We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Andrews and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
As an entrepreneur and mother, I think the most important thing I’ve done is include my children in the business. From the large corporate events to the day to day operational tasks, they see every aspect of owning a business and they love to help with whatever they can. We set goals (from ice cream dates for our first sale to Disneyland after we hit our yearly goal.) We happy dance and high five when orders come in, we sit and discuss what I could have done differently and what I’ve learned when things don’t go as I’d hoped. They see it all and through that, I think they’ve learned a lot about hard work, taking rest when we need it, celebrating wins and taking ownership of mistakes or failures. They’ve seen my confidence grow as I navigate the How to achieve my Why and I’ve seen theirs bloom as they problem solve and express their creativity.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started Wanderful Boxes to bring intention and mindfulness back to gifting. Any time I travel, the first thing I do is look for the art districts, the farmers markets, and the local vendors and through that, I’d met so many wonderful small business owners. Several of our local gift shops had closed and I took a leap and opened one, showcasing local products as well as some of my favorites from around the country. Customers liked shopping local and knowing that many of their dollars were being put right back into our community when I sourced product. I built a niche for corporate gifting, particularly during the beginning of the pandemic, with the focus being on local favorites. Each box typically supports 8-12 local and small businesses, primarily woman owned, and that makes me prouder than anything else about my business.
I got to where I am today by being authentic with customers, intentional with vendors, and building a wonderful network of other small business owners/friends. There is truly something special about the way we all jump in to share ideas, help each other, problem solve and collaborate. Along the way, I’ve learned to let my business be somewhat fluid to adapt to circumstances as well as how to get out of my own way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ren Coffeehouse and their delicious oat milk mushroom latte would probably be a daily destination. Sabino Canyon, Pontatoc Canyon Trail, the Desert Museum and the market at St. Phillips plaza would be on the agenda for sure! Villa Peru for a passionfruit pisco sour and fried plantains. Wild Garlic for, well, just about everything. A stop at Saint Charles Tavern to listen to live music and pet their bar cat before heading out in search of a Sonoran hot dog. Tucson always has fun markets and events so I’m sure we would end at one of those. The Ninth House for a psychic reading and a new tarot deck and then onto Raijin Ramen.
I’ve only been in the Tucson area for 8 months but have been thoroughly impressed with all of the incredible small businesses, delicious restaurants and the way the community comes together to support them.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom first sparked my interest in unique and intentional gifts. She loved to pick things up when we were traveling (hence the name, Wanderful) and had an incredible gift closet where she would store them until the perfect opportunity rose for her to gift them. She loved surprising people with items they’d never seen or more elevated versions of basic products and that is the foundation of my business. I’ve been so fortunate to find beautiful products to carry from so many woman business owners who embody that spirit as well.
Other: Tiktok: @wanderfulboxes
Emily Benson Consulting for the photo of me kneeling and the christmas box and the photo of me in front of the shelves. Katie Heard Photo for the photo of me at the desk The rest were taken by me