Four years later and what a journey it’s been for our founders and our growing team!! On this here sacred day in 2014, our three founders launched with a brilliant idea and a clear vision. 4 years, 3 warehouses and 20+ full-time employees later, we sat down with our fearless leaders to chat about themselves and the growth of the business.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOXFOX!
How has your role as CEO of the company evolved over these past four years?
We started when I was 22 and I always shied away from screaming about my entrepreneurship from the mountaintops. After four years, I’m finally learning to own the title. That means embracing it with confidence when I’m networking, elevating my work ethic to surpass my previous capabilities, and learning as much about management as I can while we grow. Preparation leads to confidence and confidence brings better leadership.
When did you realize BOXFOX was the real deal?
100% when we moved out of Jenni and my apartment into our first warehouse. Working from home is overrated! This was one of the most exciting, legitimizing, moves we’ve made in the last 4 years. Looking back, our first warehouse was 2,000 square feet in the back of an aerospace warehouse with horrible lighting and a strange landlord, but it got us to where we needed to go. Now we’re onto our 3rd warehouse and couldn’t be happier.
What has been your ‘secret sauce’ to BOXFOX’s brand?
I believe our secret sauce has three ingredients : awareness, competitiveness, and attention to detail.
What’s your favorite quote?
Complete the sentence, when I’m not at BOXFOX, you can find me ________.
Traveling, trying to cook, or sitting on the beach.
Biggest pet peeve?
Lack of awareness.
Your favorite brand right now?
I LOVE a lot of brands, but right now I’m so into Pinch Provisions. Talk about quality! This Chicago based company just turned 10, it’s run by fantastic, innovative people and the branding is so clever, down to the last printed insert. A new favorite? Their Binge-Reading Kit.
What top 3 instagram accounts are you following right now?
I love following along with @alysiaalex, @jenatkin and @evachen212.
What’s your favorite color palette?
Sunset colors! My entire room is done in peachy neutrals and accented in light blues, light pinks, and sherberty orange.
How has your role as COO of the company evolved over these past four years?
It’s funny, I actually started as our CMO given my background in marketing and SEO. I’m the most comfortable with numbers and spreadsheets, so as we learned to play to our strengths, I started taking over operations. 4 years ago that meant hiding a secret stash of Sugarfina champagne bears in the kitchen because we always seemed to oversell this particular product. Today, we’ve built out our own unique inventory system that’s compatible with our BUILD A BOXFOX platform, streamlined our fulfillment with efficiencies (my favorite word), and moved our company to a bigger & better warehouse in Hawthorne.
What moment did you realize BOXFOX was the real deal?
BOXFOX always felt real to me, but it set in when we were able to offer medical, vision, and dental benefits to our team. We started our company with our bare hands, just the three of us meeting on Monday nights. To grow our business to a place where we would be able to support ourselves and the livelihoods of our team was a major milestone. I’m so proud of this!
Where can we find you when you’re not at the Warehouse?
At the gym, on a run, or walking Eleanor on the Strand!
What’s your favorite food?
Caprese. What can I say, I’m Italian!
TV, Movies, or Books?
Audiobooks and podcasts have become my new favorite because I can multitask. I’ll listen while I’m getting ready in the morning or on a long run.
Which do you prefer, beach or mountains?
I love both, but I have to say beach. I grew up in Half Moon Bay, so I’ve always had a connection and respect for the ocean.
What’s your favorite color palette?
I am so torn! I love bright, saturated primary colors just as much as I love subdued neutrals.
What 3 instagrams are your favorite to follow right now?
@mamawatters - Mom and writer of Homesong, a blog I have been loving lately. She posts about her normal everyday rhythms at home raising her family in St. Louis. Everything she posts seems to speak to my soul!
@plasticfreemermaid - This zero waste Aussie is full of tips & tricks to lead a plastic free lifestyle
@accidentallywesanderson - Things I love: color, symmetry, and Wes Anderson movies. I am obsessed with the way this account highlights real life Wes Anderson moments.
How have you managed to maintain to keep your friendship separate from business over the past four years?
C: Boundaries, respect, and down time. I’ve lived with Jenni since college and (as much as we can!) we leave work at home. Although, we're pretty inspired to talk about what's going on at work over the kitchen table or while we cook.
J: BOXFOX has added such a deep, beautiful layer to my friendships with Chelsea and Sabena, just as much as our friendships have contributed to the way we work together. Nothing is separate at this point and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, I think that’s a sign that we truly are family.
S: I don’t think we’ve kept our friendship separate from business, but rather we’ve never allowed one to sacrifice the other. We’re so lucky to have this company rooted in real love between us three cofounders, because I think that sentiment permeates through all aspects of the business, from how we treat our employees and vendors to the way we think about our customers and their relationships to the kind of culture we’re building (one that celebrates everything, is all about community, and leaves room for learning from our mistakes).
What has been the most rewarding part of this journey so far for each of you?
C: Working hard at work worth doing. I think that’s a Teddy Roosevelt quote by way of Parks and Rec, but it’s so true. I love waking up everyday and working for myself, our team, and the company we’re building. I love promoting great brands and I love building a company culture from scratch.
J: I love that our boxes, in their own small way, can help make the world a little happier and a little brighter. Yes the products are fun and the boxes are beautiful, but it all comes back to relationships. Our boxes connect people. They send birthday wishes, good tidings, hugs, laughter, and heartfelt reminders of love between people. I like to think that a little bit can go a long way.
S: For me, it’s definitely been seeing our service evolve organically and become such an integral part of customer’s lives. When we started, of course we thought this was a great idea, something our friends and family would certainly use to make their lives easier. But to see the idea of “being there for some when you can’t physically be there” come to life in so many beautiful ways, from mourning the loss of a parent to celebrating an engagement across the world to being the perfect way to wish someone a happy 21st birthday—this concept has taken on a life of its own thanks to our customers. We always say, that if we’re ever having a bad day, we just read through the order notes from that day, and it’s impossible not to have a restored faith in the world and human nature. Relationships are beautiful, and the fact that we have some small part in making them stronger makes this journey more than worth it, even during the challenging times.
What is one dream that you’d love to see happen for BOXFOX in the next four years?
C: I want to keep building up our company culture and benefits in new, exciting, and fulfilling ways. I want us to set standards when it comes to paid parental leave, mentorship and outreach within our community, and what it means to work in a warehouse.
J: We do an amazing job now, but I’d love to reduce waste in our warehouse so that BOXFOX can be as environmentally friendly as possible. I’ll keep up my recycling crusades with any new hires, but there is always room for improvement. As a brand, we need to be conscious in the way that we use our purchasing power to support eco-friendly packaging and products so that we can guide our customers to follow suit.
S: Manufacturing our own line of products, hands-down. In our four years in gifting, we know the holes in the market and we know where we can create products that are better than what’s on the market for cheaper than what’s being sold. It’s always our goal to make products more accessible, to make gifting an everyday practice, not just something we save for the special occasions. A BOXFOX product line would be an incredible way for us to bring our brand to more people in new and different ways.