Get Smart With Inventory!

Spring Design

When the economy is tight, be kind to yourself and shop for containers and merchandise that can cross over into multiple seasons and occasions. Here, a perky, non-message gift box (Boxco) can be used for Mother’s Day and virtually any occasion straight through spring and summer — and even into fall with a change of enhancement motifs and color. Gardening-theme gift components are good choices for Mother’s Day, especially mixed with spa gifts, lotions, and muscle soaks.

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Who You Are…

and Store Display What You Do

Gift basket business owners are more than designers. In addition to crafting the most inspiring sentiments that will be exchanged to deliver an emotional expression, a gift basket business owner is also a manufacturer and retailer. This is a critical definition of who you are and what you do, because, to be successful, you will make decisions based on these perimeters. As a designer, you will aspire to create; as a manufacturer, you will keep a close eye on costs and production. Finally, as a retailer, designs will be based on ‘sales-ability.’

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Create Your Own Bunny

Gift Basket Review Online Designer Debra Paulk shows you how to create this irresistible bunny for Spring Designs

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Supplier Guide-Watson Trading Company

Watson Trading Company started business in 1961 and is a leading importer of wicker baskets and packaging supplies in the United States. Located in Hillsdale, Michigan, our 200,000 square foot warehouse allows us room to purchase and stock large volumes of merchandise. There goal is  providing their customers with quality products at affordable prices in a timely manner.

501 W Carleton Road
Hillsdale, MI 49242

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Just Be Mine

James Hartier of TWISTEDBASKET lives up to his business slogan, “Where Imagination Becomes Reality”. Perfect line, shape, balance, and imaginative use of texture WOW the recipient with eye-popping pleasures. Valentine

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Add Some Profit!



One of the easiest ways to add additional profit to your daily sales is stocking a supply  of balloons to attach to your orders. carries a full line of mylar balloons with just the right word for any season or occasion.

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Five Ways to Calm Yourself During the Holidays

snowman-basketSometimes peace of mind can be discovered in counting blessings with a pot of tea and good friends.

Ringing phones clash in your head like security alarms; order forms are strung up like holly garland; and the incessant ticking of a clock in your head reminds you that time is running out.

You’re knee deep in baskets and boxes; bolts of cello and rolls of ribbon are strewn across your work table, and you’ve just taken another order of 40 baskets to join the three other major gift orders due next week because you are afraid to turn down any orders. One more ring of the phone, one more question from your sales person and you might just take some snowman ribbon and wrap it around someone’s neck. Sound familiar? If so, step away from the worktable. Put down the ribbon.  And breathe.

This scenario is one that is played out all over the country in many businesses during the hectic holiday season. While seasonal tunes are waxing sentimental and stirring up those emotional shopping urges, gift designers are in the thick of things, struggling to keep up with the pace and demand to solve the public’s desire for unique gifts. Keeping busy for the holidays should be a blessing for the gifting industry. But sometimes the holiday craziness can overshadow the reasons for being in this business and the true joy of the Christmas season.

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have found that employee stress is being recognized as a major drain on corporate productivity and competitiveness and that job burnout experienced by 25 to 40 percent of U.S. workers is attributed to stress.

A survey of 30,000 by Roper Starch Worldwide showed that women who work fulltime and have children under the age of 13 report the greatest stress worldwide. The survey also showed that “globally, 23 percent of women executives and professionals, and 19 percent of their male peers, say they feel “super-stressed.” During the holidays, many gift basket business owners feel their stress loads doubled.


To combat the frenzies, try these few simple steps to stave off stressful moments:

  • Take a breather. Leave your work behind for a ten-minute break. Go outside and think about the beauty of the world. Watch the clouds go by. Stare at the stars. For ten minutes, don’t think about anything to do with work or responsibility. Take nice, even deep breaths. Feel yourself relax from head to toe.
  • Release the anxious energy. Do something that takes physical energy – fast paced walk, calisthenics, hit some tennis balls, scream. Releasing that energy helps decrease stress while physical exercise also increases well being.
  • Surround yourself with candles, soothing music and just sit still for ten minutes. Imagine yourself in a favorite place and just breathe in the peace and tranquility.
  • Put it all in perspective. Write it down and weigh it out. Seeing problems on paper helps increase possible solutions. And once you’ve taken a step back from the frenzied pace, perhaps you’ll be able to see that whatever stresses you were facing are a small drop in the bucket to bigger problems in the world.
  • Call a friend, have a good laugh, sing (even if you don’t feel like it). By diverting your attention to something pleasurable for even a few minutes, you can reduce your stress level enough to see less red and the pleasure of making green for your business.

In the midst of it all, find some time to remember why we celebrate the season – to share the ultimate love that was given to mankind. Share that joy with your customers and make it your personal mission in the gifting business to infuse tender loving care in each design you create. In doing so, you can discover that calming peace that God provides.

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Seven Overlooked Holiday Opportunities



1. Contract with hair and nail salons to create mini holiday baskets to sell to salon customers using the salon’s products.  In addition to outright sales, these baskets can be given as gifts to their “special” customers. Think small (i.e. nail polish and accessories).


2. Like you, small business owners are scrambling for sales. This year, sending some type of gift can be critical to next year’s success. For small gift basket sales, contact business owners who depend on referrals. Suggest sending a small gift to say ‘thanks’ for all referral sources.


3. Put a basket in several businesses in town, and place a box for people to register to win the basket. This is a great way to get a mailing list. Compile the entries into a mailing list, which both you and the local business can use.  Having a gift basket to give away is good for the local business — and you, of course!


4. December is ripe with opportunities to promote your business. Home tours, craft fairs, special events and concerts are piled on top of each other. Every event is an opportunity to promote sales of your gift baskets. Consider offering a free gift basket for raffles, in exchange for the mailing list, or the opportunity to place smaller items on a table for sale.


5. Sponsor an open house for real estate caravans in your area. Serve punch and refreshments in exchange for the opportunity to set up a display of your holiday gifts.


6. Are you mining every name and contact? Each time you make a sale for delivery or shipment of a gift basket, you gain a new name, phone number and address — plus, you can hope, an e-mail address. That name, of course, is the recipient of the gift basket. Add the name to your mail list; send an e-mail follow-up. Stay in touch with this new prospect. If they were happy to receive the gift basket, they will be happy to order one for someone else.


7.  Who, of all people, can get attention during the holidays?  Santa Claus! Have Santa, Mrs. Santa, or an elf visit some offices and corporations with thank you gifts for your own clients. A character can do more to promote your business than almost anyone — besides you, of course! Attach candy canes to business cards and let the character pass them around.

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Client Gift Giving

manwoman-shaking-hands-clip-artBe careful in your gift giving to clients. Your intention should be a gift they will enjoy and appreciate, not a lavish or outrageous gift that will “outdo” the competition. The gift should be sent to the office and should be business appropriate. Check with the client’s assistant for their likes and dislikes. Certificates to a nice restaurant or bookstore, or their favorite shop, are very appropriate and enjoyable. If more than one person from your office is sending this customer a gift, make sure you check before sending duplicate gifts.


Thank-you notes:When you receive a gift or are invited to a party, a thank-you note should be sent the next day, or at least within a week. The handwritten note only needs to be a few lines thanking them for the specific gift or invitation. Do not include a company brochure or any other pieces of printed material. It is a thank-you note and not a ploy to get more business.

Always be on your best behavior, no matter what the situation. By remembering the proper ways to dress and socialize, you may be doing more than just building your contacts. You could be making some of the most important connections of your career at the next event or party you attend!


Colleen A. Rickenbacher is a business etiquette expert and author of “Be on Your Best Business Behavior.”

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Happy Thanksgiving Day


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