8 min 28 sec

Friends Turn Gift Boxes into Prosperous Project

Two friends in New York City take the hassle out of finding the perfect gift box. You bring the gift … they provide the box.
Niche Ideas Power of Observation Product Retail

Subscribe Now For A Free Five Step Tutorial

What It's About

Two friends team up to make presents more presentable.

Business Model
Skills Required
Design & Marketing
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

For other side hustlers, Gabi and Catherine highly recommend developing a network of people around them who know the answers to things they don't. Whether that's founders who are 1-2 years ahead of you and have lived through some lessons, founders who are 10 years in and household names, or their “BFF Google”, the answer to everything is out there, and you will save money, time, blood, sweat and tears if you ask first.

Fun Fact

Gifts and presents are used interchangeably but do you know, they are not exactly the same? According to Dictionary.com, if you give something to the recipient at a ceremony, it is a present. Otherwise it’s a gift.

Notes from Chris

Episode 1073
Gabi Koshgarian and Catherine Wang have been best friends since their senior year of college. After graduating, they found themselves living just four blocks from each other in New York City as both embarked on careers in finance.

As their personal and professional lives grew, they each attended more and more events, which means they needed gifts. Both Gabi and Catherine absolutely love gifting, and always put effort into making their gifts thoughtful.

Unfortunately, they found their customized approach made gifting somewhat of a hassle. After finding the “perfect gift”, they were left with toddler-style wrap jobs, “Oh no! We forgot the card!" last-minute sprints, and uninspiring department store gift bags when they were particularly desperate. Of course, there was one other option—the pre-curated gift box.

But even when the boxes were chic and beautifully presented, the tradeoff was often generic, impersonal gifts their recipient didn’t want or need. That didn’t work for Gabi and Catherine.

So, they searched for more solutions to their gifting problems. One would think it would have been an easy search- after all, unique packaging for gifts is certainly nothing new. Fun fact: the first documented use of wrapping paper goes all the way back to Ancient China circa 2nd century BC.

But Gabi and Catherine found nothing that met their needs … and the options they did discover left them underwhelmed—they could either have beautiful presentation or the personal touch they were looking for, but not both.

So, naturally, they decided they would create a ‘ready to gift’ gift packaging that they called BlankBox. It’s just as it sounds: a set of gift boxes featuring chic designs, no visible branding, a fold-over magnetic closure, and a built-in satin ribbon for that effortless first impression.

Plus, each BlankBox—in three simple steps—becomes a custom gift box with a personalized gift tag, featuring handwritten calligraphy text or a printed corporate logo. And, of course, they are convenient. BlankBox arrives right to your door and ready to roll… just add your gift and go.

Gabi and Catherine believed in their new idea for a chic, turnkey packaging solution, and so did many of the people they market-tested, which encouraged them to move forward. They immediately began sourcing the product, which—of course—required money.

These startup costs weren’t cheap. All in, they spent approximately $30,000, more than $24,000 of which went to their first packaging order. They opted for a large first order to keep their profit margin high and sourced their materials from a Chinese vendor after a process of trial and error to find the perfect options.

Their investment proved fruitful, and in the first year, BlankBox earned back $30,000, allowing them to repay themselves. They not only broke even but also had product left over for their second year.

Entering year two and poised for higher profits, the BlankBox hustle is all wrapped up in a nice satin ribbon.


  • BlankBox: Get your own BlankBox and start gifting today at Gabi and Catherine's website.

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


Download Episodes By Months:

Season 6 (2022): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 5 (2021): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 4 (2020): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 3 (2019): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 2 (2018): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 1 (2017): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |



Create your online store with Shopify using an exclusive discount for Side Hustle School listeners. For a limited time, get a free 21-day trial and a 10% discount for a whole year.

Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!

Learn More


Social media is nice, but building an email list is still the single best way to get customers and clients for your hustle. It's not hard to get started—sign up for a 30-day trial and join the list-building challenge! You’ll be up and running in no time.

Learn More

Quote of the Day
"You don’t get what you don’t talk for."
—Gabi Koshgarian #SideHustleSchool

Sponsors & Gratitude

Don't Do Business Without It

Side Hustle School is brought to you by American Express.

No matter what you do in business, from working nine-to-five to working five-to-nine, it’s easier when you don’t go it alone. Get the powerful backing of American Express—don't do business without it! 💳

Visit American Express

Like the Show? Leave a Rating!

Side Hustle School is for you! If you’re enjoying it, please take a quick moment to leave a rating or write a quick review. It's really easy and it makes a difference! ✅

It also makes a huge difference when you tell your friends about the show. Remember, it's 100% free and listener-supported.

Here's How

Keep in Touch

There’s a new story every single day on Side Hustle School. Episodes are produced to be short and to the point—I know you’re busy. Be sure you subscribe to get instant notification of the day’s broadcast!

To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau