A Better (Eco) Way to Wrap

I got the idea for the recyclable Give Simply™ Pop-Up Gift Wrap™ years ago on Christmas Eve. There I was sitting on my bedroom floor encircled by five stacks of presents—one pile for each child.

We’re a blended family. I had fallen in love with my husband Kenny the second I laid eyes on him as a college freshman. At some point I’ll blog about how we ended up coming back together years later. For now suffice to say that life got in the way until it didn’t, at which point we (and our five kids) wound up making a life together.

So there I was with eight to ten gifts for each kid—one nice one and the rest small but still needing to be wrapped. I had the rolls of wrapping paper, I had the tape, I had the scissors, I had the ribbon, I had these beautiful gift tags, and I had 40 to 50 presents to wrap. About two hours in, my back was on fire. Shreds of wrapping paper were scattered everywhere. Every single time I needed the tape, I couldn’t find it. Every time I put the scissors down, I had to lift up rolls to look for them. And I still had three hours of wrapping to go.

The I-love-to-wrap fantasy was quickly waning. Suddenly I realized that what I truly loved was giving a beautifully wrapped gift rather than actually wrapping it. As I sat there doing the same folding, the same measuring, the same cutting, the same taping over and over and over again, I thought, “Why couldn’t this be streamlined into a repeatable process?” (I guess you can take the girl out of a biotech operations and strategic development career, but, well, you know.)

I’ve always wanted to invent stuff. So I started to rethink gift wrapping. “Oh, if only this wrapping paper were already cut in this shape,” I pondered. “And what if it was a wrap that fit perfectly around? And what if I could reuse it.”

I got really passionate the next morning when, having spent all night wrapping, I saw all the bags of post-present-opening trash. I’m a total Googler who loves to collect stats, so I picked up my phone to find out the impact nationwide. And I almost fell off the couch. In just the U.S., we generate an extra four to five billion tons of trash after every Christmas, primarily from wrapping paper and gift-bags.

“Are you kidding me?” I thought. “There has to be a better way.”


The Wrap That Keeps on Giving

I knew I wanted to come up with reusable gift wrap that eliminated the need for wrapping paper. But when boxes break down, you can never find the lid. Then what are you going to do? So I came up with the notion of sturdy, card stock gift wrap that lay flat and then popped up into an all-in-one solution.

“I don’t think that’s one of your best ideas,” my husband said.

“I don’t get it,” a friend said when I shared my thoughts with her.

After similar negative reactions, I shelved the idea for six years. But I couldn’t get the notion out of my head. In 2009, I realized I had to dive in and see this through. I made a prototype that day.

“That is genius!” my husband exclaimed when I showed it to him and demonstrated how fast I could perfectly wrap a present using this Pop-Up Gift Wrap™.

“I’ve got this,” I realized at that point. “I’m going to do it.”

I filed the patent in December 2016, and it was issued six months later.


Gift-Giving Reimagined

The wrap wasn’t the easiest to develop or produce. But the impact, and the fact that it can be reused up to 20 times before it’s recycled, had made it all worthwhile. Even the doubters have come around.

“I would never waste my money on this,” a mom in one of our focus groups flat out said.

When the product came out, I sent everyone who had participated in the focus groups a sample as a thank you. A year later, the mom came up to me at a party.

“Oh, I’m so glad you’re here,” she said. “I want you to know that I’ve completely changed my mind. I have used that thing over and over, and it’s amazing.”


Do You Love Gift-Giving As Much As I Do?

Giving someone a token of friendship or love, whether big or small, presented in a way that goes way beyond the actual present itself can help cement relationships or even create them.

While taking our rescue 1 ½-year-old Newfoundland to the beach for the first time, my husband Kenny and I met a couple who loved dogs but couldn’t have one. So they enjoyed playing with Winston, our 150-pound furball, and we wound up staying in touch. When they invited us to go to dinner with them to celebrate the woman’s birthday, I picked up some chocolates—because who doesn’t like chocolate?—and nestled the bag into my Give Simply™ Pop-Up Gift Wrap™. I hadn’t spent a lot of money, but I wanted it to look special.

Mission accomplished!

The birthday girl refused to open her gift at first. “This is so beautiful. Oh, my god. Thank you, thank you.”

“So tell me about your business,” she said after the wine had been served.

“That’s our business,” I said pointing to the present.

“What?” she asked.

“Go ahead and open up your gift,” I said.

“Oh!” she exclaimed as she started to open it. “This is crazy!”

I had spent $15 on the chocolates, but the gift floored her because of how it was wrapped. Not only did my unique gift wrap strengthen our new friendship, she and her husband became investors.


New Designs Make the Whole Package

I’m super excited about our new designs for every occasion. I can’t wait for you to check them out on our design page.

Part of a special gift is the ceremony involved with giving it. It’s not just the thought that counts and most definitely not just the present itself. It’s the whole package. So you want a presentation that says personal. That says connection.

That’s what matters most to me—and to my family. We hope that Give Simply helps you connect even more closely with the people who matter in your life.