This could be your most thoughtful gift yet

Updated: Mar 25

Since there's so much love in one neat package.

Christmas is still a month away, and I’m already thinking of gifts. And food. 😊

I’m not a good gift-giver. Okay, if I’m being honest, I’m terrible at it; I even forget special dates sometimes. So I need all the help I can get.

Luckily, I found it in Kit Bayron, the former digital marketing executive of Spectrum Store.

Established by Paperclip Pte Ltd, Spectrum Store in Singapore offers a cool range of lifestyle pieces that make perfect gifts. These include homeware, stationery, tech and gift items, toys, accessories, beauty products, and more.

Spectrum Store
This beautiful journal is a good example

For inspiration on gifts and the act of gift-giving, I’ve decided that maybe we should use the coolest gift we’ve ever received as a starting point…? It might boost our imagination and nudge us in the right direction.

“Receiving gifts is not exactly my love language, so I have to admit, I’ve probably spent way too much time than needed on this question,” Kit says.

“It’s a tough one! But I do recall this one time when my Korean best friend sent me a ginormous box of goodies and a bunch of handwritten letters as a graduation and parting gift. More than the sheer quantity of snacks and skincare products in the box, it was really the thought behind it that really clung to me. Everything was well-thought-out and brought back special (funny, even) memories of our friendship. I don’t know – it just felt like she knew me so well!

“Before that, we also exchanged totally handmade scrapbooks that we both cried over because we were too touched,” she adds.

“We have managed to meet up in different parts of the world these past few years and without fail, she always brings her scrapbook every single time. Guess it’s part of our lives now!”

What about you?

Do you have the knack or skill for it? Like Kit’s best friend, we mean, who is able to pick the right gift all the time. 😉

“I’m not exactly sure if this is something we can somehow develop, but empathy and a genuine regard for the person you’re gifting has to be there,” Kit reflects.

“The job would be a lot easier, though, if it’s someone you know well; otherwise, don’t be afraid to ask around! Some people may know your recipient better than you do and that’s fine. Go ask their friends and family for some suggestions. I’m sure they’ll see it as a nice gesture too.”

Kit has one other tip: Be a little sneaky. “You may also do a little bit of the investigative work yourself! I’ve probably done this a few times before, where I would act naïve and as natural as possible and randomly ask the person’s opinion on something. Their reactions will tell you everything!”

Or actually, we can just look at our own reactions as the recipient and go from there. 😊

Global Journey Notes 'n' Quotes
What do you think?

“I personally find it a little difficult to ‘act normal’ when I receive something that I don’t really like or need, and that, I think, is exactly what makes gift-giving both an art and a skill. There’s a fine line between giving someone something because you have to, and giving someone something because you think they need it or it’s something they’d appreciate,” Kit observes.

“It’s easy to pick something up from a store, have it gift-wrapped and sent to your recipient because there’s some occasion going on or something. But carefully thinking about your recipient, their needs and interests, and making a conscious effort to customise your gift according to these things, isn’t.

“This kind of proves my point in the first question too, that memorable and well-thought-out gifts are the ones that stick! It’s really important to take that extra step,” she concludes.

There’s another solution

You don’t have to stop at “one” gift. That is, you assemble a gift box or set filled with products that you believe the recipient will love. This is great if you tend to second-guess yourself and dilly-dally between items.

And if we remember Kit’s choice for coolest gift received above, it works – and quite well too.

Plus everything about it is so much fun. 👏

What does Kit herself love about gift boxes and gift sets? “The surprise element! And really, what’s not to love about gift boxes? We all love them the same way we love goodie bags,” she declares.

“It’s fun to put things together and have them packed nicely (and no, I’m not looking at you, sloppy gift-wrappers – but that’s kind of a good point too) and I love how it gives you more room for creativity and personalisation.”

Kit personalises hers with greeting cards and handwritten notes. “At Spectrum Store, we sell really cute greeting cards from both local and international artists, and offer free handwriting services as well! We offer this option for both online and offline purchases, and I personally love this because it gives busy people the chance to still give great, personalised and heartfelt gifts when they can’t do it themselves. We absolutely love to do it for them!”

Christmas cards
Write down your thoughts

Need more ideas? Kit shares her suggestions for curating a gift box or gift set here – one that includes pieces that not only look pretty, but are incredibly useful, long-lasting and purposeful as well (without you feeling overwhelmed). Because it’s also important to not be wasteful. 😊

#1 Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes

“When we curate gift boxes for him or her, for mum or dad, and so on, we obviously have to somehow put ourselves in their shoes in order to come up with the best selection of products as much as possible. Like the last thing we want our Father’s Day box to have is glittery unicorn soaps or really flashy Swarovski pens, for instance. (Extreme example, but you get the point!)”

#2 Think pain points and solutions

“Just like getting a regular gift, I believe we try to fulfil a certain need or pain point whenever we pick a present for someone,” Kit stresses.

“When someone feels down, we give them pick-me-up gifts like flowers or novelty items with a punch of humour. When someone just picked up baking and doesn’t have enough supplies, we probably give them something like an apron or a spatula. When we buy presents for kids, we try to give them something that will help them with learning, play, and so on. Gifting is supposed to be a purposeful activity, and to do it right, we should consider picking something that can help improve someone’s life in one way or another.”

Children's toys
For the curious and adventurous kid in you

#3 Ensure product variety

“Lucky enough for us, our wide range of products really helps us ensure variety across all our gift boxes. We have something for everyone: home (items), toys and entertainment for both kids and grown-ups; men and women’s apparel and accessories; stationery; an entire range of lifestyle products from personal care, pets, gardening, new age, tech accessories, and more. It’s definitely an advantage when we need to be creative with our product selection for gift sets!”

#4 Include practical or useful items

“Let’s face it: Nobody really remembers gifts unless they see or use them often. Out of sight, out of mind! It’s just the reality. People live busy lives and for the most part, gifts and occasions just come and go really fast. So what better way to make sure your gifts will be remembered? Pick stuff that’s practical and useful in daily life (e.g. some of our gift boxes always include practical items such as soaps, mugs, socks, and even sanitisers).”

#5 Bring extra value to the table

“If people can just buy gifts the normal way and just get it over with, why would they buy your gift boxes? At least for us, we make sure you get more value from our boxes than you’d usually pay for,” Kit relates.

“For instance, we’ll do the dirty work for you and make sure your gift box reaches your recipient on time (we even accept last-minute gift requests) and also sell our boxes at a lower price than all the retail prices of each individual item combined! Really great value for money.”

#6 Provide multiple options

“Someone might like one of our boxes but somehow hesitate, because perhaps they don’t like the design of the socks, or maybe they prefer the Strawberry Grow Kit instead of the sunflower one – which is why we try to provide multiple options for all our gift sets. We also accept special requests and treat each order like it’s for a VIP.”

Paris Garden Grow Kit
Throw in some herbs

#7 Make it personal

This one's mine. 😊 Add some things that you’ve created yourself, or remind you both of a special time, so that your gift will be treasured and remembered for years to come.

Loving it all so far?

It’s okay, because you’re not excluded from this treat. These gift-box ideas apply to us too – so let’s not forget to gift ourselves something precious this holiday season too. Use all of the above for a gift box that has all of the elements you’ve been dreaming of… and you couldn’t wait to open at midnight! (Why not?) 😊

“Someone (once) said: ‘You can’t give away what you don’t have’, and I think that has always been true. While we find satisfaction in being the gift-giver, it should also go the other way,” Kit reveals.

“But here’s the tricky part: I don’t think we should expect it from other people either! So I think the best way to go about this is to treat ourselves every now and then, and basically just show ourselves a little more love. It goes a long way!”

It does, indeed. Although I for one still want to know what you’re giving away and putting in your gift box. 🎁 😁

Spectrum Store now stocks Singaporean-made and designed products. Aside from gift-box services, they offer corporate purchases too. For more on Spectrum Store, check out their site, Facebook and Instagram.