When you have found the perfect present for a loved one, the wrapping paper can often be an afterthought - that is, unless you are Zoe Middleton.
Zoe loves wrapping presents so much that she decided to launch her own business, dedicated to producing quirky paper that is as unique as the presents she buys for friends and family.
Online store Wrapped by Alice, named after Zoe’s middle name, has been running since 2013.
Zoe said: “My business was quite simply inspired by my love of gift wrapping. I’ve always collected wrapping paper, and even now, after running my business for five years, I still buy wrapping paper all the time.
“I’m a firm believer that as much love and thought should go into the presentation of a gift as went into choosing the present itself.
“In my eyes, the wrapping of a gift is the most important part of the gifting ritual, because it shows how much you care.”
Animal-lover Zoe is inspired by man’s best friend when she creates the designs for her wrapping paper, which she draws herself.
She said: “I’m really inspired by my love of animals, in particular dogs.
“People are always requested for certain animals, and particular dog breeds to be added, and I take this into consideration when working on new designs.
“All my designs begin life as ink drawings, which I then turn into block cuts, to be used in the printing of final designs.
“It’s really important to me to convey the little personalities of each animal I create, and my designs are purposefully naïve in style.
“I think it’s this, combined with the fact I hand print the vast majority of my products, which lends them their charm.”
Wrapped by Alice was not just influenced by cute cainines, it was also driven by Zoe’s desire to do her bit to look after the environment.
She said: “The ethos behind Wrapped By Alice is to produce eco-friendly gift wrapping products, which you can use with a clear conscience.
“The vast majority of my products are made from 100 per cent recycled, undyed papers. Crucially, they are also 100 per cent recyclable themselves, so they can all live a new life once gifted.
“I love that wrapping paper offers such an economical way to own a piece of design.
“I’ve been known to frame wrapping paper before, and I know plenty of my own customers have done the same with my paper, which has to be the ultimate compliment.”
Wrapped by Alice is currently run through local marketplace Esty, but this year Zoe hopes to launch a new website, complete with a shop.
For more information, you can visit the official Wrapped by Alice website at www.wrappedbyalice.co.uk. You can buy online at www.etsy.com/shop/wrappedbyalice. Also, search for ‘Wrapped by Alice’ on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Zoe makes all of her wrapping paper at her home in Dronfield.