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The best gift ideas.

c1_FotorIs it time for presents again? Did December and Christmas just creep up upon us? Yes, that’s right, I can’t believe it. you looking for the best gift you can find for a Golfer, someone who is going through chemotherapy and may need a pick me up, someone who you need to thank for  all they’ve done for you during the year? I haven’t been to the stores so don’t really know how crazy it is this year. We buy presents to create, develop or continue friendships…. it’s that time of the year I so enjoy and I love sharing my these good feelings.

I love getting into the festive and holiday Christmas spirit – the Christmas lights, the Christmas music and movies. It’s an obsession with me and I just have this insatiable  need to create that beautiful feeling. Forbes reported on a study on the Christmas Spirit: Forbes Study on Christmas Spirit.

It’s Christmas time, people all over are looking for great ideas.The best gift subscription ideas need to be personalized for them to be memorable. How about doing something different for your customers? A gift-giving subscription. There are companies that are starting these services and they can also make them personalized. These appreciation gifts don’t have to cost a lot. Check this out for less than $5 per client: Personalized Client Gifts

Well, here are some ideas for Christmas presents that are out of the ordinary. Some people remember the days of the Moon Pie and an RC Cola! Are you old enough to remember this? If not ask your parents or grandparents. Find out what brings back memories for your clients.


If you’re in the service industry, staying top-of-mind with your clients is important. Successful companies need to show clients/partners  appreciation in a genuinely thoughtful way. One of the methods of accomplishing this is through a small reach-out-and-touch gifting subscription service. For the high end customers, how about a wine of the month club. I love visiting local wineries. A wine country gift basket or just a  wine subscription will definitely leave a lasting impression.


Do they need some cheese and crackers for that relaxing glass of wine?


Part of the attraction of subscription gift-giving is that it streamlines gifting and keeping in constant touch with your customers.  It still requires planning and finding unique gifting ideas that would be a perfect fit because you’re going to be sending someone a gift on a consistent basis, it should be something they like! Examples of the unique gifts may be local products – honey, coffee, locally made candles, utensils, socks, pet treats or toys, magazine subscriptions,


The Busy Bee of A Businesswoman:

A perfect gift  to sends may includes samples of beauty products, techno gadgets that makes their lives easier. A blue tooth speaker, jazzy earbuds. I just found out about a tracker for your keys. If you lose them,  it sends an alert to your phone and using GPS locates your keys! Does she like fruit?


The person who loves comfy:

Who doesn’t appreciate a good pair of socks or a warm throw? Something comfy can sent to clients every month to keep on top of their minds. Every time they put on those trendy socks, or wrap themselves in that warm blanket, they’ll think of your generosity  and your company will come up in conversations every meeting they have. You can them it by the month, the season, savvy styles, animals, colors, designers. There are so many choices.

The Happy Healthy Chef:

Consider gifting plans that are memorable,  one of a kind such as  a custom engraved set of cutlery. Every month different piece of utensil to fill a wooden block.

The Pet Lover:

Do you have a client who sends you favorite photos of her pet? It can be so easy to get to her heart and will keep you in good favor with the whole householdby sending treats and toys.

The Health Enthusiast:

An easy option is to send a health subscription service. Find out what they like and look for a great magazine that you know they’ll appreciate. This is such a great gift idea for the health nut. Are they constantly reading about the new zero- net-carbohydrates- zero calories -no gluten – made of a healthy natural fiber foods?


Obviously, some of these gift ideas are fairly personal, so you may want to make sure you have created a good relationship before sending them a monthly gift that they will appreciate and think about you first when the time comes for your services.

Staying at the top of your customer’s minds

Studies have shown that this as a great way to stay in clients’ minds, show appreciation for them, and connect on a personal level. Do you know that the one thing that drives your customers away is that they don’t feel appreciated. Keeping a present customer is so much easier than expending time and resources in trying to find a new one.  Find ways to show that you know what they’re passionate about — whether that’s fluffy socks or their gerbil helps them enjoy that passion.




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Presents at work.

Why Gifting Works?

Did you ever hear about “Know -Like-Trust” principle?

It takes time to develop a relationship and trust is achieved through being visible, being likeable and building credibility. You do this over time. Giving mall gifts are thoughtful ways to stay in front of the important people in your life.


pop byProspects, clients long to feel appreciated. Find reasons to appreciate others with small gifts. This may be for their support, their business or a thank you for a referral. This small investment has a huge potential for return in building relationships and creating loyalty.

Acknowledge an award, birthday, special day with a small gift. Your client, special person will never forget this because you are creating a nice experience for them. What you offer should be an experience in pure luxury, like a box of truffles for example. It may be small, but it creates an experience that is different, unexpected, a little surprise and most likely unparalleled, because most people don’t take the time to send a token of appreciation, much less one that you’ve put thought into and of good quality.


How did you say Thank You?

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Corporate gifts do more than just advertise a business or product. A successful gifting program will reinforce the business experience and enhance the image that the business aims to project. It reminds the client or worker that they are valued by the company. The range and scope of corporate gifts is staggering. First Class travel and accommodation, gifts of computers or plasma televisions, long lunches and dinners in gourmet restaurants are all frequent corporate gifts in selected industries. Our list however, is intended to target a wider area of society where the intention is to communicate a positive image of a company and send a simple “Thank you, do come again” message to its clients or workers. Just about everything on the list lends itself to have a company or product logo applied.

Excellent gifts ideas

officeA tie, scarf, t-shirt, sports jacket, football t-shirt, baseball cap, beanie, sun visor, manicure set, umbrella, watch, sunscreen, body lotion, shower gel or novelty soaps are gift solutions. Games can be good fun. Desktop darts, boule set, backgammon, pack of cards, chess set, yo yo, or board game could happily wear your logo. However, why not do something different. Stand out from the rest of the crowd. Great gift ideas may include these items but including them in a gift basket which has been personalized can make a big difference. Imagine handing a customer a gift wrapped with some products with your logo, but this time it has the name of your customer on it, now that’s a win. This person feels special and will remember that you took the time to make them feel that way.


Also remember, corporate gifts may eventually find their way into the home and you never know who is going to see your gifts. Make it memorable.

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Quaint Small Town – New Bern, NC. My Happy Place

cbb60-me1 Have you heard of New Bern?

As a small business owner (Gift Basket Villas), 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.

I was pleasantly surprised when I’ve recently found this beautiful little 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.

IMG_2942_auto nb.jpg

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.

View of New Bern from our boat


A charming little town. 

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


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.

My Backyard


What is New Bern like?

Here a video to help you visualize: New Bern, NC

New Bern, North Carolina is a historic town located where 2 rivers join to meet the Pamlico Sound on the Southeastern coast of North Carolina. Information found on

The city of over 30,000 grew by 30% from 2000 to 2013. It has a 56 square block tree lined historic district that appeals to many active adults who would like to live in or near a real town. The city, originally settled by Swiss and Germans, is the second oldest town in North Carolina and also one of its fastest growing. It is known as a particularly friendly and welcoming place with a lower than average cost of living. New Bern is located in Craven County.

New Bern was named a “Certified Retirement Community” by the State of North Carolina in 2015. There is ample retail shopping in New Bern with malls, large department stores, as well as specialty shops and boutiques.
I read that the local economy is driven by construction, education, public administration, services. Unemployment rate was 5.2% in 2015, which is lower than the NC average. I wonder what it is today. Need to check.

Did you hear about the bears of New Bern? They’re Bear Town Bears, by local artists can be found throughout the town of New Bern.P1300427

National Gift Basket Award Winner – ‘Give it Light’ – New Bern Basket

Fun Facts about New Bern:

  • Founded in 1710, New Bern is the second oldest town in North Carolina.
  • The Swiss and German settlement of New Bern was named in honor of the founder’s home, Bern, Switzerland. When Bern, Switzerland was founded, it was named by a group of hunters. They named the city for the first animal they came upon on their hunting expedition. It was a bear. “Bern” is the old Germanic word for Bear, and the bear became the symbol of the city. It has been adopted by New Bern, as well.
  • New Bern is home to the First State Capital of North Carolina, Tryon Palace.
  • New Bern was the first city in America to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. Washington visited New Bern and danced at the Tryon Palace.
  • The interior of Christ Episcopal Church was designed in the style of Christopher Wren, the famous English architect. It is a “must see” for visitors.
  • The state’s first printing press was set up on the corner of Broad Street and Middle Street in New Bern in 1749.
  • In 1778 the first public banking institution in North Carolina was established in New Bern.
  • In 1783 the state’s first bookstore opened in New Bern.
    North Carolina’s first Postal Service was established in New Bern in 1790.
  • North Carolina’s First Presbyterian Church organization and building in Presbytery was established in New Bern in 1817.
  • New Bern is home to the first Roman Catholic Church and parish in North Carolina.
  • Pepsi was invented and first served in New Bern in 1898 by local pharmacist Caleb Bradham.  Info from Visit New Bern

New Bern is located 35 miles inland from the Outer Banks in Southeastern North Carolina. The Neuse and Trent rivers meet here and empty into the Pamlico Sound. It is a tidewater savanna. The average July high is 88 and the average January low is 34. August is usually the rainiest month.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene
The New Bern Civic Theatre features plays and other entertainment. The Bank of the Arts, the New Bern Academy Museum, and the Craven Dance Arts Council and Gallery also provide cultural enjoyment. The Crystal Coast Civic Center is another active venue. Craven Community College is here and provides cultural opportunities. The library is part of the Craven/Pamlico/Carteret Regional Library system. There are frequent festivals that bring many people the charming downtown area that has several interesting restaurants.

Fall is so beautiful here. I could just sit for hours looking at the leaves drop, the birds sail through the air and the clouds float by. What a beautiful way to spend a quiet, serene day.


This area of NC is great if you still enjoy the feeling of fall, possibility of snow and cold wintry nights and a nice humid southern summer. Since we’ve lived here we have experienced all seasons just about every year. Love the hot summer temps and enjoying the water activities but certainly appreciate the possibility of snow and a fire around the holidays.
There are lots of opinions about living in New Bern. Some are quite different from mine. I see it as a charming small town steeped in history. It appears that the community of New Bern is working diligently to be a progressive town as well. My experience, thus far, is that people who move here are warmly welcomed.


As the sun sets at night, the camera can’t seem to catch the beauty of the sinking sun. is a pleasure to walk around the charming downtown where there are many excellent restaurants and shops.I have heard that as opposed to so many small Southern towns which have become stagnant with no vision of the future; New Bern, is receptive to new ideas from “outsiders”, they encourage those new ideas. I will eventually find out about this since I will be developing my business, Gift Basket Villas, in the coming years.

New Bern has not only warmly welcomed me and my boyfriend, it is one of the most beautiful places to live. I am so happy to be here.In my humble opinion, New Bern is the quintessential quaint town that strives to welcome everyone with it’s geographic diversity, socio-economic diversity to racial and religious diversity.

Keep an eye out for other articles about the evolution of experience as a small business owner in a small town and whether or not my gift baskets become a hit. I am very excited about this part of my adventure. I’ll keep you posted.

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