It took me a long time to appreciate my name.
I don’t think it’s unusual to want to fit in when you are a kid and, for me, those racks of souvenir keyrings or fridge magnets that you often find in holiday resorts often felt like a sign that I was fighting a losing battle. The component parts of my name weren’t too rare – at least, not then – so there was always the option of putting two together to spell the whole thing out. But that was double the price, and besides: it’s not like you can drink from two novelty mugs at once, is it?
Now I’m an adult, two things have changed. The first is that I have developed a new-found appreciation for my mum’s taste in naming – so much so that anything else just wouldn’t sound right (besides, there’s no mistaking that glorious byline). The second is that, thanks to the internet, there’s really nothing that I couldn’t have personalised however I wanted.
My nephew, Max, is pretty unlikely to ever stand in front of a souvenir keyring rack and wonder why he can’t find his name, but that wasn’t going to stop me looking for something really special for his second Christmas. So when Personally Presented got in touch to ask if I’d be up for reviewing their services ahead of the Christmas shopping rush, he was the first person I thought of.
Personally Presented is a family-run business, offering over 5,000 gifts that are lovingly personalised in the UK – and which, in most cases, they are happy to ship worldwide. Their easy-to-navigate website makes it a skoosh to find something for just about any recipient and occasion – from personalised homeware, jewellery and stationery, to dog bowls, Christmas baubles and even plectrums!
Max will be hitting all kinds of exciting, big-boy milestones over the coming year, so I wanted to get him something useful as well as something fun. The adorable Paddington Bear in a personalised tin* was top of my list for the former: it’s one of a whole range of officially licensed, personalised Paddington merch you can get at Personally Presented right now, just in time for the new film coming out! The bear himself isn’t personalised, because that would be daft: rather, you get the whole tin to set out your personalised message. I like the idea of the tin as a keepsake: something that Max can look at years down the line, and remember that for Christmas 2017 his cool aunt gave him his own Paddington to look after.
And while Max is maybe a bit young yet for stainless steel cutlery (I can’t work babies, leave me alone), since the idea behind a personalised gift is that it’s something to treasure I much preferred the idea of this personalised Tatty Teddy cutlery set* to a more age-appropriate plastic one. I had a fair few of the cuddly blue-nosed bears growing up, so I was happy to see he was still going strong – and his little face looks adorable on the handles of what I hope will be my nephew’s first big boy cutlery set.
I was given store credit with which to shop on the Personally Presented site, which meant I was able to browse and buy just like any other customer. I was really impressed with the site navigation, which makes it super easy to shop by recipient or occasion – my only issue was that, occasionally, out of stock products appeared in the search results in the same way as any other product.
What was even more impressive, though, was the after-sales service. Personally Presented allows customers to link their Facebook Messenger accounts for up-to-date dispatch information; and the products themselves arrived a mere four days after placing my order. While I can’t imagine they’ll be able to keep up quite that speed of preparation and delivery as we head into December, it certainly bodes well – and as long as you get your order in by 15th December, you’re guaranteed a UK Christmas delivery.
Personally Presented would like to offer Last Year’s Girl readers 10% off their personalised Christmas gifts, using the code lastyears10 at checkout. This code is good right up until 15th December – happy shopping!
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own and unbiased.