We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Waldo and Lauren Kinder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke and Lauren, how does your business help the community?
We started Front Porch Gift Co. as a way to support local small businesses and give back to our community, and our gift boxes do just that! We design and create custom boxes that feature small businesses found here in Colorado Springs and along the Front Range. Each and every item we include has been thoughtfully selected, so it brings joy to the recipient while it also supports our local businesses. We actually started our business at the beginning of Covid as a way to give back to our community. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see the impact we’re making on these small businesses during such a tough time. We have so many talented and inspiring makers and artisans, and we want them to have flourishing businesses here for a long, long time. There is something so powerful and impactful when we keep our dollars right here in the community and we truly believe in the saying “you vote with your dollars.”
What should our readers know about your business?
We started Front Porch Gift Co. because it was a service we both were looking for and we couldn’t find a business that met our needs. We were both on the hunt for gift boxes that featured products from small businesses in Colorado Springs- Brooke was looking for client appreciation gifts for work and Lauren was trying to find one for a friend’s birthday. The more we started talking about it, the more we were confident that this could be a business that not only helped you give great gifts, it would benefit our local community as well! We started approaching local businesses with our idea and a few simple mock-up sheets. We were terrified that we would quickly be shown the door, but we got the exact opposite reaction. Everyone was excited by the idea and was so supportive; we quickly formed partnerships with over two dozen small businesses and we were off to the races. Of course, we had to learn so many things on the fly and we were facing new challenges every single day. From shipping logistics to inventory management and everything else in between, we learned so many lessons and saw each obstacle as an opportunity for growth. The biggest lesson we have learned is that no one is going to care as much about your business as you do, so you need to be your own strongest advocate. We care deeply about our local small business community and the magical experience of giving a thoughtfully selected gift, and we were fortunate enough to start a business that unites these passions of ours. Starting any small business is going to have it’s heartbreaks along the way, but we’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s been a thrill to watch Colorado Springs grow and evolve. We love having visitors come to town and getting to show them all our favorite places! We would start the day with coffee from Loyal or Story Coffee (their sea salt caramel latte is heavenly) followed by breakfast at Denver Biscuit Company. If they’re up for some movement, we’d take them for a hike on one of the many trails Colorado Springs has to offer- Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Palmer Park are some of our favorites. We’d follow up the hike with some delicious lunch from either Salsa Brava or Skirted Heifer. Then, we’re fortunate to have so many smart and stylish boutiques here, so we’d swing by Local Honey and Colorado Co-op, both of which are located downtown! For dinner, some of our local favorites include Four by Brother Luck, The Bar at ALMAGRE, and Paravicini’s. If we’re ending the evening with a cocktail, you could find us at District Elleven or the Principal’s Office. If a sweet treat is more your speed, we can’t think of anything more perfect than a big scoop of ice cream from Josh and John’s to end the night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many wonderfully supportive people who have encouraged and guided us as we started the business…especially during a pandemic! We were honestly surprised at just how supportive the small business community is here in Colorado Springs, and many of the vendors we have partnered with have become our biggest cheerleaders. Jenny of “BonBon Bombardier” and Jewels of “Simple Body” have rooted for us since Day One, and their pep talks always come at the times when we need it most. We also want to acknowledge how supportive and wonderful our friends and our family have been as we’ve taken on this new adventure. They’ve helped spread the word, and we can’t thank them enough for sharing their kind words with others! Brooke’s parents also have a house in town and didn’t hesitate to lend out their property when a massive order came in. Not many people willingly offer their family rooms and garages as temporary warehouses, but that’s exactly what they did, and we couldn’t be more thankful. Lastly and most importantly, our husbands have been with us each step of the way and we are tremendously thankful for everything they have done for us and Front Porch Gift Co. They’ve been known to pack boxes well after midnight, make deliveries in the snow, and lug countless packages up and down flights of stairs. Lauren’s husband Keegan has put together many financial reports and presented his findings in what we love to call “Keegan’s Keynotes.” And Brooke’s husband Skyler not only learned how to tie boxes, he’s offered a myriad of lessons in logistics efficiency. We simply could not have done any of this without their help and support, and we truly could not have married greater men!
Michelle Miller of Miller Photography Co.