Why We’re Not a Subscription Box

I hope everyone is having a lovely Monday morning. It was nice and chilly when I left for work, today, and it’s not even supposed to get too hot, either! That nip in the air definitely makes it easier to think about Christmas card making and all the other holiday fun.

But onto today’s topic: why isn’t the Creative Mischief Kit available as a subscription box?

Not for lack of trying, let me tell you!

I had a few kit ideas in mind when I was planning to open The Crafty Branch as a brick and mortar store, but it wasn’t the main focus of my business at that point. When I shifted the plan to start with the kits, I sat down and dreamed up a dozen kits–themes, techniques, potential includes, etc.–before I was okay with going forward.

Creating them as a subscription box was a very real possibility. After all, I love subscription boxes and the idea of getting something fun and new in the mail each month, why wouldn’t I want to create one of my own?!

Two reasons:

  1. Varying kit costs.
  2. Disappointment avoidance.

When I looked at the kit options I’d brainstormed and started to cost them out, the second kit showed a major pitfall: whereas one kit was $50 in supplies (retail), the other kit was coming in at $110! Subscription boxes depend on a set, recurring price and while I could, of course, change the options in each box, I really didn’t like having to scale a higher-value kit down so far as to be almost useless, or adding a bunch of extra chaff to a lower-cost kit to bring it up in value. Some skills and techniques are cheaper to learn, others might have a higher price of entry. It felt more honest to just take it one kit at a time, and have them cost what they cost, rather than having to shoehorn them into a particular price point.

Another hallmark of a subscription box is the surprise element. That works fabulous for product samples, edibles, and handmade items. But when I really thought about what the Creative Mischief Kits are trying to accomplish–encourage creative exploration and help people find new hobbies by teaching creative skills and techniques–how would I feel, as a recipient, if I received a box full of things I already owned or had no interest in. I know I don’t like to feel like I’ve wasted my money, so I wanted to avoid anyone else feeling that way by being very up front about what’s in each kit so that the recipient has less of a chance at being disappointed.

Buying inventory on the chance each kit sells (the non-subscription model) is a risk, but it’s one I’m willing to take to ensure, as much as I can, that you are happy with your purchase.

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