There’s a box subscription service tailored to just about any niche – pet lovers, healthy snackers, make-up mavens – and thanks to Andrea Archibald, the local-lover behind Simply Vague, Columbus and Ohio-based products are getting their very own box.
Archibald introduces Modest Box, a flexible subscription service featuring locally-made and Ohio-centric products. The box will pull from small and “modest” sized business across the state to offer everything from t-shirts to food products and other unique handcrafted goods.
“I am in love with the idea of subscription box services,” Archibald says. “The surprise element of not knowing what you’ll get each month is so much fun and gets consumers to try things they may not have thought to or wouldn’t have otherwise known about.” It can be a gift, a dose of fun every month, or even a reminder for the homesick Ohioan.
In anticipation of the February 12 send off, Archibald recently spoke with The Metropreneur to tell us more about what kind of goodies we can expect to find in Modest Box – and what to do if you’re a small business interested in spreading the love.
[M] Why did you decide to start Modest Box?
I decided to start Modest Box to help small businesses reach a larger audience with their products. When my husband Nate and I opened Simply Vague in 2012, we met many of our vendors at farmers markets or festivals where they would demonstrate and/or sample their products. These small business owners are so passionate about their brands and their businesses and they work so hard to get them off the ground. Some of the best products I have ever tried were discovered at a farmers market. I want to bring that same experience to people that may not be able to experience it first hand. Also, there seems to be a big demand for Ohio-made products from people that live in other states. Those that have moved and miss Ohio love that they can receive a piece of home each month.
[M] Tell me more about the different boxes you will offer. Give us a few examples of what we might find.
We offer three different types of boxes, a small assortment, a large assortment, and a t-shirt box that ships two new, super-soft Ohio made t-shirts each month. When the large assortment is selected you have the option to enter your gender (or the gender of the person you are purchasing for) so that the contents will be gender specific. You can expect to find a good mix of Ohio made food products, accessories, body products and/or art in each box. A large assortment box for a man might include things like Ohio-made barbeque sauce, Whiskey Stix, (pretzels with a whiskey glaze), Cliff Original body care products for men, a bottle opener from The Columbus Barrel Company – things like that, while a box for a woman might include an Ohio necklace from Red Giraffe Designs, or nail polish from the Columbus-based company James Robert John.
[M] What’s the pricing and delivery schedule?
The small assortment box costs $39.00 per month, the large assortment costs $89.00 per month, and the t-shirt box that ships two Ohio made t-shirts costs $56.00 ($8.00 flat rate shipping fee on each). Subscribers have the option to purchase just one box, or they can pay for three, six or 12 months up front to receive discounts on the cost per box. Boxes make great gifts for anyone, especially those who are hard to buy for, clients or people that have moved from Ohio to another state. Boxes ship the second Monday of each month. Our first shipment goes out on February 12.
[M] How will you decide what businesses feature goods in the box?
I am selecting products that are unique, high-quality, and I want each box to have a good assortment of food items and non-food items. It’s also important to me that each box include a mix of products that come from all over the state and not just here in Columbus. So far our main consumer base has been Columbus residents, so I am looking to include some products that people in Columbus may already know and love and some they can experience for the first time.
[M] How can being part of Modest Box be an advantage for a business?
Having products included in Modest Box helps small businesses reach a lot of new potential customers at once. The companies that have products in the boxes can include information about their small business to tell their story and direct people to their websites and/or retail locations so they can order more if they like what they tried. We keep the contents of each month’s box a secret until they are shipped, but once the boxes are all sent out we will profile each of the companies that were featured in that month’s box on our social media sites.
[M] Are you looking for more partners for the boxes?
We are always looking for new partners that would like to have products featured in our boxes! Anyone interested should email their wholesale pricing to [email protected].
[M] Anything else you would like to add?
We are very passionate about our community and giving back. In our first month, we’ll donate $5.00 from every box that sells to Peace for Paws. We’re looking forward to partnering with different nonprofits in the upcoming months.
For more information, visit modestboxohio.com.