It all started with baskets to show customer appreciation in the corporate world. Today, Sandy Saenz sells the beautiful gift baskets she became known for, plus gifts and home decor items, as the owner of Simplee Stated Gifts. Located at 100 W. Garro St in Plymouth, the shop has the ability to transform items into personalized gifts through laser engraving.
“I’ve always been a crafter type of person,” Saenz says. “I have a background of office management and I was responsible for figuring out customer Christmas gifts. Each year there ended up being a gift basket of some type. I started doing craft shows with my gift baskets. They were popular because it was an easy ready-to-go gift.”
Saenz enjoyed basket assembling so much, that seven years ago, she reached out to Martin’s Supermarket and asked if she could have a pop-up shop in a vacant space they had at the front of the store. They agreed, and even though she was working full-time, she ran the shop in the afternoon and evening hours for six weeks before the holidays. Each night she created more baskets for the next day.
“During that time, a woman approached me and asked me to consider being a vendor in a shop she was opening in downtown Plymouth,” Saenz says. “She and her daughter were opening a store to rent space to craft vendors. That started a three-year relationship with the owner. I helped her in the store on weekends and such while I was still working at my corporate job full-time.
Four years ago, Saenz and a friend took over the store. As time progressed, Saenz was able to transition into working part-time at the shop and later full-time. Her business partner branched off this spring.
“I stayed, renamed and rebranded as a solo business owner. So, I’ve been involved in this same location with a gift shop for over seven years and I’m looking forward toward many more!” Saenz says.
When asked about her ability to personalize gifts via a laser engraver, Saenz answered, “Most business people say that you should find the needed niche and fill it. We felt this is a service that would allow us to fill a need for personalized gifts that could be bought locally and usually done while customers wait. In our research before investing in the machine, we couldn’t find anyone within our area offering such a service.”
Saenz is involved with and serves the community in several ways. She is currently on the board of Discover Plymouth, which is part of the Indiana Main Street Program and strives to revitalize the downtown area. She is glad to support local schools, churches, and other groups when they ask for donations for fundraising events. Four times a year she holds a quarterly giveback day when 15% of sales are donated to a local nonprofit organization.
“I have a nice group of regulars that come by when a gift is needed for an occasion, they are searching for some new decor or small accent for every day,” Saenz says. “A lot of people comment on how friendly and warm the atmosphere is. Customers become like old friends that you catch up with on each visit.”
Simplee Stated Gifts is located at 100 W. Garro St in Plymouth. For more information, they can be reached at 574-936-5259 or on Facebook @simpleestatedgifts.