Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Waldo and Lauren Kinder.
Brooke and Lauren, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We created Front Porch Gift Co. because we both got frustrated trying to find unique gift boxes for our friends and family that came with locally-made products. We really wanted to support our local businesses, but that meant running around all over town, which was exhausting. We were venting our frustrations to each other one night, saying, “Wouldn’t it be better if we could go to one place to get everything we need?” and, “Why doesn’t somebody offer that kind of service?”
We kept having the same conversation over and over until we realized it was time for us to act. We both have a big heart for supporting small businesses; there’s something really powerful in keeping your money in your own community. We started meeting with local business owners and asked if they would like to partner with us. It was risky because they could’ve said no. But we knew we were onto something when they immediately overwhelmed us with support. We launched our company with our “core” boxes- gifts for the everyday (birthday, new home, etc.) and have since expanded into corporate gifting and wedding services. We say this all the time, but it’s true: we wouldn’t be here today without the incredible support of our local small businesses. They’re the reason we started Front Porch in the first place.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth is all relative, right? To start off, we launched in the middle of a global pandemic. We keep joking that we’re either fools or geniuses for doing that. We’re sure the truth is probably somewhere in-between. We will say though when we had our initial vendor meetings, we were surprised at how many small businesses got their start during a recession. Hearing that brought us some comfort. We also had a terrible time in the beginning with shipping. We have some very fragile items that were showing up on people’s doorsteps in pieces. It’s always heartbreaking when that happens, not to mention expensive when you have to issue refunds and file freight claims. We’ve gotten better with shipping, but we think it’s a challenge we’ll continue to have to face. We care so much about our boxes and their presentation, but we have to trust someone else to deliver them when they’re sent by mail. It’s out of our hands at that point. No one is going to care as much about your company as you do, and recognizing that early on has been key. You have to advocate strongly for your business, though, and that’s when the magic happens.
Front Porch Gift Co. – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a curated gift box service that sources all of our products from makers and artisans here in Colorado Springs. Our boxes are a great way to support several small businesses at once and give a thoughtful and sustainable gift at the same time. We’re very selective with our products because we want to make sure the recipient is thrilled with each and every one. We also offer free delivery in our area; our goal is to make gift-giving convenient and thoughtfully done. Finally, we’re super proud of our attention to detail and our packaging. Every box has three different forms of personalized hand lettering- the tag, envelope, and a message on a card. When people receive one of our boxes from you, we want them to feel like they’ve known and loved. We’ll include a list of where all of the products come from, so if someone enjoys a certain product, they can go back to that local maker and buy more! We’re delighted when we introduce our customers to a small business they weren’t aware of before.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
By far, it’s how we have advocated and brought attention to other small businesses in our community. Colorado Springs has so many hidden gems and a very active small business scene, and we truly want to see local makers thrive. We’ve built some incredible relationships with other small business owners and continue to be blown away by how supportive everyone is of each other. Some of our best pep talks have been from other owners and I think we all recognize how impactful it can be when we support each other.
We know it’s not a shocker to anyone, but starting a new business is tough! You’re constantly learning and adapting, and we are so proud of how we’ve handled challenges and built endurance. It’s always encouraging to realize that we’re stronger than we think, and there’s a certain pride you feel when you reflect back and can see how well you’ve handled some super trying times.
- Each of our boxes always come in 2 size options.
- Full size Front Porch gift boxes range from $45 to $65 per box
- Our “Littles” Collection ranges from $25 – $35 per box
- Website: www.frontporchgiftco.com
- Phone: 719-377-2260
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/@frontporchgiftco
- Facebook: facebook.com/@frontporchgiftco
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