Even the best gift-shoppers run out of time at the holidays, so why not let someone else do the selecting and packaging of presents?
Locally, that someone is Lauren Rodgers, an energetic and creative gift box designer. The Discovery Bay resident launched a gift-box business in June and has designed multiple gift collections packaged in pine wood boxes sporting a rainbow of ribbons.
The Liberty High School graduate and former soccer player has scored well, keeping busy assembling and delivering the gift boxes to residents in Brentwood, Oakley, Byron and Discovery Bay, as well as shipping the sealed boxes direct to customers. Energetic and enthusiastic, she joined the tech world following graduation from Cal State Chico, but after the birth of her daughter, her perspective changed.
“I had some great jobs, but they required a lot of travel,” she said. “I decided to leave my full-time job. Working from home and being able to raise my daughter is great.”
Tackling the launch of Box + Bow Gifting Studio , her new home-based business, required a seemingly endless process of submitting plans and acquiring permit requests, but the effort is paying off.
“I’m selling personalized gifts, focusing on local, small businesses for the products that fill the boxes,” she said.
For example, she sources biscotti from a San Francisco baker and coffee from a local company that roasts and blends its own beans. Some of her gift items are sourced from Etsy artists as well.
For the holidays, her “Cheer” products – both large and small boxes – are packed with luxe, artisan treats, as well as a bottle opener in a reindeer antler shape, birch wood coasters, candles, mistletoe and a hand-painted towel, plus live succulents. Bright red and white ribbons and a custom gift tag adorn the boxes.
Her current bestsellers are “Dwell” boxes, which have been popular with realtors gifting their new homebuyers. The boxes include a hand-stamped dishtowel and a key-shaped bottle opener. They also make a great wedding gift, featuring a pair of silver forks stamped “Mr.” and “Mrs.” to be used at the wedding reception.
Britany Deacon, also a Discovery Bay resident and long-time acquaintance of Rodgers, purchased the box for a couple who were getting married and moving to Deacon’s neighborhood.
“Lauren works to fit my budget and made it easy for me to customize each box I’ve selected,” said Deacon. “She pours so much love into each box and it’s good to know we are getting products from small businesses.”
The “Littles” collection is designed to be a baby shower or just-arrived baby present with little shoes, a pacifier clip, swaddling blanket and hand-stitched felt bunny or fox. One “Holiday” box is themed for schoolteachers, with a candle shaped like a notebook, plus treats. Another option is a holiday towel wrapped around an antler bottle opener and a bottle of wine.
Looking ahead, Rodgers is creating beer-themed wedding party gifts for groomsmen as well as customized wedding gifts for the happy couple and a line of high-end, quality products such as fragrances and pampering products.
In between creative sessions and shipping, the energetic Rodgers rejuvenates herself through running and gym sessions; she also plays piano and loves cooking, as well as frequent travel to visit their large extended family.
“I’m seeing my hard work recognized, but my pool table has become my workshop,” she laughed. “Establishing the business was the best decision I’ve ever made.”