I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Justine Brooks about how she used CrateJoy to start The Bookish Box subscription service — a subscription service that is now generating a full-time income from home for her family!
As someone who is always looking for outside-the-box (pun fully intended!) ideas, I was intrigued by Justine’s story and thought it might inspire some of you who are looking for creative ways to increase your income. And as a fellow book-lover, I adored the idea of a book-related subscription box.
Justine is a stay-at-home mom who lives in the Phoenix suburbs with her two daughters, ages five and two. She was originally inspired by her persistent, hard-working mother who made a successful career for herself without any background education, all while raising 5 children. Justine knew if her mother could follow her dreams while being a mom, she could do the same.
As an avid reader, Justine began her entrepreneurial journey by opening an apparel shop called Appraisal Pages so she could pay for all of her reading and book-reviewing habits. (I love how she thinks! I totally geeked out in the early years of blogging when I discovered that I could often get review copies of books I was interested in — for free!)
Over time, as she did an increasing number of book reviews, author meet-and-greets, and book signings, she decided to smart a small e-commerce shop selling t-shirts and apparel with literary and fandom references and grace notes. The e-commerce shop was started with a business partner, but she took over the business completely 18 months ago.
Since Justine has a background in art and design, she was excited to take on the challenge of growing a business from home while being a stay-at-home mom. She found that being a stay-at-home mom gave her the opportunity to keep and maintain momentum, while growing the business slowly at the pace that worked best for her and her family.
She knew it was important to plant the seeds that she could afford to plant, let the business grow, reinvest, and wait again while it grew. So to increase her revenue and grow her business, she decided to try starting her own subscription box service.
She researched her options and chose to set up her subscription box service through CrateJoy. She loved the all-in-one platform that CrateJoy offered and she found that this made the process much easier and smoother.
Justine knew she wanted to stay in the literary realm as she built this new subscription out of her shop, because that’s a passion of hers and she has found book lovers and fans to be so inclusive and welcoming. With this in mind, The Bookish Box was born. She was delighted to discover that her idea was a success — and her subscription numbers went from 300 to 1200 really quickly!
Using CrateJoy’s platform and focusing on slow and steady growth, she’s been able to stay in the black with her business the entire time she’s been in operation (something that can be a challenge to do — especially when starting a business selling physical products!)
She said that while running a business has its challenges, she’s so grateful that it allows her and her husband the chance to spend more time with their children and with each other.
Have you ever thought about starting a Subscription Box service?
If you are, definitely check out CrateJoy. I was recently introduced to them and have been very impressed with what I’ve seen.
They offer an easy-to-use platform that lets anyone start a subscription box business. Users can select templates and host their business on the site without needing any programming or design experience. How simple is that?!
This post is underwritten by CrateJoy. Read our disclosure policy here.