COVID-19 really shone a light on how important it is to support mall businesses every day. Small businesses are what make towns and cities thrive. When they are shuttered, they turn our Main Streets into ghost towns, and that’s not good for the economy, or for our mental health. After all, shopping a vibrant Main Street gives us joy!
So I knew that my entrepreneurial journey had to somehow support small businesses. I’d always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve had several great ideas over the years, but I never managed to get any one of them off the ground. Fear of risk, impostor syndrome, fear of rejection… yes to all of those!
This one’s different.
I’ve had gift shopping built into my DNA. At the tender age of 10, I was telephone ordering from the Eaton’s catalogue for Christmas gifts for my parents (perfume for Mom; ballpoint pen for Dad) – using my parents’ credit card, of course! The fact that I’m mentioning “Eaton’s” (once-famous Canadian department store) and “catalogue shopping” is enough to give away my age, and that’s ok! Nobody said you can’t start a business in your 50s – in fact, it’s about time I bet on myself.
But I digress…
So What Makes a Great Gift?
I’m always thrilled by the challenge of finding the “perfect gift”. For me, giving is far more rewarding that receiving. But perfect gifts are products of time and thought, and so are products made by small producers and artisans. That’s when I knew I should create beautiful gift boxes consisting of products made by small businesses in Ontario.
Hidden Gem Gift Box Co. combines my love of gifting, of exploring small-town Ontario Main Streets, and of artisanal/small batch handmade goods – particularly food. In a world of mass production, our local makers produce hidden gems and I want to unearth them for you! This is my small way of supporting small businesses.
First, I look for producers throughout Ontario who have a compelling story to tell about themselves, their products and their process (there are definitely running themes of integrity, stewardship, community and simplicity). Then, I assemble curated gift boxes so that your gift recipient can enjoy these goods made with love in Ontario. This is not your traditional gift basket!
Food is what I know and love, but Hidden Gem gift boxes will expand beyond food in 2021. We can also curate a custom gift box for you. Simply tell us a little about who you’re giving your gift to, and we’ll go on the hunt for a perfectly curated gift box of hidden gems, all crafted in Ontario!
There is no better time to support small businesses in Ontario. They are the engine of our economy. I have been overwhelmed by the positivity and the kindness my suppliers – I can see that they want nothing but for every small business to succeed.
I can’t wait to show you the goods I’ve found so far. Stay tuned to this blog and follow us on Instagram to meet the makers, and to stay updated on new gift box launches!
Vicky Applebaum, Founder