What if you could treat your guests to custom curated gift boxes containing locally made goods while not breaking the bank? In Nashville and Austin, you absolutely can.
As Nashville residents, we're spoiled with the Batch storefront. But recently, we got the opportunity to partner with Batch Austin to create a killer Batch-elorette box. We caught up with Batch Austin City Director, Courtney Bianchi about how Batch Austin got its start, where it's going, and what you can expect to see in the future from this unique, community-supportive company.
HOW DID BATCH USA GET ITS START AND WHAT PROMPTED THE LAUNCH OF THE AUSTIN BRANCH?
Batch was established in 2013 when three friends—Sam Davidson, Stephen Moseley and Rob Williams— wanted to make it easier to discover and share the cool stuff made in Nashville. After a busy holiday season fulfilling orders from corporate clients in Nashville, Batch expanded to Austin in January of 2015. Austin has an array of local purveyors and exceptional products to share, plus there is a strong local community and desire to support local. It was a natural fit for Batch.
Living all over the U.S. and even overseas, I have seen my fair share of awesome cities but none have compared to Austin, TX. From the abundant brunch options, local goodies, breakfast taco selections, and the best festivals, there is never a shortage of fun. This is the first city that I found to not only offer remarkable local products, but a community that supports small businesses. More than any other town I’ve lived in.
HOW DO YOU FIND LOCAL VENDORS? DO THEY APPROACH YOU OR IS IT MOSTLY THE OTHER WAY AROUND, AND WHAT’S THE VETTING PROCESS LIKE?
Batch is all about connecting you to the local purveyor. Not only do we want to share their product but we always want to tell their story. In each box, we include a custom card sharing information about each local business. I’m always sourcing and researching on Instagram, reading local publications like Austin Monthly, Edible Austin and Tribeza, to find the best small batch, locally made goods that scream Austin, TX. We also receive inquires from local makers which we love!
CUSTOMERS CAN BUY INDIVIDUAL PRODUCTS OR CREATE THEIR OWN BATCH FROM YOUR WEBSITE’S MARKETPLACE. BUT, FOR YOU, WHAT MAKES THE PERFECT BATCH? WHAT KIND OF BALANCE DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN CREATING YOUR GO-TO GIFT AND/OR CUSTOM SETS?
I love snacks, so my perfect batch always has a treat or two like Coover Caramels or Bourbon Bomb Chocolate Chip Cookies (includes bourbon!). I also love pieces I can add to my home like the Shop Skyline Austin Skyline Tea Towel or Benjamin Soap’s Woodberry Candle—the scent makes me feel like I’m in the Anthropology store which makes my heart happy.
DESCRIBE YOUR FAVORITE BATCH YOU’VE EVER CURATED.
I worked with HomeAway over the holidays last year to create a custom batch box for their clients. They wanted the boxes themed around the color of a candy cane. I had so much fun sourcing local product that fit the theme—like red and white Cornucopia Popcorn, Srsly Chocolate peppermint & dark chocolate blend, Barton Table peppermint chocolate sauce, to name a few.
They also personalized the box with a red HomeAway stamp and a custom sticker with a note from the CEO. I also love creating custom boxes around any theme. "Welcome to Austin" amenity bags or batches are another favorite. Working with a bride to share a taste of Austin with her guests is so much fun!
THE BATCH CONCIERGE SEEMS LIKE A GREAT WAY TO CUSTOMIZE WITHOUT GOING OVERBOARD FOR EVENTS LIKE BACHELORETTE AND WEDDING WEEKENDS. HOW DOES THAT WORK?
You’re so right. It’s a great way to customize a box around your preference and budget. How it works: you contact either Austin or Nashville via phone or email. If in Austin, you speak with me. I learn more about your event, your vision, products you love, and your budget, and then create a box around that. Batch is all about sharing handmade handpicked happiness and we want the process to be fun and simple.
THE COMPANY HAS GROWN SO MUCH SINCE IT FIRST OPENED. WHAT’S NEXT FOR BATCH USA AND, SPECIFICALLY, BATCH AUSTIN?
We’ve received so much love from the Austin community and we are so grateful for the warm welcome. We are fortunate to partner with awesome purveyors who have exceptional products and are wonderful to work with. Our next steps are to continue to grow those relationships and consistently create remarkable batches while providing exceptional customer service to our clients. We are also in the works to curate a retail space—similar to the one in Nashville, but that mirrors Austin. We are so excited for what the future holds!