Entrepreneur Nina Meranus shared her experiences starting her business for the 1,000 Stories Campaign

Nina Meranus, Founder of SurpriseByMail.com on 1000 Stories
Nina Meranus, Founder of SurpriseByMail.com

While there are countless options for finding a gift online, it can be challenging to find something that’s fun and not too tough on the wallet.

That’s why Nina Meranus started SuprisesByMail, an online company offering a ranges of sweets, baked goods and other snacks, appropriate for a variety of occasions — think Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, Clients, Employee Appreciation, etc.

Like many other women we’ve profiled, Nina came up with her business idea based on a want or a need she personally could not find in the market. After struggling to find inexpensive gifts that she wanted to send to friends, family and business associates, she started her company from her home in 2011.

See other E-Commerce stories or those in the Food & Beverage industry 

Reason for starting

At 25, I started my first business, Creative Tots, a child enrichment toddler and preschool. After 15 wonderful and fulfilling years I decided to sell. I knew I would need another adventure. Due to a personal situation I was no longer in a position to send expensive gifts to my friends, family and business associates. Of course, I still believe in appreciation and recognition for all relationships. So at 43, I set out to start SurprisesByMail. It’s fun, easy to use, unique and completely affordable. It is the perfect gift idea for any occasion, or no occasion at all. After developing the product, designing the logo and creating the website, I was ready to begin spreading the word.

Success is …
Success is a measure of improvement. It is different for each individual. For me, always being open to learn and grow from those around you is being successful. [pullquote] For me, always being open to learn and grow from those around you is being successful. [/pullquote] Growth and change in all parts of your life is what makes everything exciting, and keeps us becoming more successful each day.

Read: 5 Secrets to Work From Home Successfully

Biggest Success

I have always loved helping people and making them feel good. So the fact that I have been able to start two completely different businesses – Creative Tots, a toddler and preschool program, helping children have fun while learning, and now SurprisesByMail, which allows people to show they care for those in their life – has been a great success for me. But most importantly has been the opportunity to run my own business that comes from my heart while raising my children. Being able to juggle the schedule of work around being there for my children’s schedule has been the greatest accomplishment and challenge for me.

Top challenge

[pullquote] Getting everyone to know that SurprisesByMail.com exists has been my greatest business challenge. [/pullquote] Getting everyone to know that SurprisesByMail.com exists has been my greatest business challenge. Spreading the word that if you give a little…a lot comes back to you. I have always taught my children that you need to give in order to receive. So we are spreading the word by sending SurprisesByMail boxes ourselves, social media and PR.

Watch: Woman Turns Her Love of Chocolate into a Major Business

Your role model

I have to say that both my parents have been my most important role models. Each in their own way, each from different starting points and each with different styles have taught me to be strong, to work hard and to always believe in myself. They taught me that if you want something bad enough, you can find a way to achieve it.

Are you a woman who has started a business? Submit your story and it will appear on our site. We will use it to find candidates for our 2013 filming season and for blog posts.