Small Business Entrepreneurs Project


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tonetta Clay - Clay's Gifts and More LLC

Are you from Saint Louis? if not, where(and why did you come to Saint Louis)?

I am originally from St. Louis. I've never lived outside of the city, but I've begun to travel outside the city/country to find out how others are experiencing life.

Which High School did you attend, (if you attended high school in MO)? (If not from Saint Louis, you can opt out of this question)

The high school I went to was Parkway South High. My entire education from 1st grade was within the Parkway School District which provided me with both positive and negative experiences, but most importantly lessons learned.

Which area is the best? Why? (County (North, South, West), City, St. Charles, Chesterfield, East Saint Louis, etc...)

I've lived in South St. Louis City for majority of my life. I don't think there's one side of town better than the other. Each area has good things about it that stand out to me. Each area offers its own set of experiences.

Tell me something about yourself that you would like to share.

I'm a person that has experienced a lot and I constantly reflect on my life and what each situation has taught me. I learn something from each situation that I've been through, positive or negative. My life experiences have shaped me into the strong, independent and determined woman that I am today. I have always carried myself as more mature and wise. I was told a lot as a child that I act older than my age. This has caused some issues in my life with others feeling that I think I'm better than the next. They'd never understand why I am and act the way I do unless they've walked a mile in my shoes.

What is/are the name(s) of your business(es) and describe it/them (please provide a website and email address if possible). Why did you start it/them? 

My business is called Clay's Gifts and More LLC. I started this business in 2015. I have always been creative and want a business that would reflect the same. I provide sweet treats: candy bouquets and favors for special occasions and events. I thought about business names for weeks and finally came up with Clay's Gifts. Clay is my family name and my gifts are the sweets. When someone receives a gift it puts a smile on their face and they know someone's thinking of them. This is very important to me to provide something that means a lot to both the giver and receiver. In my career as a social worker I've worked with families mainly women and children in the foster care system and a transitional housing program. Working with the families while in crisis, it was important to me that their milestones were celebrated in some way to show that I cared, no matter the crisis situation they were in at that moment. Whether that meant taking the kids to the Zoo on their birthday or decorating the dining room to acknowledge they had a great report card, I went out of my way to let that child/teen know they're important and that they do exist. Clay's Gifts grew from that wanting to share something with others that let's them know they exist and that someone does care about them. My bouquets are created to bring smiles to faces and are gifts with a purpose. 

What three words would describe your business(es)? (If you own more than one business please give three words to describe each business).

Creative: My gifts are a reflection of my creative take on life. I will put colors and sweets together that may seem odd, but work perfectly. There's no one way to create a bouquet. My creations will vary depending on my mood and my imagination on any given day. Sometimes it's classy others days it's playful other days they're whimsical. My creations brings out the kids in me. 

Intentional: I know Clay's Gifts has a mission in mind and I'm sure this just the beginning. My intention is to create gifts that bring a smile to ones face and a sense of love to the soul.

Purpose: Gifts with a Purpose. This always resonates with me as I know sweets won't be the only 'gifts' I provide to others. It's important to me to be positive and supportive to those I come in contact with. Having a purpose makes everything I do meaningful. 

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