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!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Custom Gift Baskets - Decisions, Decisions

When I tell people what I do, the most common question I get is, "What do you put in a custom gift basket, and how do you decide?"

For each gift basket theme or occasion, I think about what the person could use or enjoy that fits the theme of the gift.  I consider things they would enjoy but wouldn't necessarily go out and buy for themselves.  I look at what is new and trendy in gift, fashion, and home decor.  I then create a list of possible items to go together in the gift basket.  Once I have my list, and the items are all suitable for the theme, I browse!

I have been a browser all my life.  I've browsed gift shops, boutiques, galleries, catalogs and magazines.  (Just ask my husband, Ken!)  And now I also browse trade shows.  I look for what is new and upcoming in popularity.  It's all about surprise and delight.  I want each gift to be unpredictable and delightful.  And it has to be something they will use and appreciate, something that will inspire them, and not something that will sit around unused.  So I look for items that have more universal appeal, like stationery products, candles, picture frames, or keepsakes that are fun, inspirational, whimsical, or just pleasing to the eye.  And generally something everyone needs.

The list is really endless.  There are so many wonderful items for personal use, home decor, bath and body, and for all ages.  That is what makes my job so much fun!

Stay tuned for my next post about the creative element and the fun of the presentation!

Have a happy day, and let me know when you're in need of that perfect gift!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome to Thoughtful Presence!

Welcome to Thoughtful Presence and our new Blog!  Not only is this a new blog, we are also a new company!  The idea for Thoughtful Presence started about 2 years ago, and while we sold our first gift baskets through word of mouth a year ago, we opened our virtual doors on April 22 of this year, which also happens to be my birthday!

The idea for a gift basket company started with my love for gift giving (and shopping!) and the creative flair that goes into designing a gift basket.  As we thought through what type of gift basket company we wanted to be, we knew we wanted to do something unique.  So I asked people what they thought about gift baskets, what they liked, and what they didn't like.  A common theme I heard in their comments was that gift baskets were too generic and often contained food that wasn't the best quality.  So I began putting together ideas for truly themed gift baskets that would contain high quality functional and decorative gift products.  And food would only be used if it truly fit the theme, and it would have to be high quality.  So tea and cookies would go into a Get Well Gift Basket but not in a Gardening Gift Basket. 

It's amazing how many ideas we came up with once we started defining our products.  What started with 10-12 products quickly became 15-20 products, and now we offer over 30 different types of gift baskets - all truly themed gifts.

When I say we, I mean me and Ken (he's my husband).  I manage the website and the shopping; Ken manages me.  That means when I get stuck and need a second opinion, he's always there.  We're both pretty creative, so the designs are a joint effort.

So take a look around and see what we have to offer.  We think you'll like what you see.