Ocean City Today

Gifts Fulfilled biz American Small Business Champion

By Kara Hallissey | Apr 13, 2017

(April 14, 2017) Gifts Fulfilled, which sells baby, birthday, get well and special occasion gift baskets, was named an American Small Business Champion on March 23 by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business experts.

“We are super excited,” said Gifts Fulfilled owner Kim Shanahan.

Shortly after starting her business in September of 2015, Shanahan teamed up with the Worcester County Developmental Center in Newark, Maryland, to provide employment for the nonprofit’s clients who have disabilities.

“My best experiences are going to WCDC and working with clients,” Shanahan said. “Everyone should have a day like I do during production. Everyone is so positive and uplifting. They support each other and love working in teams. They love this job, learning these skills and take pride in their work. I leave feeling amazing.”

The Worcester County Developmental Center clients assemble and create gift baskets including student care packages, Mother’s Day and Easter-themed presents, which are then sold on Amazon and the Gifts Fulfilled website.

When Shanahan saw the theme of this year’s SCORE/Sam’s Club small business contest – “What Makes Your Business Unique” – on Facebook in the beginning of February she said she had to enter.

She submitted an online application describing the most unique aspect of her small business, the positive impact Gifts Fulfilled has had on the community and her plans on using the prizes to grow business.

“It was amazing. You had to at least get 5,000 votes on social media for judging and I couldn’t believe it when we hit 5,000,” Shanahan said. “WCDC got the word out to people and I shared it with a couple business networking groups. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon and voted. I think we ended up with more than 7,500 votes by the time it closed on Feb. 20.”

Gifts Fulfilled was one of 102 entrepreneurs who will receive a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expense-paid trip to a training and networking event in addition to SCORE mentoring and publicity throughout the year.

The local business is also eligible to win one of three $25,000 grand prizes, which will be determined this summer by a panel of small business experts based off of utilizing the Sam’s Club gift card and SCORE training events to grow business revenue as well as how effectively Gifts Fulfilled is promoted in local media and on social media.

She plans to use the $1,000 gift card to purchase items for her college care packages, which she hopes to expand with grand-prize money.

On April 27, Shanahan will head to Texas for a day of mentorship and networking. Experts will provide key tips for business visibility, facets of cash flow and marketing.

“Everyone should be so lucky to have the work days that I have over there [WCDC],” Shanahan said. “They just started doing a skills assessment sheet so clients can go out in the community and show other employers what they can do. Not only can I provide jobs, but enable people to get a job at other places as well.”

To order a gift basket from Gifts Fulfilled, visit www.giftsfulfilled.com or Amazon.com.

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