Flagstaff, Arizona (PressExposure) November 18, 2007 -- It has been said âbe careful of what you dream, as it may come true.â Fifteen years ago, when Creative Gifts to Go became a reality, owner Joyce Reidâs dreams soared. Even though it was a small local gift basket business, Joyce purposely left the words âgift basketâ out of the name because she dreamed of becoming much more.
Those dreams came true at the 2007 National Gift Basket Convention in Orlando Florida when Creative Gifts to Go was recognized as one of the âTop 50 Gift Basket Companies in Americaâ for the third year in a row. This was a very eventful convention for Joyce for other reasons as well. She was invited to serve on the faculty of the convention teaching a class about building e-commerce sites that sell. As a winner in the designer competition at the 2006 convention in Las Vegas, she was eligible to compete for the coveted award of âMaster Designer of the Year.â She won second place in this very competitive competition. Her entry was also recognized as the âBest Corporate Gift Basket of the Showâ and is being featured in an upcoming issue of Rave Reviews, the national trade publication for the industry.
What began as a small local business fifteen years ago has slowly expanded and grown into a nationwide corporate and personal gifting service. The companyâs customer list includes large and small businesses and government agencies throughout the United States as well as individuals, entertainment companies, and even a MASH unit based in Germany.
An empty nest and a husbandâs early retirement when he was 50 made Joyce take a long look at what she could do to avoid the pitfalls of boredom and stagnation that so many in mid-life fall into. Even while raising two daughters as she and Ron moved from one Forest Service station to another, she was never one to stand on the sidelines of life. In Yreka, California, she served on the City Council, Planning Commission, and School Board. Glider lessons in Willows, teaching 4-H projects in Springville, and accomplishing the skills of becoming a professional writer rounded out those earlier years. In Flagstaff, she helped organize the first childrenâs theatre and business skills were quickly learned as she and Ron started, grew, and later sold Arizona Singles â a statewide newspaper.
Joyce knew that she wanted to do something more than travel or lunch with the girls. She had enjoyed the challenges and rewards of operating her own business and had seen the difference that Arizona Singles had made in peopleâs lives. Finding a business that put a smile on peopleâs faces and a spark in their hearts became her goal.
One day, she read the quote âLife is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath awayâ and thought âwhat better way to create happiness than to knock on someoneâs door with a gift designed to take their breath away?â The seed for Creative Gifts to Go was planted.
She tells us, âI knew nothing about gift baskets â couldnât even tie a decent bow. I did know how to operate a business, however, and had already discovered that you can learn just about anything that is important to you.â
Fast forward 2007. The Master Designer Award has shown that she can create a basket that will take someoneâs breath away. The business has grown to the point that it is no longer just a local gift basket company. It has expanded into a national gift service with products and customers from all over the world. Many of the gifts are shipped now and sheâs no longer able to knock on everyoneâs door. Morning begins early many times with calls from China, Australia or New York.
She says, âPeople are usually surprised when the owner answers the phone but I like to keep my pulse on the most important ingredient of my business â the people who send and receive our gifts. And, yes, I still knock on some of those doors and love seeing the surprise that lights up someoneâs face as they respond, âWow, thatâs for me?â
Joyce tells us that some companies create long detailed mission statements. But she knew from the beginning that a lot of words wasnât what her business would be about. Even though the company has expanded into much more than she dreamed, she still prefers to keep it simple.
âOur business is to make people happy,â Joyce says with a smile. âNothing more. Nothing less. Old-fashioned? Perhaps. But thatâs who I am and thatâs what Creative Gifts To Go is all about.
Joyce operates a blog at [http://www.flagstaffwoman.com] and a number of websites. The main one can be found at http://www.shopcreativegifts.com