It’s Christmas and you need gift ideas!

Barks & Squeaks can help!  Read on to find out how to think about what kinds of gifts to put into your hamper for your pet-loving friends and family, as well as the practicalities of using my ‘Create Your Own Hamper’ service. 

The season for giving…

How is your Christmas shopping coming along?  During this season of giving, many of us love to scour the aisles (real or virtual) to find gifts and treats to delight our friends and family.  And this tradition increasingly includes the furrier four-legged members of our families.

In fact, according to the Telegraph, the retail behemoth Tesco  increased its range of gifts for pets by 300% in 2017!

Dog Breed Design Gift Hamper

Hampers and Gift Boxes

When I think of Christmas gifts, I always think of hampers – Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, John Lewis.  I picture gorgeous wicker, lidded baskets brimming with delicious goodies.  But the problem with hampers is that whilst you get loads of great stuff, you also end up buying goods you might not necessarily have chosen yourself.  No-one really knows how to make a hamper that you want… except you!

In the last couple of years, various family members have re-homed a rescue dog or welcomed a new puppy or kitten into their homes.  I wanted to send them a lovely hamper gift to welcome their new family member.  Whilst there are a number of options out there, the vast majority are pre-made or only partly customisable.  I wanted to be able to choose everything that went into my hamper.

And that is why I founded Barks & Squeaks; to offer completely customisable hamper gifts for pets and for pet-lovers!

I do offer pre-made, semi-customisable hampers too, as some people prefer this.  If creating your own hamper from scratch isn’t for you, have a look at my ready-made gift hampers.

Ready Made Hampers

How to make a hamper for pets or a pet-lover

How do you make a hamper for a pet or a pet-lover?  There are two parts to the answer to this question.  The first is deciding exactly what to put in your hamper. The second is the logistics of creating the hamper!

Part One: What to put into a hamper?

Luxury Gift Hamper for Dog Lover & Their Dog

1. Budget

Think about how much you want to spend.  This will help you think through the type and number of gifts you want to buy.  Consider the cost of the hamper, bag or box itself and factor this into your budget.

Also, consider the usefulness of the hamper, box or bag.  Is it a nice gift in its own right that serves a purpose?  As an example, my wicker hampers make fab dog toy boxes, storage for grooming kits or just any other knick knacks you may wish to tuck away.  They look great too.  I have two in my kitchen.

Barks & Squeaks offers various options across a range of prices with even more choices coming soon.  Visit my Create Your Own Hamper page for more information and prices.

2. Who are you buying for?

There are several useful questions you can ask yourself to help you focus in on the type of goodies you want to include in your basket.

  • Is the gift for the pet, for the pet-owner or for both?
  • Does the pet-owner have more than one pet? You might want to include products for them and all their pets
  • What is important to them? e.g. Health?  Animal Welfare?  Comfort?  (Barks & Squeaks offers a number of gifts that support animal charities.  I also consider the health impacts of food and grooming product ingredients before deciding to stock them.)
  • What are their interests? e.g. Fashion?  Travel?  Reading?  Eating out?
  • What do they do with their pet? Does their pet go everywhere with them?  Do they love long, muddy walks?  Do they like to take their pet to pet-friendly pubs and cafes?  How and where do they like to play with their pet?
  • Are they particularly fond of a specific breed of dog or cat? (I offer a number of products with breed-specific designs.)
  • Do they like to cook? (I offer pet-themed kitchenware and homeware)
  • Is their pet young or old? Large or small?
  • Do they do their own pet-grooming?

If you need further inspiration, check out my Look Book, Facebook Page and Instagram page for pet gift ideas.  You will find example hampers and showcasing of products as well as some of our beautiful gifts and treats in action.

3. Browse products

Having thought through your budget and who you are buying for, have a browse in the Barks & Squeaks ‘Create Your Own Hamper’ page.  The gifts and goodies are sorted into three tables according to their size.  This is to help you this about what will fit into your hamper, box or bag.

  • Price: Barks & Squeaks has a handy sort-by-price option in the Create Your Own Hamper tables.  Just click on the little arrow next to the Price header and the table will sort by price from lowest to highest.  Click it again, and it will sort by price from highest to lowest.

  • More Information: If you want more information about a particular product, you can click on the name and you will be able to view the full product details.
  • Filter by breed or recipient: If you want to narrow down the products in the table to see the most relevant for you, there are two options. The filter options are shown at the top left of the table. If you are looking for breed specific designs, you can filter by breed and select one of the many different breed designs available.  Or, you can filter by recipient by using the ‘Who is it for?’ filter.  This allows you to see gifts for either dogs, cats, dog-lovers or cat-lovers.

Part Two: The Practicalities

Step 1, 2, 3…

Barks & Squeaks offers a ‘Create Your Own Hamper’ service which includes hampers, gift bags and gift boxes.   It is really simple to use.

Visit the Create Your Own Hamper Page.

1. Choose Your Hamper, Box or Bag

The first step is to decide which hamper, bag or box you want to put your gifts in. Barks & Squeaks offers 2 hamper sizes (10 inch and 14 inch), a white jute gift bag and  black gift boxes and trays.  Consider how many and what size items you wish to put in your hamper, bag or box and how the hamper bag or box might be used by the recipient.

2. Choose Contents

The second step is to choose your contents. Earlier in this post I offered you some hints and tips to help you decide on the perfect gifts for your hamper.  My Create Your Own Hamper page has sorted all the products into 3 tables for Large, Medium and Small items.  There are guidance notes on roughly how many items you should include from each size category for the size hamper, box or bag you have selected.  Just click the ‘Add To Basket’ button next to each item you wish to add.  For items where there is a choice of size/colour/design, these options are shown in the table and you need to select them before you can add them to the basket

3. Checkout and Pay

Once you have made all your selections, scroll down and you will see the checkout on the same page.  If you are happy with everything, you can place your order here.  If you need to make any changes before you check out and pay, click on the link to view your cart or to check out and follow the payment process!

Then leave the rest to me!  I will make up your hamper for you and ship it off to you asap!

I hope that has given you some ideas on how to make a hamper.  Let me know in the comments what else you’d like to see on Barks & Squeaks to help you create the perfect hamper.

Don’t forget to join my mailing list to make sure you are one of the first to know when we have new products or offers!

(UPDATED NOVEMBER 2018)

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