Gift-buying service makes holiday shopping easier

BEIRUT: Do you have a certain friend who always turns up her nose at the gifts you give her? A mother-in-law who asks for the receipt and the store’s exchange policy? A cousin who has everything she could ever really need and is impossible to buy for? Well, Christine at Sarah’s Bag may be the answer to your festive prayers. This holiday season the Gemmazyeh boutique – which also has a concession at ABC Dbayeh, and stores in the UAE and Saudi Arabia – is offering a bespoke shopping service.

Either visit the boutique, tucked away behind a charming alley between Tabaris and Gemmazyeh, where you will be welcomed with a cup of coffee and a chocolate, or call or message Christine on WhatsApp.

All she needs to know is who you’re looking to buy presents for, your budget and some details about the recipient. This can be as vague as “my sister-in-law likes neutral colors and clutch bags” or you can go into as much detail as you like: “My best friend would prefer a bottle of Almaza in front of a game of football to a martini at SkyBar” and Christine will do her best to pick out the perfect gift for you.

Then she will send you pictures of the different options she has selected, and you choose the most appropriate one.

The service is free of charge, and the store will even deliver the gifts for you, even internationally, but with no extra cost and within a day if the recipient is in Beirut.

There is always a huge range of collections at Sarah’s Bag, but there are some new winter-specific ones recently launched.

Originally a summer collection, the Twist line has been updated for the cold weather. Featuring highly detailed clutches and purses, the Gray Twist line features dramatic, dark bags, adorned with sparkling beads, crystals and braided ribbons in silvers and grays, and would look perfect against a little black dress for a New Year’s Eve party or a Christmas cocktail gathering.

For the most glitzy ladies in your life, the Champagne Collectables might be the perfect range. Having debuted at the store two years ago, the current collection is a new take, featuring gold and dusky pink bags and clutches adorned with gold- or silver-plated champagne corks. The range also includes some pieces of jewelry, from chunky necklaces to brooches and cuffs.

These are bold pieces, so not for any of your wallflower friends: Think more your life-and-soul-of-the-party best friend, who is still going long after most people have left the dancefloor.

As the name would suggest, the vast majority of items for sale at Sarah’s Bag are, well, bags, but there are also cushion covers, laptop bags – including some unisex styles featuring retro photos of old Beirut – and jewelry.

The Wicked collection features rings and bangles, shaped as a curled Devil’s pitchfork, either silver- or gold-plated. Available throughout December, the striking statement pieces are designed to complement rich, dark winter colors and luxurious velvets and silks.

For a more neutral option, the Spirals collection of rings – which are designed to sit on the upper half of your finger – offers a modern twist on simple ring designs, from simple, thick bands, either silver- or gold-plated, or studded, spiraled designs, which would be a gorgeous accessory to a simple, muted outfit.

There are also smaller pieces, such as the colorful coin purses, for $15, which would make good stocking fillers.

Call or WhatsApp Christine on 03-640-038 to send her your Christmas shopping requirements, or visit the boutique at the Mhanna Building, 100 Rue du Liban, Tabaris.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 13, 2012, on page 2.




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