Pickle was only two days old when his Auntie Chub (an affectionate nickname, promise) came to visit him in the hospital and brought with her a very special little present: Clarence. This striped cheeky-looking teddy cow (often mistaken for a monkey) very quickly became Pickle’s favourite. He goes everywhere with us – the poor thing has probably been stuffed into my backpack and change bag more than any other item we own, so when the lovely people behind My Oldest Friend got in contact to offer us a way to preserve, cherish and honour Pickle’s oldest friend, I jumped at the chance!
My Oldest Friend is a unique service that captures your child’s favourite toy in their very own photoshoot resulting in a framed print ready to hang in their nursery. I quite like the idea of Clarence looking over Pickle whilst he sleeps, a constant source of reassurance and comfort.
In order for Clarence to be at his photoshoot, we had to send him off on an adventure in the post. I’ll be honest – I was nervous. Nervous more for me, than for Pickle, because whilst he does seem quite attached to Clarence, it’s me that I think would be more heart broken if he were to get lost. I was so anxious that I bought a ‘spare’ Clarence and intended to send the ‘spare’ one off as a body-double but (and this is the weirdest thing to admit)… the spare Clarence just wasn’t the same. The spare Clarence looked different. He wasn’t Pickle’s Oldest Friend. It wasn’t real. So I put my big girl pants on and wrapped up Clarence nicely and popped him in the post (with a little note to apologise for a bit of dried on food behind his ear!).
When you order with My Oldest Friend, you select a photoshoot timeslot, and you need to make sure your toy gets to them in time for then. They give you lots of advice as to which postal service to use that guarantees your toy to arrive in time whilst minimising the time your child is away from their precious friend. I was overly cautious and sent it a day early to make sure he got there on time. The customer service is so attentive that My Oldest Friend even double checked with me that I knew when the shoot was happening – I love companies that show attention to detail like that.
Before we knew it, Clarence arrived safely home, with a lovely little postcard to let us know what he’d been up to on his adventures. And within a week, our lovely frame had been safely delivered.
First things first, it was beautifully packaged. Call me weird, but I even saved the bubble wrap and cut it up into squares to use for some sensory play with Pickle! I was very patient and waited until LPD got home before doing the grand unveiling, and I’m glad we saw it first together as it was quite a special moment. It was especially cute as Pickle seemed to show some recognition too and was excited when he saw a larger than life version of his favourite teddy.
It’s a wonderful capture of a simple toy that has become so integral to our new life as a family. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I was really taken aback by the quality and I have to say it looks beautiful hung in the nursery. It’s classic whilst being a bit quirky, and I love that no one else will quite have anything like it! I couldn’t resist hanging our pom pom garland from Sweet Es Party Shop around it too for a little bit of extra pizzazz.
I’ve been wondering at what age Pickle will decide he doesn’t want his Clarence portrait on his wall anymore. My friends suggested probably 7 or 9 years old, and I was flabberghasted! I’m hoping he’ll want it until he’s at least 16 years old! Is that wishful thinking?
If you’re in the market for some luxury nursery decor, I can’t recommend My Oldest Friend enough. I’m so sentimental it’s ridiculous, so this concept plays right into my hands (hence why I hope Pickle will also share my enthusiasm for MANY years to come). I also quite like the idea of having a My Oldest Friend gallery, adding to the collection for any future babies that may come along (not any time soon, don’t get your hopes up, Mum!).
My Oldest Friend offer a range of styles to suit all different teddies, and offer different framing options too. The service costs £149, plus postage and packaging and if you live locally, you can even drop your teddy off and have it returned the same day if your little one can’t be without it. My Oldest Friend are committed to ensuring your child doesn’t find the separation distressing, so they’re always on hand to offer advice and do all they can to make the disruption minimal. I think this would make a great first birthday present, and with a gift voucher service available, you could always ask your friends and family to all contribute.
Thank you My Oldest Friend for giving us such a wonderful gift – one that we will treasure for a very long time to come.
Disclaimer: we were sent our portrait of Clarence free of change in exchange for this honest review.