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338 – Subscription Box Creation and Participation with Eric Musick of Louis and Léa
Episode 3382nd October 2021 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
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Eric Musick of Louis and Léa What does it really take to get into subscription box creation and participation - and succeed? Today's guest is sharing exactly how he does it. Eric is first and foremost a proud husband and father of five beautiful kids (four boys and one girl). But he's also the co-founder of Louis and Léa, a subscription box for expecting and new moms, filled with products made by small businesses and local makers. Eric is also the host of The Subscription Box Show. A podcast dedicated to the subscription industry. He interviews the world's top subscription box founders and industry-leading tools.  

BUSINESS BUILDING INSIGHTS

  • Get out of your comfort zone and push yourself to do things you are not comfortable being a part of. Have new experiences that will activate the creative side of you.
  • There's enough business for everyone. You just have to separate yourself by doing different things.
  • Start by having the idea, do market research, study your competitors, and try to put together an email list.
  • Before putting too much money on a potential business,  you want to make sure that it's validated and that your product or service is something people will want and pay for.
  • Figure out a way to still be competitive. Bring something new to the table. Get some excitement. Make it fun and attractive for people to sign up and have great free resources.
  • Plenty of business building tips in this conversation. Tune in to catch them all!

Subscription Box Creation and Participation Tips

  • The whole customer experience side of things is a huge part of subscription boxes. Once people sign up you want to make sure to give them lifetime value. There are many things other than the product that goes into a successful subscription box.
  • You must have a really good offer. Get creative on how to add as much value for the members because subscription box entrepreneurs want value, not just product.
  • If you want to be part of a subscription box, research and reach out to subscription companies that you think would be a fit. You can bypass all the gatekeepers and get a hold of the owners directly by looking into the about page and see who they are. <-- Tune in to get all the tips on how to do this!
  • Do not mass email. Make sure that your subject line is catchy to get the attention for a potential partnership.
  • If you're a small maker and you have an existing audience, use that first. Don't take family and friends advice too seriously especially if they're not your ideal customer.
  • Don't be too intimidated by paid ads. You don't need to spend a ton of money to get that creative piece of content into the hands of potential ideal customers.
  • Listen to the whole episode to get all Eric's tips for participating in subscription boxes!

Resources Mentioned

Eric's Contact Links

WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Linkedin

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Transcripts

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Gift biz unwrapped episode 338 Subscription industry is like the most

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friendly community minded industry.

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It's unbelievable At Tinton gifters bakers,

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crafters and makers pursuing your dream can be fun.

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Whether you have an established business or looking to start one.

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Now you are in the right place.

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This is gift to biz unwrapped,

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helping you turn your skill into a flourishing business.

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Join us for an episode,

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packed full of invaluable guidance,

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resources, and the support you need to grow.

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Your gift biz.

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Here is your host gift biz gal,

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Sue moon Heights.

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Hi there,

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and welcome to today's show.

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As I record this,

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we're still scheduled to travel on vacation in a few days.

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It seems like forever since Michael and I have been able

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to be up up in a way on a personal trip

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together, we're having to jump through hoops for sure with all

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the medical documentation and the testing requirements,

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but I'm super excited to travel again,

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masks and all.

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If you want to take a peek into where we're going

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and the highlights along the way,

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make sure to follow me on Instagram at gift biz on

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wrapped. One of the things I love to do when I'm

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in a foreign country is look for interesting ways of doing

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business. A change of environment and culture always brings out new

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ideas. And I love sharing this with you.

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So that's one thing you'll see if you follow my journey

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and who knows.

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I may even pop on from time to time,

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probably some weird hours and internet dependent,

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but you never know.

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Okay. Today's topic is subscription boxes.

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Do you love them as much as I do.

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I subscribed to some myself,

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receive them as gifts and discover such fabulous new products as

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a result.

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You know what else I've been doing with these boxes?

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I find it's a great way to build up a backup

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supply of thank you gifts.

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Then they're always ready when I need one.

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I'm even thinking about stocking stuffers as we move into the

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holidays. Anyway,

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in today's show,

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we're talking about subscription boxes from two different angles.

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The first is on starting a subscription box as your entire

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business or a portion of your business.

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And then second,

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have you ever considered getting your product into somebody else's subscription

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box? Maybe you have,

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but are thinking you're too small to be able to do

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this? Well,

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think again,

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there's a lot of subscription box goodness being delivered right now

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Today. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Eric music.

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Eric is first and foremost,

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a proud husband and father of five,

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beautiful kids,

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four boys,

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and one brand new girl.

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He's the co-founder of Louie and Leah,

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which is a subscription box for expecting and new moms.

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All products in the boxes are made from small businesses and

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local makers.

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Eric is also the host of the subscription box show,

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a podcast dedicated to the subscription industry.

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He interviews the world's top subscription box founders and industry leading

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tools. Eric,

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welcome to the gift biz on wrapped podcast.

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Thanks for having me super excited to be here.

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Me Too.

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And I told you a little bit earlier,

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I do something very traditional as we get started with the

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show. And that is to have you describe yourself in a

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little bit of a creative way over and above the intro

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that we just did.

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And I'd like you to do that by describing yourself as

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a motivational candle.

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So what would that look like by color and quote?

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Yeah, thanks for asking.

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I was looking forward to doing this.

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I've never been asked that before.

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Maybe it's because I'm a dude and I'm not that much

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into candles,

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but we do have a lot of cows around the house.

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So I scoured the internet for manly scented candles and different

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things like that.

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And I found a lot of different,

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cool things like whiskey candles and leather candles,

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stable and horse,

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those kinds of things,

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but I'm actually from up in Canada.

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So we were surrounded by a lot of pine trees and

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forests and evergreens.

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So I would call mine Northwoods and had had that kind

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of a Northern li boreal forest cannabis sent to it.

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Beautiful. And what color would it be Or dark green?

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Like a dark green mixed with a little bit of maybe

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black and grays,

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but definitely a dark green.

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Love it.

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And how about a quote on the candle?

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Yeah, so,

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so I love action quotes.

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I believe we can have all the information we need and

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want, but if you don't take action,

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nothing happens.

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So I really love a couple of them,

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but I'm going to go with,

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don't be afraid of change.

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Be afraid of standing still.

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Oh my gosh.

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Seriously, because if you stand still,

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you're never going to get anywhere.

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So typical with our industry too.

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We think of all the reasons things aren't going to work

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and then we freeze that's it Analysis paralysis or whatever,

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how it goes.

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Right? Absolutely.

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How do you get yourself out of standing still?

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You know what,

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just making a list and I'm kind of OCD to some

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degree, but I'm also like very easily distracted.

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So I think by making a list and only having,

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not a long list,

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but maybe narrowing it down to three things,

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either that's per week or per day,

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however you need to do it on big jobs,

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small jobs.

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But I like to having a list and having just three

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things I can do and I like to physically check them

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off. Yeah.

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You know,

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there's something magical about three.

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I often talk about three,

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two, and you know,

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in designing how they always say uneven,

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you should always be doing threes.

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So there's something about three.

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And certainly you're going to do more than three things probably

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in a day,

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but the top three things and just getting those done and

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checking them off.

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So excellent.

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You started off with a great tip,

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Eric. Perfect.

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Let's dive into Louie and Leah and talk about how that

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got started.

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Sure. So Lewin Lael,

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like you mentioned,

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is a subscription box for expecting a new moms,

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basically what happened.

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And we have five kids and preparing for baby number four,

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we kind of lack of prepared for it.

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So we went to the hospital thinking we're already pros and

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found out we were super unprepared for even baby number four.

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So we love a show called Dragon's end up here.

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It's your equivalent to shark tank.

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It's very entrepreneurial.

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And we're always looking for business ideas.

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And actually me and my wife had been looking to do

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something together for a while.

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Just didn't know quite what I had been in a communications

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job for 15 years.

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She's a graphic designer for old.

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Now it's probably almost 20 years.

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So we're looking for something to do.

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So we decided to look for a subscription box,

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something to kind of like we can get something monthly or

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quarterly to help us prepare the first year of the baby.

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And there was really nothing out there.

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There was a lot of pregnancy boxes or toddler boxes,

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but nothing really for that first year.

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So together we decided let's do this.

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We put together some ideas,

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a business plan.

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And that's kind of like the birth of Lewin lay is

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pretty simple.

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Just came out of something we found that was kind of

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a hole in a niche that we thought could super exciting

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to be part of because that's what we live every single

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day. But also just because it's a niche,

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there's always there.

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There's always going to be babies and there's always going to

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be new moms looking for information.

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So that's a short version of how Louie and Layla was

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born. Not to mention that people are willing to spend money

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for their babies,

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their new babies.

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Oh 100%.

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Yeah. For sure.

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You guys have such compatible skill sets together.

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And I love the part that you're saying you were on

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the lookout for something.

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So you were kind of scoping.

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You had the idea that you wanted to start a business

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together. You didn't know what it was going to be.

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And so you were both kind of the antennas were up,

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right. And then finding it as something that feels a need

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and something that you weren't able to find in your life

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is an excellent way.

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And so I want everyone who's listening here to consider that

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if there's something that you're observing as you're going through your

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day, that's a whole something missing that you could fill.

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It's something to consider as a potential business.

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Yeah. And if your listeners are listening and they maybe want

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to do something,

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but they're not quite sure what I was there for 20

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years. So I'm 39 and I started this venture around 37.

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So it took a long time and probably like from 17,

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18, all the way to 37,

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I knew I wanted to do something for myself and I

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didn't do it.

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And if I could go back in time and tell myself,

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what would you do differently to get that idea faster is

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just to be super vigilant and being aware of your surroundings,

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always kind of looking for signs of something I'm not talking

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about, like woo stuff,

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just like physical signs.

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You know,

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you meet someone and get out of your comfort zone.

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And to really like,

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I was pushing myself to join masterminds that I was not

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comfortable being a part of.

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I'm kind of naturally a little bit,

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it's hard to believe that a little bit more introverted than

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extroverted, but getting myself into these masterminds,

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going to a conference,

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spending a little bit of money on self-development reading good books,

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listening to good podcasts.

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And I think putting yourself in a position to just have

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new experiences will often get the memory or something going to

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activate that kind of creative side in you.

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Yeah. And maybe spark the idea.

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It could be totally disconnected,

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but it just does something that triggers the idea.

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So one of the,

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two of you had this idea and then did it automatically

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feel right?

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Did you both go like,

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yes, this is it.

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Or did you have to think about it a little bit?

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Or what was that decision point that said,

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yeah, we're going to take action on this idea That,

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well course Christine,

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She's the brains of the operation.

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So of course my wife,

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Christine, she's the one who came up with the idea and

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myself. I was like,

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man, that's a,

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you know what,

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I wasn't crazy about the niche just because I'm a guy

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and like babies and pregnant moms,

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like what do I know about this?

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Right. But what I was excited about was being part of

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something that was reoccurring revenue that I liked the business model

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behind it.

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So Christine was at all the ideas with the creative side

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of things and being part of the head of like,

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she's a mom of four at the time five now she's

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can really relate with these moms and really help these expecting

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moms and myself.

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I was more on the business side of things.

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I really love the reoccurring revenue.

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I love the subscription model.

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We fell in love with that by watching actually again,

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Dragon's den and watching Olivia Canlis,

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she's a Canadian subscription entrepreneur.

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She owns and founded mailbox.

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So if you've heard of BarkBox,

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your dog's mailbox is kind of the biggest one for cats

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and just fell in love with the model.

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So I think it's something right.

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You know what?

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This is great.

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I think we're going to be able to really work well

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together. We both have,

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like you said,

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really different strengths,

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but they work well together.

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And I think once we kind of figured out that this

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could be a lot of fun working from home together and

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doing something like we've always wanted to do as a couple,

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as a family business,

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it was a no brainer.

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That sounds very exciting.

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Plus, your kids were home.

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So this way you could work,

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be home with the family.

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It sounds like some potentially nice balance balance with boundaries,

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right? Because if your business is at home,

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that's a whole different show.

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Okay. So how in the world do you start a subscription

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box? What are your first steps?

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What a great question.

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If I had a dollar for every person who would ask

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me that it's unbelievable.

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It's a really long answer.

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Like you could expect,

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it's not a magic potion does not a pill.

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I want to know how you did it.

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And then later we're going to talk about how you would

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suggest to do it or more of the consulting end.

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But so how did you guys get this box started?

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Yeah, so we went about it wrong cause you really want

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to start the prelaunch.

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And we just thought that our idea was so great that

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we would just put together some products,

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curated products,

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which is the fun part of it.

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Find some suppliers,

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order some boxes.

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And we were really focusing on the wrong things.

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So we did a lot of mistakes.

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I can't wait to talk about how to actually do it,

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but the way we did it,

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we kind of just jumped two feet both in,

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and we did a lot of listening of podcasts,

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watching a lot of shows,

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reading resources,

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online, typical market research,

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finding out about our competitors.

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So we did do some good things.

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We ordered our competitors boxes.

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I use competitors with air quotations because I really,

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really have an abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset.

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I think there's enough business for everyone.

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Even if you're the 50 boxes in the same niche,

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I think there's still enough for everyone.

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And you just got to separate yourself by doing different things,

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right. But anyways,

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we ordered some of our competitors and some of the things

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we loved what they were doing.

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And we saw holes in their game that we could probably

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do a little bit better.

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So without copying them,

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we just use it as a sounding board to,

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to see what we would like to do with our company

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and how we would treat our members differently maybe and how

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we would do the onboarding experience in a continual engagement with

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the members.

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But quite simple,

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you start by having the idea,

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you do some market research,

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you study your competitors and you try to put together an

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email list,

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which is huge.

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The email is a big part of it.

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So if I start creating some content for that and maybe

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trying to share the idea with family and friends,

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cause you really want to,

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before putting too much money in the idea,

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you want to make sure that it's validated and that it's

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something people will want and people would pay for.

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So part of the pre-launch of course is like finding out

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how much they would pay for the box.

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Do they want a quarterly subscription or would they prefer a

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monthly subscription?

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Those kinds of things.

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Interesting. So I want to go back just for a second

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to the whole idea of scoping out the competitors as part

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of your research.

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I don't really think that's a bad idea because to your

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point about abundance,

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you're not doing it to copy what they've got going on.

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You're doing it to see what's already available.

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What might be a hole that you could fill.

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So you could add additional value to what's out there by

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the inclusion in your box.

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And so it's all kind of discovery.

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I mean,

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look, that's what most companies do anyway.

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You're always kind of discovering not to copy,

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but to make yours different.

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Were you thinking that way when you were buying the boxes

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or were you feeling like you were being a spy?

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No, not at all.

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We always knew like we're never going to be the type

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of people that would copy an idea and try to plagiarize

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anything. Whether it's the,

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for the copy,

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the look,

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the design,

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we just wanted kind of like to see what they were

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doing. Right.

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Cause we know just by going on the reviews,

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some people obviously loved them and you're always going to have

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some haters too.

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So a lot of people didn't like what they were doing.

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So we want to see for ourselves,

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not go by what maybe that angry mom that day was

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posting about something or the super happy moms.

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So we want to have a basis of what we thought

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about the boxes and it was more than one.

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We studied a lot of different boxes.

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It's doing different things,

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but as more to get like an idea of how to

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do it,

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you know,

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how does the subscription flow work from the time you press

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that order click button and we receive an email right away,

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he's confirming the order.

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And then did it give us a timeline when we would

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receive that order?

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So just more like the logistics and the whole experience side

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of things cause a huge part of subscription boxes too,

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of course is customer experience and some do it really well.

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And some do it less well.

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Interesting. So good with competition.

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I just wanted to make that point for anybody who's listening

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to that.

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It's okay to do that.

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And then I feel like once you know,

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that portion of your research,

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then you back off and then you focus on your customer,

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what your customer wants,

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fulfilling their needs versus looking at what a competitor is doing.

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Also part of your research was the process.

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So completely agree with you in terms of the customer experience,

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what types of things were you seeing that you knew you

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wanted to improve upon?

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Well, there's certain things.

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Yeah. I think when it comes to like big companies and

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I think as small makers and that's one of the things,

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a lot of their products are coming from overseas.

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We do that because of their margins and what they could

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offer. So we knew we couldn't compete with that.

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So what we had to do is figure out a way

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to still be competitive,

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what hat brings something new to the table.

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So we decide to partner with local makers,

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small businesses,

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hand crafters,

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small artisans.

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And we found them all over Canada,

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U S through Etsy and through just like literally scouring Instagrams.

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We knew we could bring a unique take to it.

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Like you're not going to be getting the cheapest thing.

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And that's not what we wanted as parents of five.

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We already know we have too many things in the house.

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We wanted quality over quantity.

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And the way we could do that is by helping other

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small makers as well.

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And it just happened to be that when we launched the

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boxes, you know,

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COVID came around the corner right after a couple of months

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after. So it was a real emphasis on supporting local as

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well. So we just really jumped on that as well.

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And like,

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this was already what we wanted to do and having the

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ability to now to support local businesses that have that as

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part of their flagship statement.

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Like, you know,

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when you support Lewin layer,

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you're also supporting tons of local makers and small craft makers

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and small businesses across our continent.

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So I think that was a big part of what we

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want to do differently.

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And we were able to do that with also not having

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as many items in the box.

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We want to just like two items for baby one for

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mom. And it was one additional upsell at mama add-on if

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they wanted additionally.

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So there wasn't like 10,

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15 things because if you've ever ordered a subscription box,

Speaker:

you would know maybe sewer,

Speaker:

your listeners would know sometimes by month,

Speaker:

three, four,

Speaker:

like holy cow,

Speaker:

like I've got too much of this stuff already.

Speaker:

Maybe I'll pause my subscription.

Speaker:

But when you keep having three,

Speaker:

four quality items,

Speaker:

it's easy to keep the subscription going.

Speaker:

Okay. Makes sense.

Speaker:

Let's talk a little bit about the pricing model.

Speaker:

I mean,

Speaker:

I'm sure a subscription that is an annual subscription is worth,

Speaker:

well, I guess it's worth different things.

Speaker:

I guess you would want a mix,

Speaker:

but let's talk about that a little bit.

Speaker:

How did you settle in on pricing and what your offers

Speaker:

were going to be for frequency,

Speaker:

et cetera?

Speaker:

Yeah. So the way subscription models work,

Speaker:

you typically have three main offers and these will vary.

Speaker:

Some people have for some people love to,

Speaker:

but typically you'll see three Eagles have the month,

Speaker:

a month,

Speaker:

which you want to make as unattractive as possible.

Speaker:

And we can get to that in a bit if you

Speaker:

want. And then you want the six months.

Speaker:

So people also have a three month in their prepaid and

Speaker:

then you want the 12 month,

Speaker:

we actually offer a three month prepaid in our gift section.

Speaker:

But yeah,

Speaker:

you have your 12 month,

Speaker:

which is your most attractive offer,

Speaker:

but you also have your discount there.

Speaker:

And then you have your six month,

Speaker:

it's still a great offer with a bit of a discount.

Speaker:

And then you have your month to month,

Speaker:

which you charge basically full price.

Speaker:

The only attractive thing to the month to month we have

Speaker:

for our,

Speaker:

our members is that it does have the option to cancel

Speaker:

anytime. But you pay more for that.

Speaker:

Yeah. You pay more,

Speaker:

I guess the consumer,

Speaker:

especially if it's the first time they're having the box and

Speaker:

they want to try it,

Speaker:

they're paying more,

Speaker:

but then it's less risky because they're only doing it one

Speaker:

time and then they decide from there.

Speaker:

Do you see a lot of people do that?

Speaker:

Buy one box and then later come back for the subscription,

Speaker:

the whole annual subscription,

Speaker:

You know what it's strange in the year and a half

Speaker:

or so,

Speaker:

like, it's,

Speaker:

I don't really see that.

Speaker:

I think most people just go for the more attractive six

Speaker:

and 12 month offers.

Speaker:

And that's great.

Speaker:

That's what you want.

Speaker:

That's exactly what you want because what happens is you want

Speaker:

something called lifetime value LTV.

Speaker:

So your customer acquisition costs are different than a traditional e-commerce

Speaker:

source. So your listeners that they might have an Etsy shop.

Speaker:

It's easy for me to go buy a $15 candle,

Speaker:

a one-time thing,

Speaker:

but it's quite actually harder to convince or to make it

Speaker:

attractive for someone to subscribe to something.

Speaker:

And there's something already going on in our industry called subscription

Speaker:

fatigue, everything's subscription.

Speaker:

You've got a subscription to Netflix,

Speaker:

your internet provider,

Speaker:

your phone company,

Speaker:

just subscriptions everywhere.

Speaker:

So when you're trying to tell someone,

Speaker:

Hey, subscribe to this thing as well,

Speaker:

there is a higher customer acquisition costs.

Speaker:

There is a different way to go about it when it

Speaker:

comes to marketing and advertising this.

Speaker:

So you want to make it as really attractive as possible.

Speaker:

And once you do get them to sign up,

Speaker:

but you want that lifetime value,

Speaker:

you want them to be,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

eight, 12 plus months,

Speaker:

not just one or two months,

Speaker:

that's a huge part to make the actual subscription work is

Speaker:

to have good customer experience,

Speaker:

to keep him onboard,

Speaker:

having these value,

Speaker:

add ons and just so many other things other than the

Speaker:

product that goes into a successful subscription box,

Speaker:

a community.

Speaker:

There's just,

Speaker:

I mean,

Speaker:

it's endless,

Speaker:

but yeah,

Speaker:

you want that lifetime value and that's why,

Speaker:

but those kind of three price structures,

Speaker:

if you go,

Speaker:

for example,

Speaker:

to Louie lay.com,

Speaker:

you'll see that it's a lot more attractive,

Speaker:

a save up to 21% on a 12 month than paying

Speaker:

the regular price at 39 99,

Speaker:

for example,

Speaker:

on a month to month.

Speaker:

Yeah, that makes sense.

Speaker:

I mean,

Speaker:

subscription, you know,

Speaker:

you're saying there's subscription fatigue.

Speaker:

I think I was thinking of it is the other way

Speaker:

is that we all understand and know subscriptions.

Speaker:

It's a way to purchase.

Speaker:

That's familiar to us now.

Speaker:

So I could see it go both ways,

Speaker:

I guess.

Speaker:

But for you,

Speaker:

when people buy the annual subscription,

Speaker:

you're actually making less money off a customer for each individual

Speaker:

box, but you're able to actually roll out and understand what

Speaker:

your income's going to look,

Speaker:

what your revenue is going to look like over the course

Speaker:

of the year,

Speaker:

because those are then committed sales that are happening A hundred

Speaker:

percent and you can forecast a lot better.

Speaker:

Yeah. So we can nerd out on like CPAs,

Speaker:

which are cost requisitions and lifetime value numbers and how that

Speaker:

all works out if you want to.

Speaker:

But I don't know if it's going to be too bored

Speaker:

for the listeners,

Speaker:

but it is a science.

Speaker:

And once you really get into the science of subscription,

Speaker:

it can also be predictable,

Speaker:

which is a good thing.

Speaker:

Right? And your annual subscription is paid all at once.

Speaker:

Right? Some people do that.

Speaker:

We don't,

Speaker:

we let them pay month to month and we make sure

Speaker:

that they know it's on commitment terms.

Speaker:

So does it happen where someone jumps out after six months?

Speaker:

For some reason?

Speaker:

Yeah. I mean,

Speaker:

some people sometimes will do that and you don't want them

Speaker:

to, and you remind them that they've committed to 12 months

Speaker:

and that's why maybe they got their first box for free

Speaker:

and that they're getting 21% off,

Speaker:

but things happen and you still have to be flexible.

Speaker:

It's sometimes it's just not worth the bad reviews and you

Speaker:

part ways early with the customer.

Speaker:

But most of the time,

Speaker:

people stick around for their subscription.

Speaker:

So you're putting the faith in the customer that they're going

Speaker:

to honor their commitment with what they had selected in the

Speaker:

beginning. Yeah.

Speaker:

And there's different things you can test your offers are a

Speaker:

big part of it.

Speaker:

And with subscription,

Speaker:

you have to have a really good offer.

Speaker:

And some people will actually put the free box at the

Speaker:

end of the subscription.

Speaker:

Good friend of ours does this with her subscription.

Speaker:

It's she rewards him at the end.

Speaker:

Now that's a great thing.

Speaker:

You're kind of rewarding them for sticking around for 11 months

Speaker:

and on a 12 month,

Speaker:

their 12 boxes free.

Speaker:

I hope that we're going to renew after that go for

Speaker:

another round.

Speaker:

Yeah, you would a hundred percent.

Speaker:

The only problem with that would be your customer acquisition costs

Speaker:

will be a little bit higher.

Speaker:

So because the offer is not as attractive as your first

Speaker:

box, for whatever reason,

Speaker:

it's the same thing.

Speaker:

But some people do prefer the first box free offer.

Speaker:

And what happens is definitely your customer acquisition cost will be,

Speaker:

your offer will be a lot more attractive if it's the

Speaker:

first box,

Speaker:

but for some reason,

Speaker:

that's just the way it is.

Speaker:

Got it.

Speaker:

Okay. Let's talk a little bit about how your finding your

Speaker:

products. I know they're all local,

Speaker:

which, you know,

Speaker:

you're playing right into what we're all looking for,

Speaker:

supporting small businesses,

Speaker:

reducing the footprint,

Speaker:

all of that.

Speaker:

So what do you look for?

Speaker:

What's important for you as you're searching out and then agreeing

Speaker:

to having products included in your boxes?

Speaker:

Yeah. So I think as long as they're a small business,

Speaker:

as long as there's someone like we call them local makers,

Speaker:

I know there's different words for things,

Speaker:

small artisans,

Speaker:

the way we do it,

Speaker:

we quite like people refer to the point.

Speaker:

Now people actually reach out to us,

Speaker:

which is great to me.

Speaker:

I'm gonna,

Speaker:

we can touch on that later.

Speaker:

Instagram's a big one.

Speaker:

Pinterest Etsy,

Speaker:

Google trade shows past trade shows and looking at who was

Speaker:

there, it was kind of things,

Speaker:

conferences. Those are kind of the big ones we use,

Speaker:

but just using the good old sweat equity and scouring the

Speaker:

internet, whether it's Instagram or Googling different things,

Speaker:

I think is the way we've done it.

Speaker:

Okay. Do you have anybody approach you where it's like,

Speaker:

this is not a fit?

Speaker:

What are you even thinking?

Speaker:

Oh, for sure that happens.

Speaker:

But you know what,

Speaker:

if you're a small maker listening and you're like,

Speaker:

maybe something's triggered in your brain.

Speaker:

And you're like,

Speaker:

I would love to be part of a subscription,

Speaker:

do reach out to subscription companies.

Speaker:

You think that would be a fit because oftentimes it is

Speaker:

hard to curate 12 boxes.

Speaker:

There's so much work that goes into that when people reach

Speaker:

out and it's a fit,

Speaker:

it's such a blessing for us.

Speaker:

And we love it when people reach out because it's not

Speaker:

always a fit,

Speaker:

but you know,

Speaker:

it could be down the road and you're planting a seed

Speaker:

for maybe a future box.

Speaker:

Or maybe we have a network of subscription box entrepreneurs.

Speaker:

Someone reaches out to me.

Speaker:

So you know what,

Speaker:

that doesn't quite work out.

Speaker:

Maybe that would work out next October.

Speaker:

But you know,

Speaker:

if it's a coffee subscription,

Speaker:

for example,

Speaker:

local, but you could say,

Speaker:

Hey, you know what?

Speaker:

This company here,

Speaker:

I know they were looking for something they might dig would

Speaker:

fit. I'll get you in touch with them.

Speaker:

So you can always ask for a referral if it's not

Speaker:

a fit as well.

Speaker:

And we're more than happy to do that.

Speaker:

The subscription industry is like the most friendly community minded industry.

Speaker:

It's unbelievable people work and help each other out with like

Speaker:

expecting nothing in return.

Speaker:

It's just this great kind of a feel with it.

Speaker:

So we'd be happy to help the local makers.

Speaker:

Well, amazing.

Speaker:

Well, we were kind of rolling into,

Speaker:

I told you,

Speaker:

we weren't going to do this,

Speaker:

Eric. And now I triggered it.

Speaker:

We were saying,

Speaker:

as we were talking in the pre chat that we were

Speaker:

going to talk specifically about Louie and Leah,

Speaker:

and then we were going to get into more of the

Speaker:

subscription box overall,

Speaker:

but I've messed the whole thing up.

Speaker:

So we're going to keep rolling with it.

Speaker:

And then we're going to go back again.

Speaker:

But yeah,

Speaker:

I think there's opportunity here for people who have subscription boxes

Speaker:

or are thinking about starting subscription boxes.

Speaker:

And then there's also opportunity for some of our listeners to

Speaker:

consider being a participant in a subscription box.

Speaker:

So let's talk that angle now as a product maker,

Speaker:

is there a certain level I need to get to before

Speaker:

I could reach out and see if there are opportunities out

Speaker:

there? Or how does that all work?

Speaker:

Yeah. It's like the old Japanese saying the best time to

Speaker:

plant a tree was 25 years ago.

Speaker:

The next best time is now.

Speaker:

I say like,

Speaker:

now like a year is no good time.

Speaker:

Like, you'll find your makers.

Speaker:

Here's the thing.

Speaker:

I think people go online and they see these subscription companies.

Speaker:

They assume they're all have 15,

Speaker:

50,000, 10,000

Speaker:

members. A lot of them,

Speaker:

probably the majority of subscription boxes have between like a hundred

Speaker:

to a thousand members.

Speaker:

So you'll be a fit for a lot of different boxes

Speaker:

and there's no shortages of catalogs and places to find them.

Speaker:

And I'd be happy to help them out with that if

Speaker:

they need.

Speaker:

But yeah,

Speaker:

I think you start anytime and just reach out and look

Speaker:

for boxes.

Speaker:

That would be a fit,

Speaker:

certain things you need to know most boxes,

Speaker:

especially if it's a monthly box.

Speaker:

There's pretty small because we want to save on shipping.

Speaker:

You're looking at something of an average of like a nine

Speaker:

by six by three inches,

Speaker:

kind of as like a standard subscription box.

Speaker:

Now, of course there's exceptions.

Speaker:

We need bigger boxes.

Speaker:

So if you have a large candle company,

Speaker:

for example,

Speaker:

and the candles are pretty large,

Speaker:

you might want to consider making a smaller one,

Speaker:

especially for the price point sometimes.

Speaker:

And The weight I'm thinking in the wait for shipping too.

Speaker:

And the Weight,

Speaker:

yes, a hundred percent,

Speaker:

but look at it this way as well.

Speaker:

So as a subscription box owner,

Speaker:

we're going to be paying wholesale for prices.

Speaker:

We need to be profitable,

Speaker:

but you also need to make money.

Speaker:

And sometimes the downfall is that the small maker won't make

Speaker:

a ton of money on say,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

the 500 candles or whatnot,

Speaker:

but you're going to be getting these candles.

Speaker:

And you gotta think about this into the hands of your

Speaker:

ideal customer.

Speaker:

And this is a thing where you might want to I'll

Speaker:

include them with that,

Speaker:

a special deal just for those members for those 500 members,

Speaker:

maybe it's a card that has a referral or some kind

Speaker:

of link that they can go and visit and get it

Speaker:

just a discount just because they're members of that particular box.

Speaker:

And this is way to get a future sales off of

Speaker:

it. But it's also a way to get into the hands

Speaker:

that maybe that person won't have it,

Speaker:

but it's a sharing thing they can share with a friend

Speaker:

or just get really creative on how to add as much

Speaker:

value for the members because subscription box entrepreneurs want value,

Speaker:

not just product.

Speaker:

So are you saying that then we might even label the

Speaker:

products a little bit differently or is this promotional material that

Speaker:

would go with the candle?

Speaker:

Great question sometimes,

Speaker:

or you're going to get a no on your actual product.

Speaker:

And if you do have a product,

Speaker:

I wouldn't say your product has to change the labeling because

Speaker:

if it's a subscription box,

Speaker:

that's supporting a small maker,

Speaker:

they want to highlight that maker.

Speaker:

In our cards,

Speaker:

we include a special column on a cart just about that

Speaker:

company. But sometimes we say no to companies.

Speaker:

It's not a fit because maybe our products are all curated

Speaker:

for the year.

Speaker:

But what we say was we're always looking for a featured

Speaker:

company. So we'll have a four by six card.

Speaker:

It's just an informational card about a featured company we're going

Speaker:

to use in it's.

Speaker:

For example,

Speaker:

our August pugs feature company happens to be a candle company.

Speaker:

It's called colon Canary.

Speaker:

It's a local maker here in Canada and they did not

Speaker:

fit the requisites to fit in our boxes because of price

Speaker:

point and size and weights.

Speaker:

But they had a cool four by six card,

Speaker:

very well high quality card that had promotional material in there

Speaker:

just for the members that they can order and have special

Speaker:

discounts for the members.

Speaker:

So that would be great for someone who has either a

Speaker:

higher price product potentially,

Speaker:

or heavier,

Speaker:

as you're saying.

Speaker:

And then do they pay you to be included in the

Speaker:

box? No,

Speaker:

they don't Because you're not buying their product.

Speaker:

You're including the card Pay for the card.

Speaker:

That's the only thing.

Speaker:

Yeah. So they would pay for the card and they have

Speaker:

a delivered,

Speaker:

whether their jeans are printing through a local printer or Vista

Speaker:

print, it just gets delivered to our door.

Speaker:

We get our cards,

Speaker:

we put them in there and then we make sure to

Speaker:

cross promote.

Speaker:

And what's great about this.

Speaker:

You got to think of the other thing is that the

Speaker:

subscription box will be promoting this on their social feeds and

Speaker:

on their blogs,

Speaker:

a lot of subscription box up connections with like Forbes or

Speaker:

these different high quality resources for people that read these things.

Speaker:

It's another way to just get out there in front of

Speaker:

a bigger audience.

Speaker:

And sometimes there's backlinks that we'll have involved.

Speaker:

So on our website,

Speaker:

we might talk about on the blog about this,

Speaker:

all the companies,

Speaker:

this creates back links,

Speaker:

which helps with your long-term SEO.

Speaker:

It's endless the benefits of partnering with a subscription box or

Speaker:

even starting your own.

Speaker:

Okay. So I just want to be clear,

Speaker:

make sure I've gotten this right.

Speaker:

So if someone was going to send you a card,

Speaker:

they're paying for the production of the card,

Speaker:

they're getting it to you.

Speaker:

You're not charging them at all for it to be included

Speaker:

in the box or promoting over all of the box.

Speaker:

And for you,

Speaker:

that's increasing the value of the boxes because here's another source

Speaker:

of product that you're showing,

Speaker:

right. But there's a little bit of production cost to that

Speaker:

because you've got your whole production line.

Speaker:

When you're making the boxes,

Speaker:

you're putting it into the box,

Speaker:

you're making sure it fits properly,

Speaker:

et cetera,

Speaker:

et cetera,

Speaker:

but they're not being charged for any of that or the

Speaker:

promotion overall,

Speaker:

is that right?

Speaker:

No, that's right.

Speaker:

It's just for us,

Speaker:

the way we collect.

Speaker:

So like for colon Canary to be part of our subscription

Speaker:

box, it was great for them because it just costs them

Speaker:

whatever. It was a couple hundred bucks in printing costs.

Speaker:

And now they're going into hundreds and hundreds of these ideal

Speaker:

customer's hands with a specific exclusive.

Speaker:

And for us,

Speaker:

the pro is that our moms are getting just an exclusive

Speaker:

deal just for them.

Speaker:

It's tailor made.

Speaker:

And we make sure that the card has the code is

Speaker:

Louie and Leah 15,

Speaker:

if it's 15% off or whatever it looks like.

Speaker:

Right. So that it's very exclusive just for them.

Speaker:

So these are exclusive benefits for the members.

Speaker:

So they feel special about that.

Speaker:

And it's great for the company.

Speaker:

The only thing I would say is before you start printing

Speaker:

the cards,

Speaker:

make sure you're communicating with the subscription box owner or whoever's

Speaker:

in charge their production team to make sure that the graphic

Speaker:

design on the card is a fit.

Speaker:

For example,

Speaker:

if you're not a graphic designer and you put something that's

Speaker:

quote unquote,

Speaker:

pretty enough,

Speaker:

they might be disappointed and not wanna include that card.

Speaker:

So just make sure you're on the same board and some

Speaker:

subscription box companies like ourselves.

Speaker:

We'll make sure that we'll do all the graphic design work

Speaker:

for you.

Speaker:

We'll put the car together and we'll send you the vector

Speaker:

files or whatever,

Speaker:

how it is.

Speaker:

And my wife would do all the terms there.

Speaker:

She'll send back over the files and then they can get

Speaker:

them printed because we want it to have our look,

Speaker:

our brand,

Speaker:

and that's important for most subscription boxes.

Speaker:

So just communicate that through with the owner that you're speaking

Speaker:

with Really good point,

Speaker:

because you talk about experience too.

Speaker:

You know,

Speaker:

it's not just the experience with emails,

Speaker:

but it's the whole experience of when you receive the box

Speaker:

and you open it and the aesthetic that you're bringing forward

Speaker:

the whole way it looks.

Speaker:

So I totally understand what you're talking about with that.

Speaker:

I still don't understand Eric,

Speaker:

how do I make contact with these people to possibly be

Speaker:

part of a box?

Speaker:

Where do I find out who they are?

Speaker:

Am I going to send them emails?

Speaker:

Am I going to direct message them?

Speaker:

What's your suggestion here?

Speaker:

Oh my gosh,

Speaker:

I love subscription boxes so much.

Speaker:

And it's so fun to get the behind the scenes here.

Speaker:

Wouldn't it be exciting to see you in a subscription box?

Speaker:

Let's check out the potential for that,

Speaker:

right after a quick break to hear from our sponsor.

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I've been here from the start and it's been so fulfilling

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to watch the growth of the business,

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not just for us,

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but for our customers to adding the ability to personalize ribbon

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has been a game changer for many of our customers.

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We've been told it's what kept them in business back in

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as a matter of fact,

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we're seeing more and more schools and florists inquire about the

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capabilities. Along with the standard businesses.

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My can made product creators,

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promotional, product businesses,

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and chocolate makers.

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One of our strengths is it.

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Sue used this technology when it was first identified to grow

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her gift basket business way back when she's the only one

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in the industry to have actually applied it to her business,

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giving her insight and pricing and marketing others just don't have.

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This is also why our software along with an exclusive online

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training program is the industry goals.

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Nothing else comes close to its reliability,

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design flexibility,

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and he's all done with the goal of making you look

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good as you bring smiles to the faces of your customers,

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to learn more and see the ribbon printer in action,

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go to the ribbon print company.com.

Speaker:

Yeah. There's some great tips here I have for your listeners.

Speaker:

Okay. So first of all,

Speaker:

the one thing it's going to be work,

Speaker:

you're going to have to do some work.

Speaker:

You're going to have to look and scour the internet for

Speaker:

potential subscription boxes that are fits.

Speaker:

Keep in mind.

Speaker:

If you're a smaller maker,

Speaker:

the first ones that come up on top of Google will

Speaker:

be probably some pretty large ones.

Speaker:

So you might want to go to the bottom of page

Speaker:

two or something,

Speaker:

and you'll really find some niche stuff.

Speaker:

My subscription addiction,

Speaker:

Cratejoy marketplace have a lot of ideas for boxes.

Speaker:

You have a lot of smaller makers there as well,

Speaker:

but you're going to find something Instagram can do keyword searches,

Speaker:

look for hashtags,

Speaker:

subscription boxes,

Speaker:

those kinds of things.

Speaker:

LinkedIn have a lot of owners,

Speaker:

but first thing you want to do is go with what

Speaker:

the provide you with in the first place.

Speaker:

So email,

Speaker:

usually there's a contact us page.

Speaker:

If there's an email,

Speaker:

hello at Louie and Leah,

Speaker:

for example,

Speaker:

you want to use that because that's what they gave you.

Speaker:

So that's where they probably want you to use first.

Speaker:

Now there is something called gatekeepers in most subscription box owners.

Speaker:

Sometimes that's just a husband and wife team or a couple

Speaker:

of friends that have a box together and that'd be,

Speaker:

might be one of them.

Speaker:

But nonetheless,

Speaker:

you have to get through that first gatekeeper,

Speaker:

whoever is going through the emails to get their attention.

Speaker:

One of the things you want to make sure that your

Speaker:

subject line is something kind of catchy,

Speaker:

whether it's something like,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

interested to be partnering with your box and we'll bulk order

Speaker:

inquiry, those kinds of things will get the attention,

Speaker:

potential partnership,

Speaker:

those kinds of things.

Speaker:

And the email might or might not get read.

Speaker:

Now, if the email is not successful,

Speaker:

if you can find another way to get ahold of them,

Speaker:

you can try DM on Instagram.

Speaker:

Every subscription box has an Instagram account and you can DM

Speaker:

there if that doesn't work or it's taking longer than it

Speaker:

should. A great tip here is to do a video and

Speaker:

you have to get maybe out of your comfort zone for

Speaker:

this, but it works.

Speaker:

Trust me,

Speaker:

because it will separate you from the masses.

Speaker:

Just do a simple video,

Speaker:

say, Hey,

Speaker:

this is Eric from Lewin,

Speaker:

Leah. We make candles.

Speaker:

And I think we'd be a great fit for your box

Speaker:

because, and give them a reason because,

Speaker:

so it doesn't look like you're just sending the same message

Speaker:

to everyone and tell them why you'd be a great fit

Speaker:

and just keep it really short 15,

Speaker:

30 seconds,

Speaker:

and then thank them in advance.

Speaker:

And that's another great tip.

Speaker:

Always put thanks in advance.

Speaker:

So it has kind of this subconscious open loop that it

Speaker:

leaves into the mind of the person reading it,

Speaker:

that they want to close that loop.

Speaker:

So they want it to fulfill that.

Speaker:

Yeah, videos are great on DM.

Speaker:

LinkedIn's another great one.

Speaker:

A lot of subscription entrepreneurs are on LinkedIn because of networking

Speaker:

purposes. And if you can't get through the,

Speaker:

let's say the hello at Louie and land,

Speaker:

oftentimes just by doing searches on LinkedIn,

Speaker:

Google or Instagram,

Speaker:

you'll find the name of the owners.

Speaker:

We might even have it in their about page.

Speaker:

So in our case,

Speaker:

it's Eric and Christine.

Speaker:

Well guess what?

Speaker:

Most subscription blocks entrepreneurs are just like Nene,

Speaker:

Christine. So what did we do when we created our website?

Speaker:

We have the hello.

Speaker:

Yes, but we all have Eric at Louie and Leah,

Speaker:

Christine at Luna.

Speaker:

So if you find the name of the company and then

Speaker:

you can find their owners names,

Speaker:

use their name at that company,

Speaker:

most likely that's their direct email.

Speaker:

And you can bypass all the gatekeepers and just get ahold

Speaker:

of them directly.

Speaker:

That's a great tip and worst case.

Speaker:

It just bounces back to you.

Speaker:

So no harm done,

Speaker:

no harm,

Speaker:

no foul,

Speaker:

Exactly a hundred percent.

Speaker:

And the last thing would just be again,

Speaker:

I just want to emphasize on do not mass email,

Speaker:

a hundred different companies.

Speaker:

We know when it's a mass email,

Speaker:

you know what,

Speaker:

when you get a mass email,

Speaker:

right? Like everyone knows Because of the wording in the email.

Speaker:

Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker:

Well, I'm also thinking you need to be careful because what

Speaker:

if you get accepted by a number of different companies,

Speaker:

all at the same time for production purposes and all the

Speaker:

logistics around it,

Speaker:

but getting back to these emails for one second,

Speaker:

would you suggest that you say just really quickly what your

Speaker:

business is,

Speaker:

but then also offer up the specific product that you think

Speaker:

you'd like them to consider.

Speaker:

So you make their work really easy.

Speaker:

Yeah. Quick intro.

Speaker:

Don't go into a long story.

Speaker:

No Whole resume,

Speaker:

huh? No resume,

Speaker:

please. Honestly,

Speaker:

that like networking,

Speaker:

one-on-one like,

Speaker:

you want a really quick intro and maybe have a link

Speaker:

where they can find out more about you.

Speaker:

So if they are interested,

Speaker:

let them do it.

Speaker:

They don't need to see your whole resume there,

Speaker:

but then tell them what would be the fit,

Speaker:

why you're reaching out to them and potentially a product you

Speaker:

had in mind.

Speaker:

But you're open to suggestions.

Speaker:

You're someone that's easy to work with.

Speaker:

That's the best thing.

Speaker:

And because if it's not a fit again,

Speaker:

and we'd be happy usually to refer or down the road,

Speaker:

come back to you again.

Speaker:

Right. So just make it always a great positive experience,

Speaker:

no matter what.

Speaker:

So on your end,

Speaker:

do you map out the different months and what the overall

Speaker:

theme of the box is going to be?

Speaker:

So if I was bringing you a product,

Speaker:

you were referencing this a little bit earlier,

Speaker:

you could put it in any box.

Speaker:

It makes sense for you.

Speaker:

But do you ever share with people what your planned schedule

Speaker:

would be?

Speaker:

If you have themed months?

Speaker:

We definitely theme our months.

Speaker:

Like for the summertime,

Speaker:

it was very summertime,

Speaker:

like bringing,

Speaker:

going to the beach,

Speaker:

kind of a feel for the moms and also things that

Speaker:

they can bring with them on picnics and outings,

Speaker:

most boxes have that kind of thing.

Speaker:

But yeah,

Speaker:

I think it's,

Speaker:

we would share that with our clients.

Speaker:

We were like,

Speaker:

Hey, you know what?

Speaker:

Like you're a candle maker and you're thinking,

Speaker:

you know what?

Speaker:

Candle scent would be a good one.

Speaker:

Well, fall is a great time for algebra candles around Christmas

Speaker:

times, we will try to maybe put you in,

Speaker:

in the fall box.

Speaker:

So right now,

Speaker:

if you reach out to them in spring,

Speaker:

that might not be a fit.

Speaker:

Maybe it is,

Speaker:

but we might consider you in the fall.

Speaker:

So keep that in mind.

Speaker:

So if they say to reach back out to them,

Speaker:

put a note on your calendar to reach back out to

Speaker:

them whenever they tell you to.

Speaker:

And if it's a no,

Speaker:

which is okay,

Speaker:

because it's nothing personal.

Speaker:

I always see this in Anissa was the same with my

Speaker:

suppliers. Or if I'm reaching out for someone to come on

Speaker:

my podcast,

Speaker:

I don't just finish it at a no,

Speaker:

I'll keep the conversation going by saying,

Speaker:

Hey, no problem,

Speaker:

Sue. I understand it's not a fit at this time,

Speaker:

but would you mind if I reach out to you in

Speaker:

two months and they'll say,

Speaker:

I've never had someone say no to be first off.

Speaker:

But the only thing I make sure is because you know

Speaker:

why they say they don't mind is because most people won't

Speaker:

do it.

Speaker:

So make sure soon as you say that in that email

Speaker:

has been sent and they say,

Speaker:

no problem,

Speaker:

put in your calendar,

Speaker:

put a reminder,

Speaker:

a notification that in that two months,

Speaker:

you're seeing that email again and reply to that email so

Speaker:

that it kind of brings them back to the whole conversation

Speaker:

again. Oh my gosh.

Speaker:

Excellent. Excellent advice.

Speaker:

Cause you're so right.

Speaker:

So many people will say that and then never heard from

Speaker:

again, Never.

Speaker:

They never,

Speaker:

they never,

Speaker:

so when you actually do it,

Speaker:

it blows their mind and I'm telling you,

Speaker:

I do it all the time,

Speaker:

especially for when I'm reaching out to podcast guests and it

Speaker:

blows their mind because they're like,

Speaker:

whoa, what?

Speaker:

Like he actually came back to me two months.

Speaker:

Oh my gosh.

Speaker:

Well, and I think also for people who are a little

Speaker:

hesitant or uncertain about their product,

Speaker:

my guess is Eric,

Speaker:

that you appreciate people reaching out because you don't want to

Speaker:

always have to be the one that sourcing the product.

Speaker:

If great products come to you,

Speaker:

that's helped you with what you're supposed to be doing.

Speaker:

All the coal lighting.

Speaker:

So you're almost giving them a gift by offering up the

Speaker:

product, Listen,

Speaker:

small makers out there.

Speaker:

Okay. We love it when you guys reach out to us.

Speaker:

So do it,

Speaker:

do it.

Speaker:

It's a blessing.

Speaker:

Yeah. Just do it.

Speaker:

We love it.

Speaker:

It just helps us tremendously to curate products.

Speaker:

We have so much on our plate already.

Speaker:

This is just like a gift.

Speaker:

When we get done people reaching out to us with the

Speaker:

proper and the right fifth.

Speaker:

Okay. So you've accepted my product now what happens?

Speaker:

Yeah. So we'll have a contract on how payments.

Speaker:

So some subscription boxes will pay after the shipment is done,

Speaker:

or once the product has arrived,

Speaker:

some people will do 50% now,

Speaker:

50% after reception.

Speaker:

And then usually you can negotiate on these terms as well.

Speaker:

We have like set terms,

Speaker:

we'll pay 50% upfront and then 50% after everything's all been

Speaker:

completed. And the reason for that,

Speaker:

if you're wondering,

Speaker:

why do they do that?

Speaker:

Well, it's because as subscription box owners,

Speaker:

we only get paid once a month.

Speaker:

Right? So for us,

Speaker:

we get paid on the first of every month.

Speaker:

So we tell people we'll pay you after that.

Speaker:

So, you know,

Speaker:

between the second and the fifth,

Speaker:

you'll get your money because it's kind of like a net

Speaker:

30 terms basically is what it is.

Speaker:

Because once that invoice comes in,

Speaker:

that cash flows back into pay our suppliers.

Speaker:

So that's what happens.

Speaker:

So once those financials are taken care of,

Speaker:

which is not a big deal,

Speaker:

you want to start talking about deadlines and whatever you say

Speaker:

on your deadline,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

always under promise and over-deliver and things happen.

Speaker:

I get it.

Speaker:

Maybe, you know,

Speaker:

your material didn't come in or a certain ingredient wasn't near

Speaker:

in time.

Speaker:

Be honest and open with them because what happens,

Speaker:

this has happened with us.

Speaker:

Those, I think a typhoon in China and one of the

Speaker:

local makers was waiting on.

Speaker:

She was making these hands and something didn't come in time

Speaker:

enemies. And she was very honest and were like,

Speaker:

thank you for letting us know,

Speaker:

we'll move your product to never the month.

Speaker:

We'll just do a switch with another one and everything worked

Speaker:

out in the end.

Speaker:

But if she would have tried to just say,

Speaker:

yeah, it'll be here on time.

Speaker:

We would have completely botched on center boxes late.

Speaker:

So always under promise and over deliver and just be transparent

Speaker:

if you can't provide enough candles.

Speaker:

For example,

Speaker:

let's say they're asking for 1500 candles,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

in your mind,

Speaker:

you'll only be able to do 750,

Speaker:

then suggest that you know what,

Speaker:

that's not a problem.

Speaker:

I can still,

Speaker:

I have this other friend.

Speaker:

She makes candles and we can maybe partner together and make

Speaker:

the 1500 as a tandem or whatnot.

Speaker:

So just be transparent.

Speaker:

Oh, interesting.

Speaker:

So you would do that with your box.

Speaker:

I'm thinking maybe the larger ones might not where they do

Speaker:

similar product,

Speaker:

multiple makers in the product.

Speaker:

I never thought about that before.

Speaker:

Oh, a hundred percent.

Speaker:

Like a lot of small makers,

Speaker:

maybe can't put together 5,000

Speaker:

something or 1500,

Speaker:

but just bring the answers to the subscription entrepreneur and tell

Speaker:

them that why that would work and why it should be

Speaker:

beneficial as well,

Speaker:

because you're getting two companies for the price of one almost.

Speaker:

Right. Okay.

Speaker:

It brings up two things.

Speaker:

I want to ask you about first off as a local

Speaker:

maker, let's say I'm right in the area.

Speaker:

Would it be valuable to you?

Speaker:

If I were to say,

Speaker:

look, if ever you run into an emergency and you know,

Speaker:

you need to fill a box because something's happened with your

Speaker:

scheduling or delivery or something,

Speaker:

I'm right down the street.

Speaker:

You can always use me as a backup.

Speaker:

Would that be valuable?

Speaker:

Totally. Yeah.

Speaker:

We actually have a couple of companies like that,

Speaker:

that we use that are always top of mind,

Speaker:

if something should happen or we're short,

Speaker:

what happened to disorder?

Speaker:

It was short again,

Speaker:

they maybe they over promised,

Speaker:

well then we'll use them to fill up the rest of

Speaker:

the quarter or whatnot and something to keep in mind that

Speaker:

when reaching out,

Speaker:

you don't have to go across country or international.

Speaker:

Look in your own city.

Speaker:

I know some people are rural,

Speaker:

but Eudora is a major city close to you at some

Speaker:

point. And just look there just probably dozens and dozens of

Speaker:

subscription boxes just in your area.

Speaker:

And that you can get attractive to them by being something

Speaker:

you're you can deliver yourself.

Speaker:

So they save on shipping and just increase their margins and

Speaker:

bring better value to them as well.

Speaker:

So I think we personally will always,

Speaker:

of course you won't be in their box every time,

Speaker:

but just think maybe local first and try to start there,

Speaker:

get a grasp on how it is that experience with subscription

Speaker:

boxes and then Canada go from there.

Speaker:

Yeah, no,

Speaker:

I think that should be the first step because it's the

Speaker:

easiest relationship to establish.

Speaker:

And there are additional benefits just by the proximity,

Speaker:

for sure.

Speaker:

Like, let's say one of the products comes and one of

Speaker:

the boxes is completely broken.

Speaker:

So even though they sent them right.

Speaker:

A number of product,

Speaker:

some of it's damaged and they need to backfill for the

Speaker:

boxes. So how does your deadline work for production purposes?

Speaker:

Do you have a hard stop of the point where you're

Speaker:

accepting product,

Speaker:

because then you've got to be putting these boxes together.

Speaker:

Yeah. And that'll all be discussed in that initial conversation with

Speaker:

both the transactions and stuff saying,

Speaker:

we need this.

Speaker:

And some people will say,

Speaker:

especially if it's a smaller box,

Speaker:

they might be like,

Speaker:

well, we might need 200 products,

Speaker:

but we'll for sure need 150.

Speaker:

So you can start on those 150.

Speaker:

Let's get them ready by the 15th.

Speaker:

And then every week I'll give you an update.

Speaker:

So it's sometimes like,

Speaker:

because their members are growing,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

if it's a new company,

Speaker:

so just be transparent,

Speaker:

whatever it is,

Speaker:

just have that conversation.

Speaker:

But there is always a hard stop.

Speaker:

So for example,

Speaker:

we bill on the first we ship out on the 10th.

Speaker:

So we know that our shipping week starts on the third.

Speaker:

We start packing from the third to the 10th because on

Speaker:

the 10th of the road.

Speaker:

So we tell them you haven't until the third,

Speaker:

but we'd appreciate it.

Speaker:

If that was,

Speaker:

at least half of the quarter was done mid month prior.

Speaker:

Okay. That makes sense.

Speaker:

And so how do you manage that then with new subscription

Speaker:

orders coming in,

Speaker:

even past your deadline?

Speaker:

Yeah. It's just forecasting and what's great about that is that

Speaker:

you can just easily put a sold out sign on your

Speaker:

website, which causes like big time.

Speaker:

So yeah,

Speaker:

it happens,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

inventory is honestly one of the hardest things maybe other than

Speaker:

shipping to control in subscriptions because your numbers should always be

Speaker:

going up.

Speaker:

So you have to forecast that,

Speaker:

but you'll always have excess inventory.

Speaker:

It's great.

Speaker:

If it,

Speaker:

we have one,

Speaker:

we have excess inventory.

Speaker:

Cause most subscription companies have a shop.

Speaker:

So for us,

Speaker:

we'll have past boxes or we'll put together the best of

Speaker:

we'll have certain promotions.

Speaker:

So that candle that you're making for that box that maybe

Speaker:

was in the September box.

Speaker:

Well guess what,

Speaker:

it's probably going to be also on the website.

Speaker:

So you're going to get more exposure there.

Speaker:

It's probably going to be going into a past box.

Speaker:

It might be going into a future production.

Speaker:

If there was like 50 extra candles,

Speaker:

you might be going into a free gift offer down the

Speaker:

road and still promoting your stuff.

Speaker:

It's really,

Speaker:

there's more than just that one month.

Speaker:

You're going in.

Speaker:

Think of it as a long-term relationship and a longterm kind

Speaker:

of plan as well.

Speaker:

That's something I didn't know about the boxes.

Speaker:

That's really interesting.

Speaker:

Is there an average churn that you will see?

Speaker:

Oh yeah.

Speaker:

10% is kind of industry you don't want.

Speaker:

Well, you're hopefully lower than 10%.

Speaker:

10% would be like the standard.

Speaker:

If you're higher,

Speaker:

if you're churn.

Speaker:

And for those who don't know what churn is,

Speaker:

that's the people leaving your subscription.

Speaker:

So for example,

Speaker:

if you're a hundred people are coming in every month,

Speaker:

that means 10 are leaving as well.

Speaker:

So you've got a net 90 on your memberships every month.

Speaker:

So you want to be below 10,

Speaker:

you know,

Speaker:

most good companies have anywhere between three and 6% up to

Speaker:

eight, maybe 10 being kind of like you want to be

Speaker:

under 10,

Speaker:

but not probably at 10.

Speaker:

It's a good,

Speaker:

safe forecasting number.

Speaker:

All right.

Speaker:

Really interesting.

Speaker:

Okay. As we're getting closer to the end here,

Speaker:

I want to swing back to another important point for,

Speaker:

well it's really for both sides,

Speaker:

but that is how do you attract the first customers that

Speaker:

you're bringing in?

Speaker:

So when you first started with Louie and Leah,

Speaker:

how do you get the word out?

Speaker:

I know you started talking emails,

Speaker:

but talk through the whole process there.

Speaker:

Yeah. It's all about getting some excitement.

Speaker:

So there's two things you want to probably do.

Speaker:

There's more than two things,

Speaker:

but the two things for sure is Canada,

Speaker:

make it fun and gamify it.

Speaker:

Someone might win their first three months subscription or a six

Speaker:

month subscription,

Speaker:

or maybe just their first box,

Speaker:

but make it fun,

Speaker:

make it attractive for people to want to sign up and

Speaker:

have great free resources.

Speaker:

So the exchange for that email is going to be a

Speaker:

great piece of content you're going to put together or multiple

Speaker:

pieces of content and hopefully,

Speaker:

but for sure,

Speaker:

one great piece of content that's free that somebody would want

Speaker:

in that niche.

Speaker:

So for us,

Speaker:

we had like the ultimate packing checklist to get to the

Speaker:

hospital. We had the secret,

Speaker:

every new mom needs to know.

Speaker:

So these are like kind of great things that they want

Speaker:

to know.

Speaker:

These things.

Speaker:

We know they're looking for them anyways and we're giving it

Speaker:

to them for free.

Speaker:

The only exchange is the email.

Speaker:

And on top of that,

Speaker:

when they put that in,

Speaker:

they get to that landing page is that they get to

Speaker:

maybe potentially also win a subscription.

Speaker:

So now they're excited about the content.

Speaker:

They're excited about this box.

Speaker:

We're exchanging the email and that's kind of how you start

Speaker:

this, the little wheel to have subscription boxes.

Speaker:

And I'm Thinking you're throwing some money at ads to get

Speaker:

out there for people to see this so that you can

Speaker:

collect the emails.

Speaker:

Yeah. If you address your small maker and you have an

Speaker:

existing audience use that first use family and friends as sounding

Speaker:

boards as well.

Speaker:

The thing is,

Speaker:

don't take this wrong,

Speaker:

but don't take the family and friends advice too seriously,

Speaker:

especially if they're not dry ideal customer.

Speaker:

So some people are like,

Speaker:

Aw man,

Speaker:

all my family and friends really did not like my box

Speaker:

idea. Well,

Speaker:

are they your ICA,

Speaker:

your ideal customer avatar is this who you're wanting to sell

Speaker:

to you?

Speaker:

If not go to those people for us,

Speaker:

we went to birthing centers,

Speaker:

went to see doulas,

Speaker:

going to see places where moms hang out and just ask

Speaker:

them, put together like a fake box,

Speaker:

almost like,

Speaker:

would you be interested in this?

Speaker:

And how much would you be willing to pay for it?

Speaker:

So that's part of the market research.

Speaker:

We're backtracking there,

Speaker:

but you want to start with your family and friends for

Speaker:

sure. But don't take that too seriously if you have an

Speaker:

existing audience.

Speaker:

Great. That's also good.

Speaker:

But yeah,

Speaker:

paid ads is don't be too intimidated with paid ads.

Speaker:

It's not that difficult and you don't need to spend a

Speaker:

ton of money.

Speaker:

It's just enough to get that creative piece of content into

Speaker:

the hands of potential ideal customers.

Speaker:

So now you've learned so much,

Speaker:

you've started a podcast and now you're starting to help people

Speaker:

with their own subscription boxes.

Speaker:

Right? Tell me more about that.

Speaker:

That's exciting.

Speaker:

Well, my passions are of course being a husband and father

Speaker:

first and foremost,

Speaker:

like you mentioned off the top,

Speaker:

but subscriptions is what I do.

Speaker:

So the subscription box,

Speaker:

Louie and Leah,

Speaker:

this is what we do full-time but my other passion is

Speaker:

my podcast.

Speaker:

This subscription box show.

Speaker:

So I started this because like I'd mentioned off the top,

Speaker:

I love podcasts and books as a way to learn.

Speaker:

But in the beginning there wasn't too much.

Speaker:

When it came to subscription only podcast,

Speaker:

there's a lot of e-commerce podcasts,

Speaker:

business podcasts,

Speaker:

but there wasn't nothing really subscription specific.

Speaker:

And if there was,

Speaker:

it was biased,

Speaker:

maybe it was done by an agency.

Speaker:

Maybe it was done by a specific someone who had something

Speaker:

to profit from.

Speaker:

I just wanted to put something together that was unbiased and

Speaker:

that anyone could learn from,

Speaker:

especially if they're starting or thinking of starting or looking to

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grow their own subscription box.

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So the show officially launched in April of 2020,

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right smack in the middle of COVID and a year.

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And a bit later here we are,

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I guess,

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a year and a half later we've got 178 episodes.

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We publish two shows a week.

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One is an interview style where I interview some of the

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biggest founders of the world's people like my personal hero,

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Olivia Canlis from yell box.

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She's been on the show.

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So that's come full circle.

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And she's one who inspired me to start my subscription box.

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Right. But also on,

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on Fridays I have something called focus Friday,

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where I focus on a specific,

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hot something that's current in the industry.

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So current affairs kind of a show,

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very short,

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15 minutes just focused on something that would be beneficial for

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the listeners.

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And yeah,

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so it's just to help other people who want to start.

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So if you're listening to this as a small maker,

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and you're thinking about maybe partnering with subscription boxes,

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or maybe even starting your own,

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definitely have a listen to this subscription box show.

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It's going to be a,

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you're going to love this.

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It's a lot of fun to do.

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And it's all about giving back.

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Love it.

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Absolutely love it.

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And I do know a couple of subscription box people who

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are listeners.

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So you're going to pick up some listeners for sure.

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No question about it.

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What do you see moving forward?

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What's your vision?

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And as the months and years progress here.

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Yeah. So What's happened.

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Well, the unbiased thing again,

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what's happened is just the,

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again, the network in the community subscription boxes is so amazing.

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I've actually been able to partner and be an affiliate with

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some courses.

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So I'm going to continue doing that.

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So if it's something specific you're getting really serious about starting

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subscription box,

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the podcast is the best free resource for sure.

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But there's also some paid stuff there you can get as

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well. There's three different courses on the site.

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If you go to the subscription boxer.com,

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you can see more there under the programs tab.

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I'd be happy to answer any questions,

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pure listeners on those.

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So I'm going to continue to dabble with courses that I

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find beneficial and I've taken all of them by the way.

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So I know what they're all about.

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So I only promote things I know would help you.

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And there are ones that wouldn't others that wouldn't.

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So I always do a free consult call as well.

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And that's not to sound salesy if you just go and

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just want the free stuff on this site,

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go for it.

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And you listen to the episodes,

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but if it's at a point where you need some help,

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there are other resources as well.

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So we're going to continue to do that.

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The future of the podcast,

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I think is bright in that sense,

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maybe eventually doing some kind of mastermind,

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I think would be down the road.

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Something I'd love to do.

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If you guys have ever been part of a mastermind,

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you'll know the benefits of those,

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especially if you're in the right one.

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And I think there's a great opportunity there for the box.

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We're just going to continue to grow.

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I think the goal for every box is to get to

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a point where you disrupt so much that maybe one of

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the big companies wants to buy you.

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I think getting acquired and then maybe starting the process all

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over again would be great.

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I think that's kind of the future of the podcast,

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but Louie and Lee,

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as well as growing tremendously.

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And I think it's just such a great niche who knows

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where the future holds,

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but when it comes to those things specifically.

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Yeah. That's where I see it.

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Yeah. Well,

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it's exciting.

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And I can just hear the passion in your voice as

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you talk about it too.

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So that's amazing.

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And you're so generous today because you're offering us up a

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couple of gifts here,

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things that we can take advantage of.

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Well, first off you already were talking about the 15 minute

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consult, so that's available and then how would they get that

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15 minute counseled?

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You know what,

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so reach out to me,

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either at Eric at Lewin,

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leah.com, Louie L O U I S and the N D

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Lee L E M French Canadian.

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I don't know if you pick it up in the accent,

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but Erika dot com or eric@thesubscriptionboxshow.com.

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And I'm sure you're gonna have that in your show notes,

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but very easy to get ahold of me on LinkedIn,

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as well as Eric music and music is just like,

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it sounds except at a K at the end.

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Perfect. So additionally,

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if you are interested in any of the courses that Eric

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offers, he will also share with you eight,

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10% discount on any course,

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and I'm sure if someone gets to that point,

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they can also reach out to you and understand how that

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they would take advantage of that.

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And then also for any new moms or grandmothers,

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because I'm sure this is also a big part of your

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audience. Grandmother's sending boxes.

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You've also so generously offered a 15% discount off anything in

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your shop,

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including the boxes.

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Yes. A hundred percent yet.

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Just use the discount code here.

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I think I put gift biz unwrap that as the discount

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code. That is amazing.

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It's very generous.

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Thank you so much for that one final piece of inspiration

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from you to anyone who's considering starting or participating in subscription

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box. Yeah.

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Just take action.

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I think just start reaching out.

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Don't be afraid to take that next step.

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I think people get caught up in just analyzing to the

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point of like they get stuck and almost have a self

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defeatist mindset.

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Just get out there.

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And if you're unsure what you want to do,

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just get into as many things as possible to get the

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creation flow going.

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Yeah. Just take some action and reach out.

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I think,

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you know,

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if you're just want to dabble from like an outsider's view

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and just kinda like see from behind the scenes,

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what's happening,

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go to Facebook groups.

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They're fantastic.

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And there's a ton of subscription.

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Facebook groups,

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mine included the subscription box.

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Will Facebook group find that niche?

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It doesn't have to be that one.

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Just find a niche you're into this,

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give me a subscription box for that.

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And it's going to be a Facebook group for that.

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And just kind of like hide in the weeds and kind

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of see what it's all about.

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And eventually as your comfort grows and I'll step out and

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ask questions and don't be afraid to reaching out.

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People love it.

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If it's a trade shows,

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go to them online events,

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go to them and just really make yourself present.

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And trust me,

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we want your products in our boxes.

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So if you're a creator,

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a small maker,

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just find that perfect fit and there's a ton of them

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out there.

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It's an amazing opportunity on both ends.

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Eric, thank you so much for being on the show and

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sharing all of your insights,

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experience, learnings,

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and support for the industry who appreciate you.

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It's been my pleasure.

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Thanks you.

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Thanks for having me.

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I wish you could see me right now.

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I am bubbling with excitement about you considering being part of

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a subscription box.

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Are you feeling the same way?

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It's an entirely separate profit center that I bet is untapped

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for you right now.

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Seriously. If your product would fit into a box,

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go research some of the local ones in your area and

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reach out to them.

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You have all the information you need to make this happen.

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It's only up to you to act upon it next week.

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We'll be hearing from a repeat guest.

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She's going to share some of the new sales and visibility

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activities that have come up recently.

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I specifically wanted to bring her back as an example of

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how a still relatively young business can expand when you have

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your eye out and say yes to opportunities.

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Thanks so much for spending time with me today.

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If you'd like to show support for the show,

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please leave a rating and review.

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That means so much and helps the show get seen by

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more makers.

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So it's a great way to pay it forward and now

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be safe and well.

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And I'll see you again next week on the gift biz

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unwrapped podcast.

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I want to make sure you're familiar with my free Facebook

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group called gift is free.

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It's a place where we all gather and our community to

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support each other.

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Got a really fun post in there.

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That's my favorite of the week.

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I have to say where I invite all of you to

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share what you're doing to show pictures of your product,

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to show what you're working on for the week to get

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reaction from other people and just for fun,

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because we all get to see the wonderful products that everybody

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in the community is making my favorite posts every single week,

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without doubt.

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Wait, what,

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aren't you part of the group already,

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if not make sure to jump over to Facebook and search

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for the group gift biz breeze don't delay.