Stella Delap, owner of Basket Kreations Gift Shoppe in Downtown Plymouth has seen a lot of ups and downs over the last 25 years. Since starting the business out of her basement, she has survived a recession, a collapsed roof, relocation, and now a streetscape construction project but she stays inspired by the happiness her gifts and gift baskets bring to their recipients.
“People said I was crazy,” she said “In 1989 times were not good. I had left my professional job years before to have my two boys. They were getting older and I wanted to do something more, but I also wanted the flexibility to be there for them when they needed me. Finding a happy medium between work and home when your kids are little is not easy. I didn’t know where I could find a job like that so I decided to create my own.”
She heard about the idea of baskets while researching ideas in Entrepreneur magazine.
“It reminded me of when I was younger,” Delap said “Watching my mom create these fabulous baskets for people. She would give them as gifts to family and friends and sometimes make things up for people in need. She took time with them and made every little detail so beautiful.”
“The look on a person’s face when they opened those lovely baskets full of goodies--you could see she had made a difference to that person with her gift. She could make a person’s day with a basket! She passed away in 1983, a few years before I opened the business.”
Delap originally set up shop in her basement and hosted home parties.
“It seems so simple to tell it now but looking back 21 years,” she said “I would get the kids off to school and build baskets, then build some more after I tucked them into bed. Sometimes the kids would even help. When times got busy I would hire all of the mothers in school to coordinate deliveries. The way it all worked it’s hard to believe.”
By Christmastime the baskets had taken over her garage and the whole house was overflowing. She decided to open her first storefront in Canton Township at Joy Road & Lilley in Golden Gate Plaza with Bob’s of Canton.
Then in January 1999, she was on a buying trip in Atlanta when her husband called to tell her that there had been a major snowstorm, the roof collapsed on the shopping center and all of the stores were condemned.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said “I immediately began looking for a new location. I contacted my current landlord who was wonderful getting me into this space right away. We opened here on Forest Ave in February 1999.”
“Little did I know at the time that what appeared to be a tragedy was really a blessing in disguise,” Delap said, “I attribute a portion of my lasting success to finding this location in Downtown Plymouth. The Chamber of Commerce, the DDA, the other merchants and all of the events that bring people make it a great environment to do business.”