Ecommerce / Funding / Startups

This DC entrepreneur wants to be your go-to gift guru

Meet Tali Cohen's Welcome and Wishes.

When Tali Cohen moved to D.C. from New York two and a half years ago, she knew it was time to do something different. After a career in banking, “I knew I wanted to do something more creative,” Cohen told

Around this time, while putting together gifts for guests at her wedding, Cohen discovered that there wasn’t really a great resource for gifting. And so she created Welcome and Wishes.

Cohen launched Welcome and Wishes in December 2015, hoping to coincide with the holiday gift-giving season. It didn’t really work out this way (if you want to be in the running for holiday gifts you’ve got to be up and running in the summer, Cohen discovered) but it did help her pull the trigger on a project she’d been mulling over for a while.

That said, because of the hasty launch, “there wasn’t a lot of thought behind” the design of the initial Welcome and Wishes site. Cohen built a lot of it herself and the photography and design wasn’t as professional as she wished. And so in May 2016 she started thinking about a rebrand, the results of which ultimately launched about a week ago.

Welcome and Wishes is a gifting service that creates and ships curated gift boxes around different themes. Not sure what to get your newly-pregnant friend? Just select a baby box (Welcome and Wishes has a couple) and let Cohen take care of the rest. Cohen picks the items included in her boxes (“I try to pick only things that I’d want”) and buys wholesale to have inventory on hand. When a customer orders, the box is packed and shipped within two days. As part of the redesign, Welcome and Wishes now allows customers to create their own boxes on the site, too.

To date, most of Welcome and Wishes business has come via corporate gifting. Part of the redesign is an effort to position the company better for direct consumers, Cohen said.

And how’s the new career working out for Cohen?

“I literally never look back,” she said. “It’s a happy business.”


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