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Behind the Brand : Open Me When

Behind the Brand : Open Me When

Beatrice and Eli are newlyweds starting off their marriage with the ultimate partnership – Open Me When.  After falling in love at the University of Michigan, they quickly realised they

November 27th, 2017

Beatrice and Eli are newlyweds starting off their marriage with the ultimate partnership – Open Me When. After falling in love at the University of Michigan, they quickly realised they were destined to own a company together, a place to show off their shared passion for creativity and flair for finding unique treasures. With the help of family and their two cute pugs, Beatrice and Eli spend their weekends wrapping gifts and have never been happier.

Here, we went behind the brand to find out more…

When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
Open Me When is a premium gift box company focusing on providing a special gifting experience. Each of our boxes contain unique, luxe items, many from local artisans in Detroit. We then individually wrap all of the gifts and attach a story to each item about what makes it so great and why you will love it. All of the boxes are finished off with a personalised, handwritten note and sent directly to the recipient. We have found that people love the anticipation and excitement of unwrapping a lot of little presents, making them feel like a little kid on Christmas. The stories add a personal touch that makes you cherish the gift even more, enjoying the experience the gift box as much as the gifts themselves.

Every year during the holiday season I would work with my mom to help create gifts to send out to her clients at her printing company. We chose the gifts inside, individually wrapped them all, added the stories, and sent them out in the beginning of December. This became a yearly tradition that was highly anticipated by the customers, so special that most of them waited to open the box with their families on Christmas morning and put it under their tree to delay opening it until that special day. I loved how a simple client gift could becoming so meaningful and knew I could create a company based around bringing back the meaning and importance of gift giving. After my husband and I got married in July, we started this company together and launched our website in August. It has been a success ever since!

Whats your background?
I am a psychology major from the University of Michigan and have worked for a couple years at my parent’s printing company, learning the fundamentals to running a business and all about the world of packaging.

How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
My husband and I own the company together; I am more of the outgoing, creative type while he is the master at numbers and making sure the business is running smoothly. We are a perfect balance! My family has been a great help as well, coming over to help wrap the gifts, fulfil the orders, and aid in whatever we need. We also have two cute pugs who follow us around and think they are helping (And they are! They are great at moral support on long nights when we are up late packing boxes)

If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Not at all! I consider everything that has happened a great learning experience, even the mistakes. This is the time to see what works and what doesn’t work so that we don’t have to find out the hard way once our brand has grown even more.

The hardest challenge has been learning to manage all aspects of the company by myself. There is so much more to do than just creating boxes, such as all of the behind the scenes work to maintain the website, stay on top of accounting, and figure out how to master social media. I even took an online photography class so that I could take the pictures myself! My husband is still working his full time job for now and he helps as much as he can on nights and weekends, but for now I still feel like a one woman show.

Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I grew up Irish Dancing and still love to teach the jig to my friends on St. Patrick’s Day. I wish I would have continued!

2018 is almost here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
Next year we are going to focus on weddings and events, hoping to fill our lull in the summer before the holiday season. I have already received many requests for custom bridesmaid boxes and welcome gifts; We are going to focus on creating some pre-curated boxes that will be sold through our website as well as working with couples on custom orders. As a recent bride myself, I know how stressful the planning process can be and am excited that I will be able to help engaged couples take one thing off their long “to-do” list!

To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
The highlight of our year has definitely been the custom order that we did for the NBA Basketball team, the Detroit Pistons. We created custom boxes for all of their VIP ticket holders that featured all Detroit made items, as well as a custom box, band, and notecards. I even hand wrote all 275 notes myself! This order took over our whole house and was a great learning experience (as well as a way to start getting our name out there). I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect first order!

Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
I love all three cities but would have to choose Paris. I have been a couple times but recently took my husband to visit while we were travelling in Europe for our honeymoon. I am in love with the beautiful old buildings, the great shopping, delicious food, and just the way of life. I can’t wait to go back!

Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?

  1. Mascara- I have red hair and have very light eyelashes so I always need to have a little bit of mascara to make my eyes pop!
  2. Moisturizing Lotion- My skin is constantly dry in the cold Michigan winters. This is a must!
  3. Tinted Lip Balm- The perfect amount of color to brighten up my lips without needed to reapply lipstick all day.

Style means….?
Style means being happy. It doesn’t matter what you are wearing, as long you think you look good, other people will too. It is all about being comfortable with what you are in and exuding confidence.

Best thing about London to you?
My favourite thing in London is Harrods. I love stopping in to visit the market, have a cup of tea, and of course, shopping!

Statement shoe or statement bag?
Statement shoe- I am only five feet tall so I am always wearing heels. I love how a shoe can completely change the entire mood of an outfit and can so easily transition your look from day to night. I am all about beautiful, sparkly shoes!

If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
I have a grey cashmere sweater dress that I end up wearing at least once a week in the winter. It is comfortable, cozy, and can look dressy or casual, depending on the accessories.

Guilty pleasure?
I absolutely love wine. Both my husband and I like to collect unique bottles from our travels and save them for special occasions. We like to experiment pairing them with different food or even just enjoying a glass sitting with our pugs on the couch at the end of a long day.

If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
My favourite place in the world is Copenhagen, Denmark. I studied for a semester in college and fell in love with the culture and atmosphere. I can’t wait to go back.

In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
We would like to do more custom orders, such as corporate gifting, weddings, and events. It is very rewarding working with individuals to pick out special gifts that represent their brand and see their excitement in creating something so special.

Find out more…

Website: www.OpenMeWhenBox.com

Instagram: @openmewhenbox

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/openmewhenbox/

Laura Bartlett

Laura Bartlett

Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.