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Halloween Gifts

85d2b-me1Halloween is on October 31 as you may know, make sure you get your Halloween Gifts are fun, scary, savory and a delight to receive. Halloween is a holiday where even the adults eat the kids’ candy. I’ve been wrongfully accused by my nieces and nephews of stealing their candy but in all actuality, they were the very same candy I gave them, so is that really stealing or just taking some back?

Halloween Gift Baskets

gt 7264c_Junk_Food_Basket__21949.1456266332Keep it simple (and classic) by having a complete Halloween gift basket delivered right to their door. Depending on their tastes, you can select a basket to fit their preferences. Baskets can be filled with mixed candies and cookies of all varieties. I’m sure they would not mind if you get fancy with gourmet gifts or  gift boxes for the older trick or treaters.

Halloween Treats

What more could you ask for than delicious chocolate-covered treats? Halloween chocolates and Halloween Cookies can be great decorations and easy to serve as dessert! Movie passes can also be added to halloween gifts as there’s you can always find a scary movie showing around this time of year.

Customized Halloween Gifts

Since we focus so much on candy, feel free to get away from gifting that and get them something personalized. You can customize a trick-or-treat bucket with their name on it, or add a decoration for the house  that the whole family can enjoy. If you don’t want to give out candy or the person can’t eat sweets, you may want to consider a fun Halloween puzzle or scary halloween books to keep them entertained and participating in the spirit of the holiday.

Keep the kids occupied with a scary Halloween Movie

For the older kids who are too old for trick or treating,  a Halloween movie may be a good option. Add popcorn and you have a great night where they can be safe and have fun with their friends.


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To Give Or Not to Give.


As a gift basket small business owner I read about gift-giving. I found this one funny and memorable on  A woman was asked what’s the worst gift she ever received? Her answer, a rose!

Giving a rose as a gift – great gesture, right?

The woman had mentioned to her husband that she didn’t like receiving flowers, because of her love of nature, so in his mind this was something she’d appreciate – a plastic rose. I’m sure she’ll think very carefully before she speaks next time. Is this where we say – it’s the thought that counts!

Zen gurus say if you see a flower that you love don’t pick it, let it be. Enjoy the moment and later the memory of the beauty. If you pick the flower, it quickly dies and ceases to be for you or others to enjoy.

roseI think about that every time I want to pick a flower and put it in my hair. I know it’ll be dead in a matter of minutes, but I love having a flower in my hair. It feels so exotic and I’m not yet so evolved.


Would you give a cappuccino maker as a gift?

capuccinoThis one made me laugh out loud. So what’s the problem? A cappuccino maker is such a great gift-idea. The problem was, she didn’t drink regular coffee nor even liked cappuccino. When she asked her husband about the thought behind the gift he said it’s because “you love cappuccino”. She then reminded him that that was his ex-wife! Yikes, wonder if she’s now his new ex-wife?

We all need to put some thought into gift-giving. It could have been a number of things such as a plant instead of that plastic rose or a rose clip for her hair or a scarf with pretty flowers. And sometimes we need to remember to whom we’re married.

Do any of you have a problem with being called ‘Honey’ by your husband/significant other? Would love to hear your answers.

How about an original or personalized gift from BearTown Baskets?





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10 Steps – How to Make a Gift Basket

Making a Gift Basket

This can be easy if you have a creative streak or much more difficult if you’re just not into this stuff. I enjoy making handmade bows but it’s not for everybody.


I’ll try and make this simple.

  1. Start by selecting a theme – I’m sure you’ll have something in mind – birthday, thank you, sympathy or just because.
  2. You need – scissors, ribbon, tape, blank newsprint, cellophane and shred.
  3. Place basket on table, fill with newsprint and shred.
  4. Start layering with largest item at the back and build around the centerpiece.
  5. Add shred in gaps. Make sure labels are facing forward (remove price tags!) Use tape to secure items to each other.
  6. Measure the cello so that about 8-10 inches are above the basket handle.
  7. Carefully place the cello bag or cello sheet under the basket.
  8. Crinkle the top of the cell from middle out to the ends.
  9. Ties the ribbon and create a bow or use a pre-made bow. You can make your own, if you’d like to try. Use wide, wired ribbon – it’s easiest to manipulate.

Stand back and admire your creation!

As the owner of Bear Town Baskets in New Bern NC, I create custom made gift-baskets. Please leave comments if you have any questions.

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Look Beyond the Basket


Bear Town Baskets (formerly Gift Basket Villas) is now in New Bern, NC

As a small woman owned business in New Bern NC also known as Bear Town (have you heard of our infamous bears?), it’s important to develop a plan that is unique to the area. Below I will describe a gift-giving plan to stand out above the crowd.cropped-20180827_1234451.jpg

Personalized your gifts: customized to New Bern whenever you can. Personalizing is also important, include a personal note with the name of the giftee for each gift.

  • Write a quick note to say you wish them a happy holiday season, and add in a personal sentence or two.  This can take a time, however, personalized notes go a long way and their absence is noticeable when a gift is accompanied by a generic card.



  • Time it Right: Receiving a gift after the fact defeats any good intention you had. If the majority of your clients go away over the holidays, send your gifts on the earlier side.

 Tried-and-true gift ideas:

  • Personalized Gift baskets with the name of the recipient. It makes them very happy!
  • Local products that you know they would like.
  • Branded good quality pens
  • Personalized gifts or stationery
  • Branded, personalized business card cases
  • Tickets to an upcoming event
  • Universal device chargers
  • Customized/personalized products – mugs
  • Locally made products

Just be – Different!

The great thing about gift-giving is that you can do it any time of year – don’t limit yourself to the holiday season. You want your gifts to be memorable and you want to stand out from the crowd. The crowd sends gifts on holidays. Be different,  not typical; do what makes the most sense and your small business will thrive – be authentic, be of service, be helpful and be thoughtful.

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New Trend – Authentic Gift-Giving

Gift Giving Trend

As the owner of a gift-giving company, Gift Basket Villas, in New Bern NC, I am finding that gift-givers want to know where their clothes, furniture and most importantly especially what they eat is healthy. They also want to know that they’re sending these products to their friends, family, clients. They’re looking for natural, organic, healthy snacks and well made products. It also matters if the products are coming from a local vendor or China. People want to send gifts that tell stories, especially in an age when so few gifts are store bought, artificial and don’t tell authentic stories. A product with a ‘Made in China’ label is no longer in vogue.

Seeking Authentic

Gift Basket designers are finding out that anything that hints of the hand-made, artisan, creative design, is what people are looking for. People are responding much more authentic, design as opposed to ‘Made In China’ products. It’s clearly a time to make genuine connections with the folks in our lives. Vintage, ethnic, Victorian-inspired, homespun and maybe even groovy-fare is also the trend. Anything artisan – look, taste, anything that’s hand spun or even gives the appearance of being handmade. I really prefer, things that have age and character.They want their friends and family to read a novel they are sure they’d enjoy, while they are sipping a cup of tea that they’ve send them or by candlelight made by the local candle maker.

A Renaissance

In a big way, this is a can be described as a reawakening, a rebirth, a renaissance of what was old is new again. You don’t have to spend that much to get the perfect gift, who selected a number of artisan and particular objects at more accessible prices. As described in a New York Times article explained that gifts need to be meaningful. “Margaret Visser states in ‘The Gift of Thanks’ — that gift-giving, like most rituals, is a form of social glue. And the strength of that adhesive is in direct proportion to the amount of energy and effort the giver has expended, or appears to have expended.” Consumers want to know that the things they purchase are being made by someone in their community and they want to know the story of the person making the gifts.


A large number of people also want their gifts to be particularly special and to know that the gifts are distinctive and in some way special to whomever they are sending it. In the NYT’s article “Ms. Visser even suggests that decrying the commercialism of the season is an important part of the ritual. “Our struggles and complaints mean, in part, that the gifts we have bought have manifestly cost us trouble,” she writes. “We may not actually have made them, but everyone is aware — our own grumbling making sure it is understood — that work, freely undertaken, went into their acquisition.”

It’s easy to let the experts help give you show your family, friends, employees, clients and coworker that you have worked hard to give from authentically, from your heart.

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A Pink Ribbon Gift – Cancer Survivor Gift

Chemotherapy or Cancer Patients

Have you ever wondered what to give a friend who has had devastating news that they have cancer? This is a perfect gift for a friend who is a Cancer Survivor or Chemotherapy patient. These gift baskets are made with the most love and care.  
Courage, Hope & Strength are just a few things needed to fight breast cancer, why not let them know you are thinking of them by sending this beautiful gift basket. They will receive not only delicious comfort food gifts like candy, chocolate, cookies and Pink Ribbon Pasta, but some wonderful keepsakes as well including a Pink Teddy Bear wearing a Pink Ribbon T-shirt, ‘On the Wings of Hope’ Pink Ribbon Pin and a Courage, Hope, Strength Pink Ribbon Spiral Notebook and Pen Set. This is a perfect gift for a loved one or friend, or for use at any breast cancer fundraising event. 

Nationwide Delivery

Order your gift baskets online. At Gift basket Villas, our company delivers Nationally and is located in Raleigh and New Bern NC. We offer free nationwide ground delivery. We aim to offer you the best patient gift, whether that person is undergoing chemotherapy, a set back or just not feeling well – this is a great gift idea and gift basket. Order today! Our gift can be used as a Chemotherapy Treatment Patient Gift Baskets are attractive gifts that offer great benefits for cancer patients receiving chemo. 
Let us help you put a smile on your friend, family member who has chemo, cancer.  If you are in need of a special cancer survivor basket (such as a chemotherapy gift for anyone undergoing cancer treatment), just call us and we can accommodate changes in ribbon colors! Having had our own personal experience with cancer and knowing the energy it takes to get through chemotherapy, we have created the best cancer survivor gift basket around!  If you are looking for gifts for chemo patients or gifts for cancer patients, please consider our lovingly made cancer care gift basket for your loved one.
Each product that is found in our cancer survivor gift basket is with the variety of different treatments that a chemo patient bravely endures.  From nausea to boredom, our gift for chemotherapy, cancer, will surely put a smile on the face of the recipient. Whether you are able to be there in person or not, our cancer gift basket will brighten the patient’s day and offer a little moment of happiness while they explore the contents of this great gift!
Our chemotherapy gift basket is a great gift if you can not be with them in person.  You can still let them know you are thinking about them by sending this unique Chemo Care Gift Basket. This basket is designed to help them ‘feel better’ during their treatment by including stomach soothing peppermint candy, ginger candy, gourmet water crackers and herbal tea. We have also included a 144 crossword puzzle book to take their mind off things for a while. 
Give your chemo or radiation therapy care package today! Specify color of ribbon during checkout.

Contents Include:
Pink Teddy Bear with Pink Ribbon T-shirt
Courage, Hope, Strength Pink Ribbon Spiral Notebook and Pen Set – 60 pages
‘On the Wings of Hope’ Pink Ribbon Pin
Pink Ribbon Lollipop – 2 of them
McSteven’s Awareness Pink Hot Chocolate
Bloomsberry Pink Emergency Chocolate
Brown & Haley Cashew Roca Buttercrunch Candy
‘Time Out’ Strawberry Kiwi Dark Chocolate Truffles
Beth’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Primo Dolce Chocolate Truffle Cookies
Pasta Shoppe Pink Ribbon Pasta Bag
…in an Oval Dark Stained Gift Basket with Wooden Handles.

A portion of the proceeds from this product are donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to benefit breast cancer, education, screening and treatments.

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How to Brand Your Company

The Huge Difference Between Marketing and Branding

Branding helps clarify what you are (or aren’t). Marketing, on the other hand, will help your potential customers find your product.

Clarifying your brand helps display your attributes, personality, values

Branding should be one of the foundations of any marketing effort. Branding is not selling, but inviting your customers to use your services because they believe in your company, you or your product.  You can communicate this  through how you present yourself or your company – are you sloppy or polished, do you want to look like a villa or a townhome, do you want to be the grape or the wine?  It’s what sticks in your customer’s mind when they associated you with your product or service. For example, people may not remember their gift, but they will remember how it made them feel.

Social Media and Branding

The use of social media branding is like leading your Customers into first becoming Members of Your Club and they gradually start to know, like and trust you. The then become your Followers. Branding makes loyal customers. They then become great referrers who publicly furthers your cause, spreading your good news to those who need your service.  Keeping in front of your customers with branding helpers to consistently contact others who have shown their affinity for you and eventually show a spontaneous or natural liking to your products.

Branding is essentially an expression of who you are, the truth or value of your company, product, or service. It requires valuable, helpful content that is constantly being refreshed – new information, trends on the latest products and services, constant engagement, starting conversations.

The Bottom Line

To build your brand you must get to know your customers, constantly produce fresh and valuable content, and target your audience accordingly.