Dorset Living meets Rachel Clark, 48, who has recently set up bespoke gift parcel company Poppy & Pearl - charmingly named after two pet kittens she had as a child - from her Bournemouth home...

Q: What exactly do you offer?

A: We offer beautiful, lovingly created gift parcels for every occasion. Our range includes parcels to say Thank You, Take Care, Happy New Home, Happy Anniversary, Christmas, Thank You Bridesmaid, Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Get Well Soon as well as parcels to encourage both pregnant ladies and new mums to take some time out for themselves with products to encourage relaxation and rest and some self-care.

We also have a parcel for the chocaholic and of course a Gentleman's Parcel for those ever-so-hard-to-buy-for men in our lives! These are all beautifully encased in either an Emma Bridgewater Tin, a wooden tray or a Man Tin, so that the wrapping is also part of the gift itself and can be used for years to come.

Q: How did the idea come about?

A: My background is in fertility acupuncture and for many years I have visited many of the new babies whose parents I have treated. I always used to take a little gift for the baby but over the years I started taking a present for their mums as well, and seeing how well these were received led me to start making little gift hampers, and hence the idea was born! The range quickly grew with demand and now I have hampers to cover every occasion.

Q: Tell us about the products and packaging you use – do you try to source locally where possible, or do things come from further afield? How important is that to you?

A: All of my products are brought from companies in Great Britain. One of my suppliers is in Southbourne and then others are as far afield as Scotland, but it is important to me to support British business, even though it would sometimes be cheaper to go elsewhere.

A lot of the beauty products I use are from small, home-grown businesses and it is lovely to be able to help increase both their sales and awareness of their products through my business.

Q: Do you do the set packages only, or is there the option to create something more bespoke?

A: All of my packages are set, with optional extras that can be added, however I am very happy to create bespoke parcels. I also work with companies nationwide to create corporate gifts both for their clients and employees, and these can be tailored to their budget and specific requirements.

Q: What has been the feedback/reaction so far? Which is your most popular package?

A: The Awesome Mama Parcel, Take Care Parcel, Thank You Parcel and Gentleman's Parcel are very popular. Men are notoriously difficult to buy for so, after some research, I put together a parcel that I feel is just right.

I also have a Christmas parcel which is already very popular! Feedback with all of our parcels is excellent – sometimes even happy tears are shed!

Q: What is the price range for the packages?

A: Prices range from £22.95 - £43.95 and can be collected from my home in Bournemouth or delivered nationally for an extra fee. International delivery can also be arranged.

Q: Have you always been a thoughtful gift-giver?

A: Yes I have. I know how I feel when someone takes the time to buy me a lovely gift and I wanted to recreate that feeling in others when they receive one of my parcels. Each parcel is delivered with a personal message from the sender on a beautiful card, and this makes them that extra bit special.

Q: How important is it to take time over a personal gift for someone?

A: We are all very busy and short of time nowadays and that is why I feel my company works so well. I have taken the time to source, test and package these beautiful products so that the customer doesn’t have to.

All they have to do is browse my website, click on the product they like, add a personal message and buy their parcel, safe in the knowledge that the recipient will receive a beautiful gift that will make them feel cherished.

Q: What do you have planned for the future of Poppy & Pearl?

A: I’m always planning new parcels – currently I’m putting together a Pamper Hamper which is full of beautiful products to encourage relaxation, self-care and rest, and I’m also working on a vegan organic hamper as I appreciate the increasing need for this kind of product. I am always open to new suggestions too!