Today we’d like to introduce you to Joyce Arrieta.
Joyce, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I worked in the Miami banking industry for many years until interstate banking was approved and, like many others, I became a casualty — out the door without a job and nowhere to go. Deep down inside though I always wanted to have my own business where I could be in control of my own destiny. But what kind of business?
Well, as luck would have it, one day I was chatting with a small business owner about how unhappy and scared I was of the uncertainty of my future. We started discussing possibilities of business ventures — none of which interested me — until she suggested that I make gift baskets. At the time, I was working part-time at a department store in the gift wrapping department and thought, “This might be fun!” She asked me to put together a flyer and bring them to her nail salon. Since it was Eastertime, I thought, “Why not? Let’s see if I can get any orders.”
I printed 25 flyers and brought them to her shop the next week. I received orders for ten Easter baskets! All I can say is that the Easter baskets basically took on a life of their own. By the eve of Easter, I had created and sold 111 baskets. I don’t even know if I made a profit to this day, but I had so much fun creating and seeing the joy on the buyers’ faces, that was the real beginning of Joyce’s Baskets in 2002. I came into the gift basket industry with absolutely no knowledge of running a business, much less a gift basket business. However, I learned there was an annual gift basket convention that I could attend to get the education, skills, and training I needed to run a successful gift basket business.
I took a chance against all odds — used what little monies I had — and attended my first gift basket convention in Jacksonville, Florida. If I was on the fence about continuing my little gift basket business well, after the convention, I wasn’t! I was hooked!
Now, 15 years later and we are still going strong. It has been a wild – and sometimes bumpy — ride but I would not change a thing! I am happy to say that I now have a successful corporate gift and personal gift basket company here in Miami with local clients in addition to companies around the world. I am also a published author in the gift industry, a certified gift designer with several awards for my designs and have been a guest speaker at the national gift basket convention sharing my story to inspire others.
Has it been a smooth road?
There is nothing easy or smooth in business, however, it’s all about being able to be a problem solver. During the years of economic hard times that started in 2008, it was a struggle and challenge for me to keep my business afloat. I lose most of my realtors because people weren’t buying homes or having houses built. I found myself wondering should I continue or close my doors and cut my losses as most did in my industry.
But I decided this was not happening! I refused to surrender and have to go back and work for someone else. I started looking for ways to cut costs and continued to look for new avenues to keep my company visible until the economy turned itself around.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Joyce’s Baskets story. Tell us more about the business.
My company provides quality gifts and baskets for companies and individuals. You have to listen to your customer’s needs. Our goal is to add value to our clients and customers when they shop with us. We are always in ‘shopping mode’ — looking for new products and the latest trends. My passion is creating gifts using a variety of color schemes, products, and unique containers and let’s not forget the fabulous bow added to the final design.
We specialize in custom made gifts, corporate gifting, Florida welcome gifts for in-town conferences and conventions, personalized printed ribbon service, private labeling and personal shopping for our private clients.
Joyce’s Baskets is known for excellent customer service. I am proud to say that I take pride in giving value to my customers. It’s not about me — it’s the quality of products and the level of service that we provide when they shop with us. We create on demand. There are no premade gift baskets … EVER! This is what sets us apart from the larger gift basket companies.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The personalization factor is important as it allows a meaningful gift – something the bigger boys can’t deliver.
Customer interaction means that the customer gets to help “build” a part of their gift whether it’s through upsells or full customization. Millennials specifically want to be a part of the choosing process.
The shift is Artisan gourmet means less standard gift basket supplies and smaller artisan vendors that have items that taste amazing and have a story wrapped around them that are local suppliers. This is going to be a big part of our industry and will be important for marketing as well.
- Website: www.joycesbaskets.com
- Phone: 305-949-2989
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joycesbaskets
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joycesbaskets.miami/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/miamibaskets
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joycesbaskets