Forest Hills resident to compete in wrapping contest

Renee Goetz of Forest Hills is vying for $10,000 in a national gift-wrapping contest. Photo courtesy Renee Goetz
TimesLedger Newspapers

A Forest Hills resident’s gift for gift wrapping has landed her a spot in a national competition that may net her a nice holiday present of her own: $10,000.

Renee Goetz, a professional gift wrapper at Kate’s Paperie in SoHo, is one of nine finalists in the Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest to be held Friday at Rockefeller Center.

“I think that a gift or a present that is bought out of love, there’s thoughtfulness going on,” she said. “Thoughtful presents definitely warrant professional gift wrapping. Basically, presentation is everything.”

The wrappers will use their skills to package a gumball machine, old-fashioned snow sled and a 6-foot backyard play set.

Goetz said her company always enters one of its wrappers in the contest and was shocked to get the call that she was a finalist.

“I was surprised because I was actually getting my nails done at the time and wasn’t really thinking about it,” she said.

Goetz, who is also a collage artist, said she has been practicing for the finals by trying to wrap packages as fast as she can.

“While I have a lot of experience in gift wrapping, issues of timing are going to be important,” she said.

The wrapping of the backyard play set, which is expected to be the most arduous task for the wrappers, is also an area where Goetz has experience.

“I have wrapped 6-feet-tall items,” she said, noting one client needed a 6-foot statue gift wrapped. “Height is always an interesting challenge.”

Goetz said her gift wrapping uses Japanese pleating techniques, which employ multiple loops for bows using ribbons.

On an average day, she wraps about five to 15 presents at Kate’s Paperie.

During holiday times, Goetz can wrap anywhere from 10 to 40 presents, most of it work given to her by companies.

She said the validation of her work comes when a client appreciates the gift wrapping more than the present inside.

“Many times they say, ‘I don’t even want to open it,’” Goetz said. “That’s such a compliment. I love gift wrapping and I want to share it with anyone who is interested in it because it brings love into the world.”

Goetz said she plans to go to Europe if she wins the $10,000 top prize.

“It will definitely be international travel. I think the [art] galleries are calling me in Italy,” she said. “Belgium, too.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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