Posts Tagged ‘gift ideas’

Christmas presents and gifts; gift ideas, how to avoid the mad rush with a few online gift stores

August 17, 2008

Christmas is still a few months away, but it’s almost September and as soon as the sales end the shops are going to be kitted out with their christmas ranges. Chocolates, cards and plenty of treats will be available for the festive celebrations, which consequently means time to start thinking about what christmas gifts to get for Auntie Sally, the next door neighbour and your third cousin’s children!

Are you fed-up of wasting time buying the same old things; socks, smellies, ties and chocolates? If you feel like having a change for Christmas 2008 and wish to avoid spending hours and hours in queues, pushing past people trying their best to find unique and original gifts, but at the same time trying to get it all over with as soon as possible , why not try buying Christmas presents online?

Purchasing christmas gifts for friends and family needn’t wait until Christmas Eve! You can bypass the queues, put your feet up and even drink cup of tea whilst browsing leisurely the array of online stores offering special, original and personalised christmas gifts from today.

To lead you upto Christmas, you might need some chocolate advent calendars, I’d recommend Sweet Temptations ( who have a wide range of fairtrade chocolate advent calendars. Or, for something a little more upmarket, try ( for a giant felt advent calendar with Christmas decorations and pockets, guaranteed to make any house look festive over the Christmas period.  

A surprise gift often loses all meaning, especially if the recipient has to trek to an out-of-town post office to collect it. Geneiva Chocolates ( and its sister company Hotel Chocolat specialise in chocolates by post. Not only do the firms offer an impressive range of boxed chocolates, the special chocolate postal packs have been designed to fit through a standard letterbox.

You can give chocolates for every occasion under the sun, and perhaps you have?! It’s now time to try something different, if this will be you’re first time ordering online, you might as well continue with the theme! Why not try looking at personalised gifts, as really special gift ideas? Find a unique christmas gift for each member of the family and all your friends, at affordable prices, which won’t break the bank!

Flowers: Obviously, you’ve got Interflora, who you know are probably going to do a great job at getting your flower gifts delivered, but other online florists who also deserve a mention include (, they do some amazing personalised roses! You can choose silk roses or fresh roses to add your personalised message onto and (, they have a fab range of flowers, often with some good deals.

Will you be, or have you been invited to someone’s house over the festive season or a you looking for a wonderful looking group gift? Hampers are a wonderful gift idea, they can contain an assortment of food, condiments and treats, and the container itself is often highly desirable. Good quality hampers needn’t cost the earth, either. Harrods (, for example, have hampers from as little as £30. Thorntons, also offer a Corporate Christmas Party Box which is filled with party poppers, indoor sparklers, balloons and wine as well as delicious snacks, such as chocolate, turkish delight, toffee, fudge, truffles and even a model chocolate santa and Rudolph. It’s a beautifully-designed gift idea!

Alcoholic gifts are well received at any time, especially Christmas and most suppliers have a price range which is flexible enough to suit any budget. Specialist firms despatch everything from a single bottle of wine to cases of top Champagne costing many thousands of pounds. ( have a brilliant range of champagne, cristal champagne and champagne gift packs.

( also do a great range of personalised gifts including personalised wine gifts, personalised champagne, engraved gift ideas, personalised ale, teddy bears, design your own mugs and design your own t shirts for him, her and all members of the family. Perhaps this could be a one-stop shop to get everyone’s Christmas presents from this year?

Looking for something slightly more adventurous? Try ( who offer a superb range of exhilaration day gifts, day’s out and experience days. 

Christmas gifts are an annual “problem”, it can get tiring and expensive, gifts of specialist foods and wines are a great idea, particularly at a time of year when people celebrate with family and friends. The websites and gift ideas offered here, will hopefully make it easier for you to find something extra special for your loved ones this year, taking away unnecessary hassle and tension during a time that’s supposed to be full of happiness and good will.  



Personalised Mugs and Design Your Own Mugs – How To Get The Most From Your Designing Your Own Mugs

August 7, 2008
Obviously, we want you to be happy with your final personalised mug designs, you create on the website,, so we have put together a few tips and ideas to help you along the way…(hopefully!)
We believe the three key areas you need to look at before submitting your personalised mugs are photo quality, image size and positioning of personalised message.
Photo Quality:
Uploading a photo or an image onto your personalised mugs is a fairly simple task, using our interactive ‘design your own’ mug tool, which will take you through all the steps of designing your own mug. The main thing to consider though, in order to get the best out of your personalised mug (and be totally impressed) with the final product is to upload the best quality and sized photo or image.
To get the best image on your personalised mugs, may we suggest that you upload a digital photograph or an image from a modern digital camera, which was set on the high quality or fine setting?
You can upload a scanned image or photo onto your personalised mugs. The quality of this may be slightly reduced, but we are able to do some minor magic, to help you get the best from your image. If you would prefer us NOT to retouch your image or photo at all, please let us know. We won’t mind!
Using a photo uploaded from a camera phone may also not bring you the best quality, but if this is the only image you’ve got, give it a try and we’ll see what we can do.
If we think the image or photo you have provided for your personalised mugs just won’t work, we’ll let you know!
Image Size
You can upload images and personalised messages onto one, the other or both sides of the mugs. Portrait and landscape images are both great, but how great they look on the mug are dependent on whether you would like the same image on both sides or a different image on each side. Portrait and portrait images work really well, but portrait and landscape images don’t look so great (but are still possible to do).
We use the whole image on the personalised mugs, so please ensure you want all of the image on the mugs before uploading it. If you need to edit the image before placing it on your personalised mugs, we suggest using Picasa, a free image editing software from google, .
Personalised Message
The message often looks best just above, or just below an image ( this is if you wish to have both an image and text on one or both sides of the personalised mug). If you place the text over the image, it usually doen’t work, as it is very hard to read the text. If you are just using text, centering the text on each mug side looks brilliant as does using the largest font size you can to fit the space. Please make sure you can see all of your personalised message before submitting your final personalised mug, because if you can’t see the text on the mug on your design, you might not be able to see it on the final product (although again, here we can use a bit of imagination and minor magic!)
We have put together these few tips to help you get the best out of your design your own mug experience. If you have any further questions or queries, please do get in touch, we would be more than happy to help!

The issues with setting up an online business

May 22, 2008

This is not a sales pitch as such, but it is an account of my tumultuous experience in setting up an online business,, selling original personalised gift ideas for all occasions. In reality, setting up a full e-commerce website is a very complex topic, which might take me a while to explain, so I’m going to condense it down into manageable chunks over a few weeks:


1)    The motive behind setting up an online business.

2)    How did we go about setting up an e-commerce website?

3)    Problems we faced after putting the website “live”.

4)    Website development.

5)    Top Tips that we think will help new e-business starters to avoid the mistakes we made.


Let’s start from the beginning…


During 2006 and 2007, with a little (ok, a lot of) help from our in-house graphic designer, Lea, my sister, Hanifa, my dad, Asgar and an ingenious web coder named Charlie, a website was created.


The motive behind setting up an online business


Vin De Terre Ltd was established in 1997 by Asgar Dungarwalla, as a wholesaler in beers, wines and spirits supplying pubs, nightclubs, restaurants and sports clubs within a fifty-mile radius of the warehouse. The company began with just three employees eleven years ago, and over time has grown to employing nine members of staff today. Over the last two years, Vin De Terre Ltd has diversified its product range to include personalised gifts, including personalised wine, personalised champagne, vodka, whisky, mugs, engraved items and a ‘design your own’ t shirt section. These gift ideas are incorporated onto and sold through the website,, which a subsidiary company of Vin De Terre Ltd


Over the last few years, due to raw material and fuel price increases, inflation and the smoking ban in July 2007, sales in beers and spirits have steadily declined, so the company has focused its efforts on wine, where there is growth and where margins are better.


The personalised gift business, WineGifts4U was developed following a conference six years ago, where the focus was on the ‘personalisation’ of marketing products and services, which captures the consumers’ attention. The brief for this website was a location where customers (the general public as well as corporate clients) could personalise the wines we sold on the wholesale side of the business, online and in real time with their own images and messages to create unique gifts (which would be appreciated by the recipient) for all major special occasions throughout the year.