Shopping Local, Shopping Small and Spreading Holiday Cheer

Finding unique and personal gifts is one of my favorite things to do, especially for my top clients and network partners. Scouring Etsy for that special little item for my small list of 6-8 people always brought me a lot of joy.

This year, I sat down to make my list and WOW! It grew! I mean, the business grew, so of course, the list grew with it. So many people had supported me over the past year from long-time clients, to new clients, to my network of business partners like printers, writers and marketing folks and my personal development team of coaches, friends and family.

I wanted to do something special for ALL of them, without breaking the bank. And immediately, “shop local, shop small” came into my head.

A rep from my paper supplier, Lindenmeyr-Munroe, brought me samples earlier in the year from Mohawk Paper. They had introduced a line of pre-perforated and pre-scored packaging products, available in a nice sturdy paper stock.

I don’t get to design packages very often. I’m usually busy editing photos or creating brochures, so thinking about creating my own packaging for my holiday gifts was super exciting.

I called my local Minuteman Press to see if they could print the job for me and although this was something new for them, they were confident they could do it!

I created the art, they created a proof and with their help and a little tweaking, in a week’s time, there they were. My own special, Stewart Creative boxes, ready to be filled with some holiday cheer.

2017 Stewart Creative Holiday Gifts
Just a handful of the 2017 Stewart Creative Holiday Gifts

You might know that my family has a cabin in Deep Creek, MD and we go there often throughout the year. It’s really like our second home. And I knew that Deep Creek Cakes, another small business owned by a family member, would be the perfect place to create some hand-crafted confectionery treats to fill the boxes.

These homemade goodies were custom made for my order with a variety of cake pops, cake bites, and mini sugar cookies to make sure I had a little something for everyone. I also included a few chocolates from my favorite local candy company, Sarris Candies.

Once I had all the pieces, I punched out the boxes and got my husband and kids to help assemble and fill them (yes, they washed their hands first.)

I sat there looking at all those boxes and wanted to send them out right away. It was a much more fun experience this year choosing gifts by reaching out into the community, talking to my connections and buying from local businesses.

These gifts came straight from the heart. Each person involved did their best to create something beautiful. This project was a perfect reflection of how my business year went, and how I couldn’t have done any of it without support and some sweet deals along the way.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!