A shopping spree in Anthropologie

It was my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday on Wednesday. 

A few months ago she mentioned that she liked Anthropologie and so I squirrelled away this nut of information.

I visited the Anthropologie shop on the Kings Road intending to get her monogrammed notebook or a mug but after spending half a happy hour in there adding things to my own wish list, I realised that a gift card was the only sensible option. 

So I did. You can buy a little handmade pouch to put the card in too, which I did. 

anthropologie gift card

If you haven’t been to Anthropologie before, imagine a tiny department store of hand-made looking things which appear to be one of a kind.

The name of the store implies that you could buy a blanket in there and someone might think you picked it up from the Chin peoples on a trip to Burma. 

Here are my top Anthropologie picks. 

Throwback Thursday: Pineapple? Fineapple!

A post in which I find out whether it's possible to give someone a serious pineapple-themed gift.

 

 

When I was in America earlier this month, my friend Laurie asked me for gift ideas for her friend, Sarah.

The only thing Laurie told me about Sarah was that she liked pineapples and wore silk kimonos.

An actual pineapple was vetoed and novelty pyjamas were out.

This was the ultimate test of my gift-giving abilities. As I was out of my natural environment, I couldn’t suggest any shops in San Francisco that would sell something both pineapple-y and desirable. We went to Jonathan Adler on Fillmore Street but a trip there proved fruitless, literally.

My suggestions fell short. I was a fish flopping about on dry land.

I failed.

In idle moments since getting back to London, I thought about that challenge. Could a chic pineapple gift be done? Was it ridiculous to give a pineapple-themed gift to someone?

I wondered why I thought so much about pineapple-related gifts and then it hit me.

CHARLES II.

I remembered seeing a painting of Charles II receiving a pineapple.  If Queen Elizabeth II commissioned a painting of her receiving a pineapple, you'd raise an eyebrow. But in the 17th Century, it was a mark of wealth and privilege. 

When pineapples were first available to buy in the 1700s, a single fruit cost the equivalent in today’s money of £5,000 (about $7,000).

Pineapples weren’t a ridiculous point of inspiration for gifts! They had a noble provenance!

And like the comeback you deliver too late, one month later, here are my pineapple suggestions.  

Most Precious Treasures

"Cannot you guess what this parcel holds?" said she, with a conscious look.

"Not the least in the world.—Did he ever give you anything?"

"No—I cannot call them gifts; but they are things that I have valued very much."

She held the parcel towards her, and Emma read the words 'MOST PRECIOUS TREASURES' on the top. Her curiosity was greatly excited. Harriet unfolded the parcel, and she looked on with impatience. Within abundance of silver paper was a pretty little Tunbridge-ware box, which Harriet opened: it was well lined with the softest cotton but, excepting the cotton, Emma saw only a small piece of court-plaister.

The extract above is taken from Jane Austen's Emma.

Emma and her friend Harriet Smith sit together in deep conversation. Harriet reveals her most precious treasure is a bit of surplus plaster used to bandage the wound of Mr. Elton, a man she believes is in love with her.

Since I was about 12 or 13 I've had a box. It's usually a shoe box full of my own most precious treasures. The memory box contains all the clutter and reminders of the past I allow myself. Nothing in it would sell for more than a penny on eBay, but everything in it is significant to me.

I think it's important to have a memory box and thought that it would make quite a nice gift, so here are some cool box ideas:

Gift cards: pros and pros

Gift cards divide opinion.

voucher

People say they are a last resort. No! a last resort is a crumpled £10 note in a windowed business envelope or flowers stolen from a graveyard.

People say that they are thoughtless. No! If your friend has been wanting to try out new make up but hasn't been able to justify the spend, then a voucher for MAC is thoughtful.

People say that money is better than a voucher because a voucher limits you to spend it in a specific store. I argue that it can be a liberating experience. Only ever shop in Zara? Well here's a voucher for Liberty. Here's your permission slip to try something new.

I love gift cards and to prove the success of this gift medium, let me tell you a story.

My niece, Imogen, is thirteen and lives in America. We had no idea what to get her for her birthday. She's smart but she's also cool. She can tell you the difference between the Chalcolithic era and the Neolithic but she also dresses better than I do. Yes, it seems you can have it all.

For Christmas we gave her a $50 Amazon gift card.

We thought she might spend it on the One Direction tour DVD or replica Hunger Games jewellery but it was the best $50 we ever spent. Here is her thank you email:

Thank you for the Amazon gift card!  I'll be using it to invest in Amazon stock, and become Gulfstream jet rich, like Warren Buffet. Starting my career as a multi-billionaire at the mere age of 13!

Amazon stock is currently low, so I can buy them at a lower price and come out high.  I predict that they will fly high, as I will in my Gulfstream.

We played monopoly, where I reigned supreme, leading me to believe that this will happen again when I invest. 

Next time you see me I'll let you fly in my Gulfstream, and ride in my Lamborghini.

I haven't altered a word of her email. I was so impressed with her and not just because she's young and hilarious.

There was something impressive about the way she thought: I remember thinking whacky, big, limitless thoughts about my future like Imogen.

I liked being reminded.

Gift card etiquette:

  • Never give a voucher which requires the receiver to spend a certain amount before the voucher takes effect. ‘Get £20 off when you spend £180’
  • Explain why you’ve given a voucher If you’re worried about being accused of thoughtlessness. For example, if you know that they’ve been struggling with money, writing simply ‘This week’s grocery shopping is on me’ or, the even simpler: ‘Treat yo self’.
  • Check when the voucher expires before you buy. Some times a voucher has no expiry date. Others expire after a year.

Gift Card inspiration