What I learned in my first (sorta) subscription box and other talking (as usual).
I do all of my offers through email because I never get around to effective advertising. If you are in advertising, I know this is sacrilege. Then let me add to your horror, I have no consistent social media plan either. After almost 4 years of feeling like I'm dropping the ball because I participate in social media in fits and starts, I'm ok with it. I do it when it makes me happy, for now.
Ok, so back to subscription box idea. I have listened to my therapist and started doing things that are creative, and taking days off from my business. So I started making soap, cold processed soap, which I have wanted to do for years. I love it so much, I made a LOT of it, and me being me, decided there must be a business in it. I think my therapist probably didnt having me starting ANOTHER business in mind when she suggested creativity vs work, but here we are.
I listen to a lot of podcasts about business and one in particular was talking about subscription boxes as a very popular way to share products, and I had a lot of soap, so an idea was born. Then, as I do, I got excited and decided to also make candles. Oh, and why not bath truffles, bath salts, sugar scrubs? There are some hoops to jump through to legally to make handmade items that had daunted me before, but suddenly I felt motivated instead of daunted. Ok, so ducks in a row, I can offer my boxes!
I offered the boxes in my email only (circling back around to my original thought above) and sold a bunch. So much so, I had make MORE soap. And soap needs to cure, so the box was to be delivered in 6 weeks. Perfect! I can experiment with products, recipes etc. That part was really fun.
Less fun was figuring out that the cold processed soap and candle safe China Rain fragrance oil that was so delicious right out of the bottle, would fade significantly over time. I thought it would get stronger. I also figured out that making candles is not quite as easy as I thought. And that the plastic jars I wanted to ship my sugar scrubs and bath salts in were back-ordered until NOVEMBER.
I adapted and came up with the plan to pivot. I got it all done. I remade the things I didn't love first time around. I don't know why it didn't occur to me that I should only sell things I have made successfully before, not learn about things in order to make them to sell them. But the boxes went out. I stacked them full of extras, which I was advised to not do, (setting unrealistic expectations for future boxes).
I feel like they were a great value, even though I was not over the moon with every single item. I want STRONG candles and I'm not sure these are. I love the bath products I made, but since I don't normally sell them, I couldn't exactly gauge if my core people would love them too.
I did some research by subscribing to a quarterly box of another business and one thing I will 100% do in the future that I learned from that box, is to package most if not all things in my box, ready to gift, so in a cute box. That way if the items that come aren't exactly your cup of tea, but you know that your niece would adore that bubbling bath truffle, it's an easy gift. I love some of the things in the box I bought, but there are two that I will never use, but I will be proud to give.
It's Monday and I shipped the boxes out Friday so some people will get them today, and then throughout the week. I will look forward to the feedback and find some back up big girl panties just in case. 🙏 😳
I learned a lot and am excited to move to a new space this weekend with much more room to create and expand. I will offer a fall gift box (early September) and a holiday gift box (probably two levels of holiday) delivered by December 10, so that I can help you with some of your gift giving.
I also have heard that people would like to be able to subscribe, at a savings, to their regularly used items. Would you?
Ok, more soon when I get feedback from my boxes, and an unboxing video.