There are hundreds of subscription boxes around the world that ship to Canada, delivering everything from sweet treats to craft beer to beauty products. But Lana Dukart and Daphne Simkin found that all those boxes were lacking one particular thing – a way for the consumer to connect to the products inside.
“They’re not making any connection to the people behind the product – and isn’t that what it’s really all about?” says Simkin.
“It’s just a box of stuff,” adds Dukart.
The duo created YEGBox, a subscription service where subscribers receive a monthly box, each containing four to five products – everything from chocolate to bath and beauty products to greeting cards – created by local makers. To stock the boxes, Simkin and Dukart find products that interest them, reach out to the vendors, and learn more about who they are and what their businesses are all about.
“I don’t know if some people realize how hard these small businesses have to work; and they do it out of a passion and out of a love. When you hear their stories, it’s so inspiring,” says Simkin.
Many vendors have opted to create products exclusively for the box, and the line-up thus far has included The Violet Chocolate Company, Blue Hour Tea, Red Balloon Pie Company, Fruits of Sherbrooke and more. The first YEGBox was released in March, and the duo already has a YEGBox Baby and Gluten Free box in the works.
The two women, who have been friends for years, have a passion for hunting out great local products. They frequently shared their discoveries with one another, but eventually thought they could take things to the next level. “We like Edmonton, we like the original things in Edmonton and we think everybody should know about it, see it, explore it,” says Simkin.
One of the problems, as Simkin sees it, is that though many people may want to support local, they just don’t know where to start. “We’re creatures of habit and it’s that whole idea of going out and rediscovering and trying to find new things in your community,” says Simkin.
That’s exactly what YEGBox is trying to do – and it’s bringing those discoveries right to Edmontonians’ doorsteps. “I think Edmonton honestly is one of the coolest cities around,” says Simkin. “People in Edmonton have great hearts – they want to support each other, and we have really amazing local vendors and artisans. If we don’t support them, we lose it – and then we’re just plain old boring.”