I love this company, I love all our gifts but you may be surprised to learn that what I love most is the stories behind each one of the gifts bought by our customers.
It doesn't matter what our customers choose to buy, there is an emotional attachment, a story, a reason behind the purchase. It may be a celebration of a party or anniversary, the sad loss of a loved one and a chance to comfort a child or the wonderful arrival of a much awaited for rainbow baby.
Some stories we get to find out, others we can only guess at but we ensure that each and every gift that leaves The Stone House is carefully and lovingly wrapped in our tissue and ribbon then securely dispatched to every customer. We understand that because your story is special, so is your choice of gift so we want to make the experience of receiving and opening it just as special too.
Choosing my Top 5 favourite products was a little tricky when I was asked by a school mum the other day. If I didn't love it, or what it might bring to a customer, it wouldn't be in our store!
The first one I'd probably choose would be the NICU Journal. This was an idea that came to me when the twins were in NICU and I wrote it when we came out (and life settled down a bit) A NICU babies firsts aren't in the weeks or months they are literally minute by minute, then by hour then days. You don't dare think in weeks and you certainly aren't thinking towards first words or first tooth showing. This book carefully highlights all the important milestones that matter most to parents of children in special care for their early days. From their breathing capability, millilitres of milk they take, to medications, nurses names, even other babies' names and their families that they share time with. It wholly focusses on time in NICU all the way to going home, when life can start to get, well, normal I suppose! I feel bittersweet with each order. Thrilled to be able to share this with a family that needs it, but somewhat sad that there is a baby fighting somewhere. The voluntary donation means a lot to the charity and means something extra special with this order.
My next favourite has to be one of our most popular items, the Memory cushion. Because of the care taken with the garments and personalisation, we often communicate closely with customers and so hear their stories. When they have
recently lost a loved one, it is really lovely that we are able to bring a little comfort and the feedback we get for the Memory Cushions is immensely satisfying. For a product to remind you why you set the business up and bring great pride, this has to be the winner.
Our Fingerprint Trees are hugely popular and another firm favourite. We had the trees sketched by our illustrator and I love sending each one out and wondering
whether the recipient will notice the cheeky little bunny peeking out. Again we get wonderful feedback from our customers about how much fun it was at a party when everyone placed their print and signature and by far the most rewarding was the sheer joy of our oldest customer, 100 year old Muriel, who loved her family filling in her tree!
Christmas is coming and we have some fab new gifts, including some very special hampers and Night Before Christmas boxes launching soon, but Christmas 2015 was really special and one of our baubles became a firm favourite.
This was our first Christmas and though I believed they would make a lovely keepsake, I wasn't quite sure how the baubles would go down. I needn't have
worried! We were inundated but our most popular bauble by far was our Angel Memorial. I bought a number for lost loved ones and bought this one to remember my beloved Granma. To have all my kids round the tree, hanging this on one of the branches was actually quite moving and for the few weeks the tree was in corner of the room, it really was lovely to feel a little bit of her was there too. Never was a Christmas decoration so carefully wrapped in the box, I just hope it survived the loft!
My final favourite would probably have to be the Splosh Signature range (it could be any number really!)
They are a huge hit with customers and make the ideal birthday gift or party piece for any age. The beauty is that they are fun to do on the night or at the celebration, but whether you choose a number or frame, they also look great on the shelf for years to come. They are a brilliant topic of conversation when guests come round too, especially if drink was involved before signing! I love them because they too are perfect for remembering a great time celebrating with friends and family and as such, sum up what this business is all about.
Have you found your favourite yet?