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    Shopping locally means that you get to know exactly who made the products that you buy! We thought that it was about time that we begin to introduce you to our amazing community of makers on Bought It Local, who are the creators of some of your favorite products.
     We wanted to kick off this series with our co-collaborator Bianca of Box Custom Gifts! She curates themed gift boxes for every occasion, using only locally made goods! She curated our summer Local Box! Our shared passion for locally-made goods is what made this collaboration with her such a success! 
      We asked Binca a series of questions about her and her business so you could learn a bit more about her and why we love her and her business so much! 
Who are you, where are you from, how long have you been in business and what is your business? 
My name is Bianca, I'm a proud wife, mama and I live in Waterloo, Ontario born and raised. I started my business Box -Custom Gifts in January 2020.
I started Box to be able to create custom gift boxes for any occasion to showcase local makers and artisans whom I love!
I have been able to connect with so many amazing people and businesses,  it is truly enjoyable.
What got you started in your business?
I started Box as a side hustle/hobby! I have always loved creating gift ideas for others and love custom, personalized items. Having others allow me to create meaningful gifts for them is an honor. Fast forward to now, pandemic life, the huge need for safe, online shopping and gifting options and a support network for buying local, things are busy! I am excited to continue to see where things go.
What does shopping locally mean to you? 
I love shopping locally, I have purchased many items from the makers that I am now working with. I love being able to connect with someone to work together to find the perfect item for a customer.
I love personalized, unique and one of a kind things!
Supporting local is so important, there is an abundance of amazing talent to showcase.
What challenges have you faced in this journey? (lows)
I am a high achiever and give 1000% in all I do. I like to get things done! Understanding that things take time,  including building up a name for myself, a trusted following and sales, has been something that I have needed to take stock of, recognize that I have come so far, that I am doing well and things take time!
What is your overall take away from this journey? (highs)
There are so many! I am loving this journey so far. The opportunity to connect with so many kind, supportive, talented people, and businesses has been so heartwarming. The ability to be creative and bring happiness to others is so rewarding. When someone contacts me to create a box for someone they care about I truly feel honored, I have been asked to create birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, self-care gifts....and when I hear that the recipient was happy or it "made their day" it makes mine as well!
How is your experience with Bought It Local and this collab? 
Bought It Local is great! As soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It's one thing for businesses to have their own website, but having a website that brings together a bunch of different makers, it's a one-stop-shop, what is better than that?!
Nicole and Sarah are awesome, they are so welcoming, helpful, and knowledgeable.  Getting to work with them has been so great! The Local Box collab is so exciting, there are so many fun ideas and options that we can bring to customers, and best of all, supporting local and fostering a sense of community. 
Plans for the future? 
I plan to continue to put forward my best self in this venture. To focus on growth as well as having fun while doing it. If it's not enjoyable, its not worth it. There is always new things in the works, I like surprises, my tag line has become, stay tuned! If you follow Box you will see me living life, doing my part to spread positivity and kindness and a bit of business, that's me. 
     Thanks so much to Bianca for answering all of our questions! You can follow Bianca on social media @boxcustomgifts and be sure to check out her boxes available here on the site!
Stay tuned for the next installment of Meet Your Maker!
Thank you all for supporting local, now and always!
Nicole & Sarah
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