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Not Your Typical Gift Basket: How It All Began For Nutmeg + Honey

How it all began...

Now that Nutmeg + Honey is a bit over a year old, it's a good time to reflect on how it all started. Flash back to November 2020, heading into the first Covid winter. I was coming off a fall with three of my kids in and out of hybrid school, a one year old who had been home with me since her daycare closed in March 2020, a job I was doing remotely, and a winter ahead knowing we wouldn't be seeing friends or loved ones. It all felt a bit bleak, but I wanted to add something to my already very full plate that brought some joy.

One night, I was mindlessly scrolling on Facebook and I saw a post in our local town group about wanting to support local for the holidays. People were clamoring to support local, but many were scared to go into stores in person. Ordering online was risky, because you often didn't know how long it would take to fulfill an order (we're all so used to Amazon), and forget about the inconvenience of ordering gifts from multiple stores. 

As I read through the over 50 comments on that facebook post, suggesting different ways to support local, a thought occurred: what if there was a way to support different local businesses in one gift...and the shipping was fast, comparable to Amazon? I immediately texted Claire, one of my best friends, because we had always wanted to start a business together. We got to work researching to see if this concept existed anywhere; it definitely didn't exist in Connecticut, but there were a handful of models we found in other states (here's looking at Colorado, Minnesota, and Arizona!). We further researched packaging, possible vendors, business licensing requirements, and determined how much money we would need to put in to get started (ouch!). Many aspects of starting a business were terrifying, from ordering 1,000 high-end navy blue boxes from our Connecticut box manufacturer, to spending money getting our website built and launched (thank you Small Business Collective!). However, we charged full-steam ahead, confident in the concept.

How is Nutmeg + Honey different?

There are hundreds of gift box / gift basket businesses out there. If you look carefully though, many of them use the same widely available products. From an aesthetic perspective, there is an advantage to having access to endless products; many of those products have beautiful packaging with vibrant colors. However, gift box companies tend to look the same and the connection to the makers behind the products feels distant. 

Nutmeg + Honey's mission is to create beautiful gifts that truly support the local Connecticut economy. Connecticut's size makes it accessible, so I get the opportunity to meet most of our partners, and our customers do as well. If you love the Lavender Chamomile Lotion from Syman Says Goat Farm, you can sign up for baby goat snuggles at their farm and visit their adorable shop. If you can't get enough of the Sea Salt Lemon & Thyme Artisan Crackers from Southbury Baking Company, you can visit owner Cathy Kleros's bakery and enjoy the most decadent scone. If you never visit a maker, you can still feel great knowing that dollars spent sending a Nutmeg + Honey gift are being pumped back into the businesses that keep our local economy strong. 

Why call it "Nutmeg + Honey"?

I often get asked, "why call it Nutmeg + you sell nutmeg or honey or something?" Well, the answer is no (we don't sell nutmeg) and yes (we do sell honey, but that's not why "Honey" is in the name). The Nutmeg was easy (Connecticut love), but "Honey" came from the image of a honeycomb. A honeycomb is made of individual hexagons that link together, just like the incredible farms, artisans, and small businesses that make up the fabric of Connecticut. Those connections are what this business is all about, so it was the perfect fit. 

Once we had the research and name figured out, Nutmeg + Honey took took off! There are so many lessons I've learned this year, but I'll save that for another blog post. 

With Gratitude, 

Jordan (Owner, Nutmeg + Honey)