Travel Business: The Travel Boxx
A subscription service with a difference, The Travel Boxx promotes small businesses in delivering travel essentials straight to your doorstep. We find out more and touch on the challenges of minority entrepreneurship with Founder, Caroline Sande
Writer: Phoebe Harper
We live in an era of subscription services. From our weekly meals to daily newsletters, wine deliveries to wellness boxes, there seems to be a subscription for just about anything.
A McKinsey report
has shown that the subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100 percent a year in the past five years, with the majority of consumers identified as “younger urbanites with money”. Although dated a few years ago, the enforced limitations and restricted movement of the COVID-19 pandemic have only fed this boom, as consumers seek products delivered with doorstep convenience.
As both an entrepreneur and travel enthusiast, Caroline Sande identified this unique period as one of opportunity, and sought to rekindle the fires of wanderlust amongst a wave of frustrated travel enthusiasts. It was in the doldrum days of global lockdowns that Sande acted on the niche vacancy in the travel market for a subscription box service.
“The Travel Boxx was born out of conversations with my peers - fellow content creators and entrepreneurs - on the lack of a single trusted subscription service that can provide all the essentials travellers need in one box,” she says.
Leveraging a strong audience and following from TravelEatSlay – an inclusive community providing travel apparel, The Travel Boxx was born.
As a quarterly subscription service, each box contains five TSA-approved travel essentials focusing on the four pillars of smart travel items, tech gadgets, snacks, or health and beauty. Although the products typically have a retail price of over £50, a three-month subscription to The Travel Boxx costs just £30.
“I spend a lot of time and effort in hand-picking the brands and products for each box to make sure the products are suitable in size, are eco-friendly (e.g., collapsible water bottle) and can be used whether at home or while travelling, like the power bank,” Sande adds.
THE TRAVEL BOXX TRIBE
The Travel Boxx primarily targets a millennial audience, combining disposable income with a healthy appetite for jet-setting.
“It’s also designed for first time or casual travellers who need a starter kit with travel essentials for their first trip.
“Likewise, The Travel Boxx is the perfect gift for a loved one who likes to travel, as the items included are usually forgotten when packing or you did not know you needed them. The Travel Boxx Mini (which includes three items) is available for one-off purchase for those who cannot commit to the subscription,” Sande elaborates.
All items are selectively handpicked as genuinely useful go-to packing essentials – whether it be packing cubes, power banks, or portable door locks – but the origin of such products is also a crucial factor in the selection process.
The Travel Boxx consciously partners with small businesses, enhancing the notion of community throughout the travel industry and fostering mutually beneficial relationships and brand partnerships.
“As a jetsetter, entrepreneur, and a long-time champion of small and underrepresented businesses, I’ve seen the impact the pandemic has had on the travel industry, particularly on small brands and start-ups,” says Sande.
“I wanted to create a space that encourages collaboration between those brilliant minds and businesses, while also providing a useful product to customers.”
FROM CONTENT CREATOR TO ENTREPRENEUR
The Travel Boxx has since been included in Condé Nast Traveller’s list of top subscription services and enjoys a growing following.
However, reflecting on her experiences as a black female entrepreneur, Sande acknowledges that the path of entrepreneurship and seeing her idea come to fruition, has not been entirely smooth.
“Not only being a woman, but being a black woman starting up a company, has been a struggle. I found that not many doors or opportunities were readily available for advice, funding or support, which was disheartening,” she observes.
“Secondly, as a self-funded entrepreneur entering a new territory (subscription service) during a pandemic was a big hurdle.”
Nevertheless, with the spirit of communication and connection at the core, the nature of the business model behind The Travel Boxx lends itself to growth.
“Since starting The Travel Boxx I have been intentional about connecting with travel writers, publications, travel bloggers, podcasts and travel community groups to introduce this product and help spread the word to reach a larger audience.”
With the launch of the Autumn Boxx imminent, Sande hints at a promising future for The Travel Boxx and its tribe.
“I am working towards themed collaborations with destinations and tourist boards to include souvenirs and wanderlust items to inspire subscribers to add to their bucket list,” she concludes.
For any adventurer looking for the travel essentials to take away the stress of packing for their next getaway, this is one tribe worth joining.