Thursday, 3 September 2015

May reviews Hema - for home decor, stationery, beauty and more

hema logoIt is not too often that I come across a chain of shops in the UK that I have never heard of but that is exactly what happened a few weeks ago with Hema.

Hema is Dutch in origin and has three stores in England - although they are nowhere near me so I have only discovered the online shop

Hema states that its aim is "to make daily life easier and fun by making the ordinary extraordinary with products that shine with brilliant simplicity". Sounds good!

I was pleasantly surprised when I started looking at Hema's online shop, not only for their huge range of products but also their prices - for the most part these are really reasonable...think along the lines of Tiger pricing, if you are familiar with that. 

Product wise, they have a large cosmetic and skin care range (in fact their 'beauty' department carries seemingly everything you could ever need - from cotton wool, tampons and deodorant to cute make up bags and make up), a great stationery line (notebooks, pens, diaries, stickers and stamps...), a home decor line (which actually includes some furniture as well as the usual array of candles, photo frames, cushions  and tableware) AND it sells clothing (for men, women and children - lots for babies).

Oh, and there's a craft section too, if that's your thing. In fact, the worst thing is knowing where to start - I guess it helps if you actually 'need' something, rather than doing what I first did and acting like the online adult equivalent of a kid in a sweet shop!

photo of Hema items

The website itself is easy to navigate, although I did almost get caught out with a couple of products which had a minimum order quantity of 2 (why?!?). 
Delivery prices in the UK are reasonable, and free if you spend over £20 (not hard to do with the huge range of products on offer!). When I placed my first order, it arrived in around 4 days.

So what is the quality like? Erm, variable. Unfortunately a couple of the products I had ordered arrived damaged. I contacted Hema about this and after a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing with emails replacement items were sent and arrived very quickly. Sadly on the replacement items was also damaged; I'm waiting to see if I am offered the refund I've requested. The study diary which I ordered is more flimsy than I had anticipated but at £4 it was a couple of £ less than I would expect to spend elsewhere so perhaps this is understandable.

That said, I was really pleased with the butterfly hole punch (£1) and the set of travel bottles which I got (£3.50). The travel bottle set even comes with a couple of the plastic bags which you need to put liquids in to get through airport security (see our post on holiday packing here) - a great touch, even if they are little more than cheap freezer bags!
photo of hema diary and hole punch

Do you get what you pay for? Possibly so, although it is worth pointing out that whilst some products are 'how do they do that' cheap, others are less so. None are what I would deem to be expensive but, for example, a 50ml face moisturising cream will set you back £5 and you could certainly pick one up for less elsewhere. I can't comment on the quality of the beauty items as I'm yet to test those.

photo of hema candles
All in all, I am pleased to have found Hema. I am pretty sure that I will be placing  more orders in the future... I can see that it will be a great place to pick up a few stocking fillers nearer Christmas, and if you are after some 'back to school' stationery, it is definitely worth a look. When I can justify buying more make up *ahem* I'll be all over testing what Hema has to offer on that front too. 

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