Adding the finishing touches to another creation. (Picture by Insight Digital.)
"Especially For You: Created With Love” sums up the care and thought that Maria Evanson puts into each basket she creates.
Regardless of the occasion – birthday, anniversary, or just because–- the contents and the unique packaging will win you over.
Evanson told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that she started the business at the urging of a friend in 2015.
“My girlfriend and I were decorating for a concert. She thinks that I am good but I was saying ‘no, you’re better than me and I can ask you to do anything’. I think she’s really good and she said: ‘I can depend on you’. I know God gave me this idea. I told Him ‘this is you’. He gave me the idea because I wanted people to feel special and feel good about themselves,” said Evanson.
“The first time I used my favourite colour (red) because it was Valentine’s Day. I was thinking about stuff to do. I like pretty things and I like to make people feel special, so I would personalise your gift and ask what colours you like, or I would ask the person who is ordering the gift what’s your favourite food or wine so that it’s personalised. When I go to the supermarket to buy stuff, I think about the person I’m buying it for, I don’t just go and buy stuff.”
Books with words of encouragement or crossword puzzles are often included in the baskets.
“With the wrapping, I wanted to use different materials although I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Everyone uses cellophane, gift wrapping paper and a bag but I like to get cloth and wrap something in it and make it look pretty. I can take a piece of cloth and make a flower with it. I can use a shirt to make wrap a gift so that at the end of the day, you have your shirt plus a gift. At the end of the day, you have something you can use and you won’t have any paper to throw away,” she said.
“I wasn’t good at wrapping boxes with paper, it used to confuse me. If you gave me a piece of cloth I can take it and wrap it into something for you, a fancy bow, add flowers, or sea shells. I’ve also done a postcard with a flower and ribbon.”
Evanson credits God with guiding her every step and while she never ventured beyond assisting her friend before, it was God who “pulled the talent” out because she never knew she was capable and now, never lacks for ideas.
Evanson became quite busy after people realised how good she was and the orders started pouring in.
“I do high-end baskets and I used to apologise and tell people my baskets were expensive and they would ask why I was and say: ‘well, that’s what you do’. Sometimes, I ended up not getting anything because the materials I purchase are not cheap. When I buy the items, I feel as though I’m getting the basket,” she said.
Business grew last year and special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas kept her busy. There were also several birthday baskets, she said noting that all orders are made on request.
While thanking her family for their assistance, she reiterated her love for what she does saying that if there are orders to fill any fatigue goes away when she starts because she likes to see them “pretty and finished”.
“I’m very particular and I want to see them done a certain way, so that when I put it in your hand, I’m still fixing because something still doesn’t look straight,” she noted.
She added: “With the decoration, it’s the same thing. At Christmas I did bottles and when you were finished you could hang them up with flowers in them.”
This year, in addition to continuing baskets she will be working on another business – Baskets To Go – putting together picnic baskets for romantic outings and events whether a simple lunch date, or a moonlight picnic.
She created a breakfast basket recently filled with fresh pastries, jam and teas.
“There were ideas that I had and my pastor told us that if we had an idea for a business to ‘register it now’. So, I registered about four businesses,” she said, smiling. (GBM)