Meet Jessica from Actlive Life subscription box! Listen in as she tells her launch story and shares her journey from the behind the scenes. We were lucky enough to support Jessica in our spring 2023 cohort of Box Besties and even got to meet her IRL at Sub Summit this year!
A note from Jessica:
I'm Jessica! I'm a Midwest mom with two growing daughters and a supportive husband. I’m a big dreamer who loves learning and trying out new things, and I'm always up for a challenge.
Fitness has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I've completed four marathons so far, including the New York City and Boston Marathons, and I hope to run another one someday (it’s been a few years). For me, fitness is about feeling good and improving my overall wellbeing.
As a busy mom, I understand how hard it can be to find time for self-care and fitness. That's why I want to help other women, especially those who prefer to work out at home. I know that not everyone is comfortable going to the gym or wants to work out in public, so I'm here to provide at-home encouragement, motivation, and support with the Active Life subscription box.
I want to make fitness fun, not a chore.
So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball and I'm Renee Gonzalez, your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs wanting to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper and let's have some fun. Hey everybody, welcome back to Subscription Box Basics. Today I have a very special guest on. Her name is Jessica from Act Live Life, and this is a little behind the scenes interview about how she runs her subscription box, about how she provides at home encouragement, motivation and support with a fitness subscription box. Fitness has always been a part of her life and she's actually completed four marathons so far and she hopes to run another one day. But for her, fitness is about feeling good and improving her overall well-being. So many of you are really going to relate to her and I can't wait for you to meet her. And with that let's get started. Jessica, welcome to the podcast. I'm so happy to have you. Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to be here. Yes, so Jessica was part of our box besties program and this is someone that you want to meet because she's got a story to tell you and we're going to go through that a little bit today. But first, Jessica, this is going to be the first time some people meet you, so tell everyone just a little bit about yourself and your background.Speaker 2:
Sure, I am Jessica. I live in Wisconsin with my husband and two daughters. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. For 16 years I was in the print industry making basically catalogs, and then for the last four years I have been part of a family-owned small business doing e-commerce stuff not my small business, but someone else's but still getting all kinds of other additional experience that then I can use in my box today.Speaker 1:
OK, so let's talk about your subscription box. Who tell us who's it for and what's it all about?Speaker 2:
Yes, so Act. Live Life is for basically women who don't necessarily want to go to the gym but want to still have fitness in their lives. Not everyone is comfortable heading to the gym and I recognize that, even though I love fitness. I know other women love fitness, but they don't necessarily want to do it with a big group. So I'm trying to make basically a gym in a box, having the camaraderie with the community, with my Facebook group, and then sometimes there's different equipment in the box that will then help you with different exercises. And then there's tasty treats that you could potentially find at a gym, or just maybe just a tasty treat. There's always an apparel item, so it could be a t-shirt, it could be a sports bra, could be le of those kind of items, w gear you just feel like you want to work out, so, and then there there's included as well and th to get you up, get you m if you don't want to do a. That's the thing. That the a little bit and hopefully move a little bit more.Speaker 1:
E because I can relate to go to a gym, but there's just I don't want to go by the equipment. I typica few machines, every single that you are building. Thi don't want that gym expir. Do it at home. Maybe it's for so many different rea at home, mom, or maybe the or something like that. I of the thing that you sa me hooked, like the communi, because that equates to a, that challenge, that 30 de brilliant that you do that because it's as a subscrib. One of our challenges is with the products, with t that you're providing wit. The whole concept is, bro, a great job on social med. I see you doing the work, workouts and so I think. Leader for the community. Bit about your launch, stor. Come up with this box ide launch.Speaker 2:
So I have always likes to learn stay up t I can, and I have always girl spirit, but I don't just go out and do somethi and doing it on my own. S intrigues me, so I listen and I happen to come acros, that you were on actually like a side hustle podcas telling your story about creating that and I was super exciting. I reali story for everybody, but I knew that with a subscri that I could start at home that I have and build it as fast as I personally c hearing your story. I then bingeed all of the episode, your book off of amazon a that when I was camping w I think I read it in a wee. I was trying to come up wi box be and since fitness I my life, I do love fitness. The average person who enj not a cross fitter, I'm n, I've been a runner, all of like. Well, I think that might be something that I would like to bring to other women. So I was concepting what I could do with the box and then that's when I landed on Act Live Life, because I wanted to help women be active in their life. No matter if it was five minutes or 30 minutes, just try to fit it in Because I wanted to hold myself accountable. I then announced to everyone in my personal social media world which is not very big because I'm a very private person so friends and family I shared it with them on my birthday that I was launching a subscription box so that I would hold myself accountable and actually move forward and do it. Love that my birthday is in August and then on Labor Day is when, then, I opened CART for people to purchase the first boxes. So within that month I had built my website, I had created the social media accounts so that people could come over, start following me and trying to build the audience. I knew that I needed to build an audience, but I didn't have a business before this. I didn't have previous customers, so I was starting from scratch, which was scary but also exciting at the same time. So I built all of that and then I launched. I did partner with a local fitness center here, actually the gym that I go to, where I got my idea from and my inspiration from. I partnered with them and did a I guess you could say a box reveal. So I did a free workout and a box reveal and then posted it on social media live for anyone who didn't get a box and they could see what they were missing out on. Yeah, I did that Then. So my first month I sold a whopping 15 boxes and I sold five one-time boxes at the event itself. I was happy with that because, since I was starting from scratch, didn't have an audience and I'd only been doing it for a month, I was like that's bad, maybe there's something here. So that's where it all started.Speaker 1:
I think that's so cool that you did that grassroots marketing where you partnered up with a local small business that had your ideal target audience. I think that's super smart. That's what you talked about not having an audience. That's probably one of the biggest challenges that most new business owners, and specifically subscription box business owners, face is growing an email list. I really think it's super important. If someone's thinking about starting a subscription box, that's one of the first things I would tell them to do is to start that email list.Speaker 2:
So in regards to the email list, I actually did, since I had read your book and listened to your podcast. I did do a King Sumo giveaway at the very beginning to give away a free I want to say it was three months free at the beginning, and so I did have a small email list just from doing the King Sumo giveaway, which really helped Good. I did have people who were not friends and family, which was exciting.Speaker 1:
That is so exciting, because it's scary to put yourself out there and you never know how far you're reaching beyond your own network unless, of course, you're running ads, so then you can reach much farther. But okay, so we heard a little bit about your launch story. Tell us about, maybe, a challenge that you had and then how you overcame that, because everyone listening is either an aspiring subscription box entrepreneur or maybe they're just like in their early stages.Speaker 2:
Yes, there are, of course, many challenges with being an entrepreneur and starting a business from scratch and only knowing what you know, but I think one of the biggest challenges that I even still have today is awareness getting your name out there. If you don't pay big money to Facebook and social media and things like that, it is obviously very difficult. And then starting from scratch, like I said, without an audience, it was even more difficult. So awareness is my biggest thing. So I want to say it was like three months into my subscription it dawned on me that I could reach out to YouTubers who do unboxings. That's their thing. So I reached out to a few. I binged your podcast. I then binged a whole bunch of YouTubers, episode after episode, to see if they were a good fit, because you still want them to be a good fit, you want their demographic to be similar to you. So I watched a lot, I went through and see if they were commenting back to their followers and things like that. I reached out to some and after my first month of doing YouTubers, I actually then doubled. I was only going from 20 to 40. That was big for me. Yeah, that was huge. Just by having other people unbox my box to their followers and it felt huge to me and it was a fantastic feeling. Then, after that, I did more research to see if there's other YouTubers and then discontinuously sent my box out so that it was being viewed by more than just my following.Speaker 1:
Right, you sound so incredibly resourceful. You didn't just grab a bunch of YouTubers and send free boxes out, because that's a big risk. That's a lot of money in inventory and shipping and stuff. You actually vetted each one. I applaud you for that, because it really takes some time like time to sit down and listen to the videos. Like you said, look to make sure that they're responding to comments and such. I love that. What's one of your favorite things about working in the subscription box industry?Speaker 2:
There are so many, but really I think the biggest thing is the community. I am truly trying to build a community with my followers and my subscribers. I want them to feel like that they're part of something, that I am here for them and hear their successes help them through where they want to grow and their goals. That's the biggest thing. I love hearing the wins that people have.Speaker 1:
I think there's two communities too, because there's the community that you're building with your subscribers. We've talked about this a lot on the podcast that you can't just send a box of stuff. You have to create an experience. Community is a really great way to do that. Then there's the whole subscription box business community as well, which is fantastic. It's just my favorite industry. I feel like everyone is so giving. It's a really great group of people. We actually got to see each other in person at Sub-Summit recently and be amongst those people. That was super fun. Some people again, as they're listening, they're thinking about starting a subscription box. What's one piece of advice that you can share with them from your perspective about starting a box?Speaker 2:
Yes, I would say that you don't know what you don't know? Just go out there and do whatever research you can, but don't let that hold you back on starting. You will learn along the way. Like you said, the subscription box community is fantastic. Other subscription box owners will help you along the way, any questions that you have. They'll just learn and grow as you actually do, step by step, because you'll learn one thing and then you'll be like oh, now I have to do this, but you didn't know that until you did the previous step. It's just all progression. You just got to go and do it so that you learn along the way and have fun doing it.Speaker 1:
I think that's really good advice. You learn so much, especially in those first three months of trial and error, and what's working and what needs a system. I think that's really great advice. If we have listeners that are interested in checking out your subscription box, where can they find you online? I think you have a special code for them too, right.Speaker 2:
I do. It is boxes 10. You can save 10% off of your first subscription. I do have multiple subscriptions to choose from, so there is the Mighty Motivator box and then there's a smaller version of the same things, but just a little less a mini. Then I actually have a snack box and then I recently started a top club so you can choose a tea or a tank. So that should apply to any one of those. If you are interested, my website is actlivelifecom, so there is an L in there, and then on Facebook I am Act Live Life Box and then on Instagram, Act Live Life.Speaker 1:
Perfect. So I have all of those and I will put them in the show notes so that everyone can check them out. And one of the things that I forgot to mention and I wanted to say was when we first decided to do this podcast, I got your bio and it was a great bio and one of the things in there says I want to make fitness fun, not a chore. And that was the thing that I was like where I leaned in and I was like, oh, it's so true, because sometimes I do think of it as a chore because we're busy and it's hard to sometimes fit it in the schedule. You know what I mean. So I love that little tagline in your bio. So if that resonates with you and you're listening, go check it out at actlivelifecom. Box is 10, it's B-O-X-E-S-1-0, and you can save 10%. And yeah, just check her out online. Jessica, thank you so much for spending some time with me on the podcast. It's one of my favorite things is to pull back the curtain and show behind the scenes, because I think that as business owners, we can learn so much from each other when we pull back that curtain. So thank you for sharing your story.Speaker 2:
Thank you so much for having me Julie.Speaker 1:
I really appreciate it Awesome. Well, guys, thank you so much for listening today and we'll see you in the next episode. Bye volverangled. Musical intro.