Subscription box to help small business

A sample of what a subscription box would look like from Red Barn Boutique; subscription boxes go live Friday, May 1, and applications are available on the Lake County Chamber of Commerce website.

Inspired by other subscription boxes, Lake County Chamber of Commerce Exec. Dir. Jessica Bogardus is helping local small businesses start their own subscription boxes, which will go live beginning Friday, May 1, with the motto “send a smile, save a business”.

Subscription boxes are something that people can get for themselves or send as a gift, they can be customizable, or a surprise for the person getting them. Some subscription boxes that exist are Birch Box, Fab Fit Fun, and GQ’s Gentlemen Box, while others focus on arts, crafts, games, science and more.

One of the reasons Bogardus was inspired by doing something like this is that it is easy to send gifts to people. She is currently sending toys and games to her three nephews each week, along with gifts to her family as well. This new way is easy as she can customize what will be in each box. Boxes will then be packed and shipped by the business owner. With either the owner choosing different items to put in the box, or the person requesting the box with specific items.

Inspired by this idea Bogardus approached Ann Logan, of Red Barn Boutique, to see if she was interested in becoming part of this new endeavor. Logan jumped on board, along with several other local businesses.

The time and how often boxes are shipped are up to the person ordering with options ranging from monthly, to once every two months or longer. On a questionnaire which will be available on the Lake County Chamber of Commerce website where people can “subscribe to a small business”.

“This is a great way to help small businesses and still send smiles to people. People can send ones to their family, friends, to any place in America, and people can sign up from anywhere in the United States,” said Bogardus.

Bogardus is extremely excited that the idea is getting off the ground and is talking about helping businesses do theme boxes such as graduation, mother’s day, birthdays, or more. Though boxes will not necessarily be themed unless people mark that option on the questionnaire. The questionnaire will cover such things as how often do people want a box, what kind of items they are looking for, if they are getting clothing what sizes, and more. At which point the business owners will then put the box together and send it on its way. When it arrives people will be surprised what is inside and what they get. Businesses will set their prices for each box and how often it will be sent.

After coming up with the idea it caught the attention of both Travel Southern Oregon (TSO) and Travel Oregon. Travel Southern Oregon is going to help promote the subscription boxes across different publications, and also help other communities start it up as well. Travel Oregon is working on rolling out the model to other counties across Oregon.

While businesses are still being recruited right now the list includes Red Barn Boutique, A Country Home Floral, Back Yard Floral, Tall Town Bike and Camp, Painted Fringe Boutique and 5 Corner Feed and Supply going live on Friday, May 1. Bloomers Country Nursery will also be involved, but they do not plan to join until the beginning of June.

For more information contact the Lake County Chamber of Commerce at 541-947-6040.

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