We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Costello and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I grew up in the Sunshine State (Florida) and now live in one of the cities with the most sunshine (Denver). Clearly this has shaped me so I have a sunshine-state-of-mind! My high school had a tradition where you’d get a laundry basket full of goodies on your birthday. I used to love figuring out what to put in these baskets – what things would people love the most that are personal and thoughtful. For most of my career, I worked in the newspaper industry, and I was drawn to the impact they have on a community. I then moved to a team where I was building a product from the ground up, making me realize how much I loved creating new products and services while pushing the status quo. I had a total “Eat, Pray, Love” moment. I quit my corporate job, went to a yoga retreat in Bali, and realized that I wanted to use these previous experiences and do something to make a big, positive impact. I wanted to make people happy! I also was drawn to this idea: people often talk about not knowing what to say, do or give for someone else’s “life moment,” big or small, happy or sad. But, the important thing is to do or say something – whether it’s acknowledging a new home, a new baby, a new marriage, a death, or anything else. And, what if there was an easy way to give a thoughtful, curated gift basket – a place to go to find something for all occassions? Thus, Ship Sunshine was born.
What should our readers know about your business?
Ship Sunshine’s goal is to make it easy to brighten someone’s day. Whether you want to celebrate life’s big (or small) moments or recognize that someone’s going through a challenging time, every Ship Sunshine gift box is designed to bring a smile to the person who receives it. Gift-giving is my “love language,” so to speak. I believe in acknowledging life’s moments, big or small, in an easy, thoughtful way. I started Ship Sunshine in 2018 to do just that—whether you want to say thanks, congrats, or just a quick “hello”, we’re here to help you spread some love and sunshine. Finding the perfect gift shouldn’t be that hard. We have ready-made boxes covering all of life’s special moments—from engagements and housewarmings to “get well soon”, “just because”, and everything in between. You can even build your own box and personally pick from a wide selection of unique products—60% of our merchandise comes from local makers and women-owned businesses, so you can support home-grown talent while shopping gifts you just can’t find anywhere else. And, if you want to show your employees, clients, or business partners how much you appreciate them, we offer personalized corporate gift boxes for organizations. Every box comes with a personalized, handwritten note and is hand-wrapped in eco-friendly packaging. But, there’s more: Ship Sunshine is committed to spreading love, particularly to people and organizations that may need a little extra help. That’s why 2% of your purchase and 100% of your donations go toward our #SunshineItForward program, dedicated to raising funds and awareness every month for other causes we believe in.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Colorado has so much to offer. From the excitement, amazing restaurants and bars in Denver, and sports activities, to the easy access to the mountains, there’s really something for everyone. I’m a huge sports fan, so I definitely take out-of-towners to a Rockies or Broncos game. I also make sure to show everyone Tennyson Street – the brunch spots and shops during the day and the fun restaurants and bars at night! A Red Rocks concert is always a fantastic time, regardless of who is even playing. And, exploring Estes Park is a must-do. For a longer weekend, the drive to Telluride is gorgeous.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom has been the biggest inspiration in my life. I was adopted when I was three, and I truly won the lottery with her. My mom has a big heart, a huge amount of energy, a ton of passion, and an endless supply of creative ideas. I’ve also had amazing mentors, co-workers and friends – too many to mention by name, but I’d like to particularly call out Deb Dreyfuss-Tuchman and Michelle Mitchell.