The Whiff Co. is a modern-day gifting service that exists to make gifting part of our daily lives. Wole Ajabe, the founder of the Whiff Co., noticed that gifting is typically centered around holidays, where gifts can be seen as an obligation and therefore some of the value is often lost. The Whiff Co. aims to solve this by curating seasonal boxes that are appropriate for any occasion and can be sent for no reason other than to tell someone you’re thinking about them.
The idea, Wole says, was inspired by a friend of his who was sending a gift box to their partner abroad. He watched the level of creativity it took to make this package, and recalled never seeing anyone put so much care into a gift box before. He then recalls thinking that not everyone is inherently creative, but still might want to send a unique and high-quality gift to someone. This is where the Whiff Co. seed was planted.
Since its inception, the Whiff Co has evolved a number of times to become what it is today. First, he started the Cerulean Project, a blog that was a display of his thoughts that he wanted to “share with anyone who would listen”. He then fleshed out the idea of gifting and started The Whiff Co., with specialty cakes in jars that could easily be gifted. These cakes were influenced by the time of year and were given a personality and emotion (Strawberry-Lemonade made an appearance at our first annual Sunday at the Mill, which was a cake that celebrated summer). The creation of the cakes, along with photoshoots, art direction, and a short film, brought them to life.
While the cakes were enjoyed by all, Wole found these distracted from gifting—people were more interested in buying a cake so they could eat it themselves rather than to gift. He also spoke to logistical concerns about not quite wanting to make them to order, but not moving enough product to make large enough batches – Cakes can’t really sit around! Wole still felt passionate about gifting and wanted to find away to bring his mission to life.
Birth of the Gift Box
Last winter, The Whiff Co. launched their first gift box. This box featured custom-made succulents by Close Call Studio and an accompanying handmade card. This box took a big chance on a new concept for The Whiff. Co., but it paid off. The Whiff Co. now releases boxes about three times a year for the following seasons: Winter/Spring, Spring/Summer, and Fall. With each box, Wole says he learns a great deal about his business and is able to apply it to the next box. One of the biggest changes implemented from his learning experience seems to be the new tiered pricing options available with Blanc, which acknowledges that not everyone wants to send a $60 gift, but maybe they’ll want to send a $40 gift.
The gift boxes are inspired by the seasons and are timely, relevent, and meaningful. Wole believes that “seasons carry a lot of emotions” and his boxes succeed in personifying the seasons through symbols, choices of colors, and other imagery.
With Blanc, The Whiff Co. draws on the sense of renewal that comes with the end of winter and beginning of spring. He points to renewal meaning not only rebirth but also a sense of excitement and adventure. These emotions guided the direction Blanc took as the gift box was being curated. The gifts in the box align with these emotions as well. The box features a handcrafted mug, featuring the White Stag from Hollow Work (he chose the White Stag to symbolize this sense of renewal and adventure), teas from Shafa Blends & Wight Tea Co., and stag pins from Shiny Apple Studio.
The box features makers from both Baltimore and D.C., as The Whiff Co. is uniquely positioned in between the two and has found a way to participate in both communities. Wole acknowledges that the creative communities in the two cities function pretty differently (as well as the way the two cities approach community) but finds that makers in both places seem to welcome the opportunity of working together. The Whiff Co. is open to collaboration and trying new things, and utilizing both of these locations has seemed to really help that mission.
How We Feel Matters
The Whiff Co. hopes that one day their gift boxes will change the world, and believes that lives are changed when people feel cared for in a meaningful way. Wole believes that connection fuels relationship and hopes The Whiff Co. is able to encourage people to connect meaningfully with the people they love. The Whiff Co. believes that how we feel matters, and they want to be a part of how we show how we feel about the people in our lives.