Gift Box Business Welcomes Summer Intern Sami Walker // Intern Intro

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Around here, as a gifting service, summer time is the only time of year where might have any hope of getting a small break in the action. Well, not this summer! With a new brand and website in the works, along with a completely new online collection replacing our current collection, this year’s summer intern Sami Walker is in for a treat. She’s going to learn SO much about the inner-workings of a small business, particularly in the areas of marketing, operations, e-commerce strategy, branding, and the list goes on! We’re so excited to welcome Sami to our team and can’t wait for you to get to know her too!

Without further adieu, let’s hear from her in her own words…

Tell Us a Little About Yourself.

Hi! I’m Samantha Walker and I am going to be a senior at the University of Maryland in the fall.  I’m studying Communications and I work at the UMD’s Department of Sustainability.  I have a passion for fitness and overall mental wellness, so it’s not uncommon to find me practicing yoga in my apartment or teaching mindfulness to my friends.  I also love to travel and am currently planning a trip to Thailand!  Lastly, I’m a HUGE dog person (but cats are cute too).  I volunteer walking shelter dogs in DC on the weekends.

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What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited to experience and participate in the artisan gifting process from start to finish.  I love art and design and I can’t wait to see how the team curates personalized gifts for clients as well as the new e-commerce line.  Additionally, I love to write and hope to be involved in some of the blogging and social media efforts!

Where else have you been an intern?

I work at the University of Maryland’s Office of Sustainability as a Communications intern.  I highlight UMD’s efforts toward becoming more sustainable by researching, interviewing, and compiling this information into articles.  On the side, I waitress at Looney’s in College Park.

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What about M&G made you want to apply for the internship?

Marigold & Grey’s online and social media presence is absolutely stunning.  I love pretty things and the gifts M&G makes are so aesthetically pleasing.  Some people hate wrapping Christmas gifts but I love making them beautiful with neat wrapping paper and matching ribbon.  On another note, I really liked the idea of a lifestyle blog accompanying the retail side of the business!

What was the best gift you’ve ever given? And received?

One of the best gifts I’ve given was a graduation gift for my boyfriend.  It was a leather padfolio with his name imprinted on the front.  Of course, I included a picture of the two of us on the inside.  The best gift I’ve ever received was most definitely my DSLR camera!

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years I see myself doing communications work for either a fashion-goods or fitness/yoga company. I’d like to be living somewhere not far from a coast. And with a rescue puppy, of course!

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Please join us in giving Sami a warm welcome and stay tuned as I’m sure she’ll be making plenty of appearances on our vlog and youtube channel this summer. (You can subscribe here!) She may even be taking over our Instagram Stories here and there!

VLOG EPISODE 3 // GIFT BOX BUSINESS MARIGOLD & GREY STUDIO TOUR AND MAKEOVER

Posted by: Carla Stubbs | Studio Assistant & Videographer

During our holiday season last year, we pushed the spacial limits of Studio Marigold & Grey to the brink! We ended up moving most of our studio furniture into Jamie’s office to make room for pallets, boxes, basket fill and product for our custom and pre-designed projects. Once we got the studio back to normal in January, we realized that our current set-up just wasn’t working for our ever-growing business anymore. What worked when we moved in almost two years ago, wasn’t allowing for the larger projects, bigger team and operational efficiencies we now needed. We were ready for a studio makeover!

Our main goal was to create a direct line from the front door, all the way to the back of the studio where we build and package our custom gift projects. We also wanted to create an office area that was separate from the rest of the studio so we can keep better organized when large gift builds start to take over the whole studio. Lastly, we wanted to maintain a comfy couch and chair area, what we affectionately refer to as the “Living Room”, for our morning meetings and lunchtime (and let’s face it…an occasional post-work nap for Jamie haha).

Enjoy a peek into the studio makeover and a quick tour of our refreshed space!

Watch episode one and two here and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next upload! And of course, let us know what you think. We always love hearing your feedback!

Vlog Episode 2 // Marigold & Grey Says Goodbye to Director of Operations

Posted by: Carla Stubbs | Studio Assistant & Videographer

A few weeks back we shared that our Director of Operations Kelly was leaving Marigold & Grey to welcome her first child, a baby girl! We were so sad to see Kelly go, but before she left, we knew we wanted to celebrate the huge impact she’s had on Marigold & Grey over the past two years!

Before we could surprise her, we had to finish up a batch of equestrian-inspired wedding welcome gifts for a Maryland farm wedding, photograph them, and deliver them. While Kelly was out making her final gift delivery, we snuck out to grab some cupcakes (and even found a gluten-free cupcake for Jamie!) While it felt silly to give Kelly a gift from our shop, in addition to a few other surprises, we couldn’t resist sending her off with a variation of our very own Mom-to-Be gift, the full Marigold & Grey treatment!

If you haven’t already, be sure to watch Episode 1 and subscribe to our YouTube channel for future episodes coming soon! We’d love to have you follow along! And by the way, if you’re wondering why we decided to start a vlog in the first place, we tell you all about it here.

Vlog Episode 1 // Marigold & Grey CEO Reveals Biggest Business Disaster

Posted by: Carla Stubbs | Studio Assistant & Videographer

Did you catch our official vlog intro video where we explained exactly why we decided to start a YouTube channel in the first place? In it, we promised you that Episode One would be coming soon and that time is here!!! In this first episode, Jamie shares the biggest business disaster she’s experienced since starting the business and how she (along with the team) remedied the situation. Yep… we’re really sharing the biggest mistake!

When I joined the team in January, this mishap was still fresh on Jamie’s mind and not necessarily in a good way.  But as soon as I heard the full story, I knew it was too important to keep to ourselves. Disasters have a way of feeling slightly less terrible as time passes and once Jamie got to the point where she affectionately referred to it as #Peargate, I knew that sharing this experience would hopefully shine a light on the messy and not-so-fun aspects of owning a business and the work it takes to lead a business when things don’t go your way. Jamie flew to Florida (TWICE in the same week!) during our busiest time of year to remedy the gifts, not because she had to, but because she knew that it was the right thing to do for our client.

The true story of this business is the heart behind it, and I hope you get a real feel for this in today’s vlog. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE HERE and comment what you’d love to see more of in Episode 2 which is already underway!

Artisan Gifting Business Marigold & Grey Announces YouTube Channel and Vlog

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder 

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I can’t believe I’m saying this but we’re starting a vlog! Eek…our very own YouTube channel! Here’s the backstory. Over the holidays one of our seasonal helpers walked into the studio for her first day with us  and said “oh wow… this looks nothing like it does on Instagram!” While I’m not the biggest fan of being behind the camera, I realized that this small-but-mighty business has a lot to share and I’m not just talking about the beautiful finished gifts that we create. I’m also talking about the mess that happens while we’re making them. The things that occasionally go wrong. The things that go right. And everything in between. If you’re going to consider buying from us, if you haven’t already, you deserve to get to know the names and faces and personalities of those you’re supporting. Since our very own Carla is a videographer on the side and kept gently (or not to gently) nudging me to do it, it quickly became a no-brainer. We have to start sharing more of our behind-the-scenes in an authentic way and that time is now.

This is how the Marigold & Grey Vlog was born! Check out our official intro and then subscribe here so you don’t miss a thing!

From our design process, to ordering, to gift assembly, to making day-to-day decisions, to making large decisions, to being right there with us as we hand deliver gifts locally and shipping gifts nationwide! You’ll get to know our entire team, not just myself as the owner.

I still can’t believe I’ve agreed to do a YouTube channel though. It’s WAY out of my comfort zone. But at Marigold & Grey, one of our core values is “do the right thing always”. This vlog is one of those things. It’s best for our audience and best for the business and so you have my commitment that I’ll suck it up and learn to stop dreading the camera. Okay, so maybe not the first episode but I’ll get there. I’d love it if you would subscribe and come along for the ride! Episode One launches SO soon! xo

Curated Gift Box Business Marigold & Grey Welcomes New Operations Manager Jean Hilpert

Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder

Perhaps you caught our recent post where we explained why we were hiring for an Operations Manager? Well, I’m overjoyed to announce that we’ve found just the right individual to join our team and take over for Kelly, who steps away to focus on being a first-time Mom. I’m thrilled for you to meet Jean Hilpert and absolutely cannot wait to see how she helps take Marigold & Grey to the next level operationally, both with our Custom Gift Design Service and our online shop offering! Time for a little Q&A with Jean…

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Tell us a little about yourself.

Hello! My name is Jean and I am so very excited to be joining the team at Marigold & Grey!

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and moved to the DC Metro area with my college sweetheart, Wyatt in 2010. Our family has grown to include two Tabby cats and a Russian Blue along with an ever growing collection of plants.

What attracted you to the Operations Manager position?

I have a very entrepreneurial spirit and was looking for career growth in an organization where I could making meaningful and impactful decisions to help grow a business while using all the skills I have acquired in the retail industry.

What were you doing before joining M&G and how do you think it will benefit you in your new position?

Before joining M&G I was working for a large department store doing Visual Merchandising. My previous experience has made me an extremely organized person who is great a juggling multiple projects and timelines. My past experiences have also helped me to realize that I love to find inefficiency and strategize ways to improve operations.

What do you most look forward to about the job?

I am most excited to work for a growing small business and an extremely passionate business owner while building well-curated gifts for our clients.

Tell us about planning your own wedding. What advice do you have for brides-to-be going through the wedding planning process?

I absolutely loved planning my own wedding! Getting to create an event celebrating your love together is a truly special experience. Initially it was very frustrating getting everything to fall into place and the logistics worked out but the day ended up being more magical than I could have ever imagined! My advice would be to keep yourself level headed and remember that sometimes you will have to compromise. Not every vendor you want might be available for your date or budget so you have to be flexible. Also remember to take the time to cherish the process because looking back it was a wonderful bonding time between families.

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Fave celebrity wedding?

Kate Upton and Justin Verlander. I absolutely loved their rustic and romantic style for the tuscan wedding and both her ceremony dress by Valentino and afterparty dress by Christy Rilling Studio.

Fave movie?

Hands down, Serendipity but I’m really a sucker for any John Cusack movie.

Fave travel destination?

The Outer Banks in NC hold a special place in my heart as it was always the favorite family vacation spot growing up. We have so many wonderful memories there, including where my proposal happened!

Fave Insta account these days and why?

I would say its impossible to pick just one!

Styling:

@Maemae_co and @houselarsbuilt – creative inspiration for days!

Fashion:

@Spell_byronbay – this Australian fashion brands account makes me all kinds of happy with beautiful fashion inspiring styling with breathtaking views of Australia

Plants:

@Urbanjungleblog – I love seeing others plant collections styled in homes for me more green = more happy!

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Who inspires you?

As an artist:

Shay Corcoran – I am blown away by how she has created a whole new category for styled stock images and helps others build their brands and businesses with impeccable imagery.

As an activist:

Safia Minney – I am truly inspired by her passion pioneering sustainable and Fair Trade fashion practices and currently reading her book Slave to Fashion.

As a philanthropist:

Diane Von Furstenberg – My all time favorite fashion designer who now is doing amazing work to empower, inspire and connect women.

Hobbies?

Painting, gardening, hiking and other outdoor adventures!

Best gift you’ve ever given?

Since painting has been one of my life long hobbies, when my sister got married last year I surprised her and her husband with a portrait painting of the two of them and their dog which she now proudly has hung in their living room. For me, it is very special to be able to create something that will be cherished for years and I typically pair my paintings with a gift basket of smaller items with a personal touch – in this case it was a bottle of wine, a nice box of chocolate and beautiful hand poured soy candle.

Please join Team Marigold & Grey in giving Jean a warm welcome! You may occasionally hear from her on blog but will most definitely see her on Instagram Stories as we’re always sharing plenty of our behind-the-scenes with you.