Sophie: 'Augusta Rose'
Augusta Rose was born on New Year's Eve. I worked with Augusta's Auntie Sophie to create a New Baby book for her - introducing Augusta to her Mum, her Dad, her Mimi, her Grandad Jonny, her Aunty Sophie, and her not one, not two, but three lovely uncles.
"When my sister's daughter was born, we had Books Bestowed create a story for her that introduced her to her new family members. Family is so important to us, and Helen captured the essence of each person, combining both sentimentality and humour, resulting in the most special and meaningful gift we could imagine. We know that once Augusta is old enough to understand it, it will only become more and more meaningful. It will get more special as time goes on. But just as importantly, the book has also served as a gift to everyone in our family. Often we find ourselves bringing it out at family events, dinner parties, or in everyday conversations. It's something we will all treasure forever. A Books Bestowed book is the perfect gift." Sophie, for Augusta Rose
William: 'Harriet's Journey'
William and Harriet have been together for eight years. Last year, William wanted to get Harriet something different. Something special. Harriet is an ideas girl. With William's stories, I was able to craft a book for Harriet all about her life - from the moment she was born, through her various hilarious disasters and amazing achievements, up to the moment that William gave her the book; in London, under the Christmas tree in their lounge, on Christmas Eve.
"Helen was an absolute pleasure to work with. She was able to perfectly capture the personality of the character through her words and has an incredible knack of making you feel at ease even when divulging the most personal of details. We are absolutely stoked with the final product. So personal and a truly bespoke piece that we will cherish for the rest of our lives!" William, for Harriet's Journey
Will: 'Rosalie's Walk'
Rosalie is an incredible special mum, grandma, and great-grandma. With grandson Will as the family spokesperson, I created a By Occasion book for Ro - a Christmas gift worthy of her life. We sent Rosalie on a magical walk through her past, and gave Will's family members the space to speak to Rosalie on every page.
"We wanted to get Grandma something different this year. When I thought about what she might like, a new ergonomic can opener would not really have made her heart sing. Above all else she cares about love, family and memories. So, Helen made a little template, and I sent it to our 15 family members. The template asked a few simple questions - our favourite memories of her, with her, and things that she has taught us. Our answers were then beautifully formed into a narrative, and turned into a book. Grandma now reads this most mornings, and reflects upon her life and just how much everyone loves her and appreciates her. It is something that will be there to read to her great great grandchildren, they will be able to meet Grandma through the pages and laugh about how many peaches she used to bottle each summer.
'Rosalie's Walk' is the most satisfying project I have ever been a part of, and Helen made it fun and blew it out of the water. Presenting it to the family on Xmas day was extremely moving, we laughed, cried and hugged. It's something that will be around a lot longer than the can opener." Will, for Rosalie's Walk
For our mum's 60th, we wanted to do something particularly special. It was hard to think of anything that would adequately convey what she had done for us over the years, so we decided to commission a Books Bestowed book for her. My four siblings and I worked alongside Helen to record all of our stories, memories and anecdotes from our lives that involved mum. Between the five of us, there was endless content and ideas, but Helen managed to perfectly capture the essence of these stories and structure it into a funny, heartwarming and lyrical book. It's now something we all treasure and read each time we're home.” Sophie, for Home
Liz: 'A Magical Day - A Journey Through the Life of Joy'
Joy was very special to many people. With Liz as family spokesperson, I was able to send Joy on the Journey of a Lifetime - a treasure hunt through places of significance, important events, life-changing moments, favourite activities and many, many sunsets. At each stop, she was met by a different child - who told her what is was they treasured the most about her.
"What do you give someone who has given so much of herself to her children? We asked Helen to put our memories and special thoughts into a story that would tell Mum how we felt about her and express our gratitude to her. The resulting story simply blew us away. It is beautifully presented, and Helen has told her story in a way that is completely true to who Mum is and what's important to her. We were all characters in the book - and Helen really did bring every single one of us to life. She listened carefully to the details about Mum as a person and was able to paint a true and comprehensive picture in words. My family have since purchased many copies to be given to our own children and grandchildren.
The process was reliable, easy to follow, and Helen was a wonderful communicator throughout. What a gift!" Liz, for A Magical Day