A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the power of saying thank you and had teased you over on Instagram with a few sneak peeks of some super-secret client gifts I was working on. Well, today I want to take time out to showcase these gifts and talk about the why behind this intention.
When I sat down at the beginning of January to work on some 2015 Goal Planning, I decided that a big part of my focus for this year (and my first official year in business full-time) would be to work on Giving Back. So far, that’s resulted in a few free sessions for some deserving families, an opportunity to participate in the 50 Most Beautiful Moms project as a contributing photographer, and now these beautiful Artifact Uprising and Moo client gifts.
Let’s be honest – who doesn’t like getting presents… especially when they come as a surprise? Not to mention, these were sent in the good-old-fashioned mail.. and who doesn’t LOVE getting unexpected mail!?
So why did a few of my 2014 clients get these gifts, how did I choose who to gift, and what did they get? Here’s what happened…
As I thought about the concept of using my 2015 to Give Back, I thought about 2014 and all the things it brought to me. I started the year in Colorado, working for an amazing non-profit, but not putting any time into building my business or chasing my dreams. Fast forward to the middle of summer when we found out we were going to be relocating back to the midwest. It was around that time that I committed (outloud) to doing this… for real, this time. I opened casey and her camera up to Indianapolis families, seniors, and couples in August of 2014. I finished out the year working for my Colorado job and balancing this new endeavor and the five clients who received this surprise mail made it possible for me.
Sure, I worked with more than 5 clients throughout the fall of 2014, but these five are Indy residents who took a chance on a new-to-town photographer, and I couldn’t have opened my business here without them. They will forever be my very first Indianapolis families and seniors. So I decided to spend some time showing and telling them just how much they mean to me with these simple client gifts.
Each one of them got a custom Artifact Uprising Softcover Photo Book with a selection of image highlights from their session and a custom Moo Greeting Card with an image from their session. I had a billion things I wanted to gift them with and I had a difficult time narrowing down my options and deciding on these products, I’ll admit. I simply set a budget for myself and searched for a product that would allow me to give the most, but also last a lifetime. This is where I landed.
Each greeting card contained a handwritten and personal message to the recipient. You can read more about my take on sending thank you cards to get a feel for what may have been in the cards.
Packaging is what probably took me the longest. I knew I wanted something different than my usual packaging for these gifts… I wanted them to be wrapped, but not boxed (although I considered that, too). I wanted them to ‘pop’ and be representative of my 2015 branding colors, and I wanted to spend a little bit of time putting them together. After all, I only had five, I love giving gifts, and I firmly believe in the power of all things handmade.
Here’s where I give it all away…. I took a trip to my local Michaels and wandered around the store until I had everything I needed. Each of these are wrapped in a piece of 12×12 scrapbooking paper. Yep… that’s my secret! It worked perfectly – I love the matte effect of the ‘wrapping paper’ and the thickness of it to protect the book. I picked up some grey twine and some simple circular tags to handwrite names onto the gifts and headed home to wrap it all up.
The cards from Moo come with envelopes and the custom stickers you’ve seen on the backs are another Moo product that I use… I have new ones on their way in the mail right now. 😉
I may or may not have been singing ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’ to myself as I put these together – taking the time to photograph the stages and channeling my inner Vivian Elle Invitations product styling as I went.
Each wrapped book then was carefully wrapped in brown packaging paper with it’s corresponding card and addressed by hand in my signature orange marker that I hope never runs out.
In total, this project took me two months from start to finish. That’s mostly because while creating the books came easy, the various custom printed products took a couple of weeks to arrive and then the tedious task of finding the perfect packaging took over. There is no hidden initiative behind these thank you gifts, they are simply intended to let their recipient know just how much I appreciated their business and support in 2014. Obviously, I hope to see them all again in 2015, but regardless… these five Indy clients will always hold a special place in my heart.
Don’t ever forget the power of saying ‘thank you’. <3
casey and her camera is an Indianapolis Family Photographer specializing in family, couple, lifestyle, senior, and wedding photography for Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding areas.
Mar 11, 2015
What a lovely idea!