Meet Natalie, Founder of Cordial Gifts Co.
Natalie is a buyer, merchant, trained photographer, and businesswoman. Having worked corporately for many years with great success at Burton Snowboards and Oakley, she knows what it takes to build a brand within a family-run business.
When Natalie, many years later married with two wonderful girls, decided to start Cordial gifts, she had the opportunity to now start her brand while balancing her family life.
She spotted a white space in the market, and went for it!
MT: Thank you for your time, Natalie - we really appreciate your participating in our Post Covid Series: A Return to a New Normal?
NP: So happy to share this journey I’ve been on! Support from friends like you and from the community, as well as the mission of spreading well-being, has been the fuel.
MT: I'll never forget the story you once told me of the palettes of product arriving at your home, blocking the driveway - and your husband's horror at clearly the volume you were doing from your home office! Can you tell our readers a little bit about your business and the steps you took to protect it and your balance, during Covid?
NP: My business plan when I launched Cordial three months before Covid hit was slightly different than what it is today. The goal, as you mentioned was to fill a void bringing an aspect of convenience to the market. Highlighting local makers, and creating easy, meaningful, gift options presented collectively and simply was and is still my objective.
My target customer was someone like myself before I left my full-time office job. I was busy with work, and family, traveling often with little time. Having a one-stop gift shop with local meaningful goods I could ship or have delivered was something I kept thinking I needed in my life. I also planned to target the hospitality industry and corporate events market, which looking back was a broad niche.
When Covid hit I remember thinking, this was a bad time to launch a business! I felt fortunate I was in the early stages of the process. Although, into week one of confinement my business started to increase. I was selling a lot of individual gifts with; thinking of you, missing you, and take care.
I highlighted this aspect and shifted the collections to reflect a theme of well-being and self-care. I really loved where the business had shifted into primarily wellness-focused gifting.
Some smaller businesses with a similar model may say the supply chain was the most challenging during the past couple of years. I felt the biggest challenge with starting this service-based business from home during Covid was balancing family. Having two young children confined to the home while maintaining growth, consistency, and creativity was difficult but a blessing at the same time.
MT: Emerging from Covid, how has your business changed?
NP: I’ve learned a lot about a service-based business coming from a retail background and retail mindset. Things move faster, timelines are shorter, and there is not always a ton of consistency.
I’ve learned to go with the flow. I don’t carry the same level of inventory on hand as when I started.
I also have learned to let go of what I can’t control, such as shipping and supply chain challenges, especially during the holidays.
MT: What have you learned about yourself over the past couple of years?
NP: It’s been an amazing learning experience. I’ve learned I love the freedom of creativity, and the opportunity to give back to our community, and I really miss working with a team. It’s nice to have independence in a career but I realize how much I value working collaboratively with a group to accomplish a common goal.
MT: We often speak about the lessons we hope we are teaching our girls.
What do you hope you've taught your girls through the process of running your business, at home, and through Covid?
MT: Is there a habit or something special you were doing with your family during Covid, which you hope Post Covid you will keep doing?
The importance of spending time together whether it be baking, reading, painting, or just being outdoors in nature will never fade.
MT: Thank you for your time, Natalie, it means a lot to us and our readers
If you'd like to learn more about Natalie's business, we encourage you to check out her website - Cordial Gifts Co and learn more about her collections which reflect a theme of well-being and self-care.
#Communities meeting communities #gifts #gifting