Thursday, December 12, 2013

Interview with Dottie Box owner and review of November Dottie Box mini

I had planned on making this review of Dottie Box mini part of my holiday gift guide, but unfortunately my Dragon is still acting up so I have had to abandon the gift guide this year (I was really looking forward to doing it, but I have simply not been well enough to do it this last month)
I still want to showcase Dottie Box here for you , and include the interview with  owner/founder Carly, who kindly offered this box for review as well as agreed to be interviewed.
I love that Dottie Box finds so many unique handmade items and creates not just one monthly subscription but two so that it is now an affordable option giving everyone a chance to discover and support small indie businesses.

Ok, now that I have rambled on and on let's see what was in the November Dottie Box mini (the interview will follow the review)

Glitter Guilty (shabby chic)- $8.00 - I am really starting to get into indie polishes so I was very excited to find this in my box. This polish (Shabby Chic) is a nice glitter perfect for a topcoat to add some oomph to your favorite color polish or as a sparkly polish on it's own., I didn't realize that Glitter Guilty had it's on subscription but I plan to be signing up for their subscription starting with January...I find myself returning to their page to look at polish...I am lusting after arsenic and old lace as well as Bunny foo foo...trying to hold off and get them after Christmas BUT it may not happen...thinking I might buy them for myself as a stocking stuffer (hint to hubby, who does read the blog...umm...indie polishes, lip balm and hand cream are always a good idea!)

Dinglewood Design & Press (nautical coasters) $2.00- I think by now my love of paper products is evident, but I am a sucker for not only stationary but also most things that pass through a letter press...I didn't "need" these coaster, but now that they are here I love them and already have one on my desk and one on my nightstand...totally me, I love them! THe offer a couple of "pick our own packs" in their shop one is pick 4 for $15 and the other pick 6 for $20) I think I will have to pick a few cards to add to my stash, I really need to look into just getting subscription for a stationary "box".

The total value of products in this box is $10.00, but you totally have to consider the service provided by Dottie Box as well since they curate this box, package it all and present it so it is completely worth the $13 cost of the box (for the mini as seen here) or $20.00 for the full sized box.

This would absolutely make a delightful gift for many on your Christmas list... I am the type of person that would prefer this type of gift over perfume, bath stuff or many other "typical" go to gifts for that hard to buy for person...I LOVE handmade items, I think it is very important to support small indie type business...these boxes from Dottie Box offer such thoughtful gifts that your recipient will cherish but you don't have to do the work...Dottie Box does it for you...whether it be a one time gift box (regular OR mini) or a monthly, 3 month, or 6 month subscription you can't go wrong adding this to your gift giving arsenal...also looking for stocking stuffers??? order one of these boxes and just put the contents into the stocking.

just click HERE and look at what Dottie Box has for your gift giving needs.

I think I am ordering one for my infusion nurse, I know this is the type of thing she loves since we chat about this type of stuff to pass the time.

this is the interview with Carly the founder of Dottie Box, which gives a little insight into how much he loves creating these boxes for us to enjoy.

1) everyone knows that I am a huge fan of boxes that support small indie handcrafted business especially when I can get a variety all in one box. What made you decide to create THIS type of subscription box with rotating vendors?

Growing up, my mother was always crafting and it was always around. As I got older, I fell in love with handmade. I really appreciate the time and love that goes into a handmade item. There are a lot of big companies out there with subscriptions featuring other big companies. It is so easy these days to shop at a mall or a big box store, that it is easy to lose smaller businesses in the mix. I love sending out products that were not manufactured in a factory, but were made by hand by few people. Through Dottiebox, I get to introduce people to new and wonderful products as well as the story behind them. I feel like I get to wrap a box of gifts every month and ship them all over the country, and that is so special to me. Dottiebox is still really small (like the businesses that we feature) so we get to keep the 'mom and pop' kind of customer service. If you e-mail, you are probably talking to me- the owner. I hope that type of service becomes something that we are known for.

2) As a follow up to the above question how do you determine which vendors to use in your boxes? 

I receive more and more artist applications through the website as Dottiebox grows! Some artists or products I will seek out on my own. On occasion, I am searching for something specific. Mostly, I want to curate something that everyone will love. I try not to have too much of the same month after month, and I am constantly on the lookout for new and fresh products that may surprise you. 

3) your business has expanded recently to include a "mini" box. Can you tell us a bit about box boxes and what we can expect? If someone subscribes to both boxes will there be product over lap each month?

I get a lot of customers that are looking for a lower priced item either for themselves or for gift giving. Some customers just wanted more products in general. The Mini box was my solution. The box itself is a 4x4 square- so adorable! Typically the Mini will have 2-3 handmade products and may include more 'sample sized' items than the larger box. The Mini also ships the second Monday of the month, instead of the first Monday with the bigger box. Artists are allowed to be featured in both boxes, but are not allowed to include identical products in both boxes. You do not have to worry about overlapping if you subscribe to both. If there is any type of overlap- it is something like a candy with a different flavor in each type of box. Items will have more variation between the regular and mini boxes than they have in the past.

4) I find that my readers enjoy getting to know the person behind the box.... can you tell us about yourself,and the types of things you personally enjoy?

I live in the Cleveland area where the weather changes by the hour. I love anything with bows, pearls, or polka dots- this is where Dottiebox came from. I really love making chocolate covered pretzels and other confections. I have come up with some fabulous flavors over the years, and hope to someday own my own little chocolate store/handmade market! I have been working in the restaurant industry for 7+ years now and still do, even with Dottiebox. No days off for me! When I have some free time, I love to watch movies, cook and bake, and paint.

5) what are your favorite 3 items ever from past Dottie Boxes?

This is a tough one.. I love everything! Hmm... if I had to choose.. I loved the Black Widow Balm that DB featured in September. I make lip balm myself and have experimented with tinting and I cannot even compare to the perfect smooth color this balm has. In March, I featured wine charms by Jen Ramey Designs and she actually included some for my team as well. They were slightly different from the charms included in boxes. The charms were little hearts in varying colors, but without the silver heart that we featured. I love them so much and we use them often! Adam Rabbit featured some raw stone earrings and necklaces that were a huge hit with my customers and myself. I love interesting accessories and these really stand out without being too overstated.

6) What does Dottie Box have instore for us in 2014...any hints? 

I am almost done planning for January. ;) The January box values are much higher than usual. This is pretty cool because as we buy from small businesses that have higher costs than larger companies, we cannot always put together a box three or four times the price.

Eventually, I hope to introduce a quarterly subscription and limited edition themed boxes! We are expanding in January to 120 monthly boxes so that we can get more folks off of the wait list!

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