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Today is:
An Interview With Keeshah Dawsonia
By Constant 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 Kounts?

Keeshah 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.

GC: So this is a gift package company?

KD: 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 inspiration?

KD: 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!

A Diaper Kake

GC: So you do this by yourself?


KD: 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 Go-

Go!) if I have a lot to do or when I'm alone and I'm good.

GC:So India Arie is one of your favorites?

KD: 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 beautiful person!  

GC: How long has this company been off the ground?

KD: Since about January of 2002 and it really picked up in February of 2002, Valentines Day and it has continued.

GC: How long does it take you to do one of these baskets?

KD: 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.

GC: So is this a very detailed process?

KD: I'll take it apart and start over or I will try another placement or idea I have.

GC: Where do you get some of your ideas?

KD: 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.

GC: So are you a perfectionist?

KD: Very much!  

GC: When did you get that creative itch?

KD: 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.

GC: What are the price ranges for you items?

KD: 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.

Flower Scented Pens

GC: So this isn't something you have sitting in reserve/pre-made right?

KD: 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?

KD: 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 open?

KD: 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 to!

GC: How do people place an order for your services?

KD: 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?

KD: 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?

KD: 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 out?

KD: 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 well.

GC: Any small business heroes or have you wanted your own business for a long time.

: 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.

A Wedding Kake

GC: Do you see yourself with a store in the future?

KD: 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.

KD: 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.  

GC: So be sure to check out the Upcoming Events on



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