An interview with our co-founder Karis Gill on Social Stories Club’s social enterprise hampers

An interview with our co-founder Karis Gill on Social Stories Club’s social enterprise hampers

Every product in a gift box supplied by our company supports a variety of social causes.

This time of the year is always a magical one. A sense of joy and hope engulfs us all, as we look forward to another year of festive cheer and unwavering faith in society. That said, with nearly everyone now embracing Christmas in a contemporary fashion, there is an ever-increasing number of brands trying to swim with the tide by creating new ways to celebrate the season.

Today we have an interview with Karis Gill, the co-founder of Social Stories Club.

Social Stories Club makes sustainable hampers. Today we will be asking why Karis was drawn to start a sustainable gifting company, what excites Karis about social enterprise, and what impact ethical hampers can make. Let's hear what Karis has to say about her social enterprise Christmas hampers:

What drew you to start Social Stories Club?

We created the Social Stories Club in 2017. We worked in charity organisations, and we found out that donations, people, foods, and money were in short supply. We both had a passion to make a social impact but felt there had to be another way that was less reliant on donations. We learned about social enterprise when we discovered it, and we realised there are great companies out there that make a social impact sustainably. We did not know about these companies before, so we were intrigued to find out if other people had even heard of social enterprises. We had a theory that if more people were introduced to social enterprise everyone would support them, and the world would be transformed daily by purchasing social enterprises with every transaction. We went to the streets of Edinburgh... We knew that we had to get everyone to know about these companies in a unique way. We decided to tell their stories to get our point across via a gift hamper.

What are social enterprises and how do you champion them?

Social enterprises are businesses that are solving some of the world's biggest problems in a financially sustainable way. We realised how impressive social enterprises are and we had a vision that every business will one day create a social impact. We create hamper gift packages that introduce people to social enterprises. Each hamper contains items such as teas and biscuits with amazing stories about helping homeless people and educating vulnerable children. The story booklet included in each gift contains these accounts. We have brought over one million people to social enterprises so far. Social Stories Club aims to inspire future generations to do business differently, educate them about social enterprise, and shine a light on existing social enterprises and their stories. We think that one day that social enterprise will be a mainstream enterprise, and therefore everyone will want every purchase they make to have a social impact.

How do your sustainable hampers create an impact?

We set out to create the most exciting and sustainable gift hamper. Each item in the hamper has an inspiring social message about how it changes the world. We use our gifts to introduce 1 million people to social enterprises. With each order, we can create and retain jobs for those in need. We are also a living-wage employer. We use the most environmentally friendly packaging methods that we can find, we utilise renewable energy sources to heat our warehouse, and we reduce the carbon footprint of our delivery. To make an impactful gift, it's just as fun to give as it is to receive.

Why is it important people purchase social enterprise gifts this Christmas?

Social enterprises depend on the sales of their products to remain in operation. They are having a major impact on communities and have inspired a new way of doing business that prioritises impact over profit. The idea that you can affect the world with everything you buy is enormously powerful and transformative. Social enterprises make this possible.

What does giving a gift mean to you?

We celebrate gifting by demonstrating what matters most to us. We are both happy to have our names on this gift, which demonstrates our values and expresses how much we care about the receiver. Our gifts are not just hampers packed with exciting treats, but they are also altering society's beliefs and encouraging a new way of sustainable thinking. The social storybook included with each gift contains the stories of the recipients' products inside the hamper such as hot chocolate and candles, which they will be able to read to learn how they are changing the world. We think that the world of social enterprise is the future, and we hope that this gift will allow them to experience it.

Why have you received such enormous support from corporates for your sustainable hampers?

The last Buy social report reveals that 95% of corporations find that social enterprises offer equal to or higher quality services than non-social enterprises. Corporations purchase our products to demonstrate their values. 88% of workers want to work for a company that cares about sustainability, so sustainability is an HR strategy. Employees would rather receive a gift card from a sustainable gifting supplier than one with no sustainable values. We have discovered that to stand out, we must provide exceptional customer service. We can provide the scale of larger firms but offer more flexibility and provide last-minute delivery for thousands of gifts. We have partnered with corporations to develop distinctive solutions to satisfy our customers' needs. Because we are not a large company ourselves, we can provide flexibility that other firms cannot. We are very proud of the hundreds of five-star reviews and testimonials that have endorsed us. We are "the perfect method to purchase gifts with a social impact", as described by David Adair, Head of Community Engagement, PwC.

What is your ask for today?

If you are looking to buy gift hampers this Christmas that have a social impact, look no further than Social Stories Club. We have served over 100 corporates who have bought our ethical hampers for their teams. Social Stories Club is a social enterprise and we have created unique hampers to showcase the amazing stories of social enterprise. Each product inside the sustainable hamper contains an inspiring account of how they have been making the world a better place and how you can help them create even more change. In addition to the story booklet, each hamper includes a range of sustainably sourced products, including chocolate melts supporting refugees, socks supporting homeless people, and chocolate supporting reforestation projects. We think that it's important to celebrate gifting for the sake of giving as a way to show what is important to you. If you are looking for social enterprise Christmas hampers please head over to our collection page. If you are looking for corporate Christmas hampers head over to our sustainable corporate gifting page. Whatever the occasion, it can be done in a memorable way that can also make a difference. We hope that you love our sustainability gifts and we would love to hear from you.

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