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CL woman starts giftware line after battle with breast cancer

Published: Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 6:07 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 10:26 p.m. CDT
(Lathan Goumas - lgoumasshawmedia.com)
Michelle Genzlinger founder of An Extra Boost Of… poses for a portrait at Allied Strategic Marketing in Woodstock. Genzlinger believes everyone needs positive reinforcement and started the company as a way for people to give inspirational gifts to those they care about.
(Lathan Goumas - lgoumasshawmedia.com)
Coffee mugs sold by An Extra Boost Of LLC sit on a display shelf in Woodstock. The mugs are part of an inspirational giftware line recently launched by Crystal Lake resident Michelle Genzlinger.

WOODSTOCK – A Crystal Lake woman has launched a giftware line that provides an easy way to give friends and loved ones an extra boost of whatever they need.

Michelle Genzlinger introduced her “An Extra Boost Of ...” line at the Chicago Gift Market tradeshow in late July. She recently began filling initial orders from regional drug stores and gift shops and hopes to see the inspirational product line grow nationally.

Genzlinger’s giftware includes coffee and tea mugs, soup mugs and wine covers with inspirational messages. The soup mugs come with messages such as “an extra boost of ... comfort” and can be easily packaged with a can of chicken noodle soup to create an inexpensive heart-warming gift, Genzlinger said.

“I have always felt that it’s the ‘anyday,’ ‘just because’ gifts that are most special – and most needed,” she said. “These are gifts from the heart that give someone the extra boost of whatever they need at the time.”

The giftware line will sold at Poopsie’s, a gift store in Galena, and other retailers. The products also can be purchased at www.anextraboostof.com. So far, 17 retailers have ordered Genzlinger’s merchandise, she said.

Genzlinger, a social media consultant, spent years searching for inspirational passages before creating her own.

“People really do need little gifts,” she said. “They need to be appreciated and acknowledged with gifts like these.”

Genzlinger created the business late last year, but was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012 before she could bring her ideas to the market.

The 44-year-old wife and mother had a double mascetomy on Dec. 31, 2012 before going through chemotherapy. She kept working on “An Extra Boost Of ...” during treatment.

“Even when I had chemotherapy, I really wanted to get to work in the morning to work on this,” she said. “It really helped me get through it.”

Tom Hartman, director of marketing for Allied Strategic Marketing in Woodstock, attended one of the chemotherapy sessions to help Genzlinger get the business started, she said. 

Genzlinger said she invested about $10,000 into the business. She plans to will an unspecified percentage of profits to charities that benefit pets, cancer patients and self-esteem.

“I wanted this giftware to help more than just the recipients,” she said.

Genzlinger plans to continue to add new products and new inspirational slogans as the business goes forward.

“Most of these items are based on what I wish the whole world would be giving to each other,” she said.

-- An Extra Boost Of LLC What: A giftware line created by a Crystal Lake woman that focuses on inspirational gifts such as coffee mugs, soup mugs and wine covers Where: 747 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock Website: www.anextraboostof.com

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