Jessica Shea has worked hard to build her events company, J Shea, for eight years. But when COVID hit, she realized it was time to pivot. “It will be years before that comes back,” she says of the once-thriving events business. But the Loudoun County entrepreneur knew she had to find a way to ensure the wellbeing of her family.
She didn’t have to enter a new industry as she feared she might be forced to. Instead, she launched Cheers in a Box over the summer. “I had nothing to lose, really. I put everything in custom gifting and built a new website and decided to see where it took me,” she recalls. The new brand is conceived to spread joy with an all-in-one solution for virtual events and gifting.
How does it work? The customer chooses a virtual experience. The numerous options include locally focused fun like macaron decorating with Ashburn’s Pure Love Macaron, a mixology class with Pratt Standard Cocktail Company, and a virtual wine tasting featuring Bluemont Vineyard wines. Cheers in a Box mails each participant a “box of joy” that includes treats to use during the event and beyond, branded to suit the occasion. And the virtual event isn’t just a Zoom call with an expert. There are games, polls and other ways to engage, tailored to the group or company hosting the event. For an extra fee, some groups are even adding live music to the package.
Shea says that it’s mostly businesses currently using Cheers in a Box. “Right now, we’re running the gamut from law firms to real estate companies,” she adds. But the differentiator, she explains is that every box can be customized with whatever items the host chooses. Mixology and wine tasting classes have been most popular, but clients are welcome to go wild with company branding and including anything their hearts desire. After all, Cheers in a Box is all about bringing groups together from afar with a merry experience.
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