1. YOUR DREAM BIKE, HANDMADE
In our corner of London we happened upon the most fascinating bike shop. But simply calling Auguste Handmade a bike shop does them disservice, they're much more than that. They're salvagers and reclaimers, rescuing fantastic vintage bike frames from the junkyard and bestowing on them a new lease of life. The proprietor Victor Duchêne looks upon these high quality but discarded frames and goes to work, mechanically crafting with an artists eye all-new and retro designs sure to last and last - while looking gorgeous.
Their mantra is simple: "not only cycle, recycle". Their quality is astounding. In partnership with them you can create your own custom masterpiece - they've just finished building a "BuyMeOnce bike" for our founder, so look out for more soon. Let us know about the hidden gems in your area - we know there will be similar pedal powered geniuses near you.
2. WRITE IT INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS
Long time BuyMeOnce readers will know this pen as a real staple of our stationery collection. Lifetime guaranteed, pressurised to work in space... what else is there to say about Fisher's Space Pen collection. It's goodbye to mid-meeting, mid-term or mid-sentence ink dropouts for sure, and with a little care you'll begin justifying the pretty sizeable outlay in less time than you might think. I can barely count the broken ballpoint biros I've chucked in 2017 alone.
When you're spending this much on a pen, you do have to be careful. If you're anything like me you're just going to lose something this small and this expensive. If that does sound like you, do not buy this pen for yourself. Give it as a gift, chuck in the free engraving service, and suddenly you have a near unloseable pen. The person you care about ain't gonna leave that special thing behind in a hurry.
3. BREAK 'EM IN AND TAKE 'EM OUT
Personalisation like no other. It may seem pretty grotty at first, but if you can commit to Hiut's No-Wash challenge, you'll have a crazy good pair of jeans.
Six months without washing is what they ask. If that seems a lot it's because it is, but breaking in a pair of Hiut jeans is an almost spiritual experience. Each crease and divot, every graze and dark little patch all combine to create a unique, stunning jean. After that first long-awaited wash they'll be almost totally transformed, fit to wear normally for a lifetime. Any rips, a little wear and tear - no problem, as Hiut offer an astounding free fixing service.
4. A SLICE OF THE HIGH LIFE
When you're about 12, there's nothing like carving your true love's name into an oak tree or other passable sapling. Now you're a little older, get the next best thing. Not only is this Oak & Rope cutting board of near unparalleled quality, its practically a feature piece.
Tara picked one of these up for her fiancé as an engagement present, as you may have noticed in the header image. What we've not shown you yet is what's carved into the other side - we might save that for a bonus Facebook post. Suffice to say you've got sufficient engraving real estate to be both becomingly genuine and a trifle flippant.
5. A BRUSH WITH THE BEST
The Harris "Never buy another" brush is one of our old faves, professional quality brushes, affordable prices, a pretty outstanding no-quibble lifetime guarantee.
A great gift for a handy-person in your life, the sheer quality means they'll be a permanent staple in the decorating collection. With their sleek engraving service you can carve a heartfelt message or cheery phrase on the handle. But the BuyMeOnce top tip this time around is to be a bit cheeky - I mean you're not going to be wearing it on your lapel in the spring sunshine. How cutting can you be in eight words?
6. THE FUTURE OF COMFORT
It's hard to know where to start when a company as exciting as Mohop comes along. They make shoes, bags & accessories at home in the USA. Everything they create is 100% cruelty free and vegan friendly. Almost every design is customisable.
What we're most interested in is the sandals, and their unique place in online shoe shopping. Each pair of Mohops is constructed around you. This is no strange meaningless marketing slogan - each pair is designed to the contours of your feet using some hot-off-the-press technology. Following their simple guide, you send them a few foot dimensions and they do the rest. "From your phone to our robots to your feet" - it's bespoke shoes to your door with a few clicks and a swish of a pencil. Throw in the crazy amount of design customisation on both the men's and women's range, and you'll struggle to get more individual.
Why BuyMeOnce though? Well amazing ethics aside, these things really are built to last using high quality orthopaedic materials. What's more, they have their own reasonably priced refurbishing service accessible at any time after purchase.
7. A TOUCH OF JOY
Making the finest jewellery in England, Joy Everley's collection sparkles with natural shapes from mother nature's notebook. Their entire range is a treasure, and the ones we host here on BuyMeOnce have the added luxury of a lifetime guarantee.
The engraving service is £30, so it's only worth using if you have something really meaningful to say - the uniquely handsome designs do a lot of the talking. If you do feel like carving out a piece of history, make sure it's for someone really special! You'll lose in resale value but gain in priceless sentiment.