As I snuggle up with my handmade mug watching the snow falling outside I’m excited to share a new local business I love with you, Boxed By Bare. Jamie and Riley are the sister duo behind thoughtfully curated gift boxes of handmade goods, like the Baby It’s Cold Outside Box. They’re based near the lakeshore in Zeeland, Michigan.
Local Spotlight: Boxed by Bare
One of my favorite things to do when meeting founders of locally-owned businesses is learning why they started and their inspirations and dreams as they build their businesses. Read on for my conversation with Jamie and Riley about why they started Boxed by Bare and how they’re supporting local artisans and crafters:
Boxed by Bare co-founders, Jamie and Riley
What’s the story behind your name?
Bare: plain, simple, essential, fundamental. We wanted to create gift boxes that use simple products that are functional and useful but also fun giving. We look for products that are very natural looking in both color and material.
Why did you start Boxed by Bare? What inspired you?
We have very different personalities but both had the desire to start our own business. When we first talked about starting one we knew that we had to take the adventure together. We both love giving and finding that “perfect gift” but we bring two sides to the business. Jamie is the creative one, the one that packages the gifts, making sure the products sourced work well together and create an “experience” for the person opening the gift. Riley has a very minimalist view. She doesn’t like clutter or extra “stuff” laying around the house. She’s great at sourcing products that will be useful for the person receiving the gift. We tossed around a few angles for the company but we always came back to the same main goal: support handmade, small businesses, and local when possible.
We always came back to the same main goal: support handmade, small businesses, and local when possible.
– Jamie & Riley
What’s one of your biggest challenges as a business owner and how do you overcome it?
It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
– Mother Teresa
What’s your favorite Bare box for the season?
That’s hard. I really like the consumable boxes (All You Knead Is Love, When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip, and Soup For The Soul). The hot cocoa box (Baby It’s Cold Outside) is Riley’s favorite – it is such a comforting box and is fun to give…who doesn’t love mallows?!
What types of goods do you source?
Almost all of our products are handmade from small businesses. We really appreciate the love that artists put into their products and we want to support that and share their talents with others. We look for mostly simple, natural-looking products that are timeless and functional. You’ll see a lot of wood, ceramics, linen, and neutral colors. We also love the idea of consumable gifts. How many times have you received a gift that just sits in a drawer or tucked away in a closet for years? We want to avoid gifting products that are just “cute”. When we include something in the box we really believe that it will be useful.
Drinking hot cocoa from my Christi Ahee mug that comes in the Baby It’s Cold Outside Box
Who is one person you admire?
Our Dad. He works harder than anyone we know. He taught us to wake up early and start your day. Even though we live in different states, we are usually the first people that we talk to in the morning.
*Oh, and a little inside scoop on the hot cocoa box…the Good Stuff Cacao raw and organic dark chocolate is the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted and the North Mallow marshmallows are such a fun garnish for hot cocoa (I also add a dash of nutmeg). They’re better-for-you sweet treats without all the bad-for-you stuff (ie: artificial flavoring and chemical preservatives). Such a great box for a midwinter pick-me-up for yourself or to gift to others. 🙂