We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabrielle Henderson Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gabrielle, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It may sound crazy, but I’ve always felt that I could never work FOR someone else, only with them. I’ve always been a people person and I’ve always wanted my work to make a difference. Any work I’ve been successful in was in a collaborative effort where I was able to get to know clients and help them solve their issues in some way So when the pandemic hit along with all the social and political climate change, I saw all my friends and family on social media looking to buy from black businesses and send care packages, birthday gifts and similar things. It just seemed like the perfect opportunity since I love putting things together for others. I wanted to help both shoppers and recipients feel loved and acknowledged when the world wasn’t doing that
What should our readers know about your business?
Franklin and Jaymes is built around the love of giving and I wanted to modernize the gifting experience for my clients by using chic and sleek boxes, which is a far cry from the traditional gift baskets that we’re used to seeing. We offer ready-to-ship options as well as custom curated gifts so that you can give the gift that you want without all the work of putting it together. The boxes allow for a much more thoughtfully curated experience and I think that is what sets us apart.
We’re not here to fill your space with clutter or unwanted knick-knacks. Everything in the box serves a purpose. We aim to create boxes that speak to the heart of the recipient directly from the mouth of the giver. We want you to love whatever gifting season you’re in and we want your person to feel the love as soon as they open the box. In my head, I imagine someone saying “Oh my gosh, that’s SO me!”
We are less than 6 months old as a company, and it certainly hasn’t been easy so far. Starting a business while maintaining a household with a young child has been a challenge and without my husband, I would not have made it this far, But the main lesson I’m still learning is that distraction is the thief of progress. I can’t move forward authentically if I’m constantly watching what others are doing. I’d like the world to know that I genuinely love what I do and that’s what Franklin and Jaymes is about– love.
A love of people.
A love of self.
And most importantly, a love of seeing a person smile when they realize that they are, in fact, loved, cherished, and valuable in a world that often makes them feel less than.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is hard coming out of a year and a half of isolation! I don’t even know if some of my favorite old places are still open. My best friend and I like to eat, though. We’d literally be eating all day and I know there are tons of new places opening. I definitely want to go check out the new food hall, Chattahoochee Food Works. I’ve heard a lot about Slim and Husky’s Pizza lately. And recently, Mr. Fries Man popped up on my Instagram. I totally have an obsession with potatoes, so I know she’d hit that up with me. We’d probably visit Candytopia, too. It looks like so much fun! Other than that, I have no idea, lol
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
None of this would be possible without the support and encouragement of my husband, Donnie. He is the inspiration behind Franklin and Jaymes. He was the person I created my first gift for 16 years ago when we first began dating. He’s also my sounding board and my reality check when I start to overthink things. He keeps me from going off the rails quite often.
I’d also like to thank my dear friend, Ashlie James, and her nonprofit, Atlanta Glow. I worked with her organization as the Coordinator of Volunteer Services for six years and in the process met so many incredibly inspiring women looking to mentor young women, not to mention being inspired by Ashlie herself. She is so organized, passionate, and driven while being a super mom and devoted wife. Working alongside her showed me that I could do anything, even if I had to do it scared.