A few weeks ago I was invited to the HEMA press day... in Amsterdam.
After an early wake up call I clambered into a cab and met up with a lovely group of lifestyle bloggers at City Airport including the beautiful Zeena, Emma, Monika and Dani.
Less than an hour later on a very small plane we were greeted by a light sprinkling of snow in Amsterdam. In the bitter cold we jumped on a double decker train followed by a short trip by boat to take us a short distance down the river from Central Station to the HEMA Head Office.
HEMA (full name Hollandsche Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij Amsterdam) opened its very first department store in the city back in 1926 with prices based on the successful dime store principle; all of the items for sale were priced at 10, 25 or 50 cents.
90 years on HEMA has recently expanded to the UK. What makes it different to other stores is that all the products they sell are designed at their headquarters in Amsterdam and produced exclusively for them with a focus on simplicity, giving them their 'making the ordinary extraordinary' strap line.
With a belief in making daily life easier and more fun, their products range from baby grows and gardening accessories to beauty products and kitchenware.
In all honesty I was really surprised with the quality and price point of the products I saw on display. Their gardening equipment brings a kitsch addition to the allotment with the inclusion of watering cans shaped as elephants and glass jars filled with seeds that you can grow on your window seal.
They also have a great range of seasonal decorations, and for Easter we were presented with adorable bunnies and chicks printed on everything from napkins to baubles to hang in the garden (I'll be using the decorations this year, so keep your eyes peeled on Instagram).
The store is also a haven for foodies, with lots of funky kitchen accessories and baking ingredients on sale. One of my favourite items of the day was the cute make and bake jars (pictured above), which would be very well received as a gift.
Over the next few months I'll be visiting the HEMA store in Victoria London to purchase and review different products from their new range, so keep click back for more detailed posts.