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Pack Elephant

Pack Elephant

Winsome Kirton 2918 Views
This idea was a winner! was awarded $5,000 in June 2018

About Idea

Pack Elephant puts merchants local to Grand Rapids front and center by making their hand crafted products easy to find and buy. Targeted primarily to realtors, relocation services, event managers and general tourists, we alleviate the challenge of finding unique boutique products at affordable prices while fast tracking visitor acculturalization to the local community.

We sell goodie bags with contents that range from home goods and novelty items to gift cards, and facilitate their delivery here or elsewhere, domestically and abroad. Many other gifting services and craft marketplaces like Harry & David or Etsy exist, but none build themselves around their own small communities. Pack Elephant presents Grand Rapids as a destination to experience through the businesses that make the city what it is.


Small mom and pop retail shops breathe life into a city and Pack Elephant wants to be fuel that helps ensure these merchants’ sustainability. As Grand Rapids becomes a Pack Elephant success, we hope to bring our model to other cities in Michigan (and other states, too) that can benefit from our “local first” approach to building gift bags that feature home grown artists and craftsmen.

What I Will Do With $5,000

Current operations are limited to non-food novelty, gift shop and home goods. The $5,000 prize would allow us to expand our offering, giving customers a taste of Grand Rapids with items such as Nantucket baked goods, Mokaya chocolates, Brix cola, local farm soup mixes and the like. To take this next step, we need an on-site warehouse – an insulated, finished and powered structure –  that meets LARA regulation for dry/prepared food storage. All of the $5,000 will go towards this outfitting.

Idea Links

Winsome’s avatar

About Winsome Kirton

My background in marketing started with a BA in Visual Studies from UPenn, includes an MBA from NYU in Digital Strategy, and 7 years of experience in Media Strategy, Planning and Buying. My fiance's new job at Mary Free Bed brought us to Grand Rapids from NYC last summer, and we've since fallen in love with the charm of this "small town". We recently bought a house in East Hills and are eager to make our contribution to this thriving community through service and entrepreneurship.

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