Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Engraved Photo Gifts – Add your photo to an engravable gift for fantastic christmas presents for him and her

November 8, 2008

It was only a few years ago that we took pictures on hand held cameras using camera film, which had to be sent away to be processed. Now, we are living in a world where everything can be viewed and digitally processed in seconds using technology.

At one point, in the fairly recent past after polaroid cameras, there were those cameras with film, which to be honest I had almost forgotten about. You couldn’t see the photos you had taken the same day (and in some cases even in the same week) because the film would have to be sent off to a lab and paid for to be processed, before you could actually have the pictures in front of you. Today, with digital cameras and high quality and resolution phone cameras this process is a distant memory, photos can now be viewed instantaneously, deleted and more can be taken. Processing photos has also become much easier; they can be printed in photo booths found in shops, supermarkets, chemists and online to name but a few.

These quality digital images can now be transferred and used to create special presents and unique gifts. The market with photo gifts has now exploded both in shops and on the internet as new gift ideas are available on the market place all the time for consumers to purchase. Types of products include photo engraved gifts, photo t shirts, personalised photo mugs, key rings and a whole load of other presents are available to choose from.

Engraved Photo Gifts

The photo or image is taken from a digital source and engraved onto an engravable gift via an engraving machine, in this case a metazza, for example using carbon rods, which etch into the surface of the metal. The detail achieved via the engraving machine is fantastic. The final product looks like news print and the engraved photos and images look absolutely fantastic engraved on the silver engravable gift surfaces. You can engrave text, as well as company logos creating fabulous, affordable yet premium looking gifts, which make super presents for him and for her as christmas presents and birthday gifts.

5 Steps to engraving an engravable clipper lighter for christmas gifts:

Step 1: Choose engravable gift – in this case, we have chosen a silver clipper lighter

Engravable Lighter Gift

Engravable Lighter Gift

Step 2: Select a digital photograph

Step 3: Using the engraving software we open the selected image and place it in the correct position on the template for the engravable image on the computer .

Photo image on computer

Photo image on computer

Step 4: Place the chosen engravable gift in the correct position on the engraving machine and click on print button to begin “etching”.

Engravable Lighter in Machine

Engravable Lighter in Machine

Step 5: Wait until the engraved gift has been engraved, remove it from the clamp to reveal your luxury engraved gift.

Engraved Clipper Lighter with Photo

Engraved Clipper Lighter with Photo

Engraved Gifts – Engraving Machines Development

November 8, 2008

Engraved Gifts

When we began offering engraved gifts, we were limited to the range of gifts we could provide our customers because we used a metazza engraving machine, which limited the size and shapes of the engravable gifts we were able to engrave.

Metazza Engraving Machine

Metazza Engraving Machine

We decided after a year of working with the metazza, it was time to invest in some new equipment to allow us to offer premium engraved gifts to our customers; such as engraved champagne, engraved wine and other luxury engravable presents including photo frames, zippo lighters and tankards.

Obviously, it was a requirement that at least 3 members of staff had sufficient training and practise on the new machine, so a training day was scheduled between the supplier and 3 members of the WineGifts4U.co.uk on Wednesday 3rd September, however due to unforeseeable circumstances the sales rep, Warren who was due to take the training had to postpone the session due to family commitments, this was not a problem other than another date could not be agreed with all four people for one month, because of pre-arranged meetings and appointments. The second date for training was scheduled for 10th October at 9.30am. At 9am on the Friday 10th October, we received a phone call from the new trainer, John, who informed us that his vehicle had been involved in an accident and that he was not hurt and he still hoped to make the session he had to go to hospital first to be checked out. We received another call at 12pm saying that the training lesson would again have to be re-arranged…

By this point we had loaded the new luxury engraved gifts onto the website, because we expected the staff to be trained and the equipment to be up and running on 10th October. However, orders had already begun coming through via word of mouth and search engine optimisation… Finally, the training session happened on Friday 17th October 2008, with Stephen, who had still not fully recovered from the car accident the previous week. Unfortunately, one member of the WineGifts4U team missed out on the training though on this date due to prior commitments.

New Engraving Machin

New Engraving Machine

The machine was installed and the training began, firstly the engraving software was introduced and demonstrated, this was fairly easy to understand as it required working with Photoshop, which the WineGifts4U staff are au fait with. After an hour of software training, we moved onto being shown how the software worked with alongside the machine. Champagnes and wines were gifts we were hoping to engrave for customers and offer on our website, so we practised engraving on some cheap sparkling wines and some empty wine and champagne bottles. The software and machine proved simple to use and the engraved champagne bottles and engraved wine bottles looked very impressive. We also did a few of the orders we had already received on the website, which consisted of a zippo lighter, key rings and dog tags.

At this stage, John told us that after all his years of experience in engraving, he still sometimes got things wrong. He told us a story about trophies. One time when he demonstrated how to use an engraving machine, not dissimilar to the machine we had purchased he was asked to engrave a small plate on a trophy that had lots of other small plates which had been engraved with dates and names of winners over fifty or sixty years. The data was inputted to be engraved onto the empty small plate, unfortunately the orientation setting for the was inputted as portrait, when it should have been landscape, so the cutter tool path went across the plates that had already been engraved! I am sure we’ve all had issues like this at one point or another!

The engraving machine has a function to test the tool path, so if in doubt you could use this.

We spent about 4.5 hours training and when John left, we had a pretty good idea how to engrave gifts. A member of staff loaded the first job, a bottle of champagne to test by himself, he went throught the procedure as had been demonstrated, but he could not get the cutter to move to the correct position to begin engraving. He tried and re-tried, but could not get the job to work. After an hour, he got so frustrated that he called John to see if he could help. John suggested lifting the head on which the champagne was mounted, which immediately solved the problem!

Since then our skill levels have improved tremendously. More and more complex engraving is being done. A beautiful watch was given by a family member to give as a gift to a friend, who wanted the watch engraving. So, we set the job up on the jig, used the laser to test the tool path, which worked perfectly, then pressed the button to finish the job and crossed our fingers! The tool came down and cut the name in the correct place perfectly. The family member who wanted th gift engraving was delighted, but the member of staff who completed the job got a huge amount of job satisfaction, but more importantly this job brought in extra money for the company in these difficult economic times.

The sales representative of the engraving machine supplier has rung to see how we were getting on with the machine and to ask if we required anymore help. He is coming down in a couple of weeks to give us some more advanced training.

The engraving maching has proved extremely successful for our gift product range. During economic times such as these it is always difficult to find money, time and resources. However, in our case the machine has helped to improve profits and sales. We are getting regular orders, even in such a short space of time since loading the gifts onto the website for champagne, wine, ales and photo frames just to name a few. Engraving all of these engravable gifts is giving every member of staff who completes a job, job satisfaction, because the systems and processes we have created within the organisation from the stages of ordering the gifts online to dispatching the gifts are working really well.

I am sure other people have encountered similar experiences, and if you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences please feel free…

Christmas Gifts and Shopping For All The Family

September 24, 2008

Christmas 2008 is coming fast, get your gifts in one place for all your family and friends.

For Christmas Gifts and Christmas presents this christmas, visit: http://www.WineGifts4U.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=97

For Christmas Gifts for Him Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=92

For Christmas Gifts For Her Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=96

For Christmas Gifts For Mum Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=99

For Christmas Gifts For Dad Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=101

For Christmas Gifts For Children Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=246

For Christmas Gifts For Grandma Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=245

For Christmas Gifts For Granddad Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=103

For Stocking Fillers Visit: http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=267

Gift giving – Why do we give gifts?

September 20, 2008
It seems like gift giving is an expected ritual, the act of going out and purchasing a gift has therefore become second nature to the majority of individuals. For example, you know it is so and so’s birthday on this date and therefore you need to ensure you have purchased (whether that be spending time browsing online stores or physically walking around shops) and wrapped a gift to give them. There are so many special occasions, the list is endless; birthdays, wedding anniversarys, anniversaries, valentine’s day, christmas, new year, weddings, christenings, graduations, passing a driving test, passing exams, having a baby, beginning university, house warmings and you probably realised that all these occasions usually require a gift to be given. My special occasions list, which is by no means exhaustive we can see that any event, big or small may require a gift to be purchase, wrapped and then given. 
 
Gifts are given as a way of showing the recipient that they deserve something in acknowledgement for the day or event that is causing some celebration. Gifts are given as a way of making the recipient feel special, loved, happy and in some ways also valued. Giving a gift symbolises that the gift giver knows and understands the recipient, as hopefully the gift will be relevent and of value to the person it is given to. Traditionally, flowers, chocolates, money and wines are given as gifts, but in today’s society where technnologies and ideas are constantly developing, it is possible to use your imagination and find gifts that are bound to make the recipient truly happy and grateful for the time and effort you have spent on finding the perfect gift for them.
 
Giving gifts should be a choice to see the happiness they bring to a loved one’s face in acknowledgement of a special occasion or event, gift giving should not be seen as an obligation, even though tradition and society may have made it so.

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 (www.chocolateadventcalendars.co.uk) who have a wide range of fairtrade chocolate advent calendars. Or, for something a little more upmarket, try (www.storkgifts.co.uk/ginatadventcalendar.htm) 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 (www.geneivachocolates.co.uk) 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 (www.flowersdelivereduk.com), they do some amazing personalised roses! You can choose silk roses or fresh roses to add your personalised message onto and (www.serenataflowers.com), 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 (www.harrods.co.uk), for example, have hampers from as little as £30. Thorntons www.thorntons.co.uk, 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. (www.sparklingdirect.co.uk) have a brilliant range of champagne, cristal champagne and champagne gift packs.

(www.WineGifts4U.co.uk/christmasgifts.php?catid=97) 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 (www.intotheblue.co.uk) 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, www.WineGifts4U.co.uk, 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, http://picasa.google.com .
 
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, www.WineGifts4U.co.uk, 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 www.WineGifts4U.co.uk 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, www.WineGifts4U.co.uk, 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.

Who else wants to be puzzled?!

April 22, 2008
Puzzles – New Gift Ideas

We recently got some samples of puzzles sent to us, as part of our on-going attempt to find new and innovative gift ideas for you to be able to get unique gifts for your friends and family in one place (http://www.winegifts4u.co.uk) … Anyway…

There were plenty of useless puzzles (useless, not because they were rubbish or anything, just because I couldn’t figure them out!!), but there were some really interesting ones as well. We spent hours playing with them in the office. The fun part of the job 🙂

Wine thirsty puzzle – Try and untangle the wine bottles in this exciting puzzle, which will keep dad and the family occupied for hours! A wonderful gift idea this Father’s Day. What could be more frustrating than a bottle of wine trapped out of reach? See if you can release the bottle from the puzzle and open the cork to celebrate!

This wine thirsty one is awesome, I figured it out, but I must have spent at least 3 hours trying to.

Can you just imagine the frustration of being in reach of something worth having, yet not being able to get to it?

Put money, theatre tickets, a winning lottery ticket or something similar inside the box and close it up. Then give it to someone who really wants what’s inside and watch them struggle to get what’s in the box out!

Please Note: £20 note not included

Another good one is ‘Boxed Frustration’. It’s a good way of presenting gift vouchers, money or theatre tickets to someone…

A £20 note was put in this ‘Boxed Frustration’ by a member of staff, we were told if we could get the cash out, we could keep it. Unfortunately, this one is tough… We tried and tried, but the £20 note is still in there. It comes with the solution to the puzzle. Definately a good one to keep people occupied though!

We’ve put these ones plus a couple of others on the website with free postage and packaging. Take a look, I recommend them 🙂

Californian Zinfandel Rose Wine Review

March 12, 2008

With summer just around the corner there are many functions take place, such as weddings, barbeques, summer balls and parties.

One of the products we sell at www.winegifts4u.co.uk is a White Zinfandel, a rose coloured wine from California.

Here is a few quick notes about the White Zinfandel wine:

Historically an inexpensive jug wine, White Zinfandel is a quaffing wine that is sweet, soft, and low in alcohol, making it a popular choice with those who would not otherwise drink wine. The sugar content can make White Zinfandel taste almost like a fruit punch, although some examples have crisp acids and are balanced in their own way. White Zinfandel is typically manufactured for immediate consumption rather than for aging.

This blush wine was introduced in California in the early 1970s. It became the most popular varietal table wine during the 1980s. Consumers liked that it was sweeter than most wines (and it was a pretty color). Many people were introduced to the rose wine category through White Zinfandel.

Have you ever wondered how rose wine is made? Well…, when the red grape is crushed for its white juice, the skin of the red grapes is left in contact with the juice for a short amount of time, which makes the liquid turn pink!

Our californian white zinfandel is light and easy to drink with subtle tastes and aromas of luscious strawberries, raspberries and other ”summer” fruits. The wine is best served chilled.

Last year, we noticed that the White Zinfandel sold very well as a personalised gift for weddings and birthdays!

In a couple of weeks we will be writing an article on how bubbles are made in champagne. If you know how the bubbles are achieved and would like to contribute to this blog then please feel free to comment.

🙂

Here are a couple of other sites that give some interesting information about wine:

WineBlog

Translations of the word Wine 

All our old posts…

March 12, 2008

So we haven’t posted for a very long time! But that’s for the simple reason that everyone has been sooooo busy creating the brand new look WineGifts4U, sourcing new products and generally creating the best website as we possibly can! So we would like to apologise for taking so long to start posting again. But fear not we will keep you updated with all the latest news and happenings here at WineGifts4U.

Let me get you up to speed then…

Since WineGifts4U last posted there have been a number of exciting things that have happened:

1) We have won a few awards!

Lincolnshire Freepress: Business of Year Runner Up
Lincolnshire Freepress: Best Use of Technology WINNER

2) We have also revamped the website so that it is now a more user friendly and exciting enviroment. Your comments and suggestions about the website are more then welcome.

3) A range of new products have also been added to the site including:

personalised vodka and whiskey
engraved gifts
gift packs e.g. grow your own cactus, become a laird or lady

So its all go! But we still have some great things coming up.. the launch of a new range of products which include:

personalised T-shirts
personalised bag/mousemats/coasters/clocks and much more….so keep an eye out on the website for what’s still to come.

So that the sales pitch done! Here’s are some other interesting facts….

Do you all remember the earthquake a few weeks back? Well we certainly do… thankfully none of our wine was knocked off the shelves and there were no major damages… but a member of the WineGifts4U team ventured out to the realms of the epicentre of the earthquake in Market Rasen the day after the quake! Not even aware that what they had felt the night before had been an earthquake. Oddly enough they were attending a meeting centred around blogging!

Thats all for now folks!