We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Minnie Erickson a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Minnie, thanks for joining us today. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
Minnieology®️ Gifts (formerly known as Minnie Box) started accidentally several years ago when I was wrapping gifts for close friends who had milestone birthdays. The project ended on the back burner, with my corporate event planning job demanding my full focus. When I left that corporate job in August 2018 to focus on my health and building a family, I was inspired to start Minnieology®️ up again when putting together gifts for two best girlfriends turning 40. They were both busy working moms, and I wanted to make them feel loved and special on their birthdays. I decided to decorate the interior box flaps to add a personal touch, maybe to get them to smile. Unexpectedly, the work toward that end helped me to work through the grief of struggling to build a family.
I posted photos of the boxes on Instagram and received requests from friends requesting to purchase curated gift boxes for their friends and family, and thus Minnieology®️ was born!
The concept for Minnieology Gifts is to help busy women send thoughtful and personal gifts, as it has become a lost art in this modern age where we click and ship gifts over the internet. The recipient receives a standard box in the mail; however, upon opening, they are surprised with the personalized decorated box flaps and thoughtful gifts. I can create a custom box for those going through something significant in their life.
Although I couldn’t expand my family, Minnieology is my baby; spreading joy and helping others fulfills her for the time being as she explores her next chapter.
Minnie, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Minnieology Gifts is driven to help busy moms, and working professionals send thoughtful and personal gifts. I was gifted a candle-making kit and started making hand-poured all-natural soy wax and reed diffusers with the highest quality and non-toxic ingredients. The quality was essential as I was going through fertility treatments.
The most significant response received to date is that these aren’t your ordinary gift boxes; it’s like a hug in a box, and there have been happy tears. It takes it a step further to showcase your thoughtfulness truly.
Each box is designed and made with love for your special people in mind, as well as the environment. Products from other small businesses are thoughtfully selected with reusable, recyclable, and packaging. We want to make the recipient feel the love without creating environmental waste.
Gift boxes can be for any occasion or life event:
Anniversaries, Baby Gifts, Birthdays, Breast Cancer Support, Care Packages, Engagement, Fertility Support, Graduation, Housewarming, New Adventures, New Chapters, Retirement, Sympathy, Thank You, Thinking of You, and Weddings.
Check us out to see all the gifts Minnieology has created and to spark an idea for the perfect gift box of your own!
When I’m not, curating gifts, I have a full-time corporate event job planning conferences, and in my free time, I enjoy the Bachelor franchise shows and TV dramas like Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, A Million Things, and This Is Us, traveling, seeing friends and family, and helping others. And last but not least, I’m a huge Justin Timberlake fan.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
I had never built a business from scratch or intended to create one. I thought my “craft” could easily be put on Etsy with my handmade boxes, but when starting, I put other people’s products. Etsy declined my listings, which created a fire in me to figure out how to build my website the reason why I started making my candles as I discovered how toxic they could be for your health. Going through fertility treatments, I was more aware of the importance of living a non-toxic lifestyle, and I wanted to share that with others. Minnieology soy wax candles are free of parabens, phthalates, carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, organ toxins, and acute toxins.
During the first year of Minnieology, I had high hopes, and the finances were negative; seeing how my concept wasn’t bringing in profits was painful. I pivoted to understand my orders and suppliers, and by year 2, I realized modest gains.
Every day, I learn to build a more substantial business and meet other business owners to collaborate. There were many failures, but I got back up and continued to explore different ways of expanding my business and takeaways when I fell short.
Have you ever had to pivot?
As I’ve grown wiser, I’ve come to realize you must keep agile and continue learning. We all have one life, and it’s up to us to make the best of it. I was very stressed with my corporate job at the time, overworked, feeling unappreciated, and needed some sunshine in my life. I was fortunate to be able to leave the job to focus on my fertility treatments. I believed that removing those stressors would hopefully help my mindset and physical health.
It was very hard to sit still after leaving my corporate job; so I started to create gift boxes to help my grief and spread joy to others, which helped me heal. I initially thought my gift boxes would be popular for birthdays; however, I was wrong; sympathy boxes have been the most requested. When you lose a loved one, there’s nothing you can do or say; the key is thoughtfulness and taking into account what they are going through. The gift doesn’t stop there; carefully curating a gift that can be reused, repurposed, and eco-friendly is vital.
- Website: www.minnieology.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/minnieologygifts
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minnieologygifts
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/minnieologygifts/