Anything that involves an element of customisation requires effort. The knowledge that someone has put time and effort into something makes it instantly more meaningful and special, thus making it a perfect gift idea.
Mink and Stone allow you to create your own necklaces and jewellery online, allowing you to create a bespoke gift for whoever has a neck or wrist you want to decorate with a personal touch.
The brand contacted me to see if I’d like to try out the concept, but from looking at the selection of beads on the site, I knew it wasn’t really the style of jewellery I’m wearing at the moment. I used to only wear beads, finding ones that matched or complimented my outfit, they’d soundtrack my walk, but these days I am more into crystals and charm style items you can buy from a lot of those trendy stores that post pics of cool hippy babes on instagram.
I always feel bad that with all the lovely treats I get as a blogger, my mum rarely reaps any benefit, mainly because she doesn’t like, need, or understand the majority of things I’m gifted.
This seemed an obvious opportunity to treat my mum, particularly as she never buys herself anything just because it’s pretty or she likes it, its always only if its necessary.
There was no excuse for her not to get a new bit of bling on this occasion, and for once she could do so without shopper’s guilt!
The first part of the creative process is a really useful feature…it can be surprisingly hard to find necklaces that are the perfect hanging length for your given outfit. How many times have you swapped and changed hoping to find one that perfectly suits the neckline of your dress or top? Length of necklace can also be trend lead too…for instance 90’s style chokers are all the rage again.
As a women in her late sixties, my mum isn’t too keen on showing her decolletage (she thinks the skin is too crepey now) so she doesn’t really wear tops wil low V’s or scoops. She opted to go for a Princess length, which would rest neatly on the collar bones.
Mum’s not overly showy when it comes to her accessories, but we didn’t want to waste the opportunity of creating a statment piece, so we came up with a happy medium choose a few feature larger beads for the centre of the string, and some subtle thin silver beads for the remainder of the length.
It took us a few goes to get to grips with all the buttons and options on the site you need to use to form your personalised item, but after a bit of familiarisation we got there pretty simply and quickly……once settling on the aesthetic we were after. I would say though, that there is no way my mum would have been able to do this without me, and I can’t imagine she is the only one of her generation who would find it slightly boggling. Things that seem obvious to my generation on a website like this, just don’t come naturally to someone like my ma. I should point out that my Dad still has to man her email account as that is too much for her to grasp.
For me, despite the large amount of beads, the choice still felt a bit limiting. There weren’t many beads that tapped into trends or style I am currently into, so I imagine others visiting the site will feel the same. Perhaps moving forward the brand could benefit from adding themes, collections, current trends to their range of options.
If I am spending the time to make something personal and customised I really want it to be a one off, and actually there is nothing stopping someone else from being able to create exactly the same necklace as you. Perhaps they could also add options some as photos for lockets, or inscriptions.
Despite only a few statement beads the necklace neared the £40 mark, which is probably more than I would usually pay for a necklace that wouldn’t full under the fine catagory. When it arrived it was a bit more lighweight than I had hoped for given the relatively high price – however, it looked rather lovely on, and my mother was very pleased with the overall look of the necklace and her choice of beads.
We were both very impressed with the speed in which it arrived – which is very handy particular for those last minute gift purchases on forgotton birthdays or special occasions. We also loved the cute velvet drawstring bag it arrived in.
Overall it is a great concept for an online store, and with a bit of updating (to suit a younger, fashion lead crowd) or by targeting women of mums age, it could do really well.
Thanks to Mink and Stone for the treat for my lovely mum.