Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gifts for the Caregiver

Last month I wrote a post about caregivers as November was National Caregivers Month. I used a quote by Rosalynn Carter, who believed pretty much everyone at some point in their lives is touched by a caregiver:

"There are four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers."
Although that was just a few weeks ago, at the time I had no idea I would soon be faced with becoming a caregiver.  Just days later, my mother-in-law took a bad fall, requiring hip surgery, and at 83 years old, it has taken quite a toll.  She will be coming to live with us at the end of this week. 

We had wonderful caregivers for my parents in past years, so it should also be said that caregivers can touch our lives at various times throughout.

With caregivers heavily on my mind, I wanted to encourage everyone to remember any caregivers currently in your life.  Christmas is a wonderful time to honor them, and give them the most treasured gift of time and care for themselves.

If you are thinking of a gift for a caregiver, consider something that encourages them to refresh, renew and take care of themselves, even if just for an hour of a day.

These are some of my special gifts available for caregivers:

Christmas Spa Gift Basket
Our Christmas Spa Gift Basket features Do Not Disturb bath and body products, packaged in elegant holiday silver and purple.
Good Fortune Gift for Men
For the male caregiver, this all natural spa collection also gives back, and comes packaged in a stylish toiletry bag.

This Pamper Me gift collection is also made with all natural bath and body products from France.  Both of the candles in the men's and women's spa gift are handmade soy from Green Daffodil in Michigan.  This women's version also comes packaged in a stylish cosmetic bag.

This deluxe spa gift basket, which we call Indulge and Inspire, is a lovely collection of spa and home products, including bath and body from Homespun Naturals, a relaxing instrumental CD, and an inspiring framed quote from Kindred Hearts.  There are other spa delights in this basket as well.  Read the complete description.

Have a happy day!


Monday, December 3, 2012

6 Top Gift Ideas for Men

I've been having a virtual disagreement with some folks about what men appreciate receiving as a gift.  They say a basket full of beer, pretzels and mini chocolate footballs are all the rage.  Really?

I asked my husband, Ken, to weigh in on the discussion, and although beer, pretzels, and chocolates are considered a staple in our kitchen; as gifts go, he felt these items are much too ordinary to be given as a gift.  The idea of receiving something innovative, or something he wouldn't think to buy for himself is much more appealing.

I've actually known this about him for quite awhile, with all of our planning around what to include in our gift collections for men.  So with 21 days remaining until Christmas, if you're stumped for what to get the man in your life, here are our top picks.  Some versions you can find in our store; others are just great ideas to help you finalize your shopping list!

1.    Man Bag – I bought a great Tumi bag for Ken last Christmas and he loves it. Men hate bulky pockets, and with today’s use of mobile devices, sunglasses, flash drives, in addition to money, IDs and credit cards, pockets are no longer sufficient for holding all of his stuff! There are many great stylish bags for men out there, and although he may never ask for one, if he gets one, he will love it, brag to his friends about it, and never leave home without it.

2.     Bath and body products for men – It’s the new age of soap on a rope! He may not seek out specialty shave cream, or pay a premium for skin lotion, but once he tries it, he’ll be hooked (and so will you).

3.     Candles – Candles come in so many fragrances, and masculine style fragrances are becoming more and more prominent.  Fresh cut grass, the scent of a campfire, and worn leather are just some examples of new fragrances for men. 
4.      Something inspirational – Whether for home or office, a framed inspirational quote or picture will keep him reminded of what's important in life.  Find something that moves him – inspiring words, values or a wonder of nature will lift his spirit. 

5.     Hobby gifts – Whether he loves travel, music, or the great outdoors, look for gifts related to his passion.  A coffee table book, a DVD series, an unusual styled map or globe would be unique and something he is not likely to buy for himself. 

6.     Food – Rather than those staple foods mentioned above, if you like the idea of a food gift, choose a few of his favorite foods and make a special meal.  If you’re not a cook, get take-out and set it up like a home cooked meal! Prepare the table for a special occasion with a table cloth or elegant place mats.  Use cloth napkins with napkin rings to dress it up. Your attention to detail will not go unnoticed.
For unique gift ideas for men, you might consider one of our collections, such as those pictured here.

Whatever you choose for the man in your life, whether husband, boyfriend, brother, or buddy, don't be ordinary.  Make it something that will pleasantly surprise him.

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Find Unique Holiday Gifts and Gift Baskets at Victoria's Craft Boutique

We are very excited to participate this year in the 25th annual Victoria's Holiday Boutique at the Norwood Park Historical Society.  The boutique is held at the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House at 5624 N. Newark Avenue in Chicago.  Built in 1833, this is the oldest standing home in the city of Chicago. 

This 4 day event has a different feel than other art and craft shows I've attended.  When I arrived this past weekend to set up my display, I felt an immediate sense of community in this historical old home- turned-holiday-gallery.  There is a genuine love for the historic charm that comes through in the many rooms of this two story residence.  Each crafter is given the privilege of displaying their art alongside notable antique furnishings. You will see, in my photos here, some of my gift baskets displayed atop an antique icebox.



With approximately 40 artists represented, you will find a variety of craftsmanship, and undoubtedly the most unique Christmas gifts.  Given this is my first showing at Victoria's, I was most impressed to hear other crafters mention that although the volume of artists is on the smaller side, the quality is of the highest.  That is a tribute to the historical society and the work they do to keep the Noble-Seymour-Crippen house noble indeed.

Hours for the boutique are:

Thursday, Nov. 29: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 30: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m
Friday, Nov. 30: 7 - 9:30 p.m., Girls Night PJ Shopping Party
Saturday, Dec. 1: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m
Sunday, Dec. 2: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
If you are in the area, please come out and tour this beautiful home and find unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list!  And watch our Facebook page, where we'll post more photos throughout the weekend.
Have a happy day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas

What's your idea of the perfect hostess gift?

Do you do a simple bottle of wine on the way to the party? Do you go the extra mile and buy something geared specifically to your host's interests?  Do you bring a homemade gift? Do you plan in advance or run out last minute?

Unfortunately, it's often easy to overlook the well thought-out hostess gift. Though well intentioned, the holiday season is a busy one, and we often end up at the last minute wildly searching for something unique, but winding up settling for something less. 

I am writing this as your reminder to think ahead and plan for a few hostess gifts to have on hand for those holiday parties.  Hostess gifts can come in many shapes and sizes, but rather than simply stopping by the market for a bottle of wine on your way to the party, purchase a few nice gifts in advance and be ready with something special.

These are some of our ideas for hostess gifts that work well for all types of parties.

Christmas Cheer

Christmas Peace

A Christmas Token

Christmas Snowmen

Have a happy day and let us know what is your perfect hostess gift?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pet Gift Baskets Are Here!

Last year I hosted a focus group to get feedback on a variety of gift basket designs.  I didn't have a pet gift basket included in the designs I presented, although it was on my list for a future design.  Of course, there were pet lovers in the group and they inquired as to if I would plan to have pet gifts.  Naturally!

From the feedback I received in the focus group, I went on a quest at gift trade shows to find just the right gifts for my new designs, including pet gifts.  They would need to equal the quality of all of the gifts I choose for my designs.  And as with all our gift products, I would only choose gifts that my own puppies would love! 

It's taken a bit of time, but I've finally put together my pet gift baskets with products I am proud to offer.  Our Puppy Love dog gift basket and Kitty Love cat gift basket feature top quality Ore gift products that every dog or cat owner needs!  And here they are along with some photos of my favorite friends who have given their own stamp of approval!  You can find more detail on each pet gift basket at our website.

Phoebe and Linus especially love the
Ore Pet sturdy mouse toy!
Cody and Bosco prefer tugging with the
 old canvas shoe!

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thank You Gift Baskets for Those Who Mean So Much

November is National Family Caregivers Month.   I was searching the web for just the right poem in honor of caregivers and came up empty.  Not that I didn't find beautiful poems, but I found so many poems and equally remarkable stories of people touched by caregivers, that I could not choose one that was better or more inspiring than the next.  Each story is unique and inspiring in its own right. 
I did find this quote by former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, that very well sums up the value of caregivers:

"There are four kinds of people in this world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers."

Caregivers are universal.  If there is a caregiver in your life, take time to honor and thank them for their invaluable service and loyalty.  This list from the National Parkinson Foundation has some nice ideas for thanking a caregiver: http://www.parkinson.org/Caregivers/Caring-for-the-Caregiver/Ideas-to-Celebrate-Caregivers.

If you would like to give a special gift to a caregiver, we have a selection of appropriate thank you gift baskets for all ages and budgets.  We can customize to meet your individual needs whether by product or design.  Just give us a call and we'll make your caregiver's gift as unique and special as they are.


Have a happy and peaceful day!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween from Thoughtful Presence!

Here it is, October 31, another day of tricks and treats!  I'm well-prepared, with my very large bowl of treats waiting by the door, and our slightly scary decorated house ready to welcome our

As a child, Halloween is all about candy and costumes and going door-to-door.  As an adult (at least for me) it's still about candy and costumes, but add in a few other fall favorites that this time of year brings.  Pumpkins, gourds, and squash, whether for cooking or decorating, signify the season and help to kick start the upcoming holidays.

It's a busy time for Thoughtful Presence, with upcoming holiday craft fairs and boutiques, new baby and pet gifts soon to be added to our collection, not to mention our winter holiday gift baskets.  But we'll take a break today to enjoy our ghosts and goblins, pass out our treats, and catch a scary movie at the end of the day.  We hope, wherever you are, you will do the same.

Have a happy day, and if you've taken time to read this, share with us your favorite Halloween trick or treat!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall and Holiday Gift Baskets, Candles Included

I'm a huge admirer of candle crafters.  It is such a beautiful craft, with its designs, colors, and fragrances.  I love candles for just about any occasion and although I don't put candles in all gift baskets, I certainly could!

My husband, manly man that he is, has one weakness - candles!  When I met him, I was amazed at his affinity for candles.  Although admittedly, I turned him into a candle snob, as I am super particular about candle quality.  He was more into the concept of candles when I met him, but not being the shopper type, he didn't realize the vast variety of candles that exist in the market.

Since starting our gift basket business, we are both enthralled by the many candles we view and sample for our gifts.  And, yes, we test them all!  A good candle not only must look and smell beautiful; it also must burn right.  It must burn evenly, down to an empty glass.  It must be long lasting.  It must not put out too much smoke, especially black smoke!

It's a fine balance when choosing candles for a gift basket.  Its fragrance cannot interfere with other items in the basket.  Size is important as it must fit the overall design.  Price is a factor as it is a contributor to the overall cost of the complete basket.  And of course it must fit the theme of the basket, either by design or fragrance or both. 

Although I am not a candle expert, I am a candle snob, and am grateful for the many options in the market and especially for those vendors we've partnered with so far who've made beautiful candles to enhance our gift baskets!

Have a happy day!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sweets For Your Sweetest

October 20th is Sweetest Day, often thought of as the secondary Valentine's Day.  Although I like to think of Sweetest Day more as a day to share some good quality time with someone you love, be it a spouse, companion, friend or family member.  And if that quality time can include a sweet treat, then there you have it - Sweetest Day!

Here are my recommendations for your something sweet to be shared:
  1. Go to a movie and have your favorite movie theater candy.  My fave is red licorice.
  2. Go to your favorite coffee shop and have a pumpkin spice latte and a chocolate cupcake.  At least, that would be my pick!
  3. Spend your quality time at home and bake cookies - pumpkin or chocolate chip anyone?
  4. If it is not too cold where you are, go out for ice cream.  Get three scoops of your favorite flavor.  (Okay, I've never really ordered 3 scoops!)
  5. Enjoy a nice relaxing dinner and save room for dessert - of course!
What's your pick for your sweet treat?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Watch our Video: Custom Gift Baskets for All Occasions

We've completed our first video highlighting our many different styles of gift baskets.  We've received a lot of compliments on the quality of the video.  Thanks to my husband, Ken, for his advice and input.  He's much more the video expert than me! 

Already working on video #2 - Enjoy and have a happy day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Palatine High School Fall Craft Fair

We are happy to be participating in the Palatine High School Booster Club Fall Craft Fair on Saturday, November 3.  We will have Fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas themed gift baskets for sale, along with some of our best year-round selections.  If you are in the area of Palatine, IL, please stop by and see us.  The fair runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.    Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Moms, Dads and Babies - They All Love Our Unique Baby Gifts!

Today I received a comment from a mom who was the recipient of our Baby Bath Spa baby girl gift basket last year.  She commented on how much she loved it, and specifically the "very plush" hooded bath towel.  She also said her baby girl loves to play with the basket itself and keeps her toys in it. 

Baby Bath Spa - Baby Girl Gift Basket
Those comments reminded me of a couple of others I have heard along the way.  One baby boy loves the monkey rattle the best; another baby girl has found her favorite with the caterpillar wubanub pacifier. 

Mango Monkey rattle by Mary Meyer
Mango Monkey rattle by Mary Meyer
Caterpillar wubanub by Mary Meyer
Caterpillar wubanub by Mary Meyer

I am so delighted to hear those comments because choosing high quality, high value gifts for all of our gift baskets is so important to me.  And with the baby gift baskets, I love to know that the different selections make both parents and baby happy!

We are actually in the process of creating two more baby gift baskets, that will focus on small baby toys and some very adorable baby food sets.  We have an owl collection coming for girls and a puppy and trucks collection coming for the boys.  These should be completed in the next two weeks, and I'll be sure to highlight them here in my blog.

Have a happy day!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Custom Gift Baskets Celebrate the Colors of Autumn

Octoberfest - Apple Picking - Halloween - 2012 Election Parties
Harvest Festivals - Thanksgiving

All of the above are reasons I love Autumn!  We've just introduced some new fall themed gifts that make great hostess gifts or thank you gifts.  All of these gift baskets are actually ceramic or metal planters that can be re-used as planters or as everyday storage containers.  They are all neutral and intended to enhance any decor.  We like these better than traditional baskets because they really provide much more value to the recipient.  They are also more distinctive and better looking, and who wouldn't love that!

Gift Basket of Gratitude

My favorite is the white ceramic container with "Laugh" scripted across the front in the Gift Basket of Gratitude shown here.  I love this container for its sentiment and many uses.  I also love the owl designed crystal paperweight.  I don't know about you but I always use paperweights on my desk and in my kitchen, and this one is particularly elegant.

Another of my favorite items is the ceramic owl tealight holder in this Autumn Gift of Thanks.  The owl comes from Grasslands Road and is trendy in style, yet classic in color. Owls are all the rage, and as a symbol of wisdom, adding the owl to this container of treats, just might prove most flattering to your recipient!
Autumn Gift of Thanks

Abundant Thanksgiving
This is our Abundant Thanksgiving Gift Basket, which is a collection of home and kitchen gifts.  The candle sentiment is "At Home find comfort and rest" which seems most appropriate for the holidays.  My other two favorites in this gift are pumpkin chocolate malted milk balls from South Bend Chocolate Company, and a delicious creamy potato soup mix from Country Home Creations.  I've tasted them both and will attest to their true tastiness!

I hope this gives you an idea of how we choose each item individually to go into each of our gift baskets.  Being selective on products is our top priority!
Have a happy day! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Autumn is a Time to be Thankful

It's not just Thanksgiving that makes Autumn a time to think about gratitude.  Think of these other upcoming days of recognition to remember those who make a difference in your life:

October 5 - World Teacher Day
October 16 - Boss's Day
October 20 - Sweetest Day

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pet Gift Baskets for Our Four-legged Friends

September is a big month for pets!  All month it is Happy Cat Month and this week is National Dog Week.  We just received some great inventory for our new cat gift baskets and dog gift baskets that we'll be showing here and in our store later this week.

Until then, here are some fun facts about our lovable furry friends:
  • A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph over a short distance.
  • A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.
  • Cats can make over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs can only make 10.
  • When cats are happy or pleased, they squeeze their eyes shut.
  • 21% of dogs and 7% of cats snore.
  • The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound.  The world's smallest dog breed is the Chihuahua.
  • The St. Bernard is the heaviest dog breed.
  • There are over 700 breeds of purebred dogs.
  • President Lyndon Johnson had two Beagles named Him and Her.
  • Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic - a Newfoundland, a Pomeranian, and a Pekingese.
  • Boxers were named after their habit of playing.  At the beginning of play with another dog, a Boxer will stand on his hind legs and "box" at his opponent.
I can testify to that last one with our Cody and Bosco!

Have a happy day!

(fun facts courtesy of dailyrandomfacts.com and weirdfacts.com)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

5 Ways to Celebrate World Gratitude Day

Okay, so it's not a major, well-known holiday, like Christmas or Fourth of July.  But perhaps equally important is the concept of taking a day to be grateful and let others know of your gratitude.  Friday is World Gratitude Day and it's a great feel-good for you and those around you.

You don't need to go far out of your way or spend a lot of money to show your gratitude.  Simply pick one or more people in your life and give thanks.  Here are 5 simple ways to show gratitude that anyone can do (even at the last minute):
  • Bring treats to work - For those you work with who provide endless support and an ear when you need it, bring in some cupcakes, cookies, or other office favorite treats and let everyone know you appreciate them.
  • Dial up a friend - In this day of texting and social media posting, pick up the phone and call a friend or family to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • A single rose - No, it doesn't have to be a rose - a big, gerber daisy, a gladiola, or any other favorite flower given to a friend or relative always makes a nice surprise thank you.
  • Send an e-card - Free e-cards are easy to find online.  Send a "thank you" or "thinking of you" card to soemone in your life.
  • Be spontaneous - Invite a friend or loved one out for lunch or dinner last minute and insist on buying.  Let them know you just want to say thanks for being you!
Post your own ideas here and have a happy day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What makes Thoughtful Presence gift baskets different?

Have you ever looked online for a gift basket and found the exact same gift basket offered at more than one company for various prices?  Last week, I did a search for new home gift basket on Google shopping to see how we were doing in the overall search results.  I noticed the exact same gift basket was offered by three different companies at widely different prices.  Not only was it the same gift basket but they used the exact same photo.  How unoriginal!

When I decided to start a gift basket company, I quickly learned about the option of drop shipping as a business model.  This is an option that would allow me to receive orders through my website and have the order fulfilled and shipped from a third party warehouse that would house the same gift baskets for any number of other gift basket companies.  I would not need to keep any inventory on hand.  I thought about this option for about half a second, and quickly decided against it.  Now I know this option works for many business owners,  but it just didn't fit with my overall philosophy for my business.  I wanted to create something unique and one-of-a-kind. 
At Thoughtful Presence, we design all of our own gift baskets in our studio.  After scouring gift trade shows a few times a year, we hand select each gift item that goes into each basket or container.  Then we package and decorate it for each unique occasion. That's why it's easy for us to customize any of our gift baskets to meet any theme or budget.
Another thing that makes Thoughtful Presence different is we don't use a lot of food in our gift baskets.  Rather than filling your gift with lots of food products that aren't particularly original, we fill it with the types of gifts you might choose yourself – picture frames, candles, books, music, kitchen utensils, accessories, keepsakes, and much more.  The result is sometimes a higher price than other gift baskets, but we think well worth it.  I love chocolate as much as you do (probably more actually!), but I use it (and a few other quality food items) selectively and only if it truly matches the theme of the gift basket.

Having said all that, what's your take?  Is our concept worth all that?  

Post your feedback and have a happy day!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spread Positive Thoughts Through Unique Gift Basket Designs

Today is Positive Thinking Day.
That got me thinking about how I can spread some positive thoughts! And that got me thinking about all of the gift products I have observed, reviewed, tested and purchased that have their own subtle ways of spreading positive thoughts everyday! Here are a few of my favorites, most of which we use in our various gift baskets.
Good Fortune Lavender Sandalwood soap
Good Fortune Soaps - These all natural body products are all about social consciousness and nothing is more positive than that.  We love their natural fragrances and how they feel on your skin.  We put together gifts with a variety of Good Fortune products packaged in a fantastic travel toiletry bag - available for both men and women.

Kala style soaps - Kala style has many wonderful soaps, but my favorite are their statement soaps.  We currently use the Joy soap in our Especially for Her gift basket filled with wonderful personal items for women (including some favorite jewelry)!

Kalastyle Joy soap

8 Petals handcrafted fused glass jewelry
8 Petals handcrafted fused glass bracelet
Statement Jewelry - Statement jewelry is abundant and great for spreading positive thoughts.  You can give as a gift or simply wear yourself as a constant sharing of all things positive, whether it be thoughts of peace, joy or love.  I'm sure you've all seen the wonderful charms made of various metals stamped with positive words.  My personal favorites not only display happy words, but are brightly colored designs that also inspire positive feelings.

Jennifer Jangles hand crafted jewelry
Jennifer Jangles handcrafted ceramic beaded jewelry

Keepsakes - Of course, with decorative keepsakes you can add positive messages throughout your home or workspace for that daily lift.  You'll find many of these at your local gift shop.  I sometimes pick up a little something for myself or a friend for no reason at all other than to bring a smile and a positive thought their way - that is everyday, not just on Positive Thinking Day!

Have a happy and positive day today!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Signs of Autumn Inspire Seasonal Gift Basket Designs

I just love all the familiar signs of autumn that come immediately after Labor Day:
  • The chill in the early morning air as I take Cody out for his morning walk
  • The first football game of the season and its promise of hope when they win
  • The local event listings for Octoberfests and Apple Festivals
  • Seasonal Halloween shops popping up at the local malls
These and so many other sights and sounds have me excited for the changing season with its fall colors and pumpkins, ghosts and goblins, and coming soon turkeys and Christmas trees!  So while I'm unpacking my sweatpants for those early morning walks, I'm inspired with design ideas for my new seasonal and holiday gift baskets.  Although still wearing shorts and flip flops in the warmer afternoons, the cooler weather designs are starting to take shape!

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Baby Gift Baskets - Something for Everyone

Whether you're attending a baby shower, Baptism, or welcoming the new little one home, a new baby gift basket can be the perfect gift choice.  Since new parents generally need a bit of everything (including some new mommy and daddy treats!), a new baby gift basket allows for a mix of gifts for all. 

Baby gift baskets are some of my favorite gift baskets to design.  I just love picking out all of those adorable baby products - little onesies or creepers, squeezably soft stuffed animals, first baby books, and so many other irresistible baby products!

All of our baby gift baskets can be arranged in a decorative baby carriage basket or the essential diaper bag.  We love the stylish diaper bags from Jimeale.  They are well made, sophisticated, and highly functional.

If you're in need of a gift for this very happy occasion, take a look at some of our designs or
contact us for something custom made.  And if you're looking for some unique ideas for the new parents, check out our ezine article.  You're sure the find the perfect gift for your next baby occasion!

Have a happy day!

Friday, August 31, 2012

What Labor Day Means To Me

It's the start of Labor Day weekend, and many are taking off today for holiday trips and visits with family and friends.  Along with having a three day weekend, Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer, back to school, and hard work ahead as we go into the final months of the year.

For me at Thoughtful Presence, it means we're quickly approaching the fall and winter holidays.  I've been busy designing hostess gifts for your fall occasions and Christmas gifts for everyone on your list.  Be sure to visit us during the month of September and sign up for our newsletter.  We'll be adding new products to our holiday and seasonal gift basket categories which you won't want to miss.

For this holiday weekend, whether you're traveling near or far, or enjoying time in your own backyard, be safe and take time to celebrate all of your hard work and achievements this year.

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When I google kindness, I find you...

This is just one of the wonderful "Hope-isms" that comes from Hope Springs, a collection of wonderfully witty, spiritually inspired gift products for women.

Today I'm delivering a Hope Springs gift basket for a Welcome Home gift.  I love this gift for its colorful and whimsical design.  It just screams happy!  I discovered Hope Springs at a gift trade show in Atlanta earlier this year, and was immediately drawn to the concept of spiritual inspiration in a modern and witty fashion.

Here are a few of my favorite Hope-isms:

Inspire others to inspire others.
There's nothing more beautiful than a smart girl.
Love shared is love squared.


Have a happy day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Endless Possibilities with Unique Gift Baskets

In my last email to subscribers, I talked about what makes Thoughtful Presence different from other gift basket companies.  I highlighted two features of our gift baskets:

  1. We fill our gift baskets primarily with decorative and functional gifts rather than food
  2. We don't use drop-shippers which means all of our gift baskets are handmade and designed by us.
This allows us to offer one-of-a-kind, meaningful gifts for any theme or occasion.  Along with the designs we've put on our website, we also do lots of custom designs.  Custom designs can be done completely from scratch or as a modified version of one of our existing designs.

As an example, I received a request for a horse themed birthday gift basket for an avid horse rider.  Since I did not have a horse themed gift basket yet, we spent some time locating top suppliers of horse themed gift products, found the right container befitting of a horse/ranch theme, and designed the final gift with all theme based decor and ribbon.

Another example, this one as a modification to better fit the interests of the recipient:  This was a baby gift basket.  Our customer chose the baby bath spa gift but asked if we could incorporate a tennis theme since the new dad is a tennis pro.  We swapped out a couple of items and replaced them with a tennis embroidered baby creeper and a stuffed bear in a tennis sweater.  The ending combination was bath care products, a baby hooded towel and the tennis gifts.  In this case it was the perfect combination for this tennis dad, and mom, who happens to be a massage therapist working at a spa.

Other custom designs can be based on budget, where we can make smaller or larger versions of any of our existing designs.

So the possibilities are endless, and one thing is for sure - we aim to please with one-of-a-kind specialty gift baskets.

Have a happy day!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Custom Gift Baskets - It's All About Style

One of the reasons I started a custom gift basket company is for the element of creativity.  I have been an artist and crafter all my life and was very drawn to the design element of gift baskets.  The surprise and delight is found both in the wonderful gifts found inside the basket, and in the beautiful presentation in the final design and wrapping of the gift.

The creative possibilities are endless, and most of my designs evolve as I work through creating the gift basket.  Nothing makes me happier than my studio filled with all colors of ribbon, tissue, shred, and a variety of embellishments or trinkets that contribute to the final design.  I may start with a design in my head or on paper, but it will evolve into its own design as I am creating it (the secret of all good artists).  That is why all of my gift baskets are one of a kind.  It's also why I am able to make customized gift baskets.  That is when a customer either gives me an idea or chooses a gift from my website and asks for it to be customized to better match the unique personality or interests of their recipient.  More on this in my next post.

The element of surprise is what gifts are all about, and with gift baskets, you get it twice.  The first surprise comes with seeing the beautiful presentation of a gift put together with care and style.  The second surprise comes when it is opened and you find it filled with so many unexpected treasures.  Love it!

Have a happy day!