Vicki Scheffel, Founder of Geskenk Corporate Gift Company, was kind enough to share her insights with theSQUAD on how she rethought her business during COVID, and beyond.
"My corporate gift company, Geskenk was born from a need to service the corporate world, with a more conscious, on-brand and sustainable, local gifting solution. During COVID, most of our corporate orders were put on hold, as the bulk of our business came from HR specialists and event coordinators.
We used this time to reflect, and rethink. During lockdown we identified an opportunity to service the consumer market with allowed products - which was personal hygiene products, stationery, masks and sanitisor. We built our own web shop during lockdown, and miraculously had our best month ever over Mother’s Day.
We helped many families both locally and abroad gift their loved one's beautiful care packages during COVID, helping to facilitate those deeply needed connections. This to this day, it gives me goose bumps, and for a purpose driven brand, this was the ultimate reward.
When COVID hit, we had to change direction fast, and it really taught us that we are all born with the ability to find opportunities in adversity - as long as we keep our focus on a greater outcome. We shifted our focus and supported our local communities, by raising funds for food packages, protective gear and logistical support.
Now, we are placing a larger focus on our B2C offering and also in the process of creating our own branded range. We have seen the rise of a more conscious consumer and a desperate need for raising the bar, when it comes to a more creative and innovative local corporate gifting offering. We will be growing our local supplier base, but more importantly we are hoping to inspire more businesses to think twice about purchasing cheap imported goods.
The current trend of supporting local and purchasing from heart-led brands will continue to rise. Hopefully we will see more corporate brands choosing people over profit, and supporting our entrepreneurs and growing our local economies. On the down side, there are smaller budgets and competition on price with large bulk import wholesalers. We hope that with time customers will see the value in supporting local, social impact business. Even at a higher price point.
Our raison d'être remains to support our local artists, entrepreneurs and create a positive ripple effect in our local economies and communities through conscious gifting. I believe that change is a catalyst for innovation. I have never seen such a quantum shift in conscious purchasing behavior - especially local and resourcefulness and creativity in so many sectors. However, human connection and communication skills have suffered severely - my love language is touch - and the last two years have been incredibly hard for me.
In the future I’m excited about creating our own range, creating and curating new local products! And seeing the event and entertainment industries get back up stronger and more innovative than ever before. This inspires us and we can't wait to deliver beautiful social impact gifting to support their event and brand needs.”