Local, Handcrafted, Eco-Conscious – The Next Best Gift

Article By: Devin O'Brien, M.A.

Five years ago we put together a Fall Festival concept for one of our hospital customers in Illinois. As part of the celebration we curated fresh apples and apple butter from local farms. The idea was to focus on local producers that specialized in small batch production (something that would contrast our large-scale promotional products capabilities). As our customers look for new concepts, we hope to further support our local partners by offering custom solutions from outside the promotional products industry.


Gifting Gets Local

When asked to propose gift ideas for employee gifts, it’s easy to share the new and exciting from our favorite manufacturers. However, these concepts are available to just about everyone, and there isn’t a lot of uniqueness for the regular buyer who’s looking for exclusive options. We believe local partnerships with small-batch producers makes our community special. This is on top of the classic “think local” benefits:

  • Local producers have an interest in their community’s success
  • Faster turnaround, lower shipping costs, reduced ecological impact
  • Enhanced service when working directly with ownership

Beyond the basics, it’s just more fun to work with artists that have a serious interest in creating amazing work. As we’ve expanded our local partnerships and begin to offer a wider-range of hand-crafted goods, we’ve seen a noticeable increase in demand – and our customers can’t wait to see what’s next.


Featured Partner – Jackson Rose Candles

Small batch, hand-poured, Illinois made, woman owned, and eco-friendly. Jackson Rose Candles hits the gold standard when it comes to our artisanal partners. Starting with a desire to be closer to home, Sara Spring (founder of Jackson Rose Candles) conceived her small business to bring the unique elements of the South to the Mid-West. As Sara puts it:


“I am a native Georgia girl and have lived all over the Southeast. In my opinion, every little piece of the South has something unique to love. The nature, food, style, and manners of the South combine in a charm that is not easily forgotten by natives and visitors alike. . . I discovered candle making as a way to connect to my Southern roots through the power of scent.


Jackson Rose Candles - Talk Southern to Me Collection



Jackson Rose Candles are handmade in small batches using 100% soy wax, custom non-toxic fragrances, cotton wicks and packaging, and gives 7% of profits back to support education and the environment.

Sara Spring and Jackson Rose have been a fantastic partner for O’Brien. We now offer full customizable candles through our partnership with Jackson Rose. From size, container, lid, labeling, and packaging – each project is a new opportunity to bring a little southern charm to the customer experience.  


It’s Time to Get Different

The status quote is . . . well . . . just that. As professional curators we couldn’t be happier to expand our product lines to locally produced, hand-crafted, and eco-conscious producers (especially those giving back to our community). As we approach gifting season a Jackson Rose Candle is a well-deserved alternative to the traditional employee gift.


Experience the Warmth of Southern Charm

Build a custom candle and give your employees a truly remarkable gift. With 100% custom production, we’ll help you select the perfect scent and share your appreciation for a job well done.


Get a Custom Quote