“My shop is a happy place,” says Kim Overby, owner of We Create at Kreations by Kim Gift Shop on Main Street in Hilton Village. Overby specializes in customized gift baskets, fresh and silk floral arrangements, funeral floral arrangements and wreaths. The colorful shop offers a selection of candies, snacks, jewelry, notes, cards and balloons for personalizing the gift baskets. Delivery or shipping is available.
“My daughter is my administrative assistant,” says Overby. Kimishia Whitley lives in Richmond and comes to Newport News twice a month to work with her mother. She handles paperwork and helps with deliveries.
A lifetime Peninsula resident, Overby started her business in her home 15 years ago. Her first shop site was in a strip center on Warwick Boulevard. She has been at her current location in Hilton Village for two years and says, “I enjoy the environment here. The other merchants are helpful and the Hilton community events offer good exposure.”
“I especially enjoy working with flowers,” says Overby. She purchases flowers as needed and maintains a low inventory to assure freshness. “I really love the creating process,” she says. For baskets, customers can choose from items in the store or bring their own. The balloon wrap is popular. Items are enclosed in a large inflated latex balloon. “Almost anything can be put in a balloon,” says Whitley. “Customers can choose candy, jewelry, purses, T-shirts or stuffed animals, for example.” The balloons are popular for birthdays and at Easter or Valentine’s Day.
Overby restocks her store from catalogs and online suppliers. She plans to attend events outside Hilton, where she can showcase her services. “My long-term plans include opening a store in Richmond, which my daughter will operate,” she says.
“I have a lot of repeat customers,” says Overby. One of her long-time customers, Tara Jones, praises Overby’s creativity and service. “I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, now but I frequently return to Newport News for family events. Even on short notice I can order something special. I can call in advance and pick up my order on arrival. The flower arrangements are especially beautiful. Mrs. Overby has a natural gift,” Jones says.
Overby works full-time with special-education students at New Horizon, Woodside Lane Campus. She supervises students “on the job,” providing training and coaching. “These students need help with appropriate work behavior as well as acquiring job skills,” says Overby. “Included in my business plan and future expansion will be employing these young adults with disabilities. I want to teach them to create. I want them to become independent workers in the community. My goal is to provide a ‘hand up,’ not a ‘hand out’,” she adds. While Overby is at her full-time job, a friend keeps the store open.
With a full-time job and a business, Overby has little free time. “After I close the shop, I check on my grandmother. I am planning a ‘grand vacation’ some day. Right now, weekend getaways and visits to my granddaughter in Richmond are all I have time for. That’s when I can really relax,” she says.
Looking for just the right item at We Create at Kreations by Kim is a happy experience, whether it’s Overby adding new surprises to her shop or her friendly and welcomed customers.