Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness – a Review and a Giveaway!
Whilst wandering the online alleyways and cul-de-sacs of Twitter and Facebook, I have come across a number of shops and suppliers I’ve been particularly impressed with. Ella Bean Clothing was one such shop, and Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness is another. I’ve decided her lovely home-crafted items are worth telling other people about, so here goes!
Over the years I’ve become a little jaded with high street shops, they all seem to sell the same things, which is frankly boring. Thats why I love little independent shops, they are different! You can find one off items that you will never find anywhere else, often custom made. From my experience, small online shops tend to produce very well made items and excel when it comes to customer service and delivery – because they genuinely care about their reputation. Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness is no exception!
I think one of the first things I noticed about Claire is her friendly attitude. I’ve enquired about products, material and availability of items, and she’s always replied almost immediately with appropriate links, prices etc. If you have queries Claire is always happy to help, which is nice. If you’ve ever tried to get information about a product online from one of the bigger international stores, you’ll no doubt have found it’s like getting getting blood out of a stone. From my own experience, you have to fill in a contact form, then you get an email saying they’ve got your email, then you have to wait for a response from them – all of which can take days, which is infuriating if it’s coming up to Christmas and you’re trying to sort out a last minute present. Totally unlike Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness. You can make enquiries via her Facebook / Folksy page, or via Twitter @ClaireMackaness and actually get a quick, friendly informative replies about any of her lovely individually crafted items.
I’ve bought a few Christmas and birthday presents from Claire’s store, and have found them all to be beautifully made, exquisite designs. Personally I think this particular store is fabulous for finding Christmas presents for people who are notoriously difficult to buy for. Beautiful Things has a number of quirky little items you’d struggle to find anywhere else, that are really practical. For example I’ve bought a poop-scoop bag, which is a cute little fabric bag with a velcro strap which straps to a belt or dog lead, and which can be used to store plastic bags in for poop scooping. A fabulous little gift for a dog owner I thought! I couldn’t resist buying myself an iPhone case either – although I don’t think my iPhone appreciates the present as it’s run off and hidden somewhere in my house and can no longer be found. Which is annoying to say the least. I digress as usual.
Beautiful Things stock gorgeous accessories too. These little poppy style brooches caught my eye, I’ve bought three of them for various relatives and they are just as eyecatching in real life as they are in the photograph. (I say that tongue in cheek, I haven’t worked out how to resize photos properly so this does not do the brooches justice at all – they are rouched silky red material flowers, with felted woolen spiralled centres with sparkling beads to dazzle the eye – gorgeous!) These are just a couple of the Beautiful things by Claire Mackaness that I noticed, there are many more things I’ve got my eye on for the New Year for various presents / anniversaries; and I’d advise any reader to have a nosey around Claire’s well stocked, reasonably priced, promptly delivered, bespoke items.
This week and the first week of December are the last dates that Claire can take orders in time for Christmas, so if you are interested in anything, get your skates on!
Claire has kindly offered to run a giveaway for one of these! It’s just what you need for cold dog walks, or frosty school runs. A handwarmer. You know you want one! If you’d like the chance to own one of these, please comment and click ‘Sign me up!’ for further updates and I’ll enter you in the competition. To make things interesting for other readers, maybe you could mention another online shop that you’ve bought from and can recommend? Or not, it’s up to you. A simple ‘hello’ will suffice!