Following on from this mornings Tipi wedding advice, which was provided by the wonderful team...
The world of wedding gift lists has moved on over the past few years, no longer do wedding presents bring you endless supplies of toasters and kettles, these days there are companies out there offering you lots of different options and a flexible outlook on your wedding gift list. Today I would like to introduce you to Prezola, the UK’s leading independent Wedding Gift List serice. Prezola offers a modern outlook on the wedding gift list, offering a one stop shop for all of your favourite brands all under one roof!
Prezola has just undergone a huge redesign with a shiny new website making your gift list service even more enjoyable. With a new easy to use website, your gift list experience is now even easier to navigate round! With 30,000 items to choose from and free delivery what more cold you wish for?
Ali Beaven, Creative Director of Prezola, has been kind enough to answer a few questions I put to her, so we can find out more about the lady behind this wonderful company.
‘Ali founded Pezola with husband Dom in 2011. A successful Interior Designer, she now heads up the editorial team at Prezola making sure the site is full of gorgeous products that couples can add to their wedding gift list. Ali has a love of all things Home & Garden with a particular passion for soft furnishings, period property and eclectic accessorizing. Favourite ’boutique’ shops include Oliver Bonas, Rose & Grey and Cox & Cox, but she’ll also be found trawling eBay and Etsy for inspiration, bargains and vintage finds!’
What made you start your business?
A love of gift giving and receiving along with a passion for interiors. I saw a gap in the market for a modern on line wedding gift list that was easy to use and gave couples more choice.
When did you start?
The idea came in 2007 but didn’t become a reality until 2010 after a lot of hard work, strategizing and web design and technology.
Where are you based?
The business started in our kitchen when we lived in Bath (yes we are one of ‘those’) and our boot room was Prezola’s first warehouse. The business has grown up somewhat and we have a shiny new HQ and offices in Wiltshire.
What sort of geographical area do you cover?
We attract couples from all over the UK, as well as ex-pats returning home for their wedding. We deliver throughout Europe.
What were you doing before?
I was an interior designer specialising in soft furnishings. I was lucky enough to be able to study and then work from home while bringing up our two children. Soft furnishings is still a passion as you can see from our cushions department at Prezola!
How would you describe your style?
It’s very eclectic! Over the years we have moved from a cute cottage to an ultra-modern new build and currently live in a gorgeous old Georgian rectory. We’ve collected a fair few lovely items along the way but ultimately if I had to describe my style it would be ‘new country’, fairly traditional with modern touches. Our house is quite draughty and it needs to be warm and cosy so you will see lots of cushions and throws scattered all around.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
With regards to Prezola, I would say winning the Best Wedding Gift List Award 2014 hosted by Wedding Ideas Magazine. It was such a lovely surprise and really put us on the ‘wedding industry map’. It was so motivational for the team to be recognised for their great service.
What makes you different to your competitors?
Prezola is the full wedding gift list package! Couples are able to add gifts, honeymoon funds, cash contributions and charity donations all on the one gift list. We have 30,000 products on our site and work with over 300 brands and it’s all that we do.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The variety and our fantastic team. Starting the business from scratch means that I’ve had lots to learn and tried my hand in all the different departments. After five years I’m able to concentrate on what I love the most, which is putting new and interesting brands in front of our couples.
What sort of couple do you think you attract?
With such a wide range of brands on site and the cash fund options, we attract all sorts of couples. We definitely appeal to style savvy, busy professionals who know what they want. They love the thought of collating their gift list in the comfort of their own home, on the sofa, with an ipad and a glass of wine….you get the picture!
What would be your ideal wedding to work on?
We’ve done some amazing lists this year for high profile clients, though I couldn’t possibly say who. It’s always fun to see what they choose (compared to us mere mortals) and of course who buys from the list.
Can you give me some information on your pricing structure?
We have two gift list options.
What is your ideal way to spend a day off?
A nice lie in and a relaxing day with the family. We have two children, Ellie (12) and Harry (15) so it’s getting increasingly harder to find things to do that we all enjoy and that doesn’t include a screen of some description. Luckily, we also have a gorgeous golden retriever called Daisy so I’m usually trying to entice everyone out for a walk which, when we get out and about, they enjoy!
What can you never leave the house without?
I hate to say it – but my iphone! Not just for the email and social media updates – I’m always taking photos for design inspiration. I took a photo of a poster at my daughter’s ballet school recently because I loved the design and font they’d used!
Who would be your five dream dinner guests dead or alive?
We do entertain quite a lot and I love a good dinner party – nothing too stressful though, so I normally keep everything quite casual. I found it hard to pick just five, but here they are….
My husband and business partner Dom although we would have to have a strict ‘no shop talk’ rule! Julianne Moore is one of my favourite actresses and of course another natural red head. I admire her timeless elegance and loved her in The Hours. For a bit of eye candy it would have to be Daniel Craig, I’m pretty sure he’d have a few great after dinner stories to tell and who wouldn’t want James Bond at their dinner table! I would love to meet Jonathan Adler who is one of my favourite designers. He has a quirky style which is colourful and fun and I really love his sequin ‘Love’ and ‘Lust’ cushions. My final guest would have to be Coco Chanel. She is still such an iconic figure in the fashion world and was such a strong business woman of her time. One of my favourite Coco quotes is ‘Do not blindly follow trends – fashion changes, but style is eternal’ – still so true!
What would you do if you won the lottery?
I would make sure my family were well looked after and then a very big well-earned holiday. I would love to take the children to Australia before they get too old. Time is running out though, so where’s the nearest newsagent!
If you weren’t running your business, what would you be doing?
Since starting Prezola we have undertaken a number of photo shoots and to keep the costs down I have styled them myself. This is something I have loved doing, so if I wasn’t running Prezola who knows…..