Acacia Creations Canimals Reindeer

The Gift That Gives Twice: Goods 4 U Global

Michelle and Tony Gach were both corporate execs—Tony as a district manager for Coca-Cola and Michelle as an accounts manager in the cosmetics and fragrance industry—when recession downsizing claimed both of their jobs within two years of each other. Tony used the opportunity to start his own business, Good 4 U Boutique, a handbag party store and artisanal gift shop. Michelle came on board to help him expand the business. Within a year, the Gaches had grown their network of global and fair-trade product lines from 6 to 20. They were able to close the retail store and focus solely on their wholesale business, and in 2013 Goods 4 U Global was born.

 

Bright Endeavors Whitebark Pine Votive Candle

 

“We were inspired by the artisan brands we sold at retail and wanted to make a bigger impact,” Michelle recalls. “To make the lines accessible to our wholesale customers, we created a website that offers all the great brands we sold in our store, and we represented the lines at various trade shows across the country.”

 

 

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Goods 4 U now offers jewelry, handbags, home accessories, tabletop products, gifts, and souvenirs priced from $2.75 to $125.00 and sourced from vendors and artisans in Kenya, South Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, Nepal, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. “Any product that is made of recycled materials seems to [sell] the best,” says Michelle, noting that jewelry made from paper beads and telephone wire, animals crafted from soda cans, and art made of steel drums and bowls are current top sellers. Goods 4 U brands are sold in more than 1,000 gift shops, fine boutiques, and mail order catalogs, and are a particular hit at shops on college campuses and in museums, resorts, zoos, and aquariums.

 

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For the holidays, a few Goods 4 U brands have produced specialty products. Bright Endeavors, a U.S.-based candle manufacturer whose business model helps new mothers work their way out of poverty, is offering a line of spa-quality, soy-based candles and gift sets, while European Excellency, which imports high-end products from Eastern Europe, has a collection of unusual, sculptural flat candles. Acacia Creations, which has been with Goods 4 U since the beginning, has created a whimsical collection of Can*imals, holiday ornaments and animal figurines made from recycled soda cans.

 

Acacia Creations Canimals Reindeer

 

For Michelle and Tony, the most rewarding part about running Goods 4 U Global is the chance to give back. “The better our sales are at a trade show or on our website, the better we make the lives of families around the globe,” says Michelle. “We call our products the gifts that give twice. The store owner buys our products to see in their store, which is a great gift to the artisans. And then the consumer buys the same product at retail to give as a gift. And many of the products are made of recycled materials, which helps keep the globe a little cleaner, a little greener. It’s a win-win.”

 

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To inquire about becoming a Goods 4 U retailer, contact them via e-mail.

 

—Robin Catalano

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