What It's About
Two sisters team up to create a gift box service for millennials!
Words of Wisdom
Happy Box Store is centered on two retail trends: customization and convenience. Gifting has become a 130 billion dollar industry in the U.S., so there is no shortage of need in the marketplace. But that also means that customers are looking for a unique and custom solution. Nobody wants to give their friend something they already have, so they’re looking for something that is unexpected. That unexpected something also needs free shipping. For convenience’ sake!
The postal service has an interesting delivery history, like the time a baby was put in the mail. Apparently it was legal to mail a baby by the U.S. postal service until 1915. In 1914, to save money on a train ticket, May Pierstorff’s parents paid the 53 cents postage to mail their 5-year old child to her grandparents for a visit. She rode the whole way in the mail car and was delivered to her grandparents’ house by the mail clerk on duty. That puts a new spin on ‘going postal.’
Notes from Chris
They say that when one door closes, another door opens. That tends to be the case for many things in life, including side hustles. In this particular story, the closing door was Ariel Redmond’s breakup. The opening door? All the inspiration needed for a new side hustle to blossom. Hannah Redmond wanted to be there for her sister, Ariel, during her break up, but they were separated by distance. You see, at the time, both 20-somethings were away for college (Ariel in NYC, and Hannah in Maryland), and since Hannah lived too far away to be there, armed with pints of ice cream and boxes of tissue in person, she had to settle for the next best thing. Hannah ran all over the city to find fun little things to send to Ariel to cheer her up. Kind of like an adult care package… because not all heroes wear capes. Halfway through her adventures in curating, with a full box of goodies ready to mail to Ariel, Hannah felt like there had to be a better way to do this. She couldn’t be the only caring friend or sister who wanted to make a tough week a little less hard. Curating a box of goodies was fun, but running around to get everything? Much less so. And Hannah hadn’t even been to the post office yet. She knew that it would be worth it when Ariel opened the box, but Hannah still wished she cut out, or at least minimize the legwork. There had to be a better way. And if there wasn’t, Hannah decided that she would certainly make it happen herself. Luckily, she didn’t have to go it alone. Ariel loved her care package, and Hannah’s idea, so much that when the side hustle concept was floated she jumped at the chance. Happy Box Store was the happy result. The idea was simple yet innovative. Hannah and Ariel wanted to create the modern day gift basket that would suit any occasion in a millennial life. Each box is both personalized and convenient, which ticks some very important boxes. The customer picks their box, which cover every life event from the Breakup, Cheer Up, Birthday, and Housewarming boxes, fill their chosen box with fun gifts, and selects a card to send along with it. Then, Hannah and Ariel pack up the box, includes a handwritten note from the customer, and ships it to the lucky recipient. Happy Box is centered on two retail trends: customization and convenience. Gifting has become a 130 billion dollar industry in the U.S., so there is no shortage of need in the marketplace. But that also means that customers are looking for a unique and custom solution. Nobody wants to give their friend something they already have, so they’re looking for something that is unexpected. That unexpected something also needs free shipping. For convenience’ sake, of course. Hannah and Ariel invested a combined $5000 of their savings into Happy Box so they could build a website and purchase their first stocks of inventory. Everything they’ve made to date is put directly back into the business to cover additional inventory purchases and help them source even more products to include in the next boxes. Their investment has really paid off! These days, Hannah and Ariel send out hundreds of customized and curated boxes on a monthly basis, and at $40-60 a pop, those numbers really start to add up. And the customer testimonials are equally rewarding. Ariel told us that each testimonial makes them “feel like what we're doing truly has a well-deserved space and purpose. Balancing our work lives and side hustle lives can be challenging with demanding jobs, but each happy customer makes it worth it.” While they continually learn how to scale their side hustle, they’re also focused on making site improvements, choosing new products to offer, and they’re even testing out corporate gifts as well. Whatever happens next, it’s sure to pack a punch!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Happy Box Store: No matter the occasion, Hannah and Ariel have what you need—check out the boxes and products that they offer over on their website!
- Shopify: Hannah and Ariel used Shopify to set up their store for Happy Box, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
- Subscription Box Service Delivers Candy from Japan: An expat living in Japan packages candy twice a month and sends it around the world to hundreds of people who pay $29/month
- College Student Starts Historic Letter Subscription Service: A student cashes in on his love of history by mailing beautifully designed letters to monthly subscribers
- Entrepreneur Reads Tea Leaves to Launch Subscription Hustle: A New York-based consultant brews his need for energy into a tea delivery service that offers customers a chance to discover new tea varieties each month
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