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Local entrepreneur celebrates 20 years with gift baskets

Stacy M. Brown | 12/15/2014, 6 a.m.
Each time Pat Roselle checks her telephone voice mail or email messages, she sees a familiar request. There’s a bridal ...

Each time Pat Roselle checks her telephone voice mail or email messages, she sees a familiar request. There’s a bridal shower, a baby shower, a wedding, Christmas is coming, a birthday, even a funeral.

It all means that someone needs a gift basket.

And, in the case of a recent event at a local hotel, 28 gift baskets were requested, putting Roselle to work.

“It all started in 1994. I did a basket for a friend who was having a baby shower and she asked if gift baskets were my business,” said Roselle, who’s originally from Washington, D.C. but said she’s lived in Charm City long enough to be considered a Baltimorean.

“I said no that it wasn’t my business and then I thought about it and proceeded from that point on,” she said. “It was just a hobby that turned into a paid hobby which eventually turned into a business.”

Roselle said she’s been so busy that she didn’t realize that 2014 marks her 20th anniversary in the business of making gift baskets for a living.

She works out of her home and, in a pinch; friends and family will jump in to offer assistance. “I call the troops when they’re needed,” Roselle said.

That assistance came in handy last year during the Christmas season when Roselle was bombarded with more than 100 orders for the holiday in a very short period.

“Instead of shopping for clothing, I have to shop for items for my gift baskets,” she said.

It’s not a complaint in any way, just a way of life these days for the entrepreneur who now has a long list of individual, group and corporate clients enjoying her craft.

This month, Roselle was asked to prepare 28 gift baskets for the Hotel Monaco and 20 for the Arbutus Memorial Park Cemetery.

The holiday orders also have began to trickle in and Roselle said she soon anticipates an increase in requests for her services as the calendar moves ever closer to Christmas.

“I like being busy. I think everyone feels that the product is good and they know that I’m dependable, so that’s why I’m able to do so well,” she said.

Roselle has also found that more than just people like her work, animals do as well.

The pet industry counts as a $58 billion business, according to the American Pet Products Association, and Roselle said she’s received a number of requests to create baskets for dogs and other animals.

“People love their dogs, their cats, their animals, almost as much as they love their children,” she said.

Part of what makes Roselle successful; she said she works with customers to understand exactly what they want.

She regularly communicates with her clients to get a clear vision of what kind of design they’re seeking and what they want in their baskets.

Roselle also said she only uses quality products and she carefully shops for the right items for each customer.

“For instance,” she said. “For the cemetery order, instead of using baskets, I use photo boxes so that family members, friends and other loved ones can put commemorative items from the deceased in there. It’s important to provide everyone with what they want.”