A few weeks ago my daughter turned 10 and wanted something special for her party favors. Her party was themed around makeup, so I thought it would easy to come up with favor ideas since I formulate cosmetics. Should I make eye shadow favors? Nah. Blush? Nah. Lip balm? YESSSSS! The only problem was…I DON'T MAKE LIP BALM. However, I knew of someone who did. Enter Emily Caswell of GCDSpa.com to the rescue!
Emily has an amazing niche business where she makes personalized 'thank yous' for your guests. Just take a look at the favors she did my for my daughter's party. They were ADORABLE! Everyone at the party was so impressed as was I. So much so, that I wanted to tell YOU, my readers, about Emily and her amazing small business. Read on…
"When people ask me what I do, I usually say something like, "I make lip balm!" or "I make party favors!" Which are both true, but what I SHOULD tell them is that I help people to say thank you so they can make others feel special. This wasn't always my job description.
In 1996 I left a biotech lab job to start my own business. I have a background in biology and enjoyed working in the lab, but I wanted to be able to work from home once I had kids. I had always done design work on my own and so I started working with local businesses on their print designs and websites. For about 8 years I created lots of print ads and brochures, business cards, product labels, and other packaging, as well as helping businesses to find customers online. In the fall of 2004 I got together with a friend to make some spa products for holiday gifts. I created labels and packaging for our sugar scrubs and bath salts the same way I'd made them for my clients'
products. When we gave away our gifts and ended up with orders, I realized I might be able to combine my lab experience with my design work (and still be able to work from home). Within a year I started GCDSpa.com and was making gifts from my home "lab."
Some of my first design clients had been in the wedding industry, so I'd spent a lot of time designing for weddings. I knew how special brides felt when they had gifts personalized just for them, so I started by offering custom wedding and bridal shower favors. Pretty soon I added birthday party and baby shower designs. Now I design for girls nights out, bachelorette parties, anniversaries, and divorce parties, too. (Everyone should feel special!) Over time I've added more product options, flavors, designs, and colors.
There are lots of businesses making custom party favors and gifts, so I've worked hard to offer something more. I have very low minimums for personalized work, and have a wide selection of flavors, fragrances, and designs. (I even make totally new designs and flavors for unique party themes.) I send emails with samples of artwork so my customers can approve them before I put together their favors. I also wrap and decorate each favor so they arrive fully assembled for customers who are pressed for time. And when time is really of the essence, I offer rush order service, too!
I love everything about my work, but one of the best parts is coming up with fun theme ideas. Of course this time of year there is lots of inspiration from the colors of Fall, as well as the flavors and scents that remind us of the season. Apples have become such popular favors, particularly decorated candy and caramel apples, and I love making my own version of these favorites. It may be corny, but I think the "Apple-y Ever After" theme is adorable for bridal showers. My customers also have come up with some terrific themes. For example, last year I designed favors for an apple-themed baby shower, with tags that read: "The Apple Has A Stem On It!" (Clearly a baby boy shower!) Autumn holidays also provide their own inspiration. I've enjoyed making favors for Halloween parties, particularly for "Ghouls Night Out," and I even make Spooky Juice lip balm just for those events. And since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I also create a lot of favors to offer "Hope for Hooters," featuring pink owls and Pink Lady lip balm to benefit breast cancer research.
Though I offer lots of products, my focus is making tiny thank-yous in personalized packages. I love that expressing something as simple as gratitude can help people feel appreciated and special. It's a part of my job that never gets old!"
So, if you're ever in need of a unique and special way of expressing your gratitude, give Emily a call or check out her site at www.GCDSpa.com . I'm sure you'll be thrilled with her work! I know I was and so were a gaggle of little 10yr old tweenie boppers.
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-Kelley (a.k.a The Mineral Makeup Coach)
Licensed Esthetician & Owner/Formulator of PRIIA Mineral Cosmetics