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People want to send gifts that tell stories

Story-Telling

Have you found that people are taking ‘buy local,’ seriously?

As the owner of a gift-giving company, Bear Town Baskets, I am finding that my customers want to know where their clothes, furniture and most importantly especially where their food comes from. It truly matters if it’s from their community or China.  Most folks want to send gifts that tell stories too, especially in an age when so few gifts are store bought, artificial and don’t tell authentic stories. A product with a ‘Made in China’ label is no longer in vogue.

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Seeking Authentic

Gift Basket makers are finding out that anything that hints of the hand-made, artisan, creative design, is what people are looking for. People are responding much more authentic, design as opposed to ‘Made In China’ products. It’s clearly a time to make genuine connections with the folks in our lives. Vintage, ethnic, Victorian-inspired, homespun and maybe even groovy-fare is also the trend. Anything artisan – look, taste, anything that’s handmade or even gives the appearance of being handmade. I really prefer, things that have age and character.They want their friends and family to read  a novel they are sure they’d enjoy, while they are sipping a cup of tea that they’ve send them or by candlelight made by the local candle maker.

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A Renaissance

In a big way, this is a can be described as a reawakening, a rebirth, a renaissance of what was old is new again. You don’t have to spend that much to get the perfect gift, who selected a number of artisan and particular objects at more accessible prices. As described in a New York Times article explained that gifts need to be meaningful. “Margaret Visser states in ‘The Gift of Thanks’ — that gift-giving, like most rituals, is a form of social glue. And the strength of that adhesive is in direct proportion to the amount of energy and effort the giver has expended, or appears to have expended.” Consumers want to know that the things they purchase are being made by someone in their community and they want to know the story of the person making the gifts.

Trends in Gifting

They also are trending toward wanting their gifts to be particularly special and the gifts are distinctive and in some way special to whomever they are sending it.“Ms. Visser even suggests that decrying the commercialism of the season is an important part of the ritual.

p1430335“Our struggles and complaints mean, in part, that the gifts we have bought have manifestly cost us trouble,” she writes. “We may not actually have made them, but everyone is aware — our own grumbling making sure it is understood — that work, freely undertaken, went into their acquisition.” ”

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The End of Cold Calling – Use Pop-By Gifts.

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What are Drop-By or Pop-by gifts?

Try walking in with a little gift that lets them know they’re appreciated. The gifts are intended to deepen your relationship and provide an opportunity to connect.

It means the end of cold calling, as you know it!

60503-gbv2bgift2btagMost people add a catchy line with the gift to make it fun, memorable, and ultimately for inexpensive marketing purposes to promote their business.

They can become a favorite part of your business.

Each is done by hand, customized to the clients requirements.

These gifts, when customized, can include your name, company info and phone # with a quirkily, memorable tagline such as ‘Just Popping By to Say Hi’

Gift Basket Villas creates these are beautiful little gifts to be given to clients to create, maintain and grow relationships. There is no longer need for cold calling. These gifts ensure you’re are a welcomed sight.

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New Bern, NC. My Happy Place

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BearTown Baskets’ moves to New Bern, NC

Small Business Owner finds Quaint Town in NC

As a small business owner of Gift Basket Villas (now renamed BearTown Baskets to better reflect this beautiful town we’ve discovered and made our home) I was on a quest to find a quaint little town to grow some roots. I wasn’t sure it was something I could find and not really sure my gift basket business would thrive outside of a large city, but it was worth a try.

There are over 50 bears in New Bern and is one of the reasons visitors flock to New Bern. These hand-painted bear designs are on life-size  bears. These bears, in historic downtown are decorated with absolutely gorgeous colors, artistic designs, hats, flags, flowers and each bear is uniquely designed. Check out Visit New Bern for details.

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I was pleasantly surprised when to find the quaintest, hidden gem of a town,  New Bern, NC. Most people seem to have heard of it as a town on the way to the beaches, but for whatever the reason, it still appears to be a well kept secret.  This small town appears to be growing in leaps and bounds. But, shhh don’t tell anyone our secret!

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It seems that a small percentage of natives still live here, however a lot of the folks I’ve met seem to have moved from elsewhere and lots of outsiders are moving in. This is evident in my encounters and I feel an embracing of diversity, new and different cultures and ideas.

New Bern is a charming little town. 

The streets are lined with gold…leaves that is, from the Ginkgo Biloba tree, in  downtown New Bern.

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With the summer and humidity, New Bern may not be for everyone but I’ve decided it is where I am going to live the rest of my life. I have found the most beautiful area to live in and am not sure how this accident came about that I found it.

Gift Baskets in the Harbour

Keep an eye out for other articles about the evolution of experience as a small business owner in a small town and BearTown Baskets. I am very excited about this part of my adventure. I’ll keep you posted.

A must see and taste – Cow Cafe ice-cream. My favorite is Mooberry.

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Read more about New Bern, NC:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/coastal-north-carolina/69588-thoughts-new-bern-nc-22.html#ixzz3sQE9jqrG

http://www.bestplaces.net/city/north_carolina/new_bern

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10 Steps – How to Make a Gift Basket

Making a Gift Basket

This can be easy if you have a creative streak or much more difficult if you’re just not into this stuff. I enjoy making handmade bows but it’s not for everybody.

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I’ll try and make this simple.

  1. Start by selecting a theme – I’m sure you’ll have something in mind – birthday, thank you, sympathy or just because.
  2. You need – scissors, ribbon, tape, blank newsprint, cellophane and shred.
  3. Place basket on table, fill with newsprint and shred.
  4. Start layering with largest item at the back and build around the centerpiece.
  5. Add shred in gaps. Make sure labels are facing forward (remove price tags!) Use tape to secure items to each other.
  6. Measure the cello so that about 8-10 inches are above the basket handle.
  7. Carefully place the cello bag or cello sheet under the basket.
  8. Crinkle the top of the cell from middle out to the ends.
  9. Ties the ribbon and create a bow or use a pre-made bow. You can make your own, if you’d like to try. Use wide, wired ribbon – it’s easiest to manipulate.

Stand back and admire your creation!

As the owner of Bear Town Baskets in New Bern NC, I create custom made gift-baskets. Please leave comments if you have any questions.

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Look Beyond the Basket

Gifting-Giving in New Bern, NC

As a small woman owned business in New Bern NC also known as Bear Town (have you heard of our infamous bears?), it’s important to develop a plan that is unique to the area. Below I will describe a gift-giving plan to stand out above the crowd.

Personalized your gifts: customized to New Bern whenever you can. Personalizing is also important, include a personal note with the name of the giftee for each gift.

  • Write a quick note to say you wish them a happy holiday season, and add in a personal sentence or two.  This can take a time, however, personalized notes go a long way and their absence is noticeable when a gift is accompanied by a generic card.

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  • Time it Right: Receiving a gift after the fact defeats any good intention you had. If the majority of your clients go away over the holidays, send your gifts on the earlier side.

 Tried-and-true gift ideas:

  • Personalized Gift baskets with the name of the recipient. It makes them very happy!
  • Local products that you know they would like.
  • Branded good quality pens
  • Personalized gifts or stationery
  • Branded, personalized business card cases
  • Tickets to an upcoming event
  • Universal device chargers
  • Customized/personalized products – mugs
  • Locally made products

Just be – Different!

The great thing about gift-giving is that you can do it any time of year – don’t limit yourself to the holiday season. You want your gifts to be memorable and you want to stand out from the crowd. The crowd sends gifts on holidays. Be different,  not typical; do what makes the most sense and your small business will thrive – be authentic, be of service, be helpful and be thoughtful.

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New Trend – Authentic Gift-Giving

Gift Giving Trend

As the owner of a gift-giving company, Gift Basket Villas, in New Bern NC, I am finding that gift-givers want to know where their clothes, furniture and most importantly especially what they eat is healthy. They also want to know that they’re sending these products to their friends, family, clients. They’re looking for natural, organic, healthy snacks and well made products. It also matters if the products are coming from a local vendor or China. People want to send gifts that tell stories, especially in an age when so few gifts are store bought, artificial and don’t tell authentic stories. A product with a ‘Made in China’ label is no longer in vogue.

Seeking Authentic

Gift Basket designers are finding out that anything that hints of the hand-made, artisan, creative design, is what people are looking for. People are responding much more authentic, design as opposed to ‘Made In China’ products. It’s clearly a time to make genuine connections with the folks in our lives. Vintage, ethnic, Victorian-inspired, homespun and maybe even groovy-fare is also the trend. Anything artisan – look, taste, anything that’s hand spun or even gives the appearance of being handmade. I really prefer, things that have age and character.They want their friends and family to read a novel they are sure they’d enjoy, while they are sipping a cup of tea that they’ve send them or by candlelight made by the local candle maker.

A Renaissance

In a big way, this is a can be described as a reawakening, a rebirth, a renaissance of what was old is new again. You don’t have to spend that much to get the perfect gift, who selected a number of artisan and particular objects at more accessible prices. As described in a New York Times article explained that gifts need to be meaningful. “Margaret Visser states in ‘The Gift of Thanks’ — that gift-giving, like most rituals, is a form of social glue. And the strength of that adhesive is in direct proportion to the amount of energy and effort the giver has expended, or appears to have expended.” Consumers want to know that the things they purchase are being made by someone in their community and they want to know the story of the person making the gifts.

Gifting

A large number of people also want their gifts to be particularly special and to know that the gifts are distinctive and in some way special to whomever they are sending it. In the NYT’s article “Ms. Visser even suggests that decrying the commercialism of the season is an important part of the ritual. “Our struggles and complaints mean, in part, that the gifts we have bought have manifestly cost us trouble,” she writes. “We may not actually have made them, but everyone is aware — our own grumbling making sure it is understood — that work, freely undertaken, went into their acquisition.”

It’s easy to let the experts help give you show your family, friends, employees, clients and coworker that you have worked hard to give from authentically, from your heart.

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A Pink Ribbon Gift – Cancer Survivor Gift

Chemotherapy or Cancer Patients

Have you ever wondered what to give a friend who has had devastating news that they have cancer? This is a perfect gift for a friend who is a Cancer Survivor or Chemotherapy patient. These gift baskets are made with the most love and care.  
Courage, Hope & Strength are just a few things needed to fight breast cancer, why not let them know you are thinking of them by sending this beautiful gift basket. They will receive not only delicious comfort food gifts like candy, chocolate, cookies and Pink Ribbon Pasta, but some wonderful keepsakes as well including a Pink Teddy Bear wearing a Pink Ribbon T-shirt, ‘On the Wings of Hope’ Pink Ribbon Pin and a Courage, Hope, Strength Pink Ribbon Spiral Notebook and Pen Set. This is a perfect gift for a loved one or friend, or for use at any breast cancer fundraising event. 

Nationwide Delivery

Order your gift baskets online. At Gift basket Villas, our company delivers Nationally and is located in Raleigh and New Bern NC. We offer free nationwide ground delivery. We aim to offer you the best patient gift, whether that person is undergoing chemotherapy, a set back or just not feeling well – this is a great gift idea and gift basket. Order today! Our gift can be used as a Chemotherapy Treatment Patient Gift Baskets are attractive gifts that offer great benefits for cancer patients receiving chemo. 
 
Let us help you put a smile on your friend, family member who has chemo, cancer.  If you are in need of a special cancer survivor basket (such as a chemotherapy gift for anyone undergoing cancer treatment), just call us and we can accommodate changes in ribbon colors! Having had our own personal experience with cancer and knowing the energy it takes to get through chemotherapy, we have created the best cancer survivor gift basket around!  If you are looking for gifts for chemo patients or gifts for cancer patients, please consider our lovingly made cancer care gift basket for your loved one.
 
Each product that is found in our cancer survivor gift basket is with the variety of different treatments that a chemo patient bravely endures.  From nausea to boredom, our gift for chemotherapy, cancer, will surely put a smile on the face of the recipient. Whether you are able to be there in person or not, our cancer gift basket will brighten the patient’s day and offer a little moment of happiness while they explore the contents of this great gift!
 
Our chemotherapy gift basket is a great gift if you can not be with them in person.  You can still let them know you are thinking about them by sending this unique Chemo Care Gift Basket. This basket is designed to help them ‘feel better’ during their treatment by including stomach soothing peppermint candy, ginger candy, gourmet water crackers and herbal tea. We have also included a 144 crossword puzzle book to take their mind off things for a while. 
 
Give your chemo or radiation therapy care package today! Specify color of ribbon during checkout.

Contents Include:
Pink Teddy Bear with Pink Ribbon T-shirt
Courage, Hope, Strength Pink Ribbon Spiral Notebook and Pen Set – 60 pages
‘On the Wings of Hope’ Pink Ribbon Pin
Pink Ribbon Lollipop – 2 of them
McSteven’s Awareness Pink Hot Chocolate
Bloomsberry Pink Emergency Chocolate
Brown & Haley Cashew Roca Buttercrunch Candy
‘Time Out’ Strawberry Kiwi Dark Chocolate Truffles
Beth’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Primo Dolce Chocolate Truffle Cookies
Pasta Shoppe Pink Ribbon Pasta Bag
…in an Oval Dark Stained Gift Basket with Wooden Handles.

A portion of the proceeds from this product are donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to benefit breast cancer, education, screening and treatments.

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Is Gift-giving Good for Your Business?

The lack of client gift-giving plan may be the one fundamental flaw in marketing your business, especially small businesses. A small investment nay potentially and exponentially outweigh the initial investment. Take for example a small gift that is given to a potential client that could result in thousands of dollars in income. This is the art of appreciation and go a long way in building relationships and customer loyalty.

This is not generally used only during the holiday season but giving gifts can benefit your business throughout the year. Let’s explore the gift-giving principle.

Why give gifts?

Duh, everyone loves to receive gifts. Gifting branded token items to your potential customers, new clients, vendors and not forgetting your present customers is a great way to highlight your business’s identity and values, to stay in front of your customers. Remember, they do not get up every morning thinking about you.

What does a gift do?

It’s meant to reflect your brand, your company values, personality and shows a level of generosity and implies that you care about individual relationships.  Your customers and vendors will recognize the significance of these factors in creating long-standing relationships with a business. This art of appreciation and small act of kindness has major ramifications on your brand perception, the likelihood of these customers returning, repeat business and they’ll tell it to everyone, resulting in increased referrals.

This is not just a nice to do, it also helps you with cold calling, gives you a reason to reach out to your customer base without asking anything. It is an easy way to reconnect with people who you haven’t been in regular contact and does not come across as a sales pitch.

Typically, the gift can be less than $5 each. You can write off the expense and it can help create goodwill with your customers without having to develop an expensive marketing plan.