Hot on the heels of my rather popular indie gift guide (thanks chaps!) I bring you my ultimate guide to this year’s best gift vouchers! Lots of local businesses are offering some seriously cool vouchers this year, and since we’re not going to be seeing as much of the extended family, we all need presents that are deeply fabulous but really easy to post.
Why is it that gift vouchers have ended up with such a bad rap? I guess for lots of people, they’re associated with lingering childhood disappointment, getting a book token when you were hoping for a BMX (although as an avid bookworm from a young age, I maintain that a book token is a cracking gift too).
Frankly, I think we need to reclaim the gift voucher. It’s a brilliant present – it’s basically magic money that you have to spend on fun things for yourself (so there’s no guilt either), and if you buy a voucher from an indie business then you’re helping to guarantee them a future in these tough and uncertain times. Without further ado, here are a few of my favourite vouchers from brilliant indie businesses that you can pop in the post this year…
Party Gift Voucher, The Super Pirates
I’ll be honest, this was the voucher that inspired this post – the Super Pirates are Bath’s coolest events company for kids, running the most incredible holiday clubs, festivals and parties, and their latest innovation is vouchers for one awesome zoom party. The voucher is presented as a letter notifying the lucky little one that they’ve been put on Father Christmas’s Awesome List, which means they get a brilliant party as a reward! The voucher is valid for a whole year and kids can choose how, why and when they want to celebrate with their friends.
Adventure Sessions Photography, We Are Found
This might just be the voucher I’d most like for myself – it’s such a gorgeous idea. We Are Found are a photography outfit with a real difference, looking to capture beautiful natural moments between loved ones – so with a gift voucher for one of their Adventure Sessions, instead of posing you in a stuffy studio, they’ll take you on a stroll in a lovely natural setting and take photos as you go along. Not only is this bound to be more enjoyable, but it’s rather perfect for the current situation too! Choose the location, or ask them to surprise you with a recommendation, and it’s perfect for families, couples, friends and more – a wonderful experience and photos to treasure afterwards. Visit their Instagram page here to see examples of their stunning photography.
Personal Styling, Rachel P Blake
Know someone who’s always dreamt of having that luxurious personal shopping experience? Want to give the gift of a little self-confidence boost? Gorgeous personal stylist Rachel Blake (herself an ex-fashion-designer) offers gift vouchers for her styling sessions, which range from a Wardrobe Edit (discovering forgotten treasures already in your wardrobe and learning how to make the most of them in an outfit) to a total Image Overhaul (colour analysis, a full Wardrobe Detox, personal shopping, and much much more). I particularly love Rachel’s emphasis on not just buying new stuff, but rediscovering and reimagining what you already have, plus making use of all her insider knowledge on where to get the best vintage, second-hand and pre-loved fashion.
Run Strong, Kim Fit Bath
Do you know a keen runner (or someone who’d like to be) looking for a boost? Personal trainer Kim offers vouchers redeemable for her brilliant Run Strong program, which includes group workout classes specially designed to improve the body’s fitness for running, personalised training plans, one-to-one support, and more. You can also buy bespoke vouchers for Kim’s personal training sessions, too. Key info: Kim is one of the smiliest people I know and definitely not a scary personal trainer who will shout mean things at you – so don’t be afraid!
Online Cookery Classes, Vale House Kitchen
This gorgeous cookery school, based in the countryside just outside Bath, offers a whole range of fantastic foodie courses, covering everything from fishing and foraging to butchery, baking and preserving. Their gift vouchers are not only valid for in-person courses at the lovely Vale House itself, but also for their brilliant online courses, so even if the intended recipient isn’t leaving the house they can still learn something new with delicious results.
Need more ideas? Check out my fabulous indie gift guide here! And please don’t forget folks, indie businesses need our support more than ever this year. Spend your money wisely and invest in the brilliant small businesses that make our communities special!