I've tried to start this blog post many times in the past few days and now it is the last day in 2013, December 31st, and I am running out of time to write it! I'm not sure how to sum up a year in one blog post so this entry isn't going to even come close to saying what I wish it could say.
I received a gift from Giving Keys in the mail yesterday. It is a notebook that says "Spread Hope, You Hold the Key". 2013 has been a year full of hope for me. The Giving Gifts and Company Cooperative store which most of the time feels like a dream (a very complicated one), has evolved into a beautiful space and one of the best places to shop in Vancouver.
The concept of giving "gifts that give" has really caught on this holiday season. Giving Gifts has received so much media attention lately, the highlight being our feature article in Where Vancouver and my segment on live TV, the CTV Morning Show (the link no longer works). I love that so many people chose to purchase gifts with stories behind them this holiday season!
I received a review of Giving Gifts a couple of days ago. Mary said "I can't say enough good things about my online experience with givinggifts.ca .My purchase was exactly as ordered, reasonable shipping rates and best of all quick shipping. I also appreciated the quick response from their customer service dept. on some questions I had about my purchase. Thanks again!"
I love this review for so many reasons. I have tried all year to reduce my shipping rates. It was one of my goals when I started the year, but despite meeting with almost every shipping company, I'm still at the same place I started; shipping with Canada Post and subsidizing the rates so that I charge everyone across Canada $8. Until I read this review, it felt like I hadn't accomplished one of my goals for the year, but in fact, perhaps accomplishing every single goal on my list isn't necessary. If customers love the gifts they receive and their shopping experience with Giving Gifts (thanks customer service dept! ie: Me!) then I've been successful. Giving Gifts truly is a beautiful business that is making a difference in the world and it is nice to see so many others appreciating it too.
In 2012, Giving Gifts led a campaign to build a school in Kenya. In 2013, that school for kids in Kenya is being built - yay! In 2013, we created a cooperative store in Vancouver for local artists and small business owners here. We also sponsored a little girl in Benin through the "Because I am a Girl" campaign through PlanCanada, donated hundreds of dollars to BC Children's Hospital, Carli's Kids and various other charities that support kids around the world. Every purchase through Giving Gifts gives in so many different ways.
I just read a beautiful quote: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Maya Angelou I am pretty proud to say that on this last day of 2013, I'm feeling pretty good about Giving Gifts and what we do.
2014 starts tomorrow and rather than coming up with a list of goals that may or may not be accomplished (ie: cheaper shipping rates), I am going to focus on spreading the hope that people will continue to shop for gifts made with quality and care that leave a positive difference on our planet and the people in it. I am hugely thankful for all of your support in 2013 and I look forward to a wonderful 2014.
Thank YOU for Giving Gifts!