More than just Holiday greetings!

You haven’t heard from me in awhile – and there is a good reason for that.  But I wanted to jump back into your email box and wish you a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate it) and a very happy New Year.  Enjoy the time you have with those you love because you never know how long you will have with them.

But this email is about much more than holiday greetings.

It’s about sharing what this successful solo business owner learned this past year – what I learned from life itself.  Hopefully, it will help you stop and take the time to think about your life and your business as 2024 unfolds.

Briefly, life for this past year was a vision of the future with a husband with dementia.  It was not a pretty vision as I read and talked to others about the illness.  That came to an end on November 29th when the man beneath my wings died.

And I have to plan for that future journey, however long it may be, alone.

This holiday season could have been a disaster for me, if like previous 4thquarters, I had been inundated with gift basket orders that I had to fill, deliver locally, and ship all over the country.

But I had already seen the future (or at least a small part of it) and made plans.

Once Ron was no longer able to make my deliveries, I didn’t want to do them myself or hire someone else to do them for me.  S0, I stopped all local delivery.  That ate into my profits but still shipped gifts were doing well for me.

I could see that it was going to be difficult to create the several hundred gift baskets that I usually shipped during this time of year.  I had two choices.  I could either close the business or do something that I had avoided for a long time – dropshipping.

I chose the latter.  I had the advantage of already having knowledge about the various dropship companies so I chose three companies and converted my website from a “we make and deliver locally” to mostly dropshipped gift baskets and other gifts.

This saved my life and my business this holiday season.

Now that the holiday season is almost behind us, I have a new decision to make.

What will I do with the rest of my life and my business?

It has been suggested that I retire and travel or do other things that I would enjoy.  At 82 years old, I’ve earned it.  Financially, I can afford it.

That is true but that is not the answer for me.

I need meaning.  I need creativity.  I need to feel like I am helping other people.  And retirement doesn’t give me that.

I don’t ever want to retire.  I want to work until I die (or am no longer able to).

What I want is meaning, not money. Too many people realize this too late in life. I’m hoping this article reminds you, and stops you in your tracks.

Don’t die with loads of money and no meaning. You only get one life.  Bill Perkins once said, “You don’t retire on money; you retire on memories.”

So now, the time has come to plan.

Planning for the future saved me this holiday season.  So I am sitting down with pen and paper to plan for 2024.  And I would love to have your help, suggestions, and ideas as I do so.

I’m pretty sure of what I will be doing with my gift/giftbasket ecommerce business.  But the second part of my business – GiftBasketNetwork – is going to be a work in progress.

I can see the need for information for those who are just starting your business but how about all of you old-timers who probably know as much or more than I do about the industry and how to succeed in it.  What would you like to see?  What would be of value to you?  What would not be of value to you?  Just reply and let me know.

And, now, I’ve rambled enough.  Enjoy the remainder of the holidays and plan for a wonderful 2024!
Joyce Reid

4 thoughts on “More than just Holiday greetings!”

  1. My Dearest Joyce,
    I am so very sorry and express condolences on the passing of your beloved husband, the wind beneath your wings, especiallyat this time of year. I know the feeling of loss you are experiencing as I lost three family members, including my eldest brother, this year.
    You have contributed so much and continue to contribute to the gifting industry and it is appreciated by everyone.

    I would wish that you contine to contribute advice and motivation to the players in the market because they learn so much from you and stand guided by you.

    You do deserve a long vacation and should take one. Travel the world and give yourself a breather.

    Based on your ability to do dropshipping, I would suggest that you do stop local deliveries for good and do everything online.

    We love and care about you, we learn a lot from you and want the best for you.
    Take it slowly and get back to work in your own time.

    Best wishes, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may the wonderful memories keep you strong.


    • Thank you so much for your comments, Gloria. I don’t plan to take a break and travel as that is just not me. But I do plan to continue my business as an online one rather than a local one. A local business is the best way to start but at my stage in life, it isn’t the best one for me. And I’m always here to try to answer any questions that others may have.

  2. Hello Joyce,

    First my condolences to you. Truly sorry for your loss.

    I am new to gift basket making and to this post. I did a few for this season not many as I was testing the waters. I sold probably about 6/7. I found it very rewarding. However I find it more challenging to get the supplies and such to make them, and not feel like I am going to struggle financially till the baskets sell. I work at a Garden center and took the baskets there. So that helped a lil to sell. However getting the time to do the bskts when you work 9-10 hr days 7 days a week. How did you really get started and balanced everything? Is it still a good business to jump into?
    How long did you do B4 you started to see a good profit. How do you calculate your prices?
    Thank you so much for your time. Oh and I really enjoyed this article.

    • Martina, I’m awed that you were able to sell as many baskets as you did while working long hours seven days a week. The gift basket business is still a good industry as long as you’ve done the research and have a plan.
      When I started, I had an advantage that many don’t have. I was a Realtor and had a built-in group of customers who were looking for closing gifts for their customers. I also had a friend who operated an antique/gift mall and allowed me to rent a small space in her shop to try out the business. These were great markets that expanded in and later used local networking to delve into other target markets. As a result, I was profitable my first year in business. It sounds like you did something similar with the garden center that you work in.
      Obtaining supplies for your gift baskets when you don’t really have a market yet can be a real challenge because you usually have to buy cases to buy wholesale and buying retail doesn’t give you much room for a profitable markup. To do it successfully, you have to get creative. Let me suggest that you take a look at They are a wholesaler that will sell in small quantities instead of a full case of each product. There isn’t room here to give you much information about this. I found that when I went shopping, I suddenly saw things with different eyes. A toy truck could become a container for a kid’s gift. A beautiful gift box was the base for another gift. The ability to make a beautiful bow can make an inexpensive gift stand out.
      It doesn’t take a lot of money to start a small gift basket business but it does take some. Selling locally rather than online is the best way to start. Networking with people that you know and letting them know that you have started a business works.
      As far as pricing, most of us take the cost we have in the basket and multiply it by 2.5 or 3 to get the sales price.
      I’m sorry that the space limitation here doesn’t allow me to give you more but ask questions in the facebook group. There are many there who have as much or more experience than I have.


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