Windows of Just So in Barnards Green, Malvern, are full of Christmas sparkle

Malvern Gazette: STUNNING: A display inside Just So STUNNING: A display inside Just So

A special profile for our Very Malvern Christmas campaign

The windows of Just So situated centrally in Barnards Green are bright and sparkly at this time of year.

The building has been extended twice and so behind its small shop frontage it stretches a long way back and is filled to the brim with delightfully different gift ideas. The shop stocks cards, gifts, jewellery and home-ware.

“We try hard to offer a variety of gifts that are suitable for all ages and all pockets,” said Jane Knowles, who has owned the shop for more than 10 years. “So whether you are buying a new baby gift, buying something for your best friend or looking for something stylish for your mother-in-law, we will do our best to offer a card, gift and present wrapping that is just perfect and in one shop to save you time and effort. I really enjoy buying for the shop. I put together our own individual selection of cards and gifts and do not buy from large ‘umbrella’ gift companies that do all the selecting for you.

“In this way I can ensure we are able to offer something different to what’s on the high street or in large retail chains.

“I often choose products with a particular group of customers in mind, but you always need to be able to offer something new and exciting too. We work hard at our window displays, which are changed weekly as that is how we let people know the wide range of items we stock.”

Just So specialises in hand-made greeting cards and stock many of the ranges that were selected by industry experts to win one of the ‘Henries’ in 2013. (Henries are the greeting card equivalent of the ‘Oscars’ and are hotly contested by all makers and designers in the UK.) Jane added: “We are really lucky to be the Malvern stockist for so many lovely ranges and I love it when I can help a customer find a card that is just right.

“For Christmas we are stocked to the roof with delights. We have some lovely hand-crafted fine silver designer jewellery from Mexico. We have Fairtrade mini Reindeer decorations from Nepal and also stock ranges designed and produced much closer to home such as ‘Carrie Elspeth’ jewellery handmade in Wales and the Malvern Hills Calendar, which is produced locally.

“We stock a wonderful range of accessories from cosy scarves and gloves to our lovely handbags and purses, so that you are able to put together your own ‘winter look’.

“We also have a good range of male gifts because we know the male species are notoriously difficult to buy for. This year we have some lovely cheese and wine related gifts and some funny ‘Mr Bean’ quiz games.

“We are very much part of the community in Barnards Green and really believe in giving something back. That is why we sell Community Action calendars and cookery books where all the money goes to the charity.

“We are also a collection point for the Malvern Hills Food Bank which is collected from the shop weekly then distributed locally. For the last four years we have also collected Christmas presents for the children supported by Home-Start Malvern Hills, which supports young families locally. “I think that is the best thing about being an independent shop – the fact you know your customers and are able to serve them personally, buy what you think they will like and in turn offer something back to benefit the wider community as a whole.

“It’s win-win all round!”

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