Post by Lavanya & Portia
Hey there APJ,
Lavanya is a fellow perfume nut, blogger, APJ reader and commenter. So when Val the Cookie Queen told me about her new venture, Boxwalla, I really wanted to find out what goes into a Boxwalla box and how it was different to the others. What better way than an interview with the creator to give us an insight into the Boxwalla idea which launched this week. See, we are all over the new stuff here at APJ.
Boxwalla: Interview with creator Lavanya
APJ: Hey Lavanya, since this is a place for perfume junkies I thought we’d start with your first scent memory.
Lavanya: Ah- the first scent that pops into my head when somebody speaks of scent memories is the smell of tuberoses wafting in the living rooms of my childhood. I grew up in India and we moved from place to place, living all over the country but my first memory of smelling tuberoses is in Delhi. A friend of my father’s when invited for dinner would bring my mother a bunch of tuberoses, as a thank you (It is her favorite flower). And then for the next few days this cold, elusive scent would float through our living room, wafting in the night breeze. It has been my favorite flower too, ever since.
APJ: OMG! One day we need to sit down and chat about India. So tell me what made you start Boxwalla?
Lavanya: The long version of what led to us creating Boxwalla can be read here. ‘The shorter version is that we wanted to create an online platform that would allow us to showcase artists, artisans and all the beautiful things we love in a way that allowed people to also experience those things easily. Things that are not as well known, as they ought to be: be they film or books or a perfect dab of scented lotion that melts into your skin.
APJ: OK so how does it work?
Lavanya: We have four categories of boxes that one can subscribe to: Beauty, Books, Film and Food. You can subscribe to any of the categories. And you can switch between them. Every two months you will receive a box, in the category of your choice, filled with things curated around a theme. To make it just a little bit more fun the contents of the box will be a surprise. We try to make sure that the total retail value of the box exceeds the cost of the subscription so that people will be encouraged to take a chance on us and experience the work of these wonderful artists and artisans. We also have a cut off date before which one needs to subscribe to receive a particular box. The cut off date for the December boxes (which will ship in the beginning of December) is November 10th.
APJ: How is Boxwalla different from other subscription boxes?
Lavanya: In a few ways, actually. One, we want to encourage a deeper connection with things that people buy, use and experience. Which is why, for example, most of the products included in our beauty box are full sized (or travel sized) so subscribers can use the product extensively before deciding whether it belongs in their life.
Next, we understand that people are multifaceted with multiple interests and we wanted to provide an easy way for people to explore different interests within one subscription. If you think you have had enough of one category and want to know more about another, you can switch!
Third and most importantly, our focus is on the artists and artisans that we feature in our boxes. We want to showcase them and their work. We have a dedicated page for each of them. We also don’t stock inventory of individual products but encourage people to directly buy from them to maximize their returns.
APJ: Thanks Lavanya!
Lavanya: Thank YOU Portia, for letting me talk about Boxwalla in this wonderful space you have created.