Pawprint Chats is a series where we chat with our friends, clients, and peers in our local Colorado community. It’s a chance to check in and see how everyone’s doing, in business and in life.
Today we’re talking to Anna Costello of Ship Sunshine.
YellowDog: Hello! Give us the “elevator pitch” version of what your business does.
Anna Costello: Ship Sunshine makes it easy to brighten someone’s day. Whether you’re celebrating life’s big or small moments, recognizing a challenging time, or just simply saying “hi,” we have the perfect gift or gift box for you to send.
We offer readymade boxes covering all of life’s special moments – from engagements and housewarmings to “get well soon”, “just because”, and everything in between.
You can even build your own box and personally pick from a wide selection of unique products. And, if you want to show your employees, clients, or business partners how much you appreciate them, we offer personalized corporate gift boxes for organizations. Every box comes with a personalized, handwritten note and is hand-wrapped in eco-friendly packaging.
Ship Sunshine is a women-owned and led company, and more than half of the products we source for our gift boxes are from local and women-owned companies as well.
YD: What has been your biggest win in the past year?
AC: I never thought I’d say this – but, knock on wood, my biggest win this year has been keeping my team safe. The pandemic was so unprecedented, so we were suddenly thrown into this “new normal” of masks, social distancing, and other protocols, and I’m really proud that we all stayed safe while keeping Ship Sunshine open and running.
YD: This year has been a learning experience for everyone. Anything you’ve learned about your business during a pandemic?
AC: Balance. I think the concept of work-life balance is always important, but this year it came even more into focus. Since there wasn’t much else to do other than work, I found myself working all the time. Suddenly there was no “off switch” for me – and I realized that the idea of balance would have to truly be self-motivated so I could designate work hours and carve out time for things like watching a TV show or reading a book.
YD: What has been one of your proudest moments as a local business owner?
AC: My first year in business, Ship Sunshine was awarded The Alliance Center’s Best for Colorado as “Inspirational Leader.” This recognition was truly such an honor for me, as it aligned with why I started my own company: to be able to insert my own values into a business and truly make a difference. This award also gave me the confidence to keep going – like a sign that I was on the right path!
YD: If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about your business, what would it be?
AC: Three words: crinkle cut paper. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a common type of packaging that helps cushion items while in transit, consisting of shredded paper that’s crinkle cut. We use it as filler in our packages because it is eco-friendly and it does a good job of keeping items within a gift box from getting broken. But, it’s oddly expensive and it gets EVERYWHERE. I’ve even dog-sat for a friend, and she found pieces of crinkle cut hidden in her dog’s fur days later.
YD: Describe your brand in three words.
AC: Sunshine. Surprise. Delight.
YD: Love it! Now for some rapid-fire questions:
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Early bird or night owl?
Day person! Is that an option? Otherwise, I’d say a night owl.
Favorite local beer?
Anything from Factotum Brewhouse. They are a local, women-owned brewery that is awesome and they do so much for the community.
What’s your best party trick?
I know that no one likes a bragger, but…sometimes I can stay out past 9 p.m. I personally think that’s very impressive. 😉
What show are you currently binging?
Ted Lasso. It is SUCH a feel-good show.
Any book you’re currently reading?
Invent It. Sell It. Bank It. by Lori Greiner
What do you miss the most about pre-pandemic life?
Hugs. People. Concerts. Travel.
We’re always looking for business peers to feature in this series. Get in touch to find out more!
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