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Just a Gift

It is always nice to get a gift. In the current climate, a gift is particularly welcome. The “Just a Card” campaign sometimes uses the slogan “Just a Gift” and seeing that slogan this morning prompted me to write this.

With social distancing and shielding, getting gifts delivered is, for most people, the only practical solution. Obviously we need to think about delivery drivers and posties, but it seems to me the delivery companies have thought about this. Many are using contactless pick up and deliveries.

The Post Office has introduced procedures to protect their staff and the public. I was pleased to hear the local posties have got hand sanitisers, although their managers had to make a local plea for small bottles so the posties can easily carry it. Did you know you can get postage paid labels for things that fit in a post box? Going to the post office is more tricky, and the one in a local newsagent was a bit too cramped for my liking. The dedicated Post Office in the local supermarket looks more organised with a proper queue with 2 metre markings. However the wait looks quite lengthy (mind you it usually is in normal times).

What sort of gifts can we send:

  • Food gifts are particularly welcome to those in isolation. More and more butchers, farm shops and greengrocers are entering this market, having lost their regular customers, such as restaurants. My friend’s son sent her a vegetable box, with the biggest peppers she had ever seen.
  • I posted some socks I knitted to my daughter using a prepaid label. I also left some bits on Gemma’s doorstep as part of my daily walk. As a reminder to myself, that walk to their house is much better if you are allowed to have a break and a cup of coffee or a full meal when you get there. I hope those days return before long.
  • Last week Gemma and I did a virtual shopping trip. With a shared screen we chose yarn for her to make a rug for the baby’s room. The supplier warns there may be a delay in it arriving but it is something to look forward to. I snuck in a couple of balls of yarn for myself – so I may have to do the long walk to pick it up. I hoping to repeat the virtual shopping trip with my daughter who has a birthday later this month.
  • Buying gifts from online shops like Gemma’s is a way in which you can support small makers such as her. My son can pop small gifts in the post box. And Gemma is using a door to door delivery service to ship larger parcels. Have look at her online shop to see if there is a gift you would like sending to someone who needs cheering up. Or maybe buy something for yourself.

Take care of yourselves, and where possible stay at home.

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Just a Review

I started following the “Just a Card” campaign when I saw Gemma mention it. The campaign aims to get people to support small independent business such as Gem’s Concrete Gems, and to realise that every little purchase makes a difference.

The other night we were talking at our crochet group about the various businesses people are involved in. The conversation went like this:

“I saw X, she and her friend went on one of your courses and they loved it.”

“I wish they would write a review.”

Followed by a collective sigh, as everyone knew of people who love their products and services but don’t post positive reviews.

I came home and posted reviews on recent Etsy purchases that I had liked but never got round to writing. I would have posted reviews on NuMonday purchases but they don’t seem to have a review mechanism…

However I have a caveat to my recommendation to post a review. If the service or product you get from a small business is not what you would expect don’t immediately post a negative review, contact the supplier and explain why you are unhappy and maybe suggest how they could improve. I bought something that was a long time coming and what was delivered wasn’t quite what I ordered; when I contacted the supplier it turned out she was a young mum, on jury service for something lengthy, and she had sent my order out in a hurry when distracted. A negative review would do no good in this case, jury service only lasts a short time and hopefully her experience with me was a prompt to be careful in checking orders.

So when you buy something from an independent business take the time to give them a 5 star review. If they are not up to scratch don’t post a negative review unless they are dreadful and you feel strongly that fellow buyers need warning off.

If you have bought from Gem’s Concrete Gems, please consider leaving a review on Etsy or Facebook.