As you may have noticed, there has been a lot of excitement around Mary Egbert’s latest creation: Spinning Box. I have been hearing about it through various media sites since April 2015, and boy–what a BUZZ! Each box is themed and has 10-11 oz of fiber from 5-6 fiber artists; boxes go on sale once a month and sometimes there are limited 3 or 6 month subscriptions also available.
It’s my birthday month and so I finally started to get serious about trying to get my hands on one . . . I joined the VIP mailing list–which you should totally do just to stay in the loop! And then, oh my, the monthly sale began: first with 3 and 6 month subscriptions (to the US and Canada) and then, last night the single boxes went up for grabs.
While I was stalking the Spinning Box website, I became curious: How *did* Mary plan each box? Just what was inside? And how did this terrific idea come to be?
So, I did what any intrepid blogger would and sent her a PM on Facebook (Mary hosts a Spinning Box FB site as well as her regular website). Well, it turns out that Mary is super friendly and helpful–as you would expect–and she agreed to a brief interview. I think her insights into Spinning Box may cause even more excitement among the fiber-folk of this social media land . . . and I’m expecting to see her boxes sell out even faster–if that’s possible!
How did Spinning Box get its start?
For the past few years I have been doing all sorts of “fiber boxes”…silk…raw fibers….fibers with dyes under my business Camaj Fiber Arts. It was all my fibers and they sold pretty well, but then I thought, why not purchase fibers from fiber artists instead of fiber wholesalers? It was a struggle for me to get my fiber business off the ground some years ago, just like every other fiber artist/seller and this is my way of giving back to the community I love so much. The structure of the Spinning Box provides income for the fiber artist as well as an intensive marketing campaign from my end. The first Spinning Box went on the market April, 2015 and literally sold out in minutes. It showed me that the buyers liked the concept and we’ve been moving forward ever since.
Where do you find your inspiration for each box’s theme?
I ask the customers and artists for input and I have ideas as well. I pull inspiration from the months themselves, time of year and how well the theme would translate over to the Spinning Box. I might have a really fun item in mind and work around that. For instance, I made ice cream cones out of wool nepps with a red felted ball as a cherry. That was for the July box, Lazy Days of Summer. The combed top hot dog did not work out so well.
What range of fiber is in each box? How do you balance the content?
There is always a 4-ounce custom blended combed top in each box that is designed for the months theme. Along with that there are six more ounces from four to six fiber artists. Some artists make 2-ounce batts/braids and some make 1-ounce batts/braids. There is always at least 10 ounces of fiber plus a half ounce of Soffsilk® that again compliments the theme of the box. There may even be more depending on other samples that have been provided by fiber artists or fiber growers. We also have a few fun little add-ins like a hand poured candle, sugar scrub or even fiber soap. We try to purchase the add-ins from small US businesses.
What are the benefits of buying a Spinning Box?
The benefits are two-fold, one, for the contributors of the Spinning Box helping them get their name out there and getting their products into the hands of fiber fanatics. Fiber is such a tactile thing that I think it sells best when the customer can see and touch something. Two, the benefit for the customer is a box full of beautifully prepared spinning fibers, surprises and fun! Many of our customers tell us it’s their gift to themselves each month or that opening a box is like Christmas day.
How does the element of surprise and mystery affect your plan for each box?
I absolutely love planning each months box. From the custom blended combed top, to the samples all the way down to the tissue paper. It really gives me the opportunity to think outside the box, as it were, and coming up with fun little things for the customer. Though I post photos of fibers and contributors names on our Facebook page, I try to keep it a bit secretive as well so when a lucky recipient opens their Spinning Box they have a big smile on their face and ohhh and ahhh the whole time.
Any new projects on the horizon for Spinning Box?
The Spinning Box has only been on the market since April, 2015. Once we get through this year perhaps we will work on more surprises for 2016. It’s exciting times for the Spinning Box!
How can interested buyers get in touch with you?
Buyers can find us at www.spinningbox.com and sign up for VIP emails that will notify them of dates and times of sales. We also do some early subscription sales for VIP members only. They can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about sales or becoming a contributor.