MVL Radar: holBOX

July 11, 2013

By Katrice 

I only found out about beauty subscription services about two years ago and from the jump, I was all in. What? Lip gloss, nail polish, skin cream and perfume samples coming to me every month without me having to shop for them? Yes, yes. The very notion was so exciting to me that I immediately signed up for two. I guess I had the same reaction as many others because I actually sat on both services' waiting lists for about three months before getting an email from one telling me that I was in. One maintained my interest each month, the other I cancelled after just one delivery. But, at that point my curiosity was heightened by what all was out there: I found shoes, jewelry, hair products, macarons and holBOX  the only subscription service I'd come across that revolved around organic products. The brainchild of Grace Wiggins, holBOX provides women with 5-7 samples of products and educational resources monthly that will help them transition into a completely holistic lifestyle for $25 per month.

“Women have to be careful about their choices as companies are becoming more creative in their marketing strategy. Though they understand that consumers value organic ingredients, because of the cost to produce these products they would rather design an organic looking product rather than investing in the creation of a truly organic product," Wiggins explained of her company's sentiment. I liked the concept from her introduction email, and when she sent me the Buzz Box, I was even more impressed. It included some samples and some full-size products like: Zum Bar Goat's Milk Soap by Indigo Wild, bayberry naturals Breakout Banisher Facial Cleansing Soap, Tiger Balm, Vermont Soap Tooth Salt, The Orange Owl Lemon Twist body butter and more. So much goodness ... I had to hear more from Grace about her undertaking.

What inspired The holBOX?
After stepping down from my day time job working in the Human Resource at the Marriott, I took a part-time job working in the hotel restaurant as a server. I made this choice in order to dedicate more time to run United Sisters Mentoring Program. Taking this step allowed me to explore options that would not require me to write a grant or apply for funds to operate my non-profit organization. I was determined not to open myself up to anything that I wasn't passionate about. During my time working as a server I lost over 30 lbs simply because I changed my diet which consisted of eating food in its natural state. My weight success developed an appreciation for the holistic lifestyle. That lead to attending a All Natural Expo in Baltimore to learn as much as I could about holistic living which turned into a desire to help others understand what I understood, and then God showed up and presented the idea of providing a service where people would receive holistic products that they could use on the WHOLE body. And holBOX was birthed!

Is this your first entrepreneurial effort? If not, what lead you to this point?
holBOX is the first for-profit venture I have embarked upon but I have had created/developed numerous projects related to my non-profit organization. Back in 2006, I begun USMP which is a mentoring program geared toward teenage girls ages 14-17 under the United Sisters. It was my experience with securing operational funds for United Sisters that lead me to explore a for-profit component to maintain program operations. I have never dreamed about owning my own for-profit business but empowering women through knowledge and inspiring them to live their best lives has always been a passion of mine and the concept of holBOX has allowed me to streamline my community efforts into my business.

What differentiates holBOX from other box subscription programs?
Though there are other subscription boxes  that focus on living a healthy and balanced life, holBOX differs in our mission to educate our subscribers about products that support a holistic lifestyle, in efforts to transform subscribers into educated consumers. The organic market is growing vastly and this will require consumers to have a basic knowledge of key ingredients used in products and an understanding of what health issues these new and upcoming products can help prevent and/or cure. 

Who is your customer? 
holBOX is geared towards women ages 25-45 who are seeking to transition into living a holistic lifestyle. All of our subscribers are in different places in their transition (some are just beginning their journey and others have already began on their own) but they all desire to successfully maintain a holistic lifestyle by experiencing products first hand and receiving information about health benefits.

What has been the response?
Since our launch in November/December 2012 we have discovered that there truly is a need for a holistic service where they receive 5-7 product monthly. Our subscribers as displaying appreciation for our type of service as it affords them to experience holistic products without wasting money on products that don't work as promised. Transitioning can get expensive but our subscribers are receptive to exploring holistic products through our monthly service.

What's been your greatest milestone or point of celebration since its launch?
Receiving numerous feedback from subscribers who share their personal health concerns and how products featured have helped them address these issues and those who have taken action to conduct their own research on specific products. This indicts that our service empowers and encourages a new approach to wellness.

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