are made our gifts are made to last and designed to stay with you forever.
K is also for Keyring - the bread and butter of our business.
L is for Leather
We love working with leather at Create Gift Love, it's such a versatile material, hardwearing and full of character. We use vegetable tanned leather across our range which is sustainably sourced and prepared naturally in the UK. Veg-tanned leather is produced without chemicals and uses natural materials to tan the hides meaning it has minimal impact on the environment and is biodegradable.
M is for Memories
M could be for a lot of things at Create Gift Love: M is for 'Mother's Day', 'made to order', 'Man & Bear' (our brother brand) and 'Made Lovingly Made', the original brand name we launched with back in 2012, but most of all M is for 'memories'. Our personalised gifts are designed to mark your most important memories, moments, and milestones, captured in your own words, photographs and special dates.
N is for NOTHS
We're really proud to be part of the small business community selling on Notonthehighstreet, a hub of the best creative independent makers in the UK. We have been with NOTHS since May 2012 so this year marks our 10th anniversary, and we wouldn't be where we are without their platform.
O is for Occasions
We've talked already about the special occasions we cater for at Create Gift Love, in the industry they're often call the big four: Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day. But there are so many other occasions that we help you celebrate too: milestone birthdays, thank you gift for teachers, 'congratulations!' gifts for amazing achievements, and presents to mark the day you got married. And sometimes there's no need for an occasion at all, a gift that says "hey, I love you" is reason enough.
P is for Personalised
Of course, P is for 'personalised' - the thing that makes our products stand out and makes each gift is completely unique to you. We personalise our gifts with engraved messages, printed photographs or traditionally debossed initials and offer colour and material choices where we can so that the customised gift you choose is perfectly catered to whoever you are celebrating.
Q is for Quality
When designing our gifts we take time to source the best quality materials that reflect the significance of the occasions you are celebrating, and we go through lots of test and trials to perfect the best quality products. Every Create Gift Love order also gets thoroughly checked over by our brilliant dispatchers Ange and Sue to make sure the quality is top notch before we send your gift out to you.
R is for Ringwood
The Create Gift Love workshop is tucked away in Ringwood, a small market town just on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire, UK. We’re only a short drive from beautiful Bournemouth beach and the Dorset countryside too, so it’s a pretty great place to be.
S is for Sustainable
Since the beginning we have always kept the planet in mind when designing and making our gifts because it's incredibly important to us that our environmental impact is kept to a minimum. All the materials we use are sustainably and responsibly sourced (including vegetable tanned leather and FSC certified wood), our packaging is completely plastic-free and our workshop is powered by 100% renewable energy. We're really proud to be running a sustainable small business.
T is for Team
Our team makes Create Gift Love what it is, the business wouldn't be the same without them and it's always exciting to hear fresh ideas and perspectives when someone new joins the gang. We are currently a team of 12 which is a great size, everyone has an integral role to play and being a small group means we know and support each other really well.
U is for Unique
Customers usually come to us when they're looking for a gift that's a bit different, something unique that you wouldn't find in a supermarket or department store. We're always trying to come up with new and interesting ideas, but even our old favourites continue to be completely unique because of how personalisation makes each one different from the next.
V is for Valentine’s Day
Valentine's Day is an important marker on the CGL calendar where we get to play cupid and create heartfelt personalised keepsakes for loved-up couples. Last year we introduced our two-piece "ampersand" gifts in time for Valentine's Day and they've become a bestseller in the months that followed. The simplicity of the design makes them perfect for an understated Valentine's gift.
W is for Wood
Wood is where we started and it's still a huge part of our product range. We love that each piece is completely unique with a natural grain that tell its own story. All our wood comes from FSC certified forests and we've carefully selected the most suitable types to complement our products. Our favourite woods to use are walnut, oak, cherry and maple.
X is for Xmas
X is for Xmas (or Christmas, if you're being proper!) - without a doubt our busiest time of year. We start designing our Christmas products in June, work on them throughout the summer and we usually start to see the first few Christmas orders from very organised customers by the end of August. Like in the song, it's basically Christmas here every day. Our personalised gifts are always popular at Christmas time and we have a whole range of bespoke Christmas baubles and homeware too to add a bit of your personality to your festive décor.
Y is for You
So much of our inspiration comes from you, our customers. We love interacting with you all on social and hearing your feedback when you’ve bought from us - it helps us make decisions about how to develop our ideas and which products to design next. You and your orders are what keeps us going and we couldn't do it without you.
Z is for Zebra
And finally, like so many alphabet round ups, Z is for Zebra. True, it's not the first word that springs to mind when you think of Create Gift Love but we *do* have some zebra stripes in our range! Just check out our engraved animal print coasters if you don't believe us.