What would Cratejoy do without our amazing community of sellers? Their passion and expertise make our world go around. In this season of thankfulness, we’re saluting the newest sellers on our Marketplace — and taking a closer look at some of our most unique subscription box businesses.
The artists and creators behind new boxes the Dinner Set, Relax & Breathe, and ThriveOn, with their unique vision, took the risk to start a business curating brand-new experiences for us all to enjoy.
We give thanks for these new sellers and can’t wait for you to explore their awesome offerings, filled with products and experiences that you won’t find anywhere else!
The Dinner Set
When Sophie came up with the idea for quarterly subscription the Dinner Set, it was clear her lifestyle needed a change. “I was inspired by acclaimed author Bronnie Ware – a palliative nurse for 25 years who reported losing contact with friends as one of the top dying regrets of her patients,” Sophie tells us. Reading Ware’s wisdom made Sophie stop and reflect on how she’d been spending her days. “In the last ten years,” the founder tells us, “I’ve missed over a hundred dinners out and celebrations because I was either too pregnant, working or ferrying my three kids between school, friends, doctors or clubs!”
Enter the Dinner Set, a subscription box designed around the experience of sharing a meal with family and friends. “I want to help busy foodies like me reconnect with friends over fab food at home,” Sophie says. “Before it’s too late to.” The business takes family time seriously, going so far as to collaborate with a professional chef, Jenny, with over 20+ years experience in the London food scene. (Jenny even worked for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver!)
Together, the UK-based team works to feature global delicacies and dishes for each quarterly box, from appetizers to an after-dinner drink. “Our product selection either starts from an incredible ingredient we've sampled,” Sophie says, “like the Moroccan rub in our recent African Adventure box, or from a theme our customers are excited about, like our upcoming Poke box.” The Dinner Set’s current box centers Japanese cuisine, with flowering tea, delicious furikake seasoning, white miso, and artisan-crafted wasabi mustard — among other goods — to create an international dinner party in a box. That way, she notes, “busy foodies [can] feel ready any time to make real moments for friends and family.”
To accommodate hectic day-to-day lives, Sophie prioritizes the subscriber’s needs when planning, sourcing, and curating each box. After all, as a busy working mom, it’s easy for her to empathize with customers and identify any barriers they currently have to spending quality time with their loved ones. “Our recipes have to be easy and/or make ahead,” she says, “because none of us have the spare time or headspace any more!”
Relax & Breathe
Like Sophie, the founder of self-care box Relax & Breathe was inspired to start her business at a crucial juncture in her life. “I came up with the idea one night at eleven PM after a particularly stressful few weeks,” Ashley recalls. “I remember talking to my mother about all of the things that were going on, my mind racing, and then I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have some of the things that I usually do to relax, delivered to your door?” A subscription box seemed like the perfect self-care solution. That way, when someone felt overwhelmed or in danger of burning out – in other words, in definite need of self-care – they wouldn’t need to devote additional energy to researching products or devising a plan for self-care. Instead, “You simply open the box and start unwinding.”
However, like many of us, Ashley struggled with allowing herself to experience the self-care she needed; initially, she felt it was “selfish.” So now, knowing how important self-care is to maintaining wellbeing, Ashley keeps this in mind when hand-curating Relax & Breathe’s 7-8 experiential products (such as crafts, mindfulness activities, and books). “I like to make sure that in every box there are a few key items,” she says.
One of these is what Ashley calls a “mood booster” – “something in the box that is purposefully there just to make you smile.” Another is a gift for someone you care about. “I can't tell you how grateful I am to my friends and family,” Ashley explains thoughtfully. “I think that sometimes we can [unintentionally] take them for granted because they are always there for us.” So in every box subscribers receive from Relax & Breathe, Ashley has hand-selected a gift for the customer to give to a friend or loved one, “something to strengthen bonds and show your gratitude.”
It’s a beautiful sentiment, and Ashley doesn’t stop there – in addition to thanking their friends and family, subscribers can breathe easy that they’re paying it forward as well. Every quarter, Relax & Breathe partners with a new charity to donate partial proceeds to a deserving cause. For the Winter 2019 box, Relax & Breathe is working with One Tree Planted; for each box sold, the organization will plant one new tree in the Amazon rainforest. “It is an amazing feeling to be able to help others,” Ashley says, “and a wonderful thought that even when you are concentrating on your own mental health and wellbeing, you are also helping someone else in need.”
The team of women behind ThriveOn Box know exactly what subscribers need to practice self-care in their daily lives. Why? Cofounder Michelle and her team work as mental health practitioners — therapists, along with one psychologist — and have the knowledge to back up their product curation. “Through our work with underserved communities,” Michelle tells us, “we noticed a disparity of access to wellness resources and became deeply inspired to bridge the gap in this area.” The answer to this inequality? Sending wellness resources directly to one’s door.
“We are passionate about wellness and aspire to normalize and spread self-care and self-love,” Michelle says. So ThriveOn includes 5-7 carefully chosen items to create an experience of holistic healing in every quarterly box. These products, curated to “nurture the mind, body, heart, and spirit,” can range from reflective journals to therapeutic activities, motivational resources, items to upgrade your day-to-day (such as an eco-friendly, netted grocery tote), jewelry and accessories, aromatherapy to combat stress, and more.
What’s more, each box has a timely theme; this fall’s box centers on practicing gratitude in the everyday, with a gratitude journal, cute enamel pins that remind you to “bloom where you are planted,” gorgeously designed thank-you stationery, and more. (And of course, the team strives to feature products made by independent and women-led businesses whenever possible.)
When ThriveOn says that their products create holistic healing, they mean it; each curation is designed to evoke a well-rounded experience of wellness. “As a form of self-care, products are intended to stimulate physical senses such as vision, hearing, touch, taste, and/or smell,” Michelle says. “Our boxes are thoughtfully and intentionally curated to foster a healthier, more fulfilling, and joyful lifestyle!” We couldn’t agree more.