Interview with: Karen Waddilove
Company Name: AMARA Wedding Gift Lists
Location: Online / Nationwide Coverage
What does AMARA Wedding Gift Lists do?
We offer a bespoke wedding gift list service with access to over 200 luxury brands such as Missoni Home, Donna Karan, Day Birger et Mikkelsen, and many exclusively such as Roberto Cavalli and Ralph Lauren Home, combined with award winning customer service by your personal wedding list co-ordinator.
How did the business start and how long has it been going?
Amara.com has been an online luxury homewares retailer since 2006, and the wedding list service was a natural progression after having requests from our customers to offer such a service.
Who works at AMARA Wedding Gift Lists?
The wedding list consists of myself, Helen and Emily, with backup support from a large customer services department.
What type of products can people choose for their wedding gift list?
We have a massive cross section of products, from toilet brushes to nickel plated chess sets; we are in fact like a department store covering everything for the home as well as gifts. Having said that, if a client has a specific brand of, for example dinnerware, they wanted that we don’t have on the website, we will endeavour to source that for them.
How can couples use AMARA to create their wedding gift list? What is the process?
The process is extremely quick and easy to set up online and after a matter of moments you are ready to start ‘shopping’ for your ultimate gift list! We can of course set it up for clients over the telephone if required.
What happens if the couple want to add or change any items on the list?
Again it is very easy to add items, by browsing the website and adding to their list with a simple click of a button. Once your list has been created you can log on at any time and add or remove items at will.
Is there a minimum spend for gift lists?
There is no minimum spend, although we do recommend offering a large cross section of products and budgets to give your guests plenty of options. After the wedding is over and you come to have your list of items delivered you can swap them around as you wish. In fact you don’t have to have any of the presents purchased, and instead you can use the money to spend on whatever you want from the website.
How can wedding guests buy items from the list and how is this then recorded so duplicate items are not purchased?
Wedding guests go onto the couple’s list as advised by the them and simply purchase a chosen item, leave a message, and then the item is automatically displayed as purchased and is unable to be bought again. They can also buy over the telephone if preferred.
Is there anywhere couples can get ideas for their wedding gift list?
We can offer advice on products and ranges and actually have a choice of three pre-constructed lists if required.
How do you choose the businesses and products that you sell through the website?
We have a marvellous buying department headed by Sam Hood, creative director and co-founder. She buys seasonal collections from all the designer brands, but is always on the lookout for up and coming designers!
As a web-based business, can people create their wedding gift list no matter where they are based in the UK?
Yes they can, and in fact we ship around the world on a daily business, in fact we have two international wedding lists running at present. Many of clients have guests abroad so the website is very easy for them to use too.
How and when are the gifts delivered to the couple?
As the gifts are purchased they are allocated to the happy couple in a designated area within our warehouse. We deliver all of the gifts in one go after the wedding, usually when the couple have returned from their honeymoon and after they have made any alterations.
What sets the AMARA wedding gift list service apart from other companies who offer gift lists?
I think our range of over 8000 products has to be a major advantage, as well as the fact that many of our luxury designer brands are not available anywhere else. Ultimately we are a totally bespoke service, and so offer our clients flexibility and award winning customer service, as well as an outstanding range of products.
What are your top tips for choosing wedding gift list items?
I would advise to create a large and varied list; your guests will want to have a choice of what they buy for you, making it feel more individual. Also, having various price points is important, to cater for your great aunt Doris as well your boss! Having the option to allow your guests to purchase gift vouchers also adds flexibility. Above all, enjoy filling your basket with your ultimate gifts!
Random question… What was your best ever Christmas present?
One year my husband surprised me with a beautiful camel wool coat from Aquascutum; it’s a classic piece and well chosen. Having said that, I’ve had some rubbish gifts from him as well over the years!
Where can I find out more about AMARA Wedding Gift Lists?
Simply go online to www.amara.com/shop/wedding-gifts, or call the wedding list team on 0800 587 7645 and we will be happy to talk to you further.