The gift that keeps on giving has a literal meaning with Gift Birds’ beautiful, bespoke gift baskets. The Kiwi-owned and operated business collaborates with New Zealand’s oldest, most recognised environmental charity, Forest & Bird, to help save endangered bird species and eliminate predators.
MiNDFOOD caught up with the man behind the initiative, Andrew Cox, to discuss how it all began.
What inspired you to create Gift Bird?
When it comes to gift giving, I’ve always enjoyed finding ‘original and quirky’ presents for family and friends. I launched Gift Bird to give people exactly that, an easy way to give inspired gifts, already created into wonderful Gift Boxes – with a Kiwi essence.
Why did you decide to partner with Forest & Bird and how did the partnership form?
This was a cornerstone for me because a bird that brings gifts has a lot of symbolism and endearing stories from around the world. For example, the messenger bird, the bird of peace, the stork for a baby. And I love our New Zealand birds.
I wanted to combine my business with making a difference to New Zealand’s flora and fauna and especially birds, so Forest & Bird just seemed the natural partner. They do such an amazing, wonderful job and I loved the idea we could contribute to their work by making a donation for every box sold – a gift that just goes on giving, how wonderful is that!
Your gift boxes put a unique twist on the classic hamper, containing thoughtful, high-quality items that go beyond the usual inclusions. Why was this important to you?
I’m an Interior Designer so beautiful, considered design is a key value for me. I wanted to bring those qualities to the Gift Bird gift boxes.
As a local business, how do you navigate the New Zealand market, especially given your partnership with Forest & Bird?
As a startup company, we’re projecting a message to all those people that care about sustainability, our unique flora and fauna, and making a contribution to social good. For me, this partnership is a win-win. The art of giving takes on new meaning.
What are your business values?
Authenticity, gratitude, respect and customer service.
What are your views on conservation? How can we help preserve our native birdlife?
I feel that conservation can be greatly improved in New Zealand. We need more investment in the infrastructure and management of the environment, especially with the increasing numbers of visitors. It is an incredible resource and must be protected at all costs. Making a donation to Forest & Bird and taking responsibility was a no-brainer for Gift Bird.
Did you vote for New Zealand Bird of the Year?
Yes, this year I voted for the Black Robin, which my great-grandfather helped identify, his surname is part of the scientific name of ‘Petroica traversi’.
Lastly, what’s next on the agenda for Gift Bird?
Hah, that would be giving too much away!
To get your hands on a special gift box, visit giftbirdshop.com.