All wrapped up.

There's nothing quite like receiving a thoughtfully chosen gift only to have it thrown in a bag or even worse not wrapped at all. Somehow in our time poor lives we are have forgotten the joys of gift giving. For me, seeing the presents under the tree on Christmas morning was almost as special as seeing what was inside them.

When I stumbled upon a little pop up shop a couple of years ago filled with luxurious papers, felt ball garlands and spools upon spools of ribbon I thought all of my Christmases had come at once. Since then Dear Mabel has been my go to for paper for any occasion. We ask the lovely Samantha about how it all began. 

 
 

What is the inspiration behind your brand?

A pure love of stationery and gift giving instilled by my Nanna Mabel who would send postcards, write letters and always inscribed in books she gave us as gifts. As a little girl I would save my wrapping papers and loved receiving letter sets.

I would always decorate gifts with a bow and the enjoyment in sourcing the right card, perfect wrap and matching ribbons was as exciting as the gift buying. I love to give a beautifully presented parcel, I did then and I do now. I think it is as important as the gift that is inside. The time, thought and effort you put into it shows the recipient how much they are loved and treasured.

When I was little we would go to local gift shops and purchase our gifts. I think that love of unique places, shopping local and finding something different still resonates with me now. My love for Christmas has grown and grown over the years. I was collecting ornaments before I had left home and had my own tree. It's a bit of an obsession. I am always on the hunt for new styles each Christmas in the stores and have a few of my favourite go tos for inspiration and ideas. 

 
 

Why choose monochrome/ why does it appeal to your sense of style?

I love the simplicity of black and white. Our branding is very simple. Our aesthetic is very simple. We would always package our parcels that went out in kraft paper and black ribbon or white and black. It is elegant, timeless and classic. It has a sense of tradition but also a modern element. Derby Day has been getting it right for many years!

 
 

How do you choose such wonderful products to carry in your store?

We have a fabulous supplier for our paper and we build on our collection. We have a range of favourites that people reorder again and again. I love seeing the new range but then enjoy putting my Dear Mabel touch on it by perhaps adding in an old favourite or mixing and matching a few collections. The ribbons are my worst indulgence. I just have to have the next colour or the next style that is out.

Our stationery is all printed locally which we are proud of. We create 90% of the graphics and love that people can recognise our style amongst other brands. Our garlands are a fun element which we started at Christmas and have just evolved into carrying a range of colours. Playing with colour combinations is so much fun and visual feasts like Instagram and Pinterest often have images that inspire a new colour choice and a new garland is born.     

 
 

What are your tips and tricks for creating beautifully wrapped gifts?

Choose good quality wrap. You will use less and your finished wrap will be polished.

Double sided tape is a must - no more unsightly seams and overused sticky tape

Add character and personality with a wrap band.

Always top it off with a ribbon, twine or string

The simplest parcels are the most beautiful at times. Plain brown wrapping with jute twine and a tag - perfection.

Add interest with a little piece of foliage, a trinket, a candle for a birthday, pencils for a child's party, 

Try to box where you can awkward items.

For very difficult objects don't wrap e.g. bicycle / scooter - tie ribbon to the handlebars or wrap just the seat. 

For round objects try pleating the top and bottom of the gift (I'm still mastering this from the queen Jane Means) or wrap it in a bon bon style

Always choose wrap that suits the gift or the recipient. 

 
 

Where would you like to see Dear Mabel in the future?

In a bricks and mortar store. My own little paper emporium with some children's story books and a dedicated corner for crafting. It would be the ultimate dream. 

 
 

How amazing does that paper emporium sound? In the meantime you can see their extensive range of quality papers and accessories on their website. If you happen to be in the Geelong region be sure to go in and swoon over the pop up shop in Cotton on Body. 

Ainsley and Kat