It can take time and effort to find the perfect gift for a loved one. Follow our 5 secrets and you will be able to find a gift that is perfect for all your close friends and family and all your gift problems will be solved forever. Your personal gift finder.
What is the Perfect Gift?
A perfect gift is one that no-one else will have thought of, it will convey love and thought and will spark a strong positive emotional reaction in the lucky person receiving their perfect present. It should not be mass produced or readily available but original, individual and unique.
I am assuming that the person you are buying the gift for is very close to you and that you really need to find something that sincerely shows them how you feel. In all honesty the perfect gift is one that makes both you and the recipient as happy as possible and you will not feel this emotional tie with someone you don’t love very much.
Have you spent hours searching the shops for inspiration?
I don’t know about you but I find shopping for gifts and presents for loved ones, especially for special occasions like Valentines, Birthdays, Anniversaries and Weddings, can be very stressful. I am sure you have also have spent hours on end and lots of shoe leather traipsing around the shops for hours desperately hoping something is going to jump out at me and shout ‘Perfect Present’!
It ain’t going to happen. OK you might get lucky but how long is it going to take and there is still no guarantee you will be successful and what do you do then because the special day is approaching? Do you go to another town? Go Online? Ask them what they want?!
No. What you need is a reliable plan.
Not the final idea of course but a reliable set of guidelines to help you completely nail the absolutely perfect gift for the person or people whose important day is near.
Why Wedding, Christmas and other Lists are examples of copping out.
I also feel we need to ditch the lists. It is fairly common nowadays for people to produce gift lists. This serves to sanitise what they receive and to ensure no two people buy the same thing. This is not going to be your problem as no-one else will be creating the gift idea that you will develop using your unique process.
It almost seems that all the love is being taken out of the gift giving process. Admittedly the personalisation options offered by Funky Pigeon and Moonpig are impressive and serve a purpose but they are just cards and flowers with a card, which is useful but it’s not the perfect gift idea for someone really important to you.
Why 5 Secrets of finding the perfect gift?
Well when I thought about it there are five key things to consider when creating the idea for the perfect gift. What I need to say though is that you need to know the recipient well, have inside knowledge or at least be able to get it, have had mutual experiences perhaps or at a stretch can ask subtle questions about what they like without alerting their suspicions.
I need to warn you though this process will require thought, care, effort, knowledge and love.
Gift Secret #1 – Interests
Sounds obvious I guess but most people have at least one key area of interest and often it is very close to their hearts.
This might be an animal like their pet dog or cat. People become very attached to their pets and if, say they have a Labrador, they love Labrador stuff. This might be particularly appropriate for slightly older friends or relatives but with the trend in toy or small dogs nowadays people are becoming fanatical about their little pooch and this will lead to considerable interest in anything related to that specific breed.
Or maybe it’s a horse for example if they like riding. What about their car or sport. They might be mad supporters of football or rugby or something else or members of a club for something specific.
They might be mad cyclists, motor bikers, caravanners or sailers for example. They might walk for pleasure, run, do marathons, triathalons, go to the gym, play tennis,
I can’t list everything of course, but you will need to if you want to get inside the options for the perfect present for your friends or family. Try and focus on a key interest, rather than a ‘sort of’ interest as this will have more impact.
Gift Secret #2 – Memories & Experiences
I used to think that this was just for old people, but since running Gecko Designs I have become awakened to just how much impact memories and experiences have on people’s happiness across the age range. I guess the word ‘memories’ is more appropriate for the older person but they have had experiences, and shared experiences with loved ones so don’t forget that. Often they have not mentioned it to many people and of course be careful of picking the wrong memory.
For example, if Aunty always goes on about the time she went to Paris and how much she loved it, just check it was with Uncle that she went because that might cause some issues! Perhaps your older relative or friend has children who now live away and they don’t see them as often as they would like. Maybe they met at a concert in the 60s and stayed in a VW Camper van on their honeymoon. Anything like that is great fuel for your perfect present workshop.
With younger people though experiences and shared experiences are very powerful images that warrant serious inclusion in the perfect gift thought process. Today life is driven by achievement whether that be having a first child, running a marathon together, the wedding day, going up in a hot air balloon or even buying their first house. These achievements are solid experiences that mean a lot to the person or people involved and are typical ideas that need to be put into the perfect gift melting pot.
Gift Secret #3 – Preferences
This is where you need to have some pretty good knowledge of the person you are planning the perfect gift for. It can be pretty simple to establish though. For example if you have visited their house you will see how their home décor is. Is it minimalist, black & white for example. Or homely, country colours like green and brown. Do they love bright colours, pastel or paisley colours and is there a colour theme you can establish?
If this person is your Mum or Dad, for example, you will know all this stuff as you will have been brought up with it but if it is for your Grandparents you might want to ask your parents for some sort of advice about their parents preferences.
Visiting someone’s home is a good way to get ideas for memories and experiences too. Look for photos or pictures that can give you some indications.
Gift Secret #4 – Locations
This is an often forgotten secret to nailing the perfect gift. All you have discovered about memories and experiences above had to happen somewhere. My wife and I got engaged in Paris and married on the Greek island of Zante for example. It does not have to be this, so called, exotic though it could be that the person you are planning the present for was born in Cape Town, South Africa, or Sherborne in Dorset. They might have had a memorable holiday with the ‘Girls’ or ‘Lads’ in Ibiza perhaps. They might have taken a year out and traveled around Asia or Australia.
Their most important memory might have been going to and graduating from University, but which one? They might have cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats, bungee jumped off a bridge in New Zealand, or run the New York Marathon.
When you think about it everything has to happen SOMEWHERE, and that ‘somewhere’ becomes very important to people and the location becomes a massive part of the visualisation of any memory or experience.
Nearly all the custom gifts we create for people have some indication of location, mostly using maps but sometimes words and often the picture image portrays a location too. So don’t forget this crucial element of finding the perfect gift for someone.
Gift Secret #5 – Unique, Individual & Original
This is where you start to put it all together but the main aim is to make sure that your gift is Unique, Individual and Original. You might be thinking how the hell can I do that? But never fear there is a way you can create the perfect present and someone can make it for you.
What you need to do now is to bring together all the information you have assembled above, look at the options available and you could be giving a handmade, One-off or limited edition, attractive and extremely poignant gift to your loved one or close friend for their special day.
This is where you have to become a little creative so to help you out I will give you some real examples of actual commissions our customers have asked for to enable them to give that perfect gift.
Examples of actual Perfect Gifts we have helped our customers create
Josie has five people in her family. Her, her partner and three children. She also loves elephants and likes the colour red. This was a gift for herself and her partner to decorate their home so she knew what she wanted. At the time we only had designs for 2, 3 and 4 elephants so we created this one to signify the Family of 5 just for her. However, there are more families of five people out there and we have put this unique design on our website.
A couple had a close family friend. All of them were into skiing and their friend was famous within their group of skiing buddies for skiing down a mountain wrapped in a Union Jack. His birthday was in a few days and they were struggling to decide what to get him as a present. They saw our skier cut out and our Union Jack fabric and their perfect gift search was over.
This isn’t the actual picture we created but Ben and Amy had their honeymoon in Egypt and their most memorable experience was flying in a Hot Air Balloon over the resort of Hurghada by the Red Sea. So we took our exclusive Hot Air Balloon cut out and put a map of the area they flew over behind it. They asked us to put it in their choice of solid wood antique pine frame. Example of shared experience, memories and location.
Jenny’s father was going to attempt the famous Dragon Devil cycle ride in Wales. An enormous challenge with more than 6 massive climbs. This is an annual event and one that mad cyclists fight to get accepted to take part in. She asked us to use one of our Bicycle cut outs and use maps to signify important segments of the ride. This was the perfect gift for her Dad.
John was visiting an old friend in France. This old friend had owned a Mark 1 Ford Capri and it had been a lasting memory for him and all their friends. John put together the two key items, Ford Capri Mk1 and France and so we created a cut out design of a Mk1 Capri and put a French Flag behind it. Delighted.
It was coming up to last Christmas and a lady came to our stall wondering if we could help. She was one of three children all grown up and living away. In some cases a long way away like New Zealand. She wanted a creative gift for her mother for Christmas that would mean something very special to her. We took our triple heart cut 0ut and put maps of the current locations of each of the three siblings behind them. The old lady was delighted.
An old sailor was retiring and having a presentation at the sailing club. His daughter came to us, saw our single Yacht cut out and had an idea. Could we take some fabrics that she had at home, that had special meaning to her father, and make a picture for the presentation? Well we would give it a go. It took some work getting the fabrics in the right place but she was delighted and straightaway asked us to do another using the left over fabric. Gave us a tip both times. Very Nice!
These are just some examples of how to take your hard work and come up with an idea for the perfect gift. In a lot of cases we might be one jump ahead of you. Based on customer feedback and sales we have identified 3-4 fabric choices for each of our designs that are most popular. This does not mean that your perfect picture is not unique because the fabric placement within the picture is never the same twice.
But this does not take away your ability to make your own choices so you always have access to our wide fabric swatches and of course for that absolutely personal picture you can send us your own fabric. Clearly any map based perfect gifts are also unique to you.
So you have the idea distilled in your head, an idea of colours, locations, designs etc. The next stage is pulling it all together and producing your perfect gift. This includes your own creativity, add some of our magic and you can create the perfect gift. This is the way to do it:
- Choose the cut out design from our online shop
- Select your choice of size (if available) and select your frame preference from the dropdowns
- Select your choice of popular fabric – or select the ‘Custom’ option and then
- Select from our wider swatch of available fabrics – or
- Send us your own fabric
- Make a map choice if this is part of the design (we will be in touch directly to confirm the exact locations)
- For all custom choices complete ‘order notes’ at checkout and we will contact you
- Select your delivery/collection option (only select local collection if you will be collecting from us in Dorchester)
- Pay via Paypal, Debit or Credit Card
- Then it’s over to us
Please don’t forget to tell everyone you know how easy this is. Use our sharing options to tell everyone you know. We do run competitions and offer seasonal discounts so everyone can benefit from knowing a little more about Gecko Designs.
Thanks for reading and happy gift creating
Tim & Elaine