Questions and Answers with Lucy Heale
What did you give as gifts before the birth of your boxes?
I liked to make homemade gifts for my family, such as cards made from magazines, chutneys, aprons and cushions. My previous personal gifting history has always been very personal but there was many B batches of chutney before the first one became a present!
Where do you source the gifts?
I started by looking at lots of different products all-round London in different locations. I've scoured shops, trade-shows, met with suppliers and new designers/makers to source the best products I can find in the UK and worldwide. The concept of Luxe Box London is to be a completely interactive site where people can suggest their favourite products to go live in a box. Any suggestions on new products please tweet me @lucyluxebox as I would love to hear your suggestions.
Some of the best products I have sourced have come through recommendations. A great example would be Filberts Bees products www.filbertsbees.co.uk/. Their beautiful Dorset honey hand balms were recommended to me by Ella Fielding, a skilled chainsaw tree carver! http://www.ellatreepirate.co.uk/ She had a particular need for these balms to protect her hands. Filberts Bees also do a wonderful Baby balm which is going to feature in my forthcoming Mum and Baby Box.
I also have suppliers come to me and suggest their products but they have to go through thorough testing to make the grade. When I have a shortlist of my top 25 products, I look at the styling and how they work together as a team of items. I then take them to the relevant professional relevant to the box story for review i.e. a range of new mum's have reviewed all the products in the soon to be launched Mum and Baby Box. They gave their opinions on the most essential/interesting items for a new mum.
What do you love to buy online?
I love buying books online and having them delivered to my office. It's the not the same as rummaging round a wonderful bookshop like Daunt Books www.dauntbooks.co.uk/ or Artwords Bookshop in Broadway Market http://www.artwords.co.uk/ for example but it's the joy of opening a package. A couple of my most useful online book purchases have been Build a business from your kitchen table by Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker (The founders of Not on the highstreet.com and How to Start a Creative Business, Jargon Free Guide For Creatives written by Doug Richards (ex Dragon's Den judge) who I met at the recent 'School of Creative Starts Showcase' at Somerset House last month.
Is there a secret to buying gifts?
I think the secret buying gifts is knowing something special about the person you are buying for. Take notes of things they like and purchase something of relevance to them. Luxe Box London is all about creating a stories and relevance. The recipient can enjoy products they would expect, that are useful and cherishable (except for the champagne truffles which are normally gone in an instant!).
What's the worst present you've ever been given? ...and the best?
I have had a couple of pretty bad gifts but I'm not going to name any names! One of the best surprises for my birthday was 12 extra yummy cupcakes sent to my office from the wonderful Hollywood Bakery in London (it was the surprise and opening of the box which made it that extra bit special).
Who/what inspires you?
What inspires me is to turn something on it head. Creating a brand that forms emotions and brings together a community of designers and makers. I get inspired by walking around London, popping into new shops and talking to random people about their ideas or businesses. I also love a good exhibition, Friday Night late at the V&A is a great one for getting the brain cells going.
What's next to launch for Luxe Box?
Next to launch on LuxeBoxLondon.com is the Mum and Baby box which is a gorgeous box full of beautiful things for a new mum. Maybe I should do one for new Dad's too? Also coming out in the next two weeks is the The Baker Box which is full of useful culinary tools. You can check back on the www.luxeboxlondon.com to see the shots of the new range shortly.
Do you make bespoke boxes too? Who would you LOVE to put together a box for?!
Each box is designed around a certain theme so each other products work together, but the sender can customise as they hand packed to order. The value and the reward of seeing someone enjoy the box and the opening, that is what makes it all worthwhile.
Extra questions can be found in the interview on Yablon. http://lifeofyablon.com/luxe-box-london-gifted-at-gifting/