One Coco: Sugarplum Box
Sugarplum Box is a Jamaican subscription service, this subscription service is one where you sign up for a month or few, and receive a box containing five or more items. Each box has a different theme and the items would follow the theme. One of the best parts about a subscription service is that the items you’re gonna receive is a surprise, (unless you keep checking for the sneak peeks) you’ll patiently wait for shipping day, and when your box arrives you’ll see all your goodies. This Coco comes with brawta! I got the chance to ask, Marsha McFarlane, the founder of Sugarplum Box, a few questions; read the interview below and view what I got in the box.
◊In what year did you start the business?
The first boxes were sent out in November 2013.
◊What inspired the idea of a subscription box?
The first business Marsha started was Hair Honey; which took off really well, they sold hair products. It was in a time when natural hair was all the rage, and you had to have the products to care your hair, and as many as possible too. Being the innovator that she is, one day her mind was churning, and this question popped up, “What next?” She was inspired by Curl Box, and thought the idea of a subscription box was great. She didn’t want to use hair products though, because it couldn’t be guaranteed the amount of persons that would buy hair products every month, so she decided on a lifestyle box. Hair Honey had as many as 8,000 followers on Facebook so she used her following and brought to them this new product.
◊Did you think a subscription box would take off in Jamaica?
She decided to pursue her idea of a subscription box because those of us here in Jamaica that participate in these boxes from overseas, don’t get the same satisfaction. By the time we get our box we know what’s inside, and it’s less exciting when we finally get it, plus we’ll have the excess expense of shipping fees. (So basically she did it for di yutes so we could get a buss.)
◊Is the “Jamaica Box” annual?
Yes, the Sweet Sweet Jamaica Box is annual…She gave us a tip that soon there will be a “Sweet Sweet Jamaica Box” always available for purchase on the website. That was somewhat the initial plan, to have a Jamaica Box every month but to find different Jamaican made products to switch it up would be hard, and she didn’t want to be monotonous.
◊Does everyone get the same items in their boxes?
Yes, each box contains the same items; with the Sweet Sweet Jamaica-Ova Dweet Edition, the mugs are different colours, and for the Bella Blair CD’s, those were put in boxes at random as a special surprise.
◊Is there any downside to this type of business?
One of the main problems is Jamaica’s economy, and not so much as the clientele but the businesses/manufacturers. They will give a bare minimum to near nothing discount, but to most of our small local businesses the production costs and margins may be inhibiting. She tries to ensure that you get more than you pay for; one of her goals is to get the Sugarplum Box down to $20USD from its current $39. Truly she tries to get items as affordable as possible, it’s all about passing the benefits to the customers.
For my first Sugarplum Box, I ordered the 2016 Sweet Sweet Jamaica Box – Ova Dweet Edition. It was delivered to my house by Jamaica post, and of course I unboxed it on my Snapchat. I opened it and saw a card listing the items I received and who made them, and another card explaining their uses; I got 8 items and a Bella Blair CD as a bonus item.
I love the Sugarplum Box! I was surprised by the amount of items I got, the box was beautiful…and I’ll enjoy trying the items I’ve never seen before 🙂 I really like the mug, because it was made just for this box, and the fact that a part of the theme is on it, makes it special. P.S. Listen to “Ova Dweet” by Popcaan (Disclaimer: it’s Dancehall.) Sugarplum Box delivers locally and internationally, so head over to their website and sign up! www.Sugarplumbox.com, also follow them on Instagram for sneak peeks, @SugarplumBox.