Written by Shawndra Russell | Photos by Anthony Harden
In just ten years, Melissa Clonch has seen her her gift basket business grow steadily, without incurring debt or experiencing setbacks. Her secret? Patience, precision, and confidence.
Working from home: It’s a dream for many people who want to have a more flexible schedule or avoid ballooning childcare costs. For Mills River-based entrepreneur Melissa Clonch, a former schoolteacher, the decision to start her business, Gift Baskets by Melissa, spurred from having twins. “I taught for 10 years, and when I found out I was having twins after already having one child, I knew practically my whole paycheck would go toward childcare,” she says.
As she brainstormed what kind of business she wanted to start, she first considered tutoring, but she kept thinking about the gift baskets she’d long been tasked with creating for years for co-workers’ birthdays, babies, or other milestones. “I’d always been artistic and organized,” she continues, “and I was most drawn to decorating the bulletin boards or doing art projects with the kids when I was a teacher. I was actually considering segueing into becoming an art teacher before the twins.” Instead, over the past decade she’s built a six-figure business that has seen solid growth every year.
Editor’s Note: If you’re intrigued by what you read about Melissa’s gift baskets and gift towers, make sure you turn to page 99 of this issue for a special offer on a gift tower stuffed with products from Western North Carolina artisans and vendors. And follow Capital at Play on social media —Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — for a chance to win an equally special gift tower created by Melissa. (Included are products from some of the vendors profiled in our Sweet & Savory feature this issue.)
Buy the gift basket on the cover for only $99 – a Capital at Play Special!
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