First there was Curlbox, and then Birchbox followed. In the blink of an eye, out poured Barkbox, Naturebox, and Glossybox, too. As the obsession with box delivery has gone into overdrive, the anticipation of a surprise monthly product arrival has evolved into one of shoppers’ top indulgences. From makeup to pet treats, the question – What’s in the box? – is being answered by myriad companies.
For Allison Loftus and Amy Sullivan (pictured above), the creation of VelvetCrate was anything but a hop on the bandwagon. The sister duo launched their Dallas-based company earlier this year, and through special hand-selected products, they ensure that their service is a step above the rest. How? For starters, VelvetCrate’s goodies aren’t just for you. Says Loftus, “Our target customer is a thoughtful person who is looking to make someone’s day with a beautiful gift.”
DFW Style Daily decided to delve deeper into what makes VelvetCrate unique. How does this homegrown startup think outside the box (pun intended)? Read on for the scoop.
DFW Style Daily: Let’s start with the name. How did you and your sister decide on VelvetCrate?
Allison Loftus: “We always knew that we wanted to incorporate velvet into our packaging. Velvet is such a timeless, luxurious fabric that’s reserved for the most beautiful of packages. The second half of the name came from the fact that our ‘box’ is more like a crate. It’s embossed with a wood grain finish, and it’s heavy and substantial.”
What were the company’s first steps?
“We got our start last Thanksgiving, when I was sharing my dream to open up a gift store with my sister Amy. Not knowing where to begin, Amy helped me jumpstart the dream into a reality. We spent about three months working on our business plan and figuring out the details for our launch. We launched our first Spring collection in early March of this year.”
It’s inevitable that VelvetCrate will be compared to companies like Birchbox and Glossybox. How does VelvetCrate differentiate itself in its category?
“The biggest differentiating factor is that we are very transparent in what comes in our creates each season. We are not a subscription box. We like to align ourselves with the gift market. [These are] products you would order for someone else, rather than a subscription service which is most commonly ordered for oneself.”
Who is the target consumer for VelvetCrate?
“Our target customer is a thoughtful person who is looking to make someone’s day with a beautiful gift. We make it easy to make an impression with our service and gift selections.”
Tell us more about the brands and products that go into the crates. How do you make your selections?
“We select our brands by keeping a close eye on the gift market, and on new and emerging gift brands. Dallas Market Center, the New York market, magazines, Pinterest, and Instagram have all been big resources for inspiration. Our Spring collection included gifts from Lollia, Sugarfina, Sugar Paper LA, and TokyoMilk. The Lollia ‘Poetic License’ candle from our Spring collection was such a hit that we decided to use the Lollia perfumed shower gel in our Summer collection.”
Lastly, what does the future hold for VelvetCrate?
“We would like to expand our offerings and price points. Currently, there are no plans to do men’s gifts yet, but you can expect us to mix it up a bit for Christmas this year!”
For more information, visit VelvetCrate.com.