Shirley George Frazier – Building Her Business One Gift Basket at a Time

November 11, 2011

in gift & gourmet business, Gift Basket Tips, How Tos, Packaging

Shirley George Frazier, gift  basket queen

Shirley George Frazier is the queen of gift basket design and even refers to herself as a “basketologist”. She’s the author of the best-selling books How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business and The Gift Basket Design Book.

Shirley came from a long line of entrepreneurs, so the drive to start a business in 1990 and launch in 1997 was natural fit for her. Gift baskets got her attention when her husband made a thoughtful gift for a friend. She decided that creating gift baskets that stirred up joyful and comforting emotions in her customers would be her profession.

She also creates videos on the site and articles for Designers who want in-depth support can connect with Shirley through the which delivers videos, newsletters, marketing scripts, and a host of information via a private membership site.

Originally, Shirley’s most popular gift basket designs were baby and wedding baskets. Now, her gift baskets are in the luxury category, created for longtime clients who request her designs for charities, black tie auctions, Hollywood-type celebrations, and pets owned by celebrities.

Get instructions on how to make Shirley’s unique raffia and organza ribbon bow at the end of this post. Click the photo at the left to enlarge it so you can see this cute bow.

Gift Basket Trends

She says new gift basket trends are often determined by popular entertainers and geographic locations. For example, with the pending births of babies of well-known stars, designers who promote their baby baskets filled with out-of-the-ordinary gifts such as alpaca booties and blankets cannot keep these items in stock once they mention the entertainment connection to customers. As for location, new home/condo baskets are back on track through real estate sellers who prefer them to include items representing their region.

All of Shirley’s gift baskets currently prepared for delivery include something from Nashville Wraps. That’s been true since she first learned about us back in the mid-1990s. Our tote bags lined with coordinating tissue paper are a staple for gifts to individuals or for insurance agents who might order 200 or more for clients. Clear and printed and cellophane or shrink wrap are always added around gift baskets. Our paw-printed cello bags are a favorite biscuit holder for four-legged friends. Our shred is plentiful and easy to store, and combining two ribbons to make a bow is a customer favorite unless the pull bows (especially the red and gold colors) are preferred.

“There aren’t many places today where one-stop shopping is available, so I’m glad to find this wide assortment and more through one convenient source,” says Shirley about Nashville Wraps.

Shirley’s Gift Basket Tips

  • If you’re new to gift baskets, create all-occasion themes that let customers see what you offer online and in person if you own a store. This will encourage clients to ask for and order custom designs.
  • Add your own signature style to the gift baskets you make. This includes designing in a unique container or crafting an unusual, yet stylish bow. This will differentiate you from other designers.
  • Understand your customers’ preferences before you order baskets, shred, foods, gifts, and other supplies so you buy more things they like and enjoy. I didn’t do this at the beginning which resulted in lots of waste.

Join Shirley’s Gift Basket Business Facebook Group here:

We appreciate all that Shirley has done to advance the gift basket industry. When asked how she defines success, she replied, “Success occurs when instead of life being just about what you can get, you realize and act on how one small action generates big outcomes for others.”

Joni Compton
Advertising Coordinator

 Our deepest sympathy goes out to Shirley and her family who recently lost her dear husband.

Raffia Bow (Pictured Above) How To:

1. Cut a 9-inch piece of raffia and place it on the table (you’ll need it later).
2. Unwind and cut 6 feet of raffia from the roll (less is fine; 6 feet is shown in the bow).
3. Bring the two ends together. Now the raffia is half as long.
4. Fold the raffia in half again and hold/grab the strands in the center (similar to a large bow tie).
5. Continue folding the raffia in half (hold it in the center) until there is just 9 inches remaining from end to end.
6. Cinch the middle of the raffia by tying it tightly and knotting it with the 9-inch piece on the table.
7. Place the raffia atop the larger bow. Thread the 9-inch raffia strands behind the larger bow by easing the strands behind the large loops and towards the back. Tie it in place with a knot.
8. Use scissors to cut the raffia loops in half. The loops will fall naturally atop the larger bow. Arrange as needed.


Joni Compton manages trade shows for Nashville Wraps, to make us look good when we meet you at the food and gift shows. She also schedules all travel arrangements and works with publishers for our trade magazine advertising. Outside of Wraps, Joni is the proud mom of her successful son Ashley and her precious dog Luci. Most of all, she loves being grandma "Nonie" to two charming little boys, Parker and Brodie.

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Leave a Comment

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Shirley George Frazier March 27, 2015 at 8:56 am

Delores, my business is a consulting and training firm working with retailers of all size who wish to incorporate gift baskets as an offering for their customers. This is done in-house and on stage at conferences at trade shows.

The websites with this information are and

Delores Lang March 26, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Edit to the above post from Delores Lang.

I have admired Shirley Frazier as a gift basket professional or “Basketologist” for many, many years. I have a question. Does she still personally make many of her baskets or does she have a team to assist her? If I wanted to order a basket from Shirley, would I go to her website or where? Please advise. Thank you

Shirley George Frazier March 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm

CL Stewart, wow – that class was so many years ago! I’m thrilled that you were there and that what I shared with you then still inspires you today.

Congratulations on your successes. There’s no doubt that more are on the way!

CL Stewart March 13, 2015 at 10:30 am

The first time I encountered Shirley George Frazier was many years ago at a class she gave in NJ @ the middle school in South Orange. She definitely inspired me to try my hands at the business. I have several of her books and improved my design skills early on by following some of her early videos.

I now freelance as a gift designer. Her blogs are still a great source of knowledge!

Kat Rutledge November 24, 2012 at 7:55 am

From one ‘Basketologist’ to another, I have always admired Shirley’s works, and indeed read her blogs with interest, recognising her as a world leader in our field. Inspiring indeed !. K Rutledge, Made-to-Order in New Zealand

Robby November 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Shirley is a long time supporter of Nashville Wraps and we are one of her biggest fans! R Meadows.

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