Monday morning….The Tale of a Sweet Basket…

Good Morning everyone…

I would like to to introduce you to a very special friend of mine,

Michele from Baskets-n-Beyond

Michele and I met and have been instant friends… She is a wonderful person and I would like for you to get to know her. I hope you enjoy the interview!
 
Hey Michele…
 How did you decide to go into business for yourself?
“I was a VP of meeting planning for Thomas Cook Travel and they were going to move to Boston and I did not want to relocate so I took some time off to decide what I wanted to do and I started going to flea markets and come up with the idea of selling nuts and things prepackaged.”

How did you decide on baskets?
“I started the business at Michele’s Nuts & Things and was prepackaged nuts, dried fruits and candy at flea markets. Then someone asked if I could make them baskets for the holidays filled with the nuts so they can give them as holiday gifts”
 
What were your biggest lessons you learned along the way?
“Networking is important, customer service is important and you must change with the times. If you want to last in a bad economy you need to change and be open to new ideas.”
 
What advice would you give to someone just starting there own business? “Research what you want to do, understand your target market, have a plan, make goals and be ready to work hard.”
 
How long have you been in business?
” I started in my parents basement in 1992 and moved to my first store front in 1993″
 
Where do you see your business ventures in five years?
“I would like the business to be totally an online business. a year ago I closed the retail part of my business and created a new website that would list all our baskets where people could shop online 24/7.  I felt this was the way of the future and I was just not getting the foot traffic in the store.  So I want to build on that and have everyone ordering online.  Would like to have more employees in order to help others who are out of work.”
 
Michele since I have met you, every day I learn more and more about you, YOU are amazing… Please tell everyone how you got involved with your charity foundation, what is means to you and how they can help contribute.
“In 2009 I came up with the idea of putting together a stimulus plan for my high school alumni. I wanted to take my networking skill and help others learn to network. I felt the best thing to do was to build a networking group from all the alumni from my high school and get them to help each other and use each other “instead of turning to the yellowpages, turn to the RMHS directory and call a friend” I had Blue buiness card book made up with the school logo on it and had everyone send me 100 business cards and then we would give them out at a RMHS Multi Class Reunion.  When I saw that the reunion was going to earn profits I did not know what to do with the money. one day it hit me, what about an ALumni scholarship fund. So I contacted the HS principal and went in to talk to him. he said that there was never a alumni scholarship fund and what a great idea. he said that scholarship money use to be about $150,000 a year and now it was less then half of that and more and more students desperately need the money.  So I stood there with my friend Kerry Moots (who jumped at the opportunity to help me with this idea) and we promised him that we would do 2 scholarships a year for $1,5000 each.  We walked out of there on cloud nine and we had a mission and NO plan  but we knew we would do great things togetheer. I always tell Kerry that it may have been my dream but she made it a reality.  She has been the driving force behind the scenes and work endless.  She has the same dedication as I have.  The first year we awarded scholarships we were able to give 13 scholarships we had raised $13,000 for the RMHS class of 2010 and this year we gave out 12 scholarships and raised $10,000.  Are scholarship are not for the pretties, most athletic, most popular or smartest kids.  We look for the a student that has financial hardship.  We try to find the kid that needs the money the most. wether the student wants to go to a trade school, 2 yr school or 4 year school we just want to show them someone cares and believes in them and wants to help them get a start on their education.  We don’t stop there either. we keep in touch with the students and lend emotional support, guidance, mentoring and whatever else they may need along the way.  We want them to know that RMHS Alumni are there for them.  Our motto is ” Alumni helping future alumni one scholarship at a time”  Kerry Moots and I love what we do and love helping these students. We  hold many different fundraisers throughtout the year. we have football parties, car shows, beefsteak dinners, zumba class,boot camp,volleyball matches, reunions and whatever else we can think of.  We also depend on donations which can be made on our website www.rmhsalumnnischolarshipfund. com  we sell t-shirts also.  you can find out more about the fund, see pictures from past events and make donations or order t shirts at www.rmhsalumnischolarshipfund.com .”

We would like to thank Michele for taking time out to give us insights into her wonderful basket business and  scholarships. I hope that you will call on Michele to take care of your basket needs, and please help support her scholarships!!!

THANK YOU MICHELE!!!  

Don”t forget our  BFF “All Snook UP” Gift Certificate Giveaway… Share your BFF story on a comment, and you and your BFF can win a $25.00 Gift Certificate…Each!

We got us a twittering convoy!! Come join us!!!

Have a fantastic day!

 

Just keep swimming>>>> no really listen here!

 
Lisa
 

OH and one more thing…
Then there IS this – read these…

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11 responses to “Monday morning….The Tale of a Sweet Basket…

  1. What a great interview with Michele! She is very inspiring, and I thank you for sharing her story!

  2. This is such a wonderful interview! Michele really understands the concept of giving back, which is such a GREAT and lovely thiing. Thank you Lisa, for letting us have a glimpse of this delightful lady.

    jean xox.

  3. Very nice interview with Michele. Enjoyable reading.

  4. Hi, everyone. Thanks for the lovely compliments. I really dislike talking about myself BUT love tlaking about the scholarship fund. It is the greatest thing i have ever done in my life. I recommend doing some sort of volunteer work. It really makes a difference in your life. I know it did for me.
    Me and lisa meet on twitter and I am so happy she is my friend. What a beautiful person she is. I am so

  5. Wonderful interview. Michele is a true inspiration!

  6. I love this story! It’s really touching. I think you are both awesome people with unusually BIG hearts. I’m so glad Twitter brought us together!

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