The joy of gifting

Have you noticed the gleam in your sibling’s eyes when you gave her a coveted denim jacket that she couldn’t afford? Did the artist in you soar when you received that ultimate pastel crayon collection from your cousin in UK?  How many times did you recall the shy delight on your grandma’s face when you gave her a new sweater in her favourite shade of red? Gift giving, when meaningful and for the right occasion brings a lifetime of happiness to both, the giver and the receiver.

Life today is fast-paced and busy. Most people do not find the time, resources or the energy to buy gifts. With the advent of online shopping and gift-cards, people have found it somewhat easier to make their gift purchases. However, most online stores carry similar products in a given category. For example, home décor  category of products generally contain bowl sets, cutlery, kitchen gadgets, idols of gods, photo frames, bed spreads, vases and so on. You get the drill, right? Let’s just say you bought these items off the cart and gifted your friend a bowl set on her house-warming. When she opens her gifts, you can be pretty sure her aunt Hilda and her sister Anita gave a set each as well. While most people mean well and try to give something useful or something pretty as gifts, their selection fruit basketwould be based on their personal choice and budget. What about the receiver’s choice?

Picking the right gift is never easy. Let’s say you picked a perfectly nice silver fruit basket for your mother-in-law and spent $250 on it! You give it to her and she goes “Hmm. Thank you dear. Very pretty. If I knew your budget perhaps I could have suggested a framed mirror that I have been meaning to buy for the foyer. The crystal fruit bowl from my mother has never left our counter, you know?”

Eric was looking at online stores to pick a gift for his friend’s wedding. They listed a category called “Funky”. Curious, he idea-light-bulbdecided to try his luck. Indeed the gifts were “funky”. There were some 2 dozen USB flash drive options in different animation characters. But, they were all USB flash drives! How he wished someone would suggest to him the right gift for his budget based on his friend’s preferences instead of him trying to second guess based on limited options at his fingertips! If there are too many options then he would end up spending all his free time looking online instead of walking his dog! Just then the bulb above his head lit up!

He looked up a shopping outsourcing partner. To his luck he found two companies to help him. Neither of them was locatedbondi-beach
in his home-town. After going through their websites, he decided to try one of them. This company serviced him through online and phone and shipped the personalised gift to his address in Sydney. Delighted with this new found freedom from gift shopping, Eric decided to take off for a run on the Bondi beach, with his ideal mate…his dog!

To find your freedom from shopping for high quality, luxury products and home décor log on to


Sustainability from the sub-continent

Jute jewellary

The Indian sub-continent is the home of the cottage industry. Every state of India boasts of its own unique handicrafts and artworks. From making expensive gemstone jewellery to weaving baskets from natural fibres, this industry thrives on a market full of home decorators, tourists, eco-conscious people and the fervent shopoholics. The handicrafts of India can be found on the streets, government outlets promoting their state crafts and exclusive retailers selling handpicked items for the urbane customer.

jute set

India is the proud home of textiles that are handwoven, naturally dyed and hand embroidered. These textiles can be silk, cotton, jute, linen or any synthetic material. The jute industry produces some of the most unique bags, jewellery, hammocks and other home décor products. Handmade silk products such as pillow covers, clothing, bags, wall décor and purses come in splendid rich colours with embroideries recognized for their place of origin – Kantha work, Chikan work, Kashmiri embroidery, Phulkan work, Kutch work, Lambadi, Kasuti and many more. Indian cotton is traded worldwide and cotton textile is used for bed linens, curtains, clothing among many others. The use of cotton textiles is popular due to its ease of maintenance, strength and comfort for tropical weathers.  Embroidered and naturally dyed cotton textile is widely embraced by people all around the world. One of the most renowned handwoven forms of textile in India is called Khadi, woven from cotton, silk or wool.


Bamboo, one of the most sustainable materials, has found its way into the cottage industry to shape up into various forms. From furniture to curtains/blinds to flooring, building materials and even fabric this versatile natural material finishes very well for a rustic country home or outdoors. Bamboo, when maintained well with polish can make a great indoor material as well. Almost every Indian household has a few carpets made from bamboo in different patterns, sizes and colours.

Terracotta is another popular category of natural or hand made products to make earthenware that are sold in their natural color or hand painted designs. Most households use the earthen pot to keep water and dairy products cool. Many households use the pots to grow plants or keep larger earthenware as show pieces and vases. Some of the pieces are decorated with crystals, metallic colors and small beads to make them appear more ornate and upscale.

coconut shell owls

The Indian cottage industry recycles many natural and man-made materials that are discarded as waste materials by manufacturers of the main product. For example, coconut shells, sea shells, broken glasses, scrap iron and other such material are re-used to make art décor, stationary items (magazine holders, pen stands), wall decorations, outdoor decoration items and so on.

If you are looking for something “earthy”, something “green” and something kind to our planet, drop us your requirement at We will make sure you are happy with the products that we choose for you.

Culture vulture

Culture, the collective nature of a community differentiated by their region, religion, race or profession is an important aspect of purchasing behaviour of consumers. It can provide excellent insights into the buying patterns of a given target segment of the marketplace. Although human beings remain unique in their own ways due to their environmental factors, one can put a finger on common traits associated with an individual and identify their cultural behaviour.

indian themed wedding, popular culture, Hollywood cinema

Identifying the right culture of buyers and prospects can be both, challenging as well as welcoming. It is imperative for marketers to understand to whom they are selling their products or services.  Many large organizations have understood the importance of culture, the hard way. What may work for one age group in a particular country may not work in the other.  And just when you thought you got the hang of culture, you notice there is an overlap in different generations of your customers.

In the modern world, with the advent of internet there has been a huge cultural overlap across generations. Senior citizens can no longer be deemed as rigid and old fashioned. With the onset of smart phones and tablets many have learnt to use the internet and access information beyond leaps and bounds. These changes are reflected in media such as television and cinema. Countries very strong in culture such as India adhering to elaborate religious guidelines have overcome societal taboos such as live-in relationships, remarriage for widows and divorcees and homosexuality. Although these changes are gradual there is extensive reasoning for these changing behaviours. One, the markets opening to foreign investments and multi-national companies setting up businesses in your home country.  Ex-pats are the first line of people to open your minds to new nationalities and their culture. Two, media trying to bring new excitement into your homes through television. Popular stories told around the globe are retold on your screen to open your minds and accept the different and foreign. Three, opportunities for individuals to travel overseas more often through work opens their eyes to world beyond borders.

popular culture custom fit to individual style

With more and more people around the world embracing popular cultures of different countries, is it any surprise then why culture plays such a big role in individuals preferences for style emerging from different cultures?

Our next blog post will talk about Indian culture in relation to the buying habits of global Indians and Indians in general. Stay tuned!

What does luxury mean to you?

Elephant necklace in goldImagine you are a tourist, on a budget and walking in heavy rain without an umbrella in a country where you don’t know the language. You walk five minutes and you are drenched to your skin. You are an average Joe who is wary of street peddlers. As you turn the corner you see a street vendor under a café awning, trying to sell you a gorgeous looking night vision watch for just $5. You would have been tempted to atleast look at it on another day. But today you just walk into that café, order a cup of thick hot chocolate for $3 and boy! you are in heaven. Was that luxury?

A woman worked 25 years as a teacher and retired at the age of 50. Her whole life revolved around getting her 3 children to school, cook for her family and help her husband pay the house mortgage. She gave up her wedding jewelry to pay for some of those vacations, small treats and gifts for her children to get them through school without any peer pressure. Her eldest daughter gave her the most beautiful necklace for her retirement day with her savings from her first job, a gratitude on which she could not put a price on. This was luxury beyond her imagination for the retired teacher and teary-eyed mother.

For many people luxury is associated with a thing or feeling that they may have not been capable of receiving at the present moment. Luxury or luxury items are associated strongly with financial success, luck or a generous gift. Whatever the reasons may be, luxury is an aspiration by the population in general. It could mean an acquisition of a product, experiencing a service or simply finding the financial means to buy them. Product acquisition happens mainly when one makes a purchase or has been given a gift. Suppose one likes to own a bust of Buddha for their outdoor landscape the purchaser would consider the following:

  1. What is the right size – a 3 feet Buddha or a 5 feet Buddha?
  2. What is my budget – Rs,15,000/- or Rs.25,000/-?
  3. What material would suit my courtyard aesthetics – brass or stone?
Indian Buddha, Indian gods, Statues, Artefacts of ethnic India
The peaceful statue of the sitting Buddha in Bronze

Once you have answered these questions, your next move would be decision making. Generally, luxury items are not sensitive to time as they are aspirational (as mentioned above) and dependant on the affordability or your budget size. Suppose you are now ready to make the purchase. What are the ways you will shop for this product?

Online stores: You will make price comparisons on various websites and try to find the material of your choice. Most often people use the search tool and keywords for the products they would like to purchase. It is very likely one may find the product of their choice based on these parameters. The question remains if their expectations are exceeded when they are looking for an exact match of their expectations.

Local stores: If you are staying anywhere in South East Asian countries, you are very likely to find the Buddha statues. However Buddha comes in different forms based on the countries where Buddhism is practiced. You are likely to find the laughing Buddha as a sign of good luck in most Chinese, Hong Kong or Singaporean stores. The sleeping brass Buddha from Thai stores. The sitting Buddha in wood or stone from Srilankan and Indian stores. What are the odds of you finding the right size and position of Buddha in the material you desire in one store? Most likely you spend a lot of time window shopping.

The second form of luxury product acquisition is through gifts. Unless you have a specific wish list at hand it’s not a simple task to find the right gift for another person. One has to put in a lot of time and effort in going the extra mile to find the right gift.

Whether you are making a purchase for yourself or finding a gift for someone, how can you find luxury products for a budget without spending too much time and money and yet, exceed expectations? To know more, keep watching this space.

For help with your shopping unique and exquisite Indian products’ needs, visit