As a small business owner of Bear Town Baskets, I was on a quest to find a quaint little town to grow some roots. I wasn’t sure it was something I could find and not really sure my gift basket business would thrive outside of a large city, but it was worth a try.
I was pleasantly surprised when I’ve recently found this beautiful little town, New Bern, NC. Most people seem to have heard of it as a town on the way to the beaches, but for whatever the reason, it still appears to be a well kept secret. This small town appears to be growing in leaps and bounds.
It seems that a small percentage of natives still live here, however a lot of the folks I’ve met seem to have moved from elsewhere and lots of outsiders are moving in. This is evident in my encounters and I feel an embracing of diversity, new and different cultures and ideas.
Have you found that people are taking ‘buy local,’ seriously?
As the owner of a gift-giving company, Bear Town Baskets, I am finding that my customers want to know where their clothes, furniture and most importantly especially where their food comes from. It truly matters if it’s from their community or China. Most folks want to send gifts that tell stories too, 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.
Gift Basket makers 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 handmade 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.
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.
Trends in Gifting
They also are trending toward wanting their gifts to be particularly special and the gifts are distinctive and in some way special to whomever they are sending it. Ms. Visser even suggests that criticizing the commercialism of the season is an important part of the ritual.
However, we eed to show that our struggles with finding the right gift and complaints about creating gifts 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.” ”
Try walking in with a little gift that lets them know they’re appreciated. The gifts are intended to deepen your relationship and provide an opportunity to connect.
It means the end of cold calling, as you know it!
Most people add a catchy line with the gift to make it fun, memorable, and ultimately for inexpensive marketing purposes to promote their business.
They can become a favorite part of your business.
Each is done by hand, customized to the clients requirements.
These gifts, when customized, can include your name, company info and phone # with a quirkily, memorable tagline such as ‘Just Popping By to Say Hi’
Gift Basket Villas creates these are beautiful little gifts to be given to clients to create, maintain and grow relationships. There is no longer need for cold calling. These gifts ensure you’re are a welcomed sight.
The streets of downtown New Bern are are lined with gold…leaves that is, from the Ginkgo Biloba tree. It is one of those sights that makes for an awesome stroll downtown.
With the summer and humidity, New Bern may not be for everyone but I’ve decided it is where I am going to live the rest of my life. I have found the most beautiful area to live in and am not sure how this accident came about that I found it.
The city of over 30,000 grew by 30% from 2000 to 2013. It has a 56 square block tree lined historic district that appeals to many active adults who would like to live in or near a real town. The city, originally settled by Swiss and Germans, is the second oldest town in North Carolina and also one of its fastest growing. It is known as a particularly friendly and welcoming place with a lower than average cost of living. New Bern is located in Craven County. New Bern was named a “Certified Retirement Community” by the State of North Carolina in 2015. There is ample retail shopping in New Bern with malls, large department stores, as well as specialty shops and boutiques. The local economy is driven by construction, education, public administration, services. Unemployment rate was 5.2% in 2015, which is lower than the NC average. I wonder what it is today. Need to check.
Did you hear about the bears of New Bern? They’re Bear Town Bears, by local artists can be found throughout the town of New Bern.
National Gift Basket Award Winner – ‘Give it Light’ – New Bern Basket
Fun Facts about New Bern:
Founded in 1710, New Bern is the second oldest town in North Carolina.
The Swiss and German settlement of New Bern was named in honor of the founders home, Bern, Switzerland. When Bern, Switzerland was founded, it was named by a group of hunters. They named the city for the first animal they came upon on their hunting expedition. It was a bear. Bern is the old Germanic word for Bear, and the bear became the symbol of the city. It has been adopted by New Bern, as well.
New Bern is home to the First State Capital of North Carolina, Tryon Palace.
New Bern was the first city in America to celebrate George Washingtons birthday. Washington visited New Bern and danced at the Tryon Palace.
The interior of Christ Episcopal Church was designed in the style of Christopher Wren, the famous English architect. It is a must see for visitors.
The states first printing press was set up on the corner of Broad Street and Middle Street in New Bern in 1749.
In 1778 the first public banking institution in North Carolina was established in New Bern.
In 1783 the states first bookstore opened in New Bern. North Carolinas first Postal Service was established in New Bern in 1790.
North Carolinas First Presbyterian Church organization and building in Presbytery was established in New Bern in 1817.
New Bern is home to the first Roman Catholic Church and parish in North Carolina.
Climate New Bern is located 35 miles inland from the Outer Banks in Southeastern North Carolina. The Neuse and Trent rivers meet here and empty into the Pamlico Sound. It is a tidewater savanna. The average July high is 88 and the average January low is 34. August is usually the rainiest month.
Restaurants & Cultural Scene The New Bern Civic Theatre features plays and other entertainment. The Bank of the Arts, the New Bern Academy Museum, and the Craven Dance Arts Council and Gallery also provide cultural enjoyment. The Crystal Coast Civic Center is another active venue. Craven Community College is here and provides cultural opportunities. The library is part of the Craven/Pamlico/Carteret Regional Library system. There are frequent festivals that bring many people the charming downtown area that has several interesting restaurants.
Fall is so beautiful here. I could just sit for hours looking at the leaves drop, the birds sail through the air and the clouds float by. What a beautiful way to spend a quiet, serene day.
This area of NC is great if you still enjoy the feeling of fall, possibility of snow and cold wintry nights and a nice humid southern summer. Since we’ve lived here we have experienced all seasons just about every year. Love the hot summer temps and enjoying the water activities but certainly appreciate the possibility of snow and a fire around the holidays. There are lots of opinions about living in New Bern. Some are quite different from mine. I see it as a charming small town steeped in history. It appears that the community of New Bern is working diligently to be a progressive town as well. My experience, thus far, is that people who move here are warmly welcomed.
As the sun sets at night, the camera can’t seem to catch the beauty of the sinking sun. is a pleasure to walk around the charming downtown where there are many excellent restaurants and shops.I have heard that as opposed to so many small Southern towns which have become stagnant with no vision of the future; New Bern, is receptive to new ideas from “outsiders”, they encourage those new ideas. I will eventually find out about this since I will be developing my business, Bear Town Baskets in the coming years.
New Bern has not only warmly welcomed me and my boyfriend, it is one of the most beautiful places to live. I am so happy to be here.In my humble opinion, New Bern is the quintessential quaint town that strives to welcome everyone with it’s geographic diversity, socio-economic diversity to racial and religious diversity.
Keep an eye out for other articles about the evolution of experience as a small business owner in a small town and whether or not my gift baskets become a hit. I am very excited about this part of my adventure. I’ll keep you posted.
The reality is that your clients won’t come looking for you until you’ve mastered the “know, like, trust” factor. A high profile alone is not enough to convert prospects into customers. You must also build relationships to nurture your likeability, your trustworthiness, and your customers to know from whom they are purchasing.
While you’re delivering your truly valuable content, you’re not selling, but you are paving the road to eventually selling a product that’s related to your content down the line. When it comes to selling online, authority and likeability alone are rarely enough — you need to become truly trusted.
Get involved in your community
Network with the businesses in your area
Give away some stuff
Be consistently good at engaging with your customers
There’s a new trend in town, Welcome to New Bern, North Carolina gift boxes, Gifting needs to reflect your brand, your company values, personality and shows a level of generosity and implies that you care about individual relationships.
A Gifting Plan For Your Company The lack of client gift-giving plan may be the one fundamental flaw in marketing your business, especially small businesses. A small investment nay potentially outweighs the initial investment. Take for example a small gift that is given to a potential client that could result in thousands of dollars in income. This is the art of appreciation and goes a long way in building relationships and customer loyalty.
Why give gifts?
Of course, it’s because everyone loves to receive gifts. Gifting branded token items to your potential customers, new clients, vendors and not forgetting your present customers is a great way to highlight your business’s identity and values, to stay in front of your customers. Remember, they do not get up every morning thinking about you.
At Bear Town Baskets, we design customized gifts. We provide memorable gifts experiences with all-occasion, corporate including Christmas gourmet food gift baskets , corporate holiday gifts, and gourmet gifts & baskets. One of our trending gifts is actually a beautifully decorated gift box with local gifts. The cover is of downtown New Bern, NC and products inside are hand picked delicious snacks from our local vendors..
Some truths to share with small business owners.
Truth 1: The number one reason your clients will leave you is because they feel ignored.Question to Ask Prospect: Are you doing anything on a regular basis to stay in front of clients in fresh, creative, memorable ways?Outcome: Giftbasketvillas can help you stay connected to your clients throughout the year with small, affordable client-touch gifts that reflect your company’s brand and personality. When your clients feel connected to you they will give you more business and refer you more.Truth 2: Businesses spend thousands of dollars to attract new clients but they spend practically nothing on keeping their current clients happy.Question to Ask Prospect: Are you doing anything to build loyalty among your current clients?
Bear Town Baskets can help you strengthen relationships and build client loyalty with small, affordable client-touch gifts that reflect your company’s brand and personality. When your clients feel connected to you they will give you more business and refer you more.Truth 3: The number one human need is to feel appreciated and valued. Question to Ask Prospect: Are you doing anything to thank your clients for their referrals or business?
Bear Town Baskets can help you thank your referrals with small, affordable thank you gifts. When your clients feel valued, they will speak highly of you and refer you more.Truth 4: People will buy from you because they feel a human or an emotional connection with you.Question to Ask Prospect: What are some ways that you are creating a memorable experience for you clients?
Bear Town Baskets can help you strengthen relationships and build client loyalty with small, affordable client-touch gifts that reflect your company’s brand and personality. When you create a nice experience for your clients, they will remember you, be ever returning customers and be your walking billboard – refer you more often.
Check out these top five reasons to shop local in 2020:
1. You support the local New Bern economy.
Did you know that approximately 67 cents for every dollar spent at small businesses stays in the community. Why not supports the local vendors in the New Bern economy. Instead of sending your hard earned money to support an already rich CEO, your local purchase makes a difference and supports the businesses that make our town unique.
2. You support the dreams of our local crafters, farms and small business owners.
Shopping locally doesn’t just support the local New Bern economy but every dollar spent also supports the dreams of community members in our city. Small businesses are founded by folks who have a true passion for their craft or product.
From the local coffee roastery, like Fresh Aire Roastery at the New Bern Farmers Market, to the small business owner, Tina, who makes the best biscotti to go along with the fresh coffee. Behind every small business is a hard-working individual or local family with the goal of bringing you the highest quality product you can buy.
3.Small-batch products are fresher.
Local artisans have a passion for their craft, the products are fresh and generally the highest quality product when shopping local. Advantages of supporting local artisans and crafters are the small batches. When we add products, we have taste-tested and inspected every snack and product.
You receive the highest level of personalized customer service.
Why should you make a commitment to shop local?
Small businesses have one goal: to make sure that you have the best shopping experience and product. At Bear Town Baskets, our number one priority is to provide you with the highest level of customer service; from making sure your gift box has the freshest products and are carefully packed. You can also decide on what you want in the gift boxes and build the perfect gift box for a client, we ensure your experience shopping with us is superior from check out to delivery.
Our Goal is that every purchase ends with a happy customer.
The top reason to shop local is because every purchase ends with a happy customer who feels special. After all, your purchase not only supports our small business but local, North Carolina, artisans.