With Christmas Shopping now well under way, there is sure to be someone on your list who comes with an extra-large question mark against their name. We all have them… too fussy, too-got-everything, too lovely to leave it to chance! What do you buy the woman / man / child who has everything / wants for nothing or has been known to ask for the receipt before the wrapping is fully off?
One year on from its Festive Launch 2016, and with an impressive rounding up some of the Small City’s favourite indie shops, Perth based miconex are enjoying a surge in Perth Card sales. For those who haven’t heard about it, The Perth Card is exactly the same as any other gift-voucher type card with the added bonus of being accepted in over 50 local, indie businesses.
I was lucky enough to be gifted a card to spend last year and hit the shops in a frenzy of Christmas shopping. This year, I decided that as a big Indie retailer fan, I’d spend as though I’d been gifted the card and let you see just how much could be bought from a £75 treat! (Seriously, if I ever tell you I have a tough job feel free to slap me back to reality!)
First stop then was Scottish Seasons who are one of two city centre retailers selling the Perth Card; you can also buy it at Fun Junction and online at ThePerthCard.co.uk.
The idea is you load a card with any amount you wish and the person you gift it to will be able to pick and choose where and how much they spend on their card – as I mentioned earlier, there are over 50 retailers selling everything from Christmas Hampers to bling-tastic diamonds! The total is deducted at each till point and runs down in exactly the same way as a 'One Store Only' traditional voucher.
As I was there, I picked up a couple of Dougie’s gorgeous Scottish kids’ books; I like to think I’m super Auntie and have these on hand for visiting nieces and nephews. Hairy Hettie the Heiland Coo and Wee Granny’s Magic Bag will join similar titles picked up from Scottish Seasons over the years. Two books £5.99 each.
I needed a plan, so I popped in to The Rose House just two doors along to have a coffee and a slice of cake – fuel for the day, you understand! The Rose House expanded earlier this year and as well as their award-winning flowers they now have a gorgeous wee café that sells the most amazing homebaking. I can highly recommend the gluten-free raspberry and almond cake... even though I’m not gluten free!
Audrey was busy making Christmas centrepieces and wreaths when I arrived and after a wee browse round I added a few stems of gold leaves to my tab. Total cost of coffee stop, cake and new gold stems, £11.45.
We moved house this year so I have developed a bit of an obsession with gorgeous things that can brighten up dull corners. With that thought forefront in my mind I headed for Silver linings at the bottom end of the High Street.
However, I was distracted on route by the seasonal gift packs in Highland Health Store window and given that I was buying for myself popped in to pick up one of the Burt Bees Remedy packs. As a side note, if you’ve never tried this you don’t know what you’re missing. £5.99 for soft, smooth hands and super-kissable lips. I.Love.It. As I was about to pay, I caught Tisserand’s essential survival kit winking at me. With stress-levels mounting, sleep hours dropping and a gazillion articles to write before Christmas Eve, into the basket it went for an energising £11.99.
Right, Silver Linings next! I love this wee shop full of great gift ideas and bespoke jewellery. Kylie Campbell has gorgeous taste and I could’ve blown the entire budget and a whole chunk of change more on the beautiful things lining her shelves. However, I was in for something very specific by Perth based artist Sarah Halliday.
You may remember we featured Sarah’s ‘George Street’ painting a couple of years ago. Well, that particular item was purchased for the very lucky Diane from Provender Brown BUT Sarah has recreated this, and more of her painted streets, as limited edition prints and cards. I picked up the entire set of five cards – George Street, St John’s Street, Tay Street, Rodney Gardens and North Inch - which I plan to frame and hang in my hall. However, I am but a weak woman and in went her ‘seagull attack’ as a larger print which I paid for in cash so as not to ruin my plan! Five cards totalled £11.25 with the additional print another £18.
I’m on a roll now! One of the reasons I love shopping with an indie business is the friendly, personal service you get. I never feel pressured to buy, I can ask for ideas around my budget, and because these shops are usually manned by the owner or a long-term staff member, I know I'll get honest, knowledgeable advice. Once you become a regular in any of these wee shops, they'll get to know your tastes and things about your life. It’s like shopping with your pals except they know exactly where everything is.
Up George Street - mentally making a reminder to order my Christmas Cheese Board, pick up my new necklace from Linda Byers and drop off a parcel for London before last Christmas post - and down into Bridge lane to the wonderful Pretty Things. I had spotted their velvet pouches a couple of week’s before and in bright colours with metallic stars it was only a matter of time before one would accessorise my sparkly Christmas dress. I went for a beautiful ochre yellow – so this season darling – with a silver star for £14.50.
As much as I’m dressing this up as work I decided an hour out of the office was brazen enough (yep, ALL of that in one hour!) so headed back to show-off my purchases to Rhona and Holly. A quick check online showed that I had £9.10 left. I shouald say here that it is the number on the back of your card you should check. After two ‘not recognised’ I got proper excited and thought I’d bagged myself a never-ending pot of Perth pennies. But no. I just needed a quick roll of my Tisserand energy oil to refocus at which point I realised my shopping high had left me unable to read a clear instruction!
I knew exactly what I was spending my balance on – a Health Suite for two for me and RG at Perth Leisure Pool. As Live Active members we get in for only £4.70 each which left me a mere 30p over budget AND a top girlfriend badge to add to my Favourite Auntie one! (You’ll forgive me, I’m sure, for skipping on the photos of us in a cozzie for this one...!)
So, what do I think? Well, as you'd guess I'm up for anything that encourages a #PerthLoveFest and having gone through the whole process of buying a card, spending in various shops and checking my balance online I can honestly say this has cracked the age old dilemma of how to link up lots of our favourite Indie shops to give us a great gift solution.
The Perth Card is a perfect gift for anyone living in or visiting Perth. I’ve bought two children’s books, a coffee and a slice of heavenly cake, gold leaves for my vase, soft hands and lips, energising pick-me-ups, a local artist’s prints, a velvet bag and a relaxing end to my busy day with a steam, a jacuzzi and a sauna for two!
Had I had enough time (and credit!) I could also have gone for a meal, a tour of a castle, had a cocktail, bought a couple of steaks or booked in for a haircut. All at our favourite local Indies in Perth City Centre. #NailedIt #SpendInPerth
If you're one of these people who are still looking at a blank Christmas gift list then check out more details on The Perth Card over on their website. Your loved one will be very glad you did!
REDEEM CARDS | Find a full list of where you can spend your card on The Perth Card website here.
The Perth Card team reimbursed the £75 I spent on buying this card.