“A-tisket, a-tasket. We’ve got your summer basket.”

Anyone who knows Karen McKinney or has attended a networking event where she shares her “elevator speech” has heard these words.

We first interviewed Karen in December of 2009 and thought this month would be a good time to check with Karen and see what new developments have taken place at Baskets-n-Bags.

“Probably our biggest news,” Karen reported, “is our move to Vienna in August 2010.”

Approaching their second anniversary at the new location, Baskets-n-bags is nestled in the heart of Vienna at 310 Maple Street, right near the Amphora Restaurant. While the new location is convenient to many clients, custom-designed gift baskets and bags are only a keystroke a way at www.baskets-n-bags.biz.

When asked if they are offering anything new, Karen said, “We are offering the same high quality gift products, only better!”

“We recently attended the International Fancy Food Show in Washington, DC where we got a lot of great ideas! We are beginning working on developing our holiday line with new pictures and a website update. Please keep checking back on our website to see our progress.”
Providing custom baskets and bags began as a sideline for Karen, who gained the reputation among family and friends for finding the right gift for the right person at the right time.

She believed from the beginning that everyone deserves a gift created just for them. Her custom-designed baskets and bags are based upon an understanding of the desires of the client along with the needs and interests of the recipient.

Karen was already a successful bookkeeper when she attended an entrepreneurial boot camp and came away with a new direction for her life. She decided to begin a business providing unique gifts for individuals and corporations, starting Gag Bags, a humorous and unique gift company, in 2000. Her bookkeeping business continued to thrive even as her new venture prospered.

“I knew I was coming to the point,” she said, “when I had to make up my mind. Was I a bookkeeper or in the gift business? I finally decided that Gag Bags needed to become my full-time occupation.

Gag Bags continued to grow and, in 2003, Karen renamed it Baskets-n-Bags. A corporate gift company with a special reputation for creative solutions was born. In 2005, Baskets-n-Bags was voted one of the 50 fastest growing gift basket businesses.

“I didn’t want to offer a catalog of pre-packaged items,” Karen observed, “but one-of a-kind gifts that came from knowing my clients and learning a lot about the recipient.

“Showing appreciation and saying ‘thank you’ are critical components in the customer know that they are more than a ‘job.’ I help make that happen.

I never get tired of hearing reports about the response from a person who received one of my gift baskets as well as the joy from the person that gave the gift.”

From small businesses to large corporations, each customer receives the same personal touch and individualized creativity that sets Baskets-n-Bags apart from other gifting companies.

In her spare time, Karen enjoys reading, sitting in her hot tub, yoga, and making latch-hook rugs. She is regularly found at any number of networking events with Business Networking International (BNI), one of the area chambers, or other groups in the greater Washington DC area.

A long-time member of BNI, Karen has served as a chapter President, Secretary-Treasurer, Membership Committee member, Mentor Coordinator, Educational Coordinator, and PR Coordinator. She was appointed as a BNI Director Consultant for Cluster 106 in February 2012 and now works with 7 chapters in addition to remaining active in her local chapter, Tysons Referral Master.

Karen met Tom Ivey at a networking event in 2000 and decided to try out his services as she had a bookkeeping client nearby.

Now, twelve years later, Karen is still an enthusiastic customer at Tyson’s Auto Specialties. “I always get quality service at a good price with Tom. I also like the fact that I’ll be informed of any upcoming services my car may need in the future.”

Whether you need personal or corporate gifts, Baskets-n-Bags is the place to call when you need to let someone know they are special. Be sure to contact Karen today and let her help you create the perfect gift. Take a tour of their great gift selection at www.baskets-n-bags.biz, then call (703) 281-1401 for a special consultation.

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