We sat down with our founder, Johanna, for a Q&A: We wanted to learn a little more about why she started Happy Rebel Box, her hopes for subscribers, and how Happy Rebel supports non-profits.
I really love the idea of a subscription box model – I don’t have to go shopping, it just shows up at my door; it fits my style, it’s a fun gift to myself. But out of the 100’s of sub boxes out there, I just couldn’t find one that fit the aesthetic that I wanted. I didn’t want the same thing over and over – like beauty products, similar samples sent monthly, again and again. I wanted a lifestyle box that wasn’t super niche, but also not generic. I loved the idea of cultivating fun looks for each season, and I wanted to create a box that ultimately I would want to receive myself. My family and friends encouraged me and were so supportive throughout the startup process, and I am so thankful for that.
I have always had an entrepreneurial type personality. I started a recycling business when I was 7 living in Waco, Texas. Using a computer and an old dot matrix printer, I made a flyer and put them all over town. The first Saturday of the month I’d pick up the recyclables from my neighbors and cash them in. When I was a little older, I was always the top seller when my school did fundraisers, and would make extra money reselling items on eBay. While this is my first “real” business of my own, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and knew I would own my own business.
We actually developed the logo first, which is a smiling skull. I wanted to incorporate a skull graphic, but nothing particularly scary. Something light and simple, that reflected my love of skulls and anything with a touch of edge. I like having rebel in the name – but we’re not goth or grunge rebels. Simply, Happy Rebels!
I want them to feel like it’s a fun surprise and a treat for themselves when they get the box once per quarter. I am a bit of a minimalist myself, so we decided to ship more infrequently on purpose – receiving a box monthly seemed overwhelming and I don’t ever want my members to feel like they are getting too much “stuff”! We know a lot of people don’t want to accumulate more and more and more of the same, so we choose distinctly different themes so you don’t get the same types of items repeatedly.
With each of the rotating themes I like to include something that’s more of an upgrade of something that people might already own. Perhaps it adds more value through quality or through its wow factor, but it just adds that pop of Happy Rebel style to your life through function and beauty. Donate an older piece that has served you well and let a fresh piece from us take its place. We want to add valuable, beautiful and useful products to people’s lives. We want them to say, “I didn’t even know I needed this, but I have to have it!”
One of the first decisions I made when I started the business was that I wanted to donate a percentage of the proceeds. Non-profit organizations serve a very important role in our society, and donating a portion of the profits from Happy Rebel is one way I can actively help support them. I see it as part of the responsibility and privilege of being able to start my own business, and want to use this opportunity to encourage women. We highlight one non-profit organization each quarter that is committed to addressing issues affecting women and girls. A few of the organizations we’ve supported are:
– Share – an organization supporting women and families after infant loss.
– The National Museum of Women in the Arts – brings recognition to the achievements of women artists by exhibiting, preserving, acquiring, and researching art by women.
– Connections for Abused Women and their Children – provides a shelter for women and children, counseling, advocacy, and a 24-hour hotline for people affected by domestic violence.
Leave any comments or questions for Johanna below – is there a non-profit organization that you’re passionate about? Do you love Waco, Texas as much as we do? Which has been your favorite Happy Rebel box? Let us know!