What exactly is your business?
Wrap Artistry LLC offers custom gift wrapping for all occasions, gift concierge services, seasonal and custom gift baskets, and a curated selection of gifts designed for relaxation and self-care.
How did you come up with your business idea?
It started as just holiday gift wrapping, then I offered embellishments, put together some fun & funky paper and ribbon pairings and learned how to make fancier bows (thanks to YouTube). When I was wrapping at TriCounty Mall on the same day they offered free gift wrapping, yet I still had steady traffic and even a line, I knew I was on to something.
How did you find out about Aviatra?
The day after Christmas I was determined to come up with a plan to sustain the business year- round, but had no idea how. I thought about how immersed our area is in startups, so I googled Cincy Startups and found the Start Up Cincy website. It had info on a number of small business accelerators, and Aviatra seemed to be the best fit.
What is your inspiration?
I think it’s a combination of many things:
– My dad was a successful entrepreneur, as is my nephew (he and his wife, Lindsey started the Sol Angeles clothing line).
– I’ve always been creative and worked in the arts over 20 years.
– Starting in 7th grade, my mom gave me the responsibility of wrapping all of the family Christmas gifts–sometimes even my own. She’d tell me they were for someone else- so the tennis racket I wrapped for my brother ended up being for me, just like the bathrobe I wrapped up for my cousin. LOL! Anyway, she was pretty particular in her standards and if the wrapping paper was too loose or too much tape was showing I would have to rewrap it. She helped to develop my aesthetic appreciation, as well as the belief that a lovely presentation is one way of expressing how much you care.
What has been your biggest accomplishment with your business so far?
I think it’s that I just dove in and started doing it without getting stuck in analysis paralysis. Were mistakes made? Sure, but I have learned so much! And I’m eager to keep learning!
What do you hope to gain from your experience with Aviatra?
I hope to gain a support system of women who both cheer me on and challenge me to grow.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business?
I hadn’t really done any planning; it was just a spur of the moment idea. I had been out of work for a year and very down on myself, doubting my capabilities, wondering if I did anything well. And it struck me, I’m really good at wrapping presents. It may be kind of silly, but why not? Surely there are people that either don’t like to wrap or don’t have time to wrap, or aren’t good at wrapping. That’s a service that I could provide. This was at the beginning of November, and I soon learned that all of the holiday markets had been booked months prior. So I decided it was a lesson learned, put my name on their waiting lists (with no real hope) but thought I could take some time and be really prepared to do this the following year. Before I knew it my phone and email were exploding with opportunities to wrap at various craft show events. It turns out nobody else was offering gift wrapping services, so when a cancellation came up I’d get moved to the top of the list.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I hope I can develop Wrap Artistry into a sustainable, full-time brick and mortar business with a strong online presence, focusing on Gifting Concierge Services as well as gift wrapping.
Any advice for future Aviatras?
I’m still very much a beginner with so much to learn, I think my only words of wisdom at this point are to be brave… trust that your ideas are valid and you can put them into action!