We all have one: a friend or relative who we find it near impossible to shop for. So, in the first of a few posts about Christmas present ideas, I’m reviewing an option for those tricky-to-buy-for people in your life: gift subscription service Not Another Bill, which sends recipients a surprise in the post every month.
There are a few such services around nowadays, but what makes Not Another Bill stand out is the fact that it collaborates with up-and-coming designers and established brands (including some of my Scandinavian favourites, such as Ferm Living, HAY and Meraki) to put together a beautifully curated range of gifts. It was founded by former MC Saatchi Art Director and Central St Martin’s graduate Ned Corbett-Winder, who came up with the idea after hearing a friend complain that he no longer received anything fun in the mail.
The range covers everything from homeware and art prints to stationery, jewellery, leather goods and pampering body lotions, and subscriptions start at just £19 per month. The process is super-easy, too: you just select the price and length of subscription, fill in a short questionnaire about the details, tastes and interests of the recipient (or you, if you’re treating yourself!), and then it’s down to the team at Not Another Bill to select appropriate items.
My gift arrived beautifully wrapped in polka-dot tissue paper, and I felt like a child on Christmas morning as I weighed it up in my hands in a bid to guess what was inside. I managed to resist the temptation to open it in the middle of the office and got all the way home before tearing open the box to discover the treat within – a gleaming brass magnifying glass, together with a smart notebook monogrammed with my initials.
The magnifying glass was easy to put together and is very good quality – it can be respositioned as needed, and I love its air of nostalgia. I’ll be honest: it’s not something I would ever have bought for myself, but that’s of course the point. What’s more, it has come in surprisingly useful for everything from map-reading to deciphering the tiny instructions in a vacuum-cleaner booklet!
I’ve only received one gift from Not Another Bill rather than a whole subscription, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. It was so exciting to receive a totally unexpected treat in the post and, reassuringly, the company promises to swap any gifts which don’t turn out to be quite right for the recipient.
To give you a taster of other items in the range, here’s a little selection…
From top left: geometric glass terrarium, HK Living espresso mugs, marble pinch pot and brass spoon, Tom Pigeon ‘Luna’ print, magnetic glass timer, and Meraki scented candle.
To find out more about Not Another Bill and buy a subscription, just head over to the website. You can also put together tailored hampers of goodies – another great Christmas idea.
Most photography by Abi Dare; images of other products via Not Another Bill
Not Another Bill sent me a free gift for the purpose of this review, but as always all words and opinions are my own.