LEIGH Rackham only created her business three years ago, but it has proved to be the gift that keeps on giving.

Box and Bow is an online boutique store based in Whakatane that specialises in carefully curated gift boxes for every occasion. Luxurious and high-end, these gift boxes offer something a bit more appealing than your standard “gift basket” fare.

Leigh, formerly a hairdresser, came up with the idea after struggling to find gifts that were high-quality and well presented.

“It stemmed from needing to buy a new baby gift,” Leigh says. “I searched and searched and couldn’t really find anything. I wanted a modern gift, and really practical, but also something put together nicely.”

She had previously started a children’s clothing business, but soon found that gift boxes were better suited to her schedule as a mum of two girls.

“I have two daughters, Ava and Daisy,” Leigh says. “And it just wasn’t practical, with two children, finding time to sew.”

With her eye for detail, and a consistent flow of creative ideas, Leigh put all of her energy into this new venture.

Box and Bow offers pre-made gift boxes for a range of purposes, including bridal, baby, new mums, and Christmas, among others. Customers can also work with Leigh to customise their gift boxes.

For something a bit different, the shop also has a subscription option in which a new gift box will be mailed to customers each month.

“It’s a gift box, but you don’t know what you’re getting in it until you receive it,” she explains. “So it’s a surprise for yourself. We normally have a theme,” she says. “This month it was Self Love, so it has things like a gratitude journal and other things to pamper yourself.”

In addition to its stylish, modern look, each gift box features a variety of goodies that have been carefully selected by Leigh.

“I look mainly for New Zealand-made products,” she says. “And I like to go for packaging that’s as eco-friendly as possible.”

“It needs to have the right look [and be] high quality, and I do look for items that you can’t just get at the supermarket.”

Some of her favourite brands to use are Linden Leaves, Magnolia Kitchen, Molly Woppy, and Lyttleton Lights.

Over these past three years her shop has continued to grow, attracting both new and return customers by taking the hard work out of gift giving. Anyone who purchases one of her gift boxes can expect beautifully-made products and excellent customer service.

Looking forward, Leigh would love to grow big enough to open her own shop and employ staff here in Whakatane. And although she has customers spanning across New Zealand and Australia, she has her heart set on working more closely with those in her community.

“I would love to work with more local businesses in regards to their corporate gifting,” says Leigh. “I love bringing together high-quality gifts that work with their branding and have an impact on their clients.”

With the holiday season quickly approaching, now is the best time to get in touch regarding all of your gift-giving needs. For more information, you can visit her website at www.boxandbow.nz or you can email her at hello@boxandbow.nz to discuss your order.

john.morin@thebeacon.co.nz