It’s that time of year – time to thank your clients, partners, staff, board members, anybody else you do business with – with thoughtful holiday gifts.
Keyword there being thoughtful – sausage and cheese is a bit overdone, and one Madison business is looking to elevate your corporate gifting game.
“We do elevated gratitude gifts, which are 100% sourced from small businesses, mostly from Wisconsin, and we ship nationwide,” says Jerina Vincent, proprietor of JNJ Gifts and More.
JNJ custom curates gift boxes to fit the needs and tastes of her clients, many of whom are insurance, finance and construction companies. She’s not sure why, but this year the hot products are drink-related. She doesn’t have a license to sell alcohol, but the hot toddy and old fashioned kits are the hot sellers this year. Those consist of mugs or tumblers, coasters, and all the ingredients — except the alcohol.
She said she even puts a lot of thought and effort into the packaging, so clients are impressed even before they open the gift.
Vincent says she wants her gift boxes to be “wow-worthy,” meaning when a recipient opens the gift, they can’t help but say, “Wow.”
“When you say wow, it will stick in your mind for a long period of time,” she said. “Because it’s beautiful, and it is good. Every client who they sent (a gift to), they will get a return on investment, like a call or email. We create a touch point for each client.”
That also means JNJ gift boxes will be a bit more expensive than more mass-produce gifts, but Vincent hopes clients find the elevated gifts worth the splurge.
Besides, there’s more to it than the bottom line.
“I believe gifting is happiness,” Vincent says.
She also believes in supporting other small businesses, which is why she sources locally as much as she can. She also puts a lot of thought into
This time of year is “100 percent my peak season,” she says, though she can create gift boxes for events and special occasions year-round. This is only her second peak season in the corporate world.
Vincent came to Madison from India, where she earned undergraduate and MBA degrees in human resource management, 17 years ago. She had a storefront gift shop in Verona from 2016 to 2022, when she says her lease was not renewed. Losing the shop made for a tough few months and took a toll on her mental health, but she was able to pivot to online orders of corporate gifts last year.
The biggest difference is the means of customer acquisition, she says.
“This is different because (with) brick and mortar, people see a shop, they come and shop. This one is 100% through referral,” she says.
That’s a lot of word of mouth, but also social media. Vincent says she gets a lot of referrals from LinkedIn and, perhaps surprisingly, Pinterest.
“Many people on the corporate side, they’re looking for ideas on Pinterest,” and they find JNJ there, Vincent says.
For now, Vincent herself is JNJ’s only paid employee, though she gets help from her husband, a computer engineer, and daughter, who won the 365 Leadership Community Choice Award for High School Rising Star this year.
VIncent believes a few more good seasons will allow her to hire some help and, if all goes well, purchase a building for a warehouse to continue growing the corporate business and a storefront to revive the retail business. She also projects after this peak season she’ll be in a position to take on her first business loan to spark that growth.JNJ Gifts and More are available online at https://jnjgiftsandmore.com.