Steer issue 21 APRIL 2019 - Page 23

artisan lane gifts
Rachel, owner of new
gift company, artisan
lane gifts, champions
local and artisan British
producers to create a
range of gift boxes.
Having turned 50 last summer, I decided to leave a marketing
career in the travel and leisure industry working for big
names such as First Choice Holidays, Go Ape and CAMRA
(Campaign for Real Ale) to launch my own solo venture,
artisan lane gifts.
It was while working alongside the eclectic mix of
independent retailers and market traders in a previous role
as a marketing and commercial manager for Cambridge
BID (Business Improvement District) that I discovered the
sheer number of talented producers and craftspeople on my
doorstep. I worked with a number of independent shops
and market traders and came to appreciate the quality gifts,
food and drink that were available. I was amazed at the
range of beautiful, locally made items available and it got
me interested in what was closer to my home in Bishop’s
Stortford, on the Hertfordshire/Essex border.
I select individual gifts from designers, small batch and
artisan producers who are primarily based across the East
of England. These items are often unique and hard to find,
and I think this makes them extra special and ideal for those
looking to give something a bit different. You are buying a gift
with personality that is lovingly made by a passionate artisan.
I’ve always enjoyed making up my own gift boxes for
relatives and friends to mark special occasions and I’ve
created a curated modern gift collection including Afternoon
Tea, Pamper, New Baby and Comfy (a range of beautiful
pashminas). I am now developing my food and drink and
home selections ready for autumn and Christmas. The gift
boxes make ideal gifts for family, friends and colleagues –
there’s a box for every occasion and season whether it’s a
birthday, new home, congratulations, get well or thank you
gift. I pack the gifts in a luxury keepsake box – I like the idea
that people can reuse the box. I then tie brightly coloured
ribbons to create a really special touch and there’s also an
option to add a personal message that is handwritten.
I am also able to offer a corporate and bespoke gift service
and I’ve had a lot of interest from local firms who want to
offer their clients something different whilst supporting local
As well as online, I have test sold some of my gifts in retail
spaces both as individual items and in curated boxes, and
am looking to expand this concept. It is hard for artisans to
get their products to reach people as the shops demand a
high mark up on a product that is already more expensive to
produce because it’s usually handmade, made on a smaller
scale and from high quality ethically sourced materials. I
hope that if I work collectively with the artisans I can get
established space in some key retailers so that they have a
more permanent presence
and bring something of a
community feel to the shops
whilst giving the shopper more
variety and access to local
You can view the artisan lane range at


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