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A partner in gift-giving

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By Mark Louis Ferrolino

Special Features Writer

Some words are hard to tell, some thoughts are difficult to express, and some feelings are challenging to show. But one great way to convey one’s intention is to give gifts that are not just lovely and surprising but also exude a personal touch.

Showing what you truly feel and making a person feel special and important can be made convenient with the help of C’est Ça Giftworks, a creative gift shop that offers and delivers personalized and creatively arranged gifts — balloons, flowers, toys, food items or anything anyone wants to give. It’s a reliable partner in coming up with creative and memorable gift ideas, depending on one’s budget, for any occasion.

C’est Ça is a French phrase meaning “This is it” or “That’s it,” and roughly equivalent to the interjection “Eureka!”. C’est Ça Giftworks tries to live up to this sense of astonishment by keeping each customer and recipient satisfied with the products and services it offers.

“It’s a nice feeling that you are able to help people express their feelings. It’s something new, it’s something different. We come up with something that is very personal since you can custom-make it. So, you as a recipient, ang feeling mo pinag-isipan (you will feel that it is well thought-out),” C’est Ça Giftworks owner and founder Ma. Lirio C. Canoy told BusinessWorld in an interview.

It was in 1987 that C’est Ça Giftworks started as a small, home-based business, whose customers were only family friends and relatives. Still with excitement and enthusiasm, Ms. Canoy reminisced how happy she was when a customer, who was not related to their family, placed an ordered for the first time, five years after C’est Ça began operating. As she slowly mastered the craft of creating gift arrangements, the business also grew and started to cater more unique and repeat clients.

Today, the 30-year-old venture operates a physical store in Libis, Quezon City, where customers can sift through sets of creative gift ideas, and buy some in-store items. Ms. Canoy’s eldest son, Jose Alfonso C. Canoy, has joined her in managing the business as the store’s general manager.

Mr. Canoy shared that they keep the business successful by handling every gift arrangement with care and attention. “We always try to put ourselves in the position of our customers, of our clients… We put ourselves in their shoes,” he said.

Apart from keeping the trust of their customers and the reputation they have built over the years intact, they also keep up with the current trends to adapt to the changing behaviors of the customers. From relying solely on the traditional strategy of producing brochures that are distributed in public, they are now reaching their market by maintaining a strong presence online through their Web site, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter accounts. They even hired a social media manager to handle these accounts.

During special occasions like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, when a bunch of orders come in, Mr. Canoy shared that they hire extra staff to accommodate all the orders, and rent extra delivery vans to deliver all the orders on the special days. This is to make sure that despite the large number of orders, they are still able to attend to the needs of their customers and maintain the quality of service and products they are known for.

“I think it will continue to grow because people want convenience more than anything, especially with the traffic,” Mr. Canoy said of his their venture. “I think we will be able to make [it] bigger because of the convenience that we offer.”

To aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own business, Ms. Canoy advice is to think of a business concept that is something new. “Start small so that you don’t get eaten up by the pressure. Relax, and take your time,” she added.