Self-Ish Unboxed

Welcome to the latest installment of Cratejoy’s new merchant success series, “Unboxed.” Each month, we’ll learn tips, tricks, and subscription box secrets from Cratejoy’s top merchants.

Today, we’ll be talking to Brittany Gasner from Self-Ish! (Find them on Facebook and Instagram.)


So tell us about Self-Ish.

We wanted a box filled with SAFE products for everyone that are designed to help us put some time aside for ourselves to relax and regroup.

Why did you choose Cratejoy?

Cratejoy is the best selling platform for subscription boxes to date and we HAD to be a part of it!

How did you acquire your first 25 (or so) subscribers?

We did a prelaunch, as well as made sure that we had a solid plan for our brand image and our social media. We made a point to have a strong Instagram page that looked like we had been established. I worked hard for at least a month before our launch to take good quality photos and post them out to the world and made sure to acquire a following to launch. 

Make a point to engage with your followers, get them excited and then launch them a brand-new product that they cannot live without.

How did you decide to source products for Self-Ish?

We knew from the start that we wanted to source from small businesses only, so that was easiest for us to go out and find small shops that we loved. We create products ourselves, we hand-make our inserts, we hand-stamp our boxes and pack all of the boxes ourselves with our toddlers in tow. We take all of our own photos, we test all the products ourselves… this is literally a mom-run business with blood, sweat, and tears.

Take Action: Want to follow in Brittany’s footsteps, but worried about balancing the time needed for your subscription business with your home life? Check out Cratejoy’s advice on maximizing efficiency.

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

I wish that we would have set a larger goal for the amount of emails we wanted to capture. I think we were initially so excited that once we felt we had a decent number of subscribers we thought we were ready to launch. Looking back, I wish we would have waited to hit 1000 email subscribers and really built up a lot of hype!

That email list is CRUCIAL for all of your latest news, promo codes, all behind-the-scenes looks, and sneak peeks. Without those original subscribers, you have nothing.

If we would have done a longer prelaunch phase, I would have done local markets and talked about our products; I would have found more vendors and asked for more samples, and used those to take some really great flat lay images to use for social media and marketing.

I would have also done a lot more surveys and Instagram LIVE stories to see what our customers wanted, to really build that family support up!

Looking back, I would have stressed more on those emails as well as quality images! People constantly talk about how great our photos and branding look. Rather than how much they enjoy the box, the first thing they want to speak about is photos and how great everything looks. I forget that we live in a world where we carry a camera in our pockets and that these customers crave something to take a good photo of!

Take Action: Want to set up your own promotions before you launch? Check out our advice on prelaunch advertising and customer acquisition.

What mistake(s) do you wish you could have avoided along the way?

So far…nothing really!

Anything else you’d like to share about your success story?

We are 2 moms who got bored of being stay-at-home slaves and decided to give ourselves something to do a few days a week. We aren’t perfect, but to us, this dream is working out perfectly!

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