Get out there early
While there's nothing quite like Christmas shopping in late December, there are plenty of reasons to get it done early this year. In London, Harrods' newly redeveloped Beauty Halls have opened, with huge, retail space for upscale cosmetics and skincare to explore before the crowds truly hit. Meanwhile, over in the US, Barneys, the world-famous department store, has filed for bankruptcy, leading to what the New York Times calls "eye-popping liquidation sales of luxury goods like handbags and dresses at all Barneys locations across the country." That's an opportunity that can't be missed.
Look beyond the obvious online retailers
Keen to get something distinctive? You can still shop online and avoid the larger, more expected players in the market. Olga Sergeeva of Quintessentially Shopping is a great admirer of Moda Operandi. The international fashion and accessories site, founded by Lauren Santo Domingo, services the luxury market by offering bespoke pre-order access—straight off the runway—alongside a comprehensive jewellery assortment, spotlighting beautiful pieces by lesser-known artists. "They have access to some incredibly trendy pieces, and we have a huge interest in these from the younger members," says Sergeeva. "Their selection is incredible."
Try a little personalisation
Once adapting gifts to express someone's personality was a costly and time-consuming job, but nowadays, prices have fallen, and lead times have shrunk, making it much easy to give a gift with a personal touch. "It often only adds a few percentage points onto the price, and can take just a few extra days," says Sergeeva.
Indeed, the British leather goods manufacturer, Aspinal of London, offers a free embossing service with many of their leather goods. Liberty, as well, will emboss their classic journals with your initials while you wait—free of cost.
Remember to think about ethical sourcing (it could even earn you a trip somewhere exotic)
From living wages to ecological industrial practices, more and more firms are responding to the public's growing demand for ethical transparency. This Christmas season, you can ensure your gifts give a little back, and also provide you with something to look forward to. "Clients that commit to buying an item for £100,000
from Fabergé get a complimentary trip to the mining district in Zambia where they source many of their gems," explains Sergeeva. Not only would you then understand how the firm sources its materials, but you'll also get to experience a beautiful, little-seen part of the world.
And if it all fails, you can call on us
If you're short of time, Sergeeva and her colleagues can turn around your Christmas shopping in relatively brief window, delivering gifts to anywhere in the world, in time for Christmas. "We usually shut things down around the 23rd," she says, "but up until then, we're ready and waiting."
For assistance with holiday shopping and expert gift recommendations, contact Quintessentially's personal shopping department.