Great Handmade Gifts
About Great Handmade Gifts — Founded by Hope Gibbs in 2001, Great Handmade Gifts is an e-commerce website that represents dozens of artists, artisans, and authors and helps them market their goods to a national audience. The mission is to give artists, artisans, authors and musicians a spot on the web where their work shines – and sells.
How Inkandescent PR Helped — The company motto, “You are unique your gifts should be, too,” negates a herd mentality and encourages shoppers to be brave and shop for original goodies, the kind that the GHG’s artists create. To add to the high-quality feel, each member is juried into the network, and items are judged based on quality, presentation, and whether you will be able to fulfill orders in a timely manner.
Success Story — Using press releases, event planning, and reporter outreach techniques, the website became one of the first popular online gift companies. Seven years later, sales and membership continue to grow. For details, visit www.greathandmadegifts.com.
Writing / Concept by Hope Katz Gibbs
Design / Illustration by by Michael Gibbs
Photos by TaranZ
CLIENT: Hope Katz Gibbs, president and founder
Great Handmade Gifts, Inc.
ASSIGNMENT: Create sophisticated corporate look for e-commerce gift company that mostly functions online.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Shoppers, with focus on women (busy ones — and moms, in particular); and male / female artists and artisans to join the network
CHALLENGE: Although she launched in September 2001, Hope took several years to perfect the image and goals of her company. When she launched her website in December 2003, she wanted to have marketing materials ready get the word out in a bigger way. But she needed them to reflect the high-end gifts she sells on her website, www.greathandmadegifts.comBecause part of her business plan is to attract artists and artisans who make handmade gifts, it needed to be inviting for that arts audience, as well.
SOLUTION: Mike and Hope came up with a cover image for the brochure (three stalks of lucky bamboo, signifying happiness) that suggest the company is holistic and creative, but grounded. Inside the three-panel brochure are images of the assortment of gifts offered on the website’s nine “shops:” art gallery, books & music, home & garden, jewelry, clothes, babies & kids, brides & grooms, chocolates & treats, and wine & dine.
The colors of the brochure, and accompanying letterhead, thank you notes, and business card are warm olives and greens, which reflects the colors of the website.
CLIENT FEEDBACK: “I felt the entire package worked and the hit the mark I was going for: sophisticated, elegant and practical promotional materials,” says Hope. “These reflect the image I was trying to project for the company as a whole. I have only gotten positive feedback from the clients who shop with us and the artists / artisans who have joined the network.”
WASHINGTON WOMAN, December 2007 — In placed article by Hope Katz Gibbs, the president and founder Great Handmade Gifts, described the challenges and thrill of starting a new business. Entitled, “Gifts to grow on,” she likens forming her online art / sales company to having a child.
“The idea for Great Handmade Gifts came to me shortly after my husband Mike and I had moved our family from Old Town, Alexandria to western Fairfax County in the summer of 2000,” she recalls. “We came in search of good schools and a house big enough to hold our two children and our two businesses (I have been a freelance writer since 1993, Mike has been a freelance illustrator since 1980). We got all that plus three community pools, two tennis courts, tons of tall trees and lots of nice neighbors. By Christmas I was miserable. I missed the energy and excitement of being near a city. I missed being able to plop my kids in the stroller and walk to a nearby coffee shop or bike down to the river. I wanted to go home. Only, I was home.”
MODERN BRIDE, June 1, 2007 — “Lately, guest gifts seem to fall into one of two hot categories: something completely personalized, or something to eat,” writes Modern Bride reporter Ann Cochran. “You’ll find great options for both approaches at a Virginia-based Web site, greathandmadegifts.com.”