Tell us a little bit about what you and your company do. Why did you create Packed with Purpose?
My experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer and social impact consultant inspired me to create this company. Packed with Purpose was born out of my desire to create social impact while recognizing the importance of gifting in fostering meaningful relationships. From empowering women in need to supporting sustainability efforts, our gifts help transform lives, enrich communities, and preserve the environment.
What makes you different than other gift box or basket options?
Our gifts embed doing good into gift giving to directly benefit the social enterprises and purpose-driven companies with whom we partner. Each product is either made by our partners or by the communities they support. So a gift from Packed with Purpose not only promotes demand for those items, it also supports the job opportunities and work reskilling programs at the heart of many of them. Anyone who receives a Packed with Purpose gift also gets our Impact Booklet, which shows how many of the items they received do good. Most gifts don’t help you connect the dots between the handmade cutting board sitting in front of you and the communities that made or benefit from its purchase and we provide unique experience for recipients and frequently hear that it makes our gifts truly memorable.
Why did you decide to begin your corporate journey here in Chicago?
Following my Peace Corps service it was only natural to return to my hometown. Although Chicago is a big city, in many ways it also feels like a small town. This is a community that is always happy to introduce folks to one another and eager to make connections that support each individual’s success and the city’s overall growth. Whenever possible, we seek out local purveyors whose products are both remarkable and socially impactful. Project FIRE, for one, is a gun violence trauma recovery program on the West side that produces beautiful glass wine stoppers. Our partner Beelove in North Lawndale trains and employs people with previous convictions and other employment barriers in the making of their Certified Naturally Grown honey products.
What drew you to support The Club?
We look to partner with other purpose-driven organizations and felt very aligned with The Club's membership base, and its mission of nurturing meaningful relationships, commitment to inclusion, and purposeful programming.
What have you been enjoying most about what The Club has offered?
The variety and quality of the programming has been fantastic! There is always a relevant and engaging discussion to learn from. I often come away from events inspired and full of great new ideas.
How do you choose the vendors and items within your boxes?
We want every gift to be one we ourselves would be proud to give and receive. That’s a high bar for us, so we’ve established a formal process by which we assess and accept new Purposeful Purveyors into any of our Packed with Purpose gifts. First and foremost, every purveyor must be creating a tangible social impact. Beyond that, their products must be high quality and exceed the expectations of our clients and their recipients. That includes everything from packaging to function and design. Today, our Purveyors represent minority-owned, women-owned, B-Corp, and BIPOC companies with products that are made in the USA, are eco-friendly, and made in small batches. We’re so proud to call each of them our partners.
As our members look through your selection, what would you say is your most popular box? What’s the hidden gem in the mix?
Our most popular gift is our Sweet Thanks Signature box
. At $49, it’s an accessible price point for many and includes a variety of delicious sweet and savory treats. The hidden gem, of course, is exploring the inspiring stories and photos behind each product in the accompanying Impact Booklet.
We are thrilled to partner with Packed with Purpose this year, offering support to entrepreneurs and artisans seeking to do good in Chicago and beyond. Packed with Purpose’s purpose-driven mission, and desire to create spaces for women and minority-owned business owners aligns with The Club’s desire to provide leaders in the Chicagoland business community opportunities to come together to inspire change.
If you’re interested in exploring Packed with Purpose’s wide array of gift boxes, visit their online store at www.packedwithpurpose.gifts. They offer expertly curated business and personal gifts that impress and delight clients, employees, and friends. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to Director of Strategic Initiatives and Executives’ Club Member Debbie Saul HERE.