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The Story of the Joy Box

Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite creations: the Joy Box.

I had the idea for the joy box almost 3 years ago. I loved the whole subscription box phenomenon but also didn’t want it to become an avenue to just accumulate endless stuff – for myself or my customers.

But a problem that I have on the regular gave birth to the Joy Box idea – the fact that I have always loved giving gifts but I almost never have the foresight to plan ahead for them, especially for the kind of little day-to-day gifts that bring me the most joy to give. Little, beautiful, and meaningful tokens of my care and affection for those that I love were and are my love language. So why did I have such a hard time preparing to give this kind of gift?

There were numerous issues – Time to source a perfect gift, money in the budget to make it happen on a regular basis, and just good old-fashioned lack of planning. I was a mom of two under three at the time and every kind of resource with in short supply.

Enter the Joy Box

This subscription box addressed all of my core concerns – time, money, and planning ahead.

Delivered automatically every three months for just $25, the box took all effort out of having gifts available at the drop of a hat at a price that can’t be beat, especially for cute, meaningful, and handmade things.

But even though I had the idea three years ago, I didn’t know if it would work. I was afraid to put myself out there and offer it to people, especially because I would need to have a fair number of subscribers just to make it work. So I kept the idea tucked away until the spring of 2019.

We launched the first Love Box on February 1, 2019. Within 18 hours we sold 500 boxes. It became very clear very quickly that the idea of having bundled and reasonably priced items frequently used for gifting available appeal to a lot of people. It was the nudge I needed and in March 2018 we launched our first Joy Box.

The items pictured above are all the things we are sending out right now in our seventh box – the September 2020 Joy Box. Like all Joy Boxes before it, it comes with a challenge- to give away at least half of everything that comes in it.

In the last 18 months since the Joy Box launched we have sent thousands of Joy Boxes all over the world and been a part of thousands of gifts given on birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and just because. Apparently a lot of people had the same problems that I did.

If you’d like to get your own Joy Box you can purchase it here.

Practical Steps for Living Courage

Practical Steps for Living Courage

Last week we talked about making courage an everyday occurrence so that we can grow our own aptitude for it and demystify the experience. 

But on a practical level, what does that mean? What can we do to be courageous?

I did a little brainstorming and came up with a few different lists – beginner, intermediate, and advanced – of things that can be added to life to flex our courage muscles. These are simply ideas, and hopefully will get you thinking about opportunities in your own life for courage whether they are on the list or not.

Beginner-

Practice something you’re bad at. Literally be a beginner. Let it be OK that you were not competent before you start. Small as it may seem, allowing yourself to start when you know you will likely fail (perhaps over and over again) is a great act of courage.

Greet someone who has never greeted you. Begin to see the people around you as people, not strangers, not simply fellow humans, but as real people with lives as complex and all consuming as your own. And then greet them as such, even if they are unlikely to return the favor.

Notice what makes you feel afraid. A huge barrier to courage is a fear that surprises us and knocks us off-balance. But, if you begin to bring mindfulness into fear that you feel you can start preparing for situations that will likely make you feel afraid and you can plan a better response for the future.

Intermediate-

Actively seek a new friendship with someone you don’t know yet. Nothing like putting yourself out there to grow your courage muscle. Even if you don’t become besties, the effort to reach out to another person will help you grow in bravery and allow the other person to feel seen. Win-win.

Brainstorm everything you would do if you were free from fear, and then do some thing from the list. I think this speaks for itself. If you look at your fears in the face and see what they’re holding you back from, you will have a powerful list of ways that you can face that fear head on.

Humbly ask for help. It’s super hard for us to ask for help most of the time. But, when we need help, it’s a beautiful opportunity to grow in two incredibly important virtues – humility and courage. Don’t let these opportunities pass you by. (One of my favorite quotes is “Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” by Khalil Gibran. Food for thought.)

Advanced-

Put yourself in the path of someone who vehemently disagrees with you, and commit to listening to them. I really don’t recommend that you do this on social media, but Instead look for an opportunity to meet a real person face-to-face and listen to them.

Get involved in activism that seeks to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and commit to viewing those who disagree with you as people first, opponents second. There are more than a few fronts where you can be involved in meaningful, bodied activism (no, not hashtag activism) that will allow you to grow in bravery and speak for the voiceless. There are a myriad of fronts that need brave voices to speak for racial justice, the unborn, the elderly, the poor, the imprisoned, and the marginalized. 

Wear your faith on your sleeve, but also commit to knowing the answers to the questions you’re going to get. As the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15, we must be prepared to give the reason for the hope that lives within us. A lot of people have a pet objection to faith, God, Jesus, the church as a whole. These arguments are not impenetrable, and it’s not too challenging to anticipate what might be coming. Commit to educating yourself about your faith so that when you are brave and open about it you are able to face the questions that come in love and grace, but most importantly with truth.

These are some ideas to get you started, and I sincerely hope you come up with your own as well. It is worth it to seek to be brave every day so that when the opportunities come that we did not seek we are ready to embrace them with magnanimity, as a fighter finds peace even in the midst of the conflict which he has been trained for.

Have other ideas? I’d love to hear them! Just hit reply and send them my way! If I receive more good ideas I’ll put together a round up when I get back from maternity leave!