If you love sending specially curated gift boxes, whether it’s to your best friend, or someone that you just want to send a special ‘because I care’ gift to, then you’re going to love the interview I’m sharing today. Bonnie & Bud is a Charlotte based gift box service that has specially curated boxes that have not only a selection of locally sourced goodies, but can also include beautifully arranged flowers. I recently caught up with founder, Whitney Holofchak to find out about the story behind Bonnie & Bud.
Tell me about what inspired the creation of Bonnie & Bud?
Bonnie + Bud was created in December 2014. At that time, my little ones were 1 ½ and 2 ½ and we had just celebrated Christmas. With children that age, I felt disheartened that I did not have the time or resources to create thoughtful gifts for my loved ones for the holidays. Soon after Christmas, on December 28th, my Grandmother Bonnie’s birthday, I had a dream that my husband and I owned a piece of land called Bonnie + Bud Farms. It had a garden and a pond and it was lush and beautiful. I woke up that morning feeling inspired by my dream and the idea behind Bonnie + Bud came together.
With my desire to create thoughtful gifts, I decided to start a gifting business named Bonnie + Bud, after my Grandmother Bonnie and our Uncle Bud. Grandmother Bonnie and Uncle Bud both spent a lot of their lives on farms and are thoughtful loving people. They live by the credo that there is great beauty in simplicity and that giving to others is the truest form of southern hospitality. My hope is that each Bonnie + Bud gift embodies the spirit of these two special people, and continue their legacy.
You grew up in Louisville, Kentucky but now live in Charlotte, what do you enjoy the most about living in your adopted city?
The people. Charlotte reminds me a lot of Louisville…lots of friendly people, southern traditions and a good mix of history and progression. I also like the access to nature. There are so many beautiful places to enjoy in Charlotte and nearby…I love Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, hiking Crowder’s Mountain, Freedom Park, Asheville, Cashiers, and Southport just to name a few!
You often visit farmers markets and antique fairs for inspiration. Is there a market or antique fair in particular that you enjoy going to frequently?
I truly love them all! But I most frequent the Kings Drive Farmers Market, Sleepy Poet to hunt for unique treasures, The Nest Fest in October (where Bonnie + Bud will be a first time vendor this year), and Vintage Charlotte Market. I also love exploring markets, fairs, and antique shops while traveling, especially to Asheville and Charleston.
Bonnie & Bud works with mostly local vendors, what led you to deciding to keep things local?
Our namesakes, Bonnie and Bud are both Southerners and our company is a celebration of them. Also, I have had several friends start their own small businesses in the last five years. I have seen the positive direct impact of local support on these companies first hand! It is also pretty fun to be able to work with friends and support each other.
Lastly, in browsing the local markets and fairs mentioned above, I often find really interesting handmade items that I would buy for friends or family for gifts. There was and still is something really special about buying something directly from the person that made it with care.
Out of all the boxes which is the most requested box?
I’ve learned that there are a lot of very thoughtful people out there and many of them want to express gratitude of some sort. So I would say that our “With Gratitude” is the most popular. We also deliver a lot of the “Home Sweet Home” gifts. Our locally made wooden boxes can be used as a great storage solution or to hold special keepsakes once the goodies have been consumed.
Do you have a particular box that is your absolute favorite?
I personally love the Welcome Little One. All of the baby items are so sweet and there is nothing more exciting than helping to welcome a new little life to the world. We always try to include a little something in each Welcome Little One Box for the mom or dad as well. I think it’s important to pamper the whole family if possible.
You often include gorgeous floral arrangements in your boxes, do you do all of the arrangements yourself or do you work with a local flower shop?
We have had the privilege of working with Nectar Floral Boutique since the inception of our business. They consistently provide the most unique, beautiful arrangements. I love my brainstorming sessions with the owner, Karisa Pennell. She is such a lovely person inside and out and not to mention a creative genius!
What do you enjoy the most about getting the gift boxes together for the client?
Clients have the ability when they order a gift box from Bonnie + Bud to tell us about the recipient, their likes and dislikes, sometimes their reasons to celebrate and maybe their current struggles. Gifters have the option to suggest certain Bonnie + Bud products that they would like to see in their gift. Each gift is very personal and we take lots of care and detail in creating each gift. We hand select each item for each gift box that we send out…they are made to order, custom. We love helping others spread some love.
You collaborated with Twig & Twine on a few of your boxes, what was your favorite part about the collaboration process?
Our collaborations always bring new energy to our business, as the creative people we are working with inspire us and help us think about our business in ways that we have not before. Many times, our collabs are with friends, such as the Twine & Twig ladies, which make for really fun meetings!
Do you plan to have a physical store at any time in the future?
At this time we do not plan to open a brick and mortar storefront, but are excited to be participating in more pop-up shop events like The Nest Fest.
Thanks for sharing with us, Whitney!