Art-inspired Christmas gifts for the whole family at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

It’s always a special time of the year as we head towards Christmas at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park but working in the retail development team, we actually start preparing for the big day months in advance.
Elsie Swannick - YSP retail development assistantElsie Swannick - YSP retail development assistant
Elsie Swannick - YSP retail development assistant

By Elsie Swannick - YSP Retail Development Assistant

As a charity, the gift shops we have at the Visitor Centre and The Weston are hugely important as part of our ongoing fundraising, so when we start to think about what we are going to stock in the run up to Christmas the expectations are always pretty high.

We start looking at gifts, seasonal trends and what we think will be popular as early as January, when we visit trade shows and start to think about the full year ahead. We always like to look for key items at trade shows, such as Christmas cards and advent calendars, as well as festive scents and baubles as these items prove popular year on year. We visit on average four trade shows per year and have Christmas in mind at each of them.

As a charity, the gift shops we have at the Visitor Centre and The Weston are hugely important as part of our ongoing fundraising.As a charity, the gift shops we have at the Visitor Centre and The Weston are hugely important as part of our ongoing fundraising.
As a charity, the gift shops we have at the Visitor Centre and The Weston are hugely important as part of our ongoing fundraising.
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As well, we’re always on the lookout for unique, art related gifts that will fit in well with our shops, and that relate to our winter programme; the gift shops at Christmas are a magical place and somewhere people love to browse (as well as shop online http://yspshop.org.uk). We try to cater for a real mix of customers – age, tastes and styles – as well as often linking to what is happening in other areas of the Park. For instance, we have an exhibition on at the moment by ceramicist Florian Gadsby. His own work sold out within hours but we also made sure we had a range of merchandise in our gift shops so many more people get to take something home, such as a tool roll or postcards, that reflects Florian’s style and flair.

Best sellers from previous years may well put in another appearance too. We had a range of cute little Ovis sheep soaps that were flying out of the door, and we have featured those again this year. We expect them to be just as popular as a cute little stocking filler.

Other gifts we are particularly proud of this year include a gorgeous limited-edition blanket by Emma Lawrenson and a bespoke Florian Gadsby apron, some playful stationery inspired by our Erwin Wurm exhibition, as well as delicious treats, stylish kitchen accessories and cosy mitts and socks for those hard to buy for relatives.

For those who like to add something each year to their Christmas decoration collections then we always have a unique and varied selection to choose from, including tree hangings this year by renowned artist Daniel Arsham.

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One gift I would like to give a special mention to that might not stand out on our gift shop shelves but is so important to us, and that’s the YSP Friends’ membership. This gives the lucky recipient 12 months admission to YSP exploring art and our beautiful parklands. As a YSP Friend they will also enjoy all kinds of exclusive perks, previews and early access invitations to our world class exhibitions and events. There are a range of membership options available to suit everyone, starting from just £30.

Happy Christmas shopping!