Crafted Goods

Custom Gifts with Celebrate Sweetly

02/05/2020

At Celebrate Sweetly, one of my missions is to teach people that gifting matters. Saying thank you and expressing appreciation is a natural part of any relationship. People enjoy doing business with those they know, like, and trust; giving a great gift helps nurture relationships. That being said, for a gift to be meaningful, it has to be more than just throwing generic stuff at someone.

Last summer, I ran into an acquaintance stocking up on stuff at Costco. She was loading up her cart with generic items to give as holiday gifts to business associates. When I asked why she was doing her shopping at Costco… in August… she somewhat sheepishly explained that it was because she didn’t really care about the people to whom she was giving gifts. I pointed out, “Actually, you really must care. Why else would you be in Costco spending money months in advance?”

At Celebrate Sweetly, one of my missions is to teach people that gifting matters. Saying thank you and expressing appreciation is a natural part of any relationship. People enjoy doing business with those they know, like, and trust; giving a great gift helps nurture relationships. That being said, for a gift to be meaningful, it has to be more than just throwing generic stuff at someone. Gifting should also not be limited to holidays and special occasions. My mantra is, anytime is a good time to gift, especially when people least expect it.

I also want people to understand that giving the right gift doesn’t have to be hard. If you can share a few things you know about the recipient with me, I can create the perfect gift that hits the mark.

Celebrating has always come naturally for me: my parents loved to throw parties and as a teen, I was always the one who knew when everyone’s birthday was. Even now, I love to play the gifting fairy and drop small gifts in random places. It makes me smile to picture how finding one of my gifts can make someone’s day.

Seven years ago, after using my hospitality background to coordinate several events, from my kids’ birthday parties to weddings and galas, Celebrate Sweetly organically transformed from a hobby to an actual business.

My niche is highly personal, highly customized gifts. At Celebrate Sweetly, I am essentially my clients’ personal gift concierge. I work within my client’s budget to create a gifting experience that the recipient will love. Just knowing some details about the recipient helps me put myself in his or her shoes and anticipate what would spark delight and joy in a gift experience.

It takes little client effort to give a great gift. In fact, Celebrate Sweetly clients do not need to do more than provide a few details about the recipient’s interest. The process is simplified and stress-free for my clients. Basically, tell me what you want and who is going to receive it, and I’ll get it done.

I’ve had some hurdles along the way; working in the service industry means Celebrate Sweetly relies on clients. And clients (just like any human!) can and will change their minds. As a small business owner, I have less access to capital. In order to avoid carrying a large inventory, I have to source vendors who are willing to fulfill smaller orders. But every hurdle is an opportunity for growth. And I’ve had more than a few experiences that have shown me how valuable my work is.

It’s gratifying when clients confirm the recipient was thrilled to receive gifts that I personally curated for them.

One client with a generous budget wanted a “wow” gift. With very little information, I had to get creative and come up with a gift for the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. I ended up curating a gorgeous wooden trunk filled with artisanal local fare including French caramels, chocolate truffles, monogrammed whiskey glasses, whiskey rocks and so much more. The trunk was then locked and the key placed in an envelope with a card adorned with calligraphy. It was a truly beautiful gift and the message from the recipient was simply, “You’re officially the best gift-giver ever.” That gift epitomized one of Celebrate Sweetly’s gifting philosophies: the perfect gift is less about things and more about the experience.

Another popular gift item Celebrate Sweetly sends out frequently is a custom carved wooden block for new babies. It symbolizes the building blocks of life. Each of the six sides features a different engraving, such as a quote, an image, the baby’s name or the birth stats. Two years ago, we carefully designed one of these blocks for a friend who ordered it for her sister-in-law, who was expecting a son. It was by far the most detailed block we have done so far. Last year, my friend relayed the most horrific news that the precious baby boy had died in an accident. As she dealt with her grief, the mother threw away all of the baby’s things — except for one thing — that wooden block. We sobbed and hugged, and that moment changed the way I look at the gifts that Celebrate Sweetly sends out. The right gift can have an impact we could not possibly predict.

Right now, I’m focusing on growing the Celebrate Sweetly brand and remaining consistently excellent on behalf of my clients. Being a small business, and working from a home studio, it is extremely important to step out and make connections to establish strong professional relationships.

Work with Merley at Celebrate Sweetly by downloading the West Tenth App for iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/west-tenth/id1478134804

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