Start with a Box and What Do You Get?

A themed gift for any reason, anybody, and any occasion.
That’s what you get.

Creativity is what drives our business and makes it so exciting and so much fun. If you’ve been in business for very long, you have most likely received that phone call asking for a custom gift for someone or for a special occasion that makes you think to yourself, “Oh, my gosh, how am I going to do this?”

It’s creativity and imagination that saves the day. And, of course, one of the easiest ways is to START WITH A BOX.

There are all kinds of boxes to choose from. If you’re lucky, you have a themed box in stock that fits the bill. But what about those times that you don’t have a themed box or suitable products that you can just pull off the shelf and create the perfect gift?

You can start with a solid color box and enhance it with labels, ribbons, wallpaper borders, banners and just about anything else that will stick to a box. Here are some examples to get your imagination flowing the next time you get that call:

I received that call last December from a company that wanted a holiday gift that was railroad related along with a holiday theme.

I had an engineer teddy bear in stock that I knew I could use and remembered that one of the great holiday events held each holiday season by the Grand Canyon Railroad was a Polar Express trip to the Canyon. I decided to use my imagination and play off that theme.

Since the time I began my business, I’ve collected things that I just knew I would use someday and today was that day. I rummaged through my collection and found a roll of wallpaper border in a railroad theme that I could wrap around an empty box.

Perfect!  Since the Polar Express is a trip to Santa’s  North Pole, I added a Santa themed tray and, of course, the book itself.  A Holiday Express box of product, a couple of holiday themed mugs, hot cocoa and a couple other products completed the theme.
Of course, this took more time than just filling a box or basket with products but, for a special customer the result and future orders makes it worthwhile.  And I would never create any gift that didn’t pay me well for that extra time spent.  Here is the result:

Railroad themed Gift box

The previous gift was for a giveaway at a tradeshow that the customer was attending and she wanted a second similar gift.  Once again, I started with a box and decided on a Polar Bear theme.  Here is the result:

Polar Bear themed gift box

The idea of starting with a box isn’t limited to the holidays.  With a bit of imagination and a lot of creativity, you can theme a gift for any occasion by just Starting with a Box.

No longer do you have to keep all kinds of products for that special birthday, retirement. anniversary, or other celebration.  Just start with a box, add a label, and some appropriate products off your shelves, and you have a themed gift.  In addition to solid color gift boxes, I always keep in stock  some small boxes and round cello containers that I can theme with a label and fill with candies, cookies,  packets of hot cocoa or coffee.  Add a bow (and, yes, I use pull bows for those less expensive gifts) and you have a themed gift box that will impress.

Happy 49th Birthday Gift BoxThis is a 49th birthday theme that I created for one of my customers.

Another customer wanted a gift for a 66th birthday.  For that gift, I played off the Route 66 theme and included Route 66 mugs, a Route 66 tee-shirt along with other more generic products to create a gift thatwas a big hit at the party.

I’ve heard it said that we shouldn’t look like a craft business — it isn’t professional.  Let those folks continue to just stack the generic gifts in a generic basket or box.  But, for me, personalization, and the ability to provide a uniquely-designed gift  is what makes my company stand out in the crowd.

These are not the kind of gifts I do for my corporate customers who want multiples and they aren’t the kind of gifts I do on a daily basis.  But they are the kind of gifts that I do when a customer says, “I don’t know if you can do this or not, but. . .” and I can answer “Of course, I can.”

These are the gifts that make Creative Gifts to Go truly a creative and exciting business.  And my customers think so, too!

And now, something for those of you who prefer the “lay products flat in a box” designs, let me tell you that this isn’t really a new concept for designing gifts.  It has been around for years.  Some were called “kits;” others were called “gift boxes.  But the idea was the same.

Don’t believe me?

While sorting through ideas and articles that I’ve accumulated through the 30 years that I have been in business, I came across this list of “Gift Box Ideas” that was published online by homeschooloasis on March 4, 2005.  Even so, the ideas are still as evergreen today as they were almost 18 years ago.

List of Gift Box Ideas

For more information about starting and growing your business, check out Gift Basket Business INSIDER

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