Mar. 2—Monday marked the launching of Rumi Gifting, a Terre Haute-based gift boxing company.
"We specialize in curated, customized and corporate gifting. We are focusing on the meaningful and thoughtfulness of gifting," said Alex Allen, who is co-owner of the company with his husband, Ron Hodge. The company announced its start from the downtown office of Launch Terre Haute.
Each month the new company will feature a local business and a 5 percent donation to a local nonprofit. This month Honey Creek Naturals, a Terre Haute family business, is featured in the gift boxes, with the 5 percent donation going to the Vigo County Education Foundation.
"We have never done something like this before, and every day we are learning something different," Allen said. For example, the company was asked if it made gift cards, which would fit into their business model. "That is something we didn't think about," Allen said.
"We get to see why someone is gifting and we get to make that become a reality," Allen added.
The company offers ready-to-go curated boxes, along with a customized box, as well as a corporate box.
Corporate boxes can include a corporate logo, as well as items from a company or items related to a company theme.
"It is really a mix of our curated and custom boxes in one," Allen said. Under a customized box, the buyer is asked several questions online on what they would like to have done for a box.
Part of the company's name — Rumi — is from a personal saying.
"It is something that we have always said to each other: 'I am yours.' " Backward, that becomes "Rumi," Allen said.
"It really represents what Rumi Gifting is as it is allowing people to show others that are caring, that they love them or it could just be 'Hey, I am thinking of you; here is a gift.' So Rumi Gifting is very personal."
The company designs the boxes and gets its box supply from Box Up, another Terre Haute company.
The company is actually the brainchild of Hodge.
"Things are shifting online, so how can we bridge the gap between folks who want to shop local, support local and still use the convenience of the online structure," Hodge said.
"We have suppliers, both local and nationwide, so the gift boxes are not just anything," Hodge said.
"But in a custom box, what are the feelings, the emotion that you are trying to get across to someone. So we ask questions such as do you want someone to feel loved? Are they missed? Is it a get well kind of thing? Then we ask something about their personality so we can do that match between what we have from our (product) makers that would really get that feeling across."
While the two owners said they are excited to be launching Rumi Gifting, it is not a full-time undertaking, as Allen works at Indiana State University's Career Center and Hodge works as a financial advisor.
"It is a two person venture, so we do package everything," Allen said. If the company gets a lot of orders from its launch, Hodge added, "I guess we will be up until 1:30 a.m.," he said with a chuckle.
Rumi Gifting can be found on Instagram, Facebook and on the web at www.rumigifting.com.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.