Every family has stories to tell – from ancestors and family history to weddings, babies, landmark birthdays and those memorable holidays.
All too often these stories are hidden away in dusty albums, boxes in lofts or, more recently, locked away in the memory of a home computer.
But one local business is bringing these stories and memories back to life, producing unique books that can be picked up, shared and enjoyed every day.
Book-a-Gift, run by Maral French from her home in Warninglid, creates individually designed memory books, capturing family stories.
Maral set up her business in 2007, after selling her share in a document binding company. “I was looking for an opportunity to work locally and spend more time with my daughter,” she said. “I realised that I could use my experience and develop my ideas for the consumer market.”
Maral’s research showed that, although there were opportunities for people to create photo books online, there was a gap in the market for those who didn’t want to do it themselves.
“Many people don’t want to risk sending precious photos through the post,” said Maral. “But they can bring them here knowing they will never leave the office.”
Initially Maral opened a shop in Billingshurst, which was an instant success. “But I ended up being there seven days a week which was taking me away from my daughter again, so I decided to move the business to my garden studio.”
Since then Maral and her assistant Sarah have been kept busy with requests for wedding albums and ancestry books.
Ancestry and wedding books cost from £55 including design fee and generally take about three days to produce. Calendars (from £9.99) and canvases (from £12.99) can be made in hours. “People appreciate the quick turnaround,” said Maral. “We’ve even done a canvas on Christmas Eve for a VERY last minute gift!
To view the products produced by Maral you can check out the website at: www.bookagift.co.uk or call 01444 672847 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your own project with her.
[Full article published in Nov/Dec 2016 Cuckfield Life magazine]