The Lovely is a new online gift registry here in NZ, created by Auckland-based creatives Georgina Kivell and Sarah Melrose. The concept, a site that is not simply about giving and receiving, but one that allows you to create a uniquely personal registry, came about when the girls were planning their own weddings late last year. Faced with a lack of choice and impersonal online purchases, they wanted to find a way of putting the excitement back into giving and receiving gifts on special occasions.
Here's a breakdown of the four simple steps:
1.Choose your gifts from anywhere using the Pinterest-like Lovely interface which pulls gift choices to the user’s page in one click. This means a drill from a hardware store can sit next to a piece of custom art from a gallery
2.Send the URL to guests and they can reserve the item they’d like to purchase
3.The reserved gift is then emailed to the buyer and the gift is marked as ‘taken’ and no longer available to other guests*
4.The buyer can then purchase the gift via traditional bricks and mortar stores or alternatively online
George and Sarah kindly answered a few questions for us...
Can you tell us a us a bit about yourselves and what inspires you?
George: My love for ‘lovely’ things and images can be traced back to a lifelong passion for photography, so much so that a few years ago I up and left NZ and headed to Parson's School of Design in New York to study it. While I didn’t quite make Bill Cunningham status, I do have a house full of my own prints and it’s something I want to pick up again in the future.
You’ll notice that simple, clean and minimal design feature strongly on the site and most recently I’ve been inspired by the crisp aesthetic of Japanese design following a trip to Tokyo earlier this year. I’ve been busy curating an Inspiration page on The Lovely along these very lines showing some of our favourite local retailer finds. As we finish renovations on our home in Grey Lynn and I look for finishing touches to dress our new spaces, this could prove dangerous as it also serves as my own personal wishlist!
Sarah: As well as having a love for all things design, I have a crazy passion for food. Not so much cooking (though definitely eating!), but mostly around food photography and cookbooks. My latest favourite is Paris Bakery Club. The pages look so beautiful you want to eat them.
And more randomly, my favourite time of the day is early morning when no one is up. I love this time of day so much as it's so quiet, calm and empty. A total contrast to the rest of my day! I also have a gorgeous and hilariously entertaining two and a half year old daughter. A welcomed contrast to the 'design' side of my life.
What are the current top 5 most popular gifts on The Lovely?
1. Printed cushions such as the beautiful Quilted Cushion from Juliette Hogan
2. Wine glasses, especially the Ciotola stemless wine glasses from Citta Design
3. Cookbooks are making a real comeback, such as My Petite Kitchen from Maree & Co
4. For the boys definitely a Drill! (The De Walt Drill from Mitre 10)
5. Anything by Fog Linen, such as the Fog Linen blankets from Father Rabbit
What are your personal favourites?
George: Engelbrecht Cushion from Douglas and Bec
Sarah: Tom Dixon Champagne bucket from ECC
A few of my picks above from The Lovely Inspiration page show just a glimpse of what's on offer. There is a thoughtful and diverse range of products from many fantastic local retailers such as Douglas and Bec, Father Rabbit, Let Liv and Endemic World. It's clear that the girls have great taste, and you can certainly see George's love of Japanese design coming through.
To join The Lovely Registry for free, pop over here.