Give the Gift of CLE

The holidays are sadly over and you may not be thinking about gifts right now, but I certainly am! Why? Because my birthday is just a few weeks away. And as is the curse of having a birthday around the holidays, people often don’t want to celebrate, don’t know what to get me, or even sometimes forget. Do you have a friend or family member who just got everything on their list for the holidays, but has a birthday coming up? Fear not – here’s a potential gift idea … CLE Pack!

CLE Pack is package featuring products from local Cleveland organizations. You can pick a package of 5, 7 or 9 items and they range from foodstuffs (sweet treats and savory snacks), local collateral (like tote bags or can holders or stickers) and other fun items like chapstick, keychains, etc. CLE Pack sent me a package of 7 items to try out for free (thanks, CLE Pack for the early birthday gift!) and I loved it.

Some fun facts about CLE Pack:

  • CLE Pack was just started in August 2018. Igor Oliyarnik is the founder and the idea was born over 4 years ago when he saw a similar business in Baltimore called “Baltimore in a Box”.
  • The most popular items in the package are the food. Bertman Mustard has been the #1 seller, followed by Campbell’s popcorn and Malley’s Chocolates.
  • The founder, Igor Oliyarnik, is not originally from Cleveland. He was born in Ukraine and moved to Cleveland with his parents when he was ten years old. He shared: “I’m now in my 30’s and proud to call Cleveland my home. I think the city has a very unique personality and a bright future because of the people that live here. It has been great watching the city improve in many different ways over the last two decades that I’ve been here.”

The items I chose for my package included:

  • Malley’s CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Fear’s Confections CLE Chocolate Bar
  • Ohio Pure Maple Syrup
  • Crazy Monkey Baking Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookie Crunch
  • Bertman Ball Park Horseradish Sauce
  • Sweet Moses Cleveland Chocolate Bar
  • Cleveland Landmarks Tote Bag

I LOVE that CLE Pack is all local Cleveland items. And while I was familiar with some of the companies they include (like Malley’s, Bertman and Campbell’s), CLE Pack also introduced me to some new local brands, like Crazy Monkey Baking.

CLE Pack would make a great gift for more than just a friend whose birthday is coming up. In fact, I was thinking that CLE Pack would also be a great unique gift for:

  • A new neighbor, especially one new to the city
  • A friend that has moved away and misses their Cleveland favorites
  • A hostess gift for that family who has everything
  • Members of a wedding party or close family coming into town for a wedding

Some questions for you:

  • What would you choose?
  • Have you had any of these items?

Disclosure: I was asked by CLE Pack to promote their products. In exchange, I recieved a free box for myself. As always, views are my own.

Holiday Gift Ideas for the PR Pro in Your Life (and you know you have one)

It’s that time of year again – holiday shopping! In my quest to put together my holiday list/wishlist, I’ve put together a roundup of gift recommendations if you’re seeking ideas for the young PR pro. Again, these are just my recommendations* and many of them skew toward my (selfish) interests (and thus skew female as well), so take these with a grain of salt. Also, I’d love to hear if you have any others to add!

Gifts for the young PR Pro (in no order):

A gift certificate to Starbucks / McDonald’s or wherever your PRo purchases her caffeine of choice:  PR pros work long days, stay up late, and sometimes keep crazy hours. Also, a recent study showed PR is the second most caffeinated profession! You can’t go wrong with a gift card that you know will be used.

A reusable coffee thermos: To be used during said caffeine purchases. Everyone likes to be green/eco-friendly, and most coffee houses provide discounts for those using their own reusable mug.

A purse that can serve as a laptop bag: Is any explanation needed? Really, for travel, daily walking to and from work, and heading to business meetings – who can say no to a stylish, professional laptop bag that fits more than just your laptop (but also your iPad, phone, lunch money, notebook, extra pair of pantyhose, etc.)? Here are a few I like:

Business Card holders: For your desk or your purse, these are a must. I currently have a Vera Bradley one (no longer available, similar, here), but any that are functional and stylish and good for on the go (read: fits in above laptop bag) would be appreciated. Big spender? Check out this Tiffany one.

A portfolio: I got a “professional” portfolio a few years ago for Christmas and though I don’t use it daily (I prefer to use fun stationery for notes … see below), when I need it, I’m glad to have it. A good portfolio is professional, will last you through the years, and has pockets for back up documents, presentations, pens/pencils and business cards.

Cute, functional stationery: Whether it’s for thank you cards or for writing to-do lists, PR pros write a LOT and it’s not always on the computer. I’m a huge fan of fun note cards and fun stationery – it’s amazing what a bright colored piece of paper can do to your mood, even when making the most intense to-do list! Again, as a Vera Bradley fan, here are a few I like and may even own (yes, my mom may have gotten me some cool paper last year!):

Smartphone accessories: If the PR pro on your list doesn’t have a smartphone, then definitely add that onto this list as well. But, if she does, some fun accessories can’t hurt! It will vary phone by phone, but some practical items to consider include car dock and/or charger, Bluetooth headsets or extra memory cards.

A tablet AND accessories: I love my iPad. Well, it’s B’s, but if I didn’t have one for myself to borrow, I’d sure want one!  And while I’m at it, of course I’d want some accessories like these cool cases on Etsy: Monster iPad Sleeve, i-Sketch Sleeve (Below) or Polka Dot iPad Sleeve. Outside of Etsy (which has so many to choose from!) there’s the BookBook iPad Sleeve (below), AND for the big spender, there’s the Swarovski iPad case, which is likely worth more than the iPad itself.

What do you recommend? What’s on your gift list this year?

PS – Mom, if you’re reading this post (and you’re the only one who reads my blog), no need to go out and buy me everything here – please consult me first : )