Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ready to Give!

Last weekend, I shopped for presents for a number of friends and family (birthdays, parties, etc.). It was so nice out (with temperatures in the 80s!), that I decided to go to several shops that are within walking distance of my Scarsdale apartment. What really made my shopping trip great was that each store packaged my gift very nicely. This meant no extra work for me once I got home!

First on my list? A gift for my best friend Susan. There’s a store on my street called Sol La, which specializes in handmade gifts, and I found something perfect (can’t tell you what…) for Susan here. The item I bought comes in a cute little box already, and the owner of Sol La made it ready for giving by placing the box in his store’s signature brown bag surrounded by lots of tissue, then “tied up with string.” The store’s name, address and phone number are on the bag, (in foil). Of course, this is great marketing, and my friends love the gifts I get them from there. And yes, I got a greeting card here, too – handmade from Tori Higa. I plan to show it to you in another posting!

Next on my list was a housewarming gift, so it was off to La Dentelliere a wonderful specialty store that carries gifts for the home, paper products and personal care items... The last gift I bought there was a beautifully-designed outdoor thermometer. This time I bought a cheese board and spreader. The signature gift wrap at La Dentelliere is a decorative cellophane bag with colored tissue surrounding the gift and enclosed in the bag. They always include a silk flower tucked into the ribbon. Their boxes are equally fabulous, an earthtone box filled with colorful tissue and embellished with a silk flower. The signature styling is part of their branding. When one sees the package, it’s clear that it’s from La Dentelliere!

Yet another gift on my list was something for my soon-to-be 8-year-old nephew, my sister told me that he’s into “Spy Gear” – whatever that is! So off I went to Learning Express. Lucky for me, this store had loads of “Spy Gear” sets. After calling my sister for approval, I selected the laser tag game. As I was paying for this nifty item, the young woman behind the counter asked if I would like it gift-wrapped. Of course! At Learning Express they have their own logo’d gift wrap paper. And it’s cute! (Their branding is reinforced by the circular sticker with a “to/from” feature that they place on the package). I will just need to add my own ribbon or bow. (For me, this will not be a problem, as I have quite a stash of bows – I just can’t see throwing them away!!)

Finally, for the last gift on my list, I headed back towards home to a store called Folio Per Se, which is well known for its distinctive wrapping. (The owner, Josh, can wrap just about anything!) The store specializes in beautifully designed Italian-made products. I purchased a frame for a friend I’ve known since high school. To make the gift complete, nothing else would do, but a Florentine patterned paper! Here it is.

One reason I like to purchase products from stores with their own wrapping is to demonstrate my commitment to local stores and boutiques. I wholeheartedly believe in supporting small, local stores. These folks are my neighbors, I see a couple of them each day on my way to and from the train station, and I always get (and give) a friendly wave. Their stores add a little something special to my neighborhood, and I like to buy from them when I can. I know I’m like many consumers who highly value the customer service aspect provided by small retailers – like in-store gift wrapping (just perfect when I am pressed for time). I particularly like that the recipient of my gift can immediately see that the present I’m giving came from a great store.

I wonder: for you retailers reading this, what kind of packaging options do you offer your customers? Do you have a store bag with your name on it, or some other distinctive packaging? We all on the NSS team would love to see photos of what you do! Please reply with a photo or two!



  1. A blog about paper - what more could a girl ask for :)

    I absolutely adore packaging and anything paper. So whenever I design something I let my creativity go to match the concept of the item. I love using clear bags of all shapes and sizes to showcase what's inside. The key to making them even more fun is what you tie it with. I love getting all kinds of neat fabrics, ribbons, and accessories. Then there is always a custom tag attached with a Swarovski rhinestone.

  2. Wow! It was great informative article. I would like to share how I was more interested to look for it. Recently I visited a site for Indian apparel and they have wide variety of Indian saris. I truly love their collection.