had the opportunity to interview Keeshah
Dawsonia, the 24 year designer/owner of
It's The Thought That Kounts.
What exactly is It's The Thought That
Dawsonia: It's the creativity,
heart and soul you put into a gift. I
pull that information from people so I
know what kind of basket or gift package
I can make for the person or the person
they want the gift for.
So this is a gift package company?
Basically it's gift packages that can
be arranged and assorted around as little
as one item to how many items you want.
I do have novelty and specialty
items such as herbal heating pads and
eye pillows. I also do diaper cakes,
wedding cakes, rose and silk candles and
arrangements, blankets and ponchos and
our newest items: adult and baby afghans.
GC: What was you
It started with my roommate who was graduating
in December 2001 from Lincoln University.
I knew her favorite color was purple so
I was in a store (can't remember which
one) and I brought everything for her
in purple and I figured I would make her
a nice basket out of them. I also
grabbed a few more items just to see how
the idea would go with other people. My
roommate loved it! Later I gave
a basket to someone to take to their job
and they loved it also!
GC: So you do this
Yes, and it's never overwhelming, in fact
it brings me peace and calmness.
I usually work at night put on some mood
music like India Arie or Go-Go (I love
if I have a lot to do or when I'm alone
and I'm good.
India Arie is one of your favorites?
I love listening to India for inspiration
and I've actually talked with her several
times after a baby shower in which she
saw one of my cakes. She is a really
How long has this company been off the
Since about January of 2002 and it really
picked up in February of 2002, Valentines
Day and it has continued.
How long does it take you to do one of
Well, maybe 20 minutes and what goes into
to that is how the basket is set up. The
presentation is very important because
if I don't like it I will take it apart
and do it all over again.
So is this a very detailed process?
I'll take it apart and start over or I
will try another placement or idea I have.
Where do you get some of your ideas?
I like the way things look so I know if
someone gives me a gift and it is really
pretty I won't open it because of the
presentation. I like that! The
idea is if the gift looks really nice,
which I can judge from the person's expressions,
usually I know it's good to go!
If not, I keep asking questions till I
can make the gift the way they want it
and I can see that sparkle in their eyes.
So are you a perfectionist?
When did you get that creative itch?
I have always been good with my hands
since I was a child. I did beaded jewelry
for a long time and all other types of
arts and crafts. I'm the type of
person who watches the Home and Garden
TV station all the time. And I subscribe
to the gift basket magazines. I'm a picky
person so I give no less than I would
expect to get. I'm a critical person and
if it's something I don't like I wouldn't
pass it on to someone else.
What are the price ranges for you items?
My specialty items start as low as two
dollars. My baskets start around five
dollars they have gone up to $150.00 dollars
depending on what you want in the basket.
GC: So this isn't
something you have sitting in reserve/pre-made
I do have a few standards that are in
my catalog but you can always make adjustments.
I have a catalog of 120 plus items
that can be put together. I always encourage
the personal touch to make the gifts unique
and something of their own.
GC: Do you find that
people don't use the items in the gifts?
A lot of times people do keep them wrapped
up. I had this one lady who brought the
erotic baskets and she used it the same
day she got it but other than that it
varies on the person.
GC: Would they potentially
buy another basket so they can keep one
I have woman who everything she buys purchases
$100 or more and that's everyone month
and she will by the same things over and
over. Most of my customers are
repeat customers. Especially around holidays
and birthdays I know I have to set aside
time to get those done. I like when people
get emotional about my work and that's
the thought that counts. Some of the things
I do may seem corny but those little corny
things can brighten a person's day up.
I take the time think of the little things
others do not or do not have the time
GC: How do people
place an order for your services?
They can place an order through my email
address, my fax or go to my webpage.
GC: What is the turnover
rate from order to finished product?
Most people give me a couple of weeks
but if someone were to call me and say
they needed something tomorrow I could
make it. At least six hours to
half a day is needed in case I need to
run out and get the items.
GC: Which items are
you best sellers?
As far as the specialty items the scented
flower bins have been going like crazy.
For the baskets I do a lot of the
baby baskets and the erotic/romantic baskets
always run out my house because they can
be as X rated or calm as you want them
to be. Lately I have been doing
a lot of the relaxation baskets and the
rest is special order.
GC: Do you receive
props for help some friends' love lives
I'd rather not know! A lot of my friends
haven't used my services it's been more
friends of friends and that is cool as
Any small business heroes or have you
wanted your own business for a long time.
KD: I've wanted my business although
it was based on Real Estate, so I don't
know how it came to be this. For the longest
time I wanted my own cash register. That's
where I got into the retail side of things.
I'm full of ideas and I want to
put them out there.
GC: Do you see yourself
with a store in the future?
Yes, I'll give myself 5-7 years, I already
have my set up and blueprint in my head.
GC: You also have
been coordinating trips for sometime right.
Yes, I have been coordinating trips to
outlets for shopping, amusement parks
and other significant places and events
since my freshman year in high school.
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