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Top 10 Unusual Gifts?
My shop is built around thoughtful gifts and crafts and I wanted to share with you my top 10 best selling gifts that I could not have predicted in a million years. This isn't a sales pitch as all I want to do is share some beautiful gift ideas that you might not have thought of.
10. East of India Keepsake Wooden Box
Popular in the 60s and making a huge return are keepsake boxes (aka treasure boxes). My East of India range have a number of these very simple, handmade keepsake boxes and have been very popular in the run up to Christmas. I have one of these myself and store the little bits and pieces that I use for my scrapbooks.
9. Vietnamese Lacquerware Candle Holders and Homeware
It was always a gamble stocking Vietnamese lacquerware from my home country of Vietnam, as it tends to be more popular in the USA and Asia. But surprisingly the lacquerware range has been very popular. I think people are just tired of the same old stock from larger retailers, that's simply the same no matter which branch you wander in to. My lacquerware is imported from Vietnam - so you are getting something truly authentic and original and I believe this is why they are selling.
8. Japanese Hello Kitty
I thought these would be my post popular gift but I was wrong as opinions in the UK are very divided as like Marmite, you either love or hate them... What I have found is the Hello Kitty Accessories are selling more than Hello Kitty herself.
7. Japanese Lucky Cats
As I mentioned in a previous post - seeing one of these cool cats was what really inspired me to build an online shop and it's nice to see other people appreciating them too. A lot of Asian cultures believe these cats to be lucky and I think I am evidence that there's some truth in it. If you don't believe it they are still a fun ornament for any living room or kitchen.
6. East of India Handmade Noah's Ark
One of the more expensive items that I'm selling but when you open it's box - you really get a "wow" factor. The hand carved effect of the ark is simple and brings anyone back to their childhood. Having said that, many of the people buying my arks are so they can be displayed in a new baby's room.
5. Handmade Mugs and Box
Another beautiful East of India Gift. I chose this mug set to sell simply because of the beautiful words. I think anyone drinking their morning coffee will feel better when they read the words "laugh often, love much, live well" - well maybe except on a Monday. The little wooden box that that the mug comes in is lovely too and can be used for a little keepsake box.
4. Voodoo Dolls.
I get a lot of questions about these little guys and sadly I can't admit to crafting them myself. They have that "handmade" look to them and are really quite quirky and fun with your keys. Strangely, the larger versions of my Voodoo Dolls are outselling my keyrings which is a surprise.
3. Japanese Kokeshi Dolls
I have been a huge fan of these dolls for years so it was really easy for me to decide to sell them in my store. You see quite a few fakes on eBay and Amazon and some of them are quite good.. But these are genuine Kokeshi - made in Japan! What does this mean? It means that each doll is handmade, has striking colours and attention to detail that will stand the test of time (unlike the fakes). These are a great gift for such a wide range of occasions that I'm not surprised it's my number 3 most popular item.
2. By Joanie
These are made by me and it really was a gamble putting them on the shop. It's a hobby of mine and I've always been embarrassed to show people in case they didn't like them - but my friends and family have asked me to include them online and I have! I think the reason I'm selling so many of these items is the fact that they're different, they're unique and they're affordable. I use the best materials and because I make them myself - I can also sell very cheaply - even when I'm using Swarovski crystals and Sterling Silver.
I'm not selling a huge range yet but I'm busy making LOTS more...x
1. Meet the Ugly Dolls
I need to get this off my chest - I don't think they're ugly!! You have to really hold them in your hands to see what I mean but trust me - there's just something about them and I've sold so many of these at craft fairs and more recently online that it's really surprised me. Initially I bought quite low numbers but they sold out so quickly that I had to order another larger batch (although that's getting low again).. The Ugly Dolls are my number 1 seller and they are Japanese through and through !!
So could you have predicted that? I always find it interesting how people's buying habits always surprise you, but that's what keeps selling gifts so interesting and rewarding.
If you have any ideas for quirky or oriental gifts that you'd like to see on the store - please drop me a line or feel free to comment.
Oh and please swing by my Facebook Community for Joanies Gifts - be great to see you there!