A Signature Welcome


from left, Lindsay Bissell and Emily Slater

“A welcome basket, no matter how simple, is a really thoughtful start.”
–Emily Slater, co-founder, A Signature Welcome

by Jessie Ammons
photograph by Lauren Jonas Photography

Planning a wedding is no small feat these days. After her own 2013 nuptials, Raleigh resident Emily Slater remembers feeling bogged down by one of the many details she had to tackle beyond the ceremony and reception: putting together welcome baskets for her guests. When her best friend, Lindsay Bissell, asked her “what the one thing was that I would have changed about my wedding,” Slater immediately responded: the welcome gifts. “They were time-consuming, and the process of putting them together was kind of unorganized. It quickly turned into an idea, and we got to work on a business plan.”

In the spring of 2014, Slater and Bissell launched A Signature Welcome, their Charleston-based custom gift basket company. The two put together personalized gift packages, full of goodies like local snacks, monogrammed bottled water, and muslin-bagged “revelry remedy” kits with chapstick, Advil, breath mints, and even bug wipes and sunscreen for destination weddings. “Details are part of the overall wedding design now. We pay attention to what the bride’s dress looks like and what the color scheme is; we can add the couple’s crest or monogram to many of our items. We want the gift to really reflect the couple and the wedding.”

Bissell mans the official HQ in Charleston while Slater is based here in Raleigh; and they both travel frequently to clients throughout the Southeast. Since so much of the packaging can be personalized, A Signature Welcome has organically grown to include corporate events, including past season kick-off gifts to the Carolina Panthers players’ wives. They’ve put together everything from luxe baskets for Martha Stewart’s niece’s wedding in 2015 to elegant, simple party favors for the opening of the new Eatman’s Carpets and Interiors showroom in Raleigh this spring. No matter the occasion, “we work closely with clients and wedding planners throughout the process … the end result is a cohesive, beautiful, and thoughtful gift. It doesn’t look like something that’s just thrown together.”