Are you a dab hand when it comes to wrapping gifts?
Do your friends and family come to you when they need a present wrapped well?
Then maybe you should consider becoming a professional gift wrapper.
- What does a professional gift wrapper do?
- What skills do I need to be a professional gift wrapper?
- How do I begin setting up my service?
- How much can I make?
- Case Study
When it comes to birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Weddings, and other special occasions, many people dread the thought of wrapping presents.
Maybe they’re just not very good at wrapping an are embarrassed at what the results might be. Others simply haven’t got the time to spend wrapping lots of gifts.
This is where professional gift wrappers come in. They charge to wrap people’s presents to a professional standard, taking the stress out of these special events.
On top of individuals who may choose to use their services, professional gift wrappers can also be great for businesses. If a company employs a lot of staff and wants to give them all Christmas presents, for example, someone’s going to need to wrap them, and they might just decide paying you to do it is the easiest option!
Well, no prizes for guessing you have to be good at wrapping…and when we say good, we mean really good.
If someone is paying for your service then they’re going to expect a professional result, so you need to make sure your wrapping is absolutely top-notch. It’s possible you’ll be wrapping presents in front of a client – not only will you have to wrap it well, but you’ll have to do-so under pressure!
On top of that, you’re going to need to have some idea of how to sell your services, so a strong marketing sense will go a long way.
You’ll most likely want a website, even if it’s just a simple one, so people in your area can find you via Google. To begin with, you’ll probably also want to get the word out in other ways. Start by posting in local Facebook groups or even printing out some flyers and putting them through letterboxes.
In many ways, wrapping is the easy bit – it’s making sure people know about your service that’s going to be the initial biggest challenge.
The great thing about setting yourself up as a professional gift wrapper is it’s a really flexible way to make money. In fact, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home if you want.
However, with flexibility comes some tough choices, and you’re going to need to decide what exactly works best for you.
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- Are you going to work from home or are you going to go to your customer’s house? Working from home might be less demanding but it will limit your reach. If you’re willing to travel then you have to factor in the cost of petrol or public transport.
- Will you be providing your services just to individuals or will you be advertising to businesses as well?
- How much are you going to charge? Will you be charging per item or will you be charging per hour?
- Will you be providing the materials (e.g. will you be bringing the wrapping paper) or will you let your client decide?
- Would you be interested in expanding your business? Will you help people actually source the gifts and get them delivered straight to you, or are you only interested in wrapping?
- How far are you willing to take this business? Will you employ extra hands to help you during busy periods (and do you feel comfortable doing that?) or would you rather only take on what you can manage?
We ask these questions because there are so many ways you can approach this and you need to decide what’s right for you. Just make sure you’ve given everything consideration.
How much you can make is going to really vary depending on how you approach your pricing structure and how many customers you can draw in.
For example, if you’re only targeting individuals then you might want to charge per item. This means you may charge as little as £3 for a small item, £5 for a medium item, and £7 for a larger item. If you’re travelling to the client then you’ll most likely charge a little more to cover your fuel and time.
If you’re getting bulk orders, especially from businesses but possibly from customers with lots of presents needing wrapping, then you might find it easier to charge per hour. £10-£12 an hour to begin would be reasonable if you’re just getting started and wanting to establish your service. However, once you’ve made a name for yourself and demand increases, it wouldn’t be extreme to charge £25-£30 an hour.
Professional gift wrapping is still quite niche, so you may find the lack of competition in your area allows you to charge a little more than you might otherwise.
Basically, charge what you think you’re worth, making sure you’re covering expenses and able to attract customers.
We spoke to Alison Westwood, who runs Eclipse Gift Wrapping with her husband, to get a little insight into running a gift wrapping business.
What inspired you to get into professional gift wrapping?
I started my working life as a physiotherapist, but contracted a severe form of viral meningitis in 2003. This left me very unwell for a long time. Some years later, as I was recovering, I started playing with the idea of getting back to work. I began selling jewellery and clothes via house parties and small events with a friend. I was asked on one occasion if I could gift wrap something and, although I could, I felt my efforts were a bit unprofessional. This lead to me attending a gift wrapping course and it went from there.
I have developed my skills over time by taking interest in origami, furoshiki and the properties of various materials. I am currently phasing out all non-recyclables so everything we use will be either recyclable or reusable.
Do you work from home or do you travel to your clients?
I do both. We have corporate clients in various locations such as London. We travel to them in order to teach their staff how to gift wrap or to deliver an on-site gift wrapping service – sometimes we take a whole team of gift wrappers! There’s also one-to-one training here in our workshop, group workshops, demonstrations and team building sessions.
I have trained people from countries such as Nigeria and Ghana in my workshop, and have trained people from other countries using Skype.
What are the most important skills needed in becoming a professional gift wrapper?
Being a perfectionist and paying attention to detail are important; also being a practical person, good with your hands. Of course, it’s also about delivering good customer service, so excellent communication skills are vital. Being able to work under pressure is also very useful, as gift wrapping a beautiful and potentially valuable item whilst being watched by the client is not something everyone can do!
What would be your best advice for people looking to make money as a gift wrapper?
Start small. Use a modest but good quality selection of materials and build up a strong client base underpinned by personal recommendation. I think one of the best ways to make money from gift wrapping is to offer it as a valuable adjunct in a small retail business such as a gift shop – it highlights the business as providing added value for money.