It used to be “friend” status was something achieved between two people after a common ground was established, bonds made, and generally involved a face-to-face encounter. Now, “friendships” are born of a mouse click and end with “friend request sent.” It’s that easy. And to think we’ve been doing it the old-fashioned way all these years. I like to keep my “friends” list to people I know except for now and again I will connect on social media first with a potential interviewee. Such was the case with Sarasota’s favorite basket case, Lori Davis. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori a couple of years ago when she launched JustaBasketCase, but due to a bout of bronchitis we had to conduct our interview via email. So, when I finally met her the other day for coffee I had a couple of preconceived notions.
First, I knew she was beautiful and animated so when I walked into the coffee shop and saw a petite lady using emphatic arm gestures to highlight a whirlwind conversation with a barista, I figured this must be the great Lori Davis. Having followed her on social media for some time, I knew her posts indicated she didn’t take any flak from anyone, so I was a little nervous to be sure. But, once she gave me that big smile and a Texas-size hug, followed by the sweetest pie box full of the cutest goodies I’ve seen, with a “this is for you, doll,” I decided Lori and I were venturing into real friend territory.
Catching up with the hottest lady in the game show biz is not easy. Add in a thriving event planning business, high-end gift baskets making their way to the Rays franchise and other notables in the area, new sassy baby line and an exciting monthly basket delivery business and you wonder how this lady does it all. Did you catch her on the Match Game with Alec Baldwin? Chances are if didn’t, you have seen her in reruns. A sharp tongue delivering wit and well-placed digs when needed (don’t throw Lori any softballs, she will steal the game, folks) has made Lori the queen bee among social media circles. A whopping 22,000 followers on Instagram has garnered attention from Hollywood elites who consider her to be the whole package. Television offers, from game shows to soap operas are stacking up. We can’t say too much but if you love Ellen’s Game of Games, you may see Lori on it this coming Spring sharing her Sarasota sass with the world. Lori sightings are happening everywhere on the Hollywood scene.
What does a basket case do when she’s not hanging with the likes of Alec Baldwin and Ellen? Well, being the premiere event planner in the area does take up a bit of her time. These days Lori is selective on the weddings she’ll do, though she prefers to focus on providing unique party favors and the rentals that wedding parties need. Lori’s tenacity for nailing down the most prestigious clients is simple. Foremost, if you have been in this town long enough you know her high-end baskets and stellar event-planning are just the thing you need to cinch a big deal with a client, show employee appreciation, or nail your brand with pizzazz. But beyond that, if you are a boutique hotel popping up in the area you can expect Lori calling on you with homemade goodies and treats just to say hello, and that’s even before the building is constructed. With that drive and determination, it’s hard to say no to Lori and once you see her product, it’s a no-brainer.
Lori’s latest passion combines two loves, humor and babies. Just mention anything to do with her daughter or granddaughter and Lori is quick to tell you that becoming a grandmother changed her in the most beautiful way. As a homage to that, Lori is developing a line of onesies called “Baby Slang” that are sure to capture the baby wear market. With seriously funny quips donning your little darling’s backside, yours will be the most stylish and humorous tot around. The other unique venture Lori is rolling out is a monthly box subscription called JustaBox for her desirable basket line. Many clients repeatedly purchase her one-of-a-kind baskets, and now they will have the option of monthly, annual and semi-annual deliveries. Whether you’re sending them to clients, family, friends or prefer a basket delivered to your own door, the idea of receiving one of Lori’s baskets in the mail each month could bring me to happy tears. They are that unique and special.
I asked Lori if she will outgrow Sarasota any time soon seeing that Hollywood has come calling. She hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a New York move one of these days but is fast to credit Sarasota with giving her the successful start that she has enjoyed with her businesses. She has learned the hard way that some of the local elite and ill-intentioned business partners can deliver a hard blow but credits growing up in a military family and using her sense of humor as a shield to get through these tough times.
What I learned while spending time with Lori is she has a captivating personality with a little bit of a hurricane quality added in. I found myself on the edge of my seat waiting for the next detail of what she’s up to and in the next minute nearly falling off my seat with laughter at what she just said. Her dynamic personality and can-do attitude make her a genuine mover and shaker in the Sarasota market. If you want more bang for your buck on social media, you should follow Lori Davis. You never know where she’ll pop up or what she’s up to, but we can guarantee she’s probably having more fun than anyone else.
For more information please visit JustaBasketCase FB page
Photos courtesy of Lori Davis and JustaBasketCase.