Syracuse nurse opens personalized gift basket shop months before pandemic, now delivers to former patients

The two decades of a Syracuse nurse working in homes for the aged helped her become a business owner – and now, thanks to that business, she is in a unique position to give gifts to some of the people. who need it most right now.

Shaeeda Scott worked in central New York City nursing homes as a licensed practical nurse for 20 years. The stability of this career allowed him to pursue his passion for designing personalized gift baskets. She opened “Your (our) Creations” on North Salina Street on December 1st.

Years ago, Scott had started making gift baskets as a hobby, for family and friends. Around 2017, she started to take her job more seriously. She came up with the name, which alludes to the collaborative nature of businesses, hired a designer to create a logo, and had business cards printed.

As Scott juggled nursing work and his small business, she noticed a need in nursing homes. Residents didn’t have much opportunity to purchase personalized gifts, especially those at reasonable prices that they could check out in person. Scott engaged administrators to offer “pop-up” stores, where she could sell affordable themed gift baskets filled with candy, snacks, stuffed animals and other goodies. At pop-ups, the baskets would sell out quickly. They have been a success – not only with residents, but also staff.

Scott found that organizing pop-up events was half the fun. Nursing homes were always looking for something to keep everyone busy, and the residents really enjoyed the interaction, chat, and even just asking questions about her business.

As your designs began to develop, Scott was hoping to schedule more pop-ups in other facilities. She began to develop in schools and looked for other opportunities to sell her designs.

She found that the hobby she loved so much was something people wanted, even people needed.

“Being there for so long in nursing homes, I saw the need,” she said. “That’s really what it was for them, not being able to go out and go to the store … someone with no or very little income, it was my ideal, to be able to come and offer them something they can afford. “

Last year, Scott’s business had exceeded the space available in her home to assemble baskets and store inventory.

“It just got bigger and bigger,” she said. She experimented with new products, different themes, and the response was positive. She began to look for a place to settle. She learned that her barber was leaving a storefront at 325 N. Salina St., contacted the landlord, and quickly negotiated a lease.

Then, in four months, the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close its doors.

But Scott rolled with the punches.

“I was still able to go back to my roots and give gifts from home like I did before,” she said.

Sample baskets made by Shaeeda Scott and her team at Y (our) Creations. (Photo provided)

She had to deal with a drop in sales, but not by much. The biggest challenge the pandemic presented was the disruption of its benchmark supply chains. But as a maker of personalized gifts, Scott was able to get creative in the way she fills orders. She’s driven everywhere to find the perfect pieces for a basket, or ordered from new places online.

She looked at what makes your designs attractive during a public health crisis: it’s a small local business; She takes individualized orders; She and her staff are ready to meet customer needs, whether it’s curbside pickups or deliveries. Scott gets help filling his family’s orders, she said. Her cousin Bahiyyah Muhammad and her husband Davell Scott are business partners.

The coronavirus has led Scott to go back to his roots in more ways than one.

With nursing homes so vulnerable to the virus and many residents unable to see their families, Scott again realized there was a need she could help fill.

Scott offers delivery of his personalized gifts directly to local nursing homes.

She uses the bonds she forged over two decades of working in nursing homes, to make sure the gifts get delivered and everyone stays safe. She has organized deliveries to local homes for residents and staff and wants to expand further. She invites her family and loved ones to contact her for personalized gift ideas. Orders can be placed remotely, and Scott takes care of it from there.

Scott is active on her company’s Facebook page, where she posts samples or her work. In the past, she relied heavily on pop-up shops and word of mouth to advertise her products. Her goal is to create a catalog for customers to see more of what she can offer.

He misses the face-to-face interactions with residents and their reactions to his creations. The company has allowed her to remain a part of this tight-knit community, employees and residents, she said. She can’t wait to start hosting pop-ups again.

For now, she is happy to be of service during a difficult time.

“We are here and we have something to offer,” she said. “I can give a gift with a card and make sure it reaches them safely. “

Small business owners: Have a question or a story to share about how you are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the closure that follows? We want to hear from you. Contact Back in Business reporter Julie McMahon: E-mail | Twitter | 315-412-1992


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