Photography by Jessica Turner

Bruce Einsohn was 24 and fresh out of SMU when he found a career for himself selling freight — or miscellaneous products in bulk — one day with Jerry Fleischer, his boss and business partner.

“He was in the thrill of the buy. I was in the thrill of the sell, so we made a great team,” Einsohn says. “Then one day, he came to me and he said, ‘I bought a deal’ like he did everyday, and I said ‘OK, what is it,’ and he said it was gift wrap.”

Einsohn’s mind jumped to the tubes of paper wrapped in plastic sold at the grocery store.

“He said, ‘What am I gonna do with those?’” Einsohn says.

This wrapping paper filled more than one freight truck. The sight of the rolls inside the trailers of the trucks was staggering. The stock was enough unused and leftover wrapping paper to fill 55 tractor trailers — semi-trucks complete with engines and trailers for storage.

Department stores had to get rid of the paper, rather than reuse it for future holidays because they need a new design every year. Stores are also picky about holiday paper and don’t want another store’s leftover stock, either.

Once Einsohn had sold all of the uniform designs from the trailers of the trucks, he was left with what he calls, “the leftover of the leftovers.”

“I called my brother, who was in college at North Texas at the time, and said, ‘Whatever your plans are for this weekend, cancel them,’” he says. “I said, ‘We’re going to Traders Village in Grand Prairie and we’re going to sell a bunch of gift wrap.’”

“He was in the thrill of the buy. I was in the thrill of the sell, so we made a great team.”

– Bruce Einsohn

The shows have become a staple for Einsohn, owner of Under Wraps. In a typical year pre-pandemic, he’d take Under Wraps to 40 to 55 shows a year across the country. All the trade shows were canceled last year except for the one in Canton, Texas.

This year, he’s grateful for the 10 shows scheduled for October and November.

Stuffed from front to back with boxes of wrapping paper, ribbons and gift boxes, Under Wraps has catered to customers’ gift-wrapping needs for the past 46 years.

Under Wraps has enough choices, even for picky businesses and individuals, and everyone pays the same price.

Whether a client wants to go big or keep it simple, they’ll most likely find what they’re looking for in this Richardson warehouse in a half ream — 417 feet of wrap, or full ream — 833 feet of wrap.

The designs are custom and range from birthday to Christmas patterns and everything in between. Almost 50% of designs, like Western dancing boots, are created by Einsohn and staff.

From hundreds of wrap options, two in particular drive clients wild — leopard print and Western designs on craft, which is like brown paper bag. The leopard print is a favorite design all season long, including Christmas.

“At the height of Christmas, that’s what we sell more of than anything because leopards are really popular,” he says. “And you can use it for anything. A lot of people use it for Christmas.”

First Monday Trade Days in Canton, the largest flea market in the country, is the most magnetic draw for the company and is the one they frequent most compared to other stops.

Einsohn takes his wraps and accessories to Canton — where sales have increased since the pandemic — once a month.

“Last year, Canton was way up again because there weren’t very many alternatives,” he says. “And we think that this year the reason the show is up is a combination of cabin fever, wanting to get out, go to an event, shop with other people and be with family.”

Most of Under Wraps’ profits are primarily from these cross-country trade shows, which Einsohn has attended for the past 25 years.

“We love the fact that when we go to do those shows our rent money, instead of going into a promoter’s pocket, is going to a junior league or organization similar to it,” he says.

Funds go back into the community to women’s nonprofit organizations which are the primary recipients of the funds.

“Our primary method of selling is at shows like Chi Omega Christmas or ‘Neath the Wreath,” he says. “Those are their fundraising shows, and they’re all juried. They pick interesting vendors from all over the country and, in 25 years, we have never been turned down by a jury. We have always been selected to be a vendor.”

Einsohn says he wants to know where his money is going and make sure it’s helping those who really need it in the community.

Under Wraps also donates gift wrap and accessories to various charity organizations, including orphanages, prisons and Toys for Tots.

“That (rent money) provides money for all their good works, the things they do, whether it’s women’s shelters, literacy, clothing drives, whatever it is that they do to help people less fortunate.”

One thing Einsohn doesn’t do is bags. Those are for when the recipient isn’t too special.

“We’re not big bag fans,” Einsohn says. “We kind of think that a bag is what you do when you don’t care very much.”