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Our History

HISTORY AND INSPIRATION OF GRATITUDE GIFT BAGS

 

Gratitude Gift Bags was acquired by Melissa in 2015. She was intrigued by the company and product concept when she first became aware of its availability. She was very excited to move forward as part of the company's future once getting to know Barbara and learning the great inspirational story of her sister-in-law, Marilyn. We have maintained Marilyn's story below as we always want to be reminded of our wonderful history.

Marilyn (pictured, right), Barbara's sister-in-law, was an incredibly kind and caring person who directed a day-treatment facility. She helped countless people with severe psychiatric conditions to avoid hospitalization, learn to reintegrate into society, and find meaning in their lives. Marilyn was widely respected for treating every client with care and insight, no matter how debilitating their condition. Marilyn searched for each client's personal gifts and gently wrapped them in the fabric of her understanding, acceptance, and guidance.

Marilyn maintained a great resilience in her life, rooted in a deep sense of gratitude for being surrounded by so many treasured loved ones. In the late 1980's as a way to return her gratitude, Marilyn began handcrafting unique, colorful, fabric gift bags and then simply gave them away to her friends and family. The idea behind these fabric bags came from her profound concern about the way the world blindly casts into the landfill millions of tons of tree-destroying gift-wrapping paper.

As an environmentally sound alternative to buying and throwing away paper gift bags and wrapping paper, Marilyn encouraged us to re-use her fabric bags for all our gift-wrapping needs. People immediately understood the concept and began passing her fabric bags back and forth...and to others. Soon, Marilyn was inundated by people requesting, no, pleading to receive a collection of her beautiful fabric gift bags!

Marilyn passed away as a result of an extremely rare and virulent cancer, leaving a legacy of her fabric gift bags. Even in her final days, she joyfully worked at creating a whole new set of gift bags for Barbara's family to help rebuild their cherished collection after they lost their home in the 2003 Southern California Cedar Fire.

Inspired by Marilyn's resilience, Barbara committed to pick up where she left off with her hand-crafted fabric gift bags and dedicated herself to expanding Marilyn's passion into a green business concern. Melissa has committed to continuing Barbara's mission and keeping Marilyn's legacy alive.  

In Marilyn's honor, Gratitude Gift Bags donates a portion of each year's profit to select charities whose emphasis is on cancer research and environmental protection. With every bag you buy, you are helping to make a difference!

Thank you for taking the time to learn about Marilyn, the visionary mentor and inspiration for our company.

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