Thursday, October 20, 2016

I Love Fall...

My favorite month of the year is October... Not just because it's my birthday month either!

Photo - Allison Dorobis

October in Maine is especially great. Here is Lilly after school yesterday enjoying the warmish weather in our front yard. But let's face it, fall in general is pretty amazing! 

I know everyone loves fall... But there is good reason... 
Here is a spoiler of one of the cards from the upcoming Rebecca Snail Mail box that sums it up nicely.

Photo - Lily & Val 

Whether you are a pumpkin spice person or an apple cider person... There is nothing more inviting than front porches covered in bright flowering mums & pumpkins, cozy sweaters & scarves or big bowls of homemade soup after a hayride.   All of these equal one thing for me... Fall is the best!

What is your favorite fall tradition? 

Thanks for listening,

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Our October Box...

Here is a video Lanette did unboxing her October Rebecca Mail box...

How fun is she and the box? Our October box is sold out but you can join today to guarantee a November box! 

Thanks for listening,

Monday, October 10, 2016

Answering Questions...

I wanted to address a few questions... Some I get quite a bit, others just cropped up. Let me just start off by saying most of these are "complaint" style questions that have come up. I truly believe that you can't please all of the people all of the time and am okay with that but I also figured some of you, my customers (many of whom have become like friends and/or family quite quickly) might also be wondering some of the following...

 Why did I name my business "Rebecca Mail"? 

It seems like a fair question, after all, I am not famous so what gives? To be perfectly honest, I was very uncomfortable with the name initially myself but let me share the back ground and how the name came about. 
For several years I was in direct sales and one of the ways I encouraged my team was sending little care packages. (I seriously LOVE to send gifts!) One of the girls on my team posted a picture of what she received on Facebook and said she was so excited when she got home and discovered some "Rebecca Mail" on her porch. The name kinda stuck and became what everyone in my downline called it when I would send them an encouraging care package. Over time I even started calling these special packages Rebecca Mail too. When I was getting ready to launch my subscription box business I had several other names I was testing out but people who knew me kept asking why not go with "Rebecca Mail". I was afraid people would think I was conceited or self centered so I didn't want to go with it. In the end Jen and my family won me over to the idea... You see, I really do want you to feel like you are receiving more than a subscription box, that your box is a gift from me to you. By putting my name on every box I am keeping the spirit of the "Rebecca Mail" of the past alive. 

Why do I put "" on most of my designs?

It really isn't an in your face marketing tactic or an attempt to get my name out there more. In fact I know that for some people it ruins the look. The thing is, I license most of the artwork images I use and the licensing agreement requires I clearly post that info on items I make for resale. I do try to make it as small and as unobtrusive as possible. 

Why don't I include the shipping in the price of my box?

This is such a tricky question to answer. In a world taught by Amazon Prime that shipping should be free, to many people charging for shipping is akin to price gouging. Trust me, I am not making any money from the shipping. When we were getting ready to launch we got quotes on shipping our boxes directly from the source and were confident we could include the shipping in the $35 price. We were led to believe our shipping costs would range between $4-$7 per box so we allotted $5.00 per box of the $35 you pay. Imagine our surprise when the shipping averaged over $10 per box with shipping to the west coast coming in at $14.85 per box. That is after our discount for being a commercial shipper! By adding a $6 flat rate we almost break even on shipping each month. 
The question is why don't I change the price of the box to $41 then? Because as we grow I will be able to negotiate lower shipping prices and my commitment is to pass that savings on to our subscribers. Changing the overall cost of the box is far trickier than adjusting the shipping cost and I really look forward to the day when I can announce the shipping prices are going down! 

I would love to answer any questions you have, about our box or about me, so feel free to comment below if you have a question and I will answer as many of them as possible in a future post! 

Thanks for listening,

Thursday, September 29, 2016

October Spoiler #2...

I try to keep up with the latest trends... Mostly just to bring my Rebecca Mail subscribers items they would like to buy for themselves but feel guilty splurging for. I personally tend to be anything but trendy but I have to admit when I started seeing these little furry pom pom purse charms pop up all over Instagram & Pinterest even I wanted one. 

(all the following pictures were borrowed from Instagram)

They are definitely more "trendy" than I tend to be but something about these furry little frivolities really appealed to me. 

The more I perused my feeds, the more I saw them... 

And I don't know if it is a throwback to my beloved purple rabbits foot key chain my brother got me at a fair as a child, or if to me they are just one of those unexplainable things, I knew I wanted one and I wanted to add them to Rebecca Mail for October.

It turns out these little balls of puff on a key chain can be expensive... I have seen them for as much as $48! Or they can be extremely cheap looking... in weird colors like something meant for a little girl from the bargain bins at Claires.

Then I found these ones...
They were perfect and I loved both the natural brown and white equally... They were a generous 4" each and at $10 they hit just the right price point for RebeccaMail! 

They have both a "key ring" and a clip so you can choose how to use them. The brown one has a rose gold clip and the white one a yellow gold clip. They are so soft and fluffy and I know once you see these fun purse charms you will be in love with them as much as I am. 

Furry + Fun = Frivolous Fall Fashion Must Have! 

Thanks for listening,

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Few Favorites... Fall Entertaining & Decor Edition

 Everything I pick to put in the Rebecca Mail box are items I love but a lot of things I am totally obsessed with are too big or too expensive to squeeze into the box so I figured I would share a few of my current favorites for fall entertaining & decorating...

1. Bar Carts... 

I snagged these pictures from Pinterest of just a few of the dozens I love on there... 
I know these were a HUGE summer trend but I think fall and winter holiday entertaining screams for a bar cart! Even though we do not drink much and I entertain rarely these days something about a bar cart harkens back to the days when men wore fedoras and people "went visiting". 

I have to admit these carts feel like the perfect mix of Lorelai Gilmore's fun funky esthetic and Emily Gilmore's class... (Who else can't wait for the NEW episodes??)

Alas I can not have a bar cart right now... Let's face it, these are not exactly 3 year old friendly but the are still firmly on my favorites list. 

2. Tassel Garlands

These are not just a party supply... They are too cute to limit them! I love the fun festive feel these bring to any decor. I currently have one hanging in my office but I love them so much I have plans to add more to the decor... I guess like the bar cart it makes everything feel festive and is a fun way to add a splash of color to your decor that is easily changeable.  

3. Fall Plates

I have a plate rack in my kitchen I like to change out seasonally and the ones that I had for fall took a tumble in the "off season" leaving me with a hole in my decor... I spotted these little beauties at Pottery Barn  a few weeks ago and am totally in love with them. At about $50 they are a bit more then I typically spend so I will be checking my local Homegoods store but if these plates go on sale I might jump on it! 

4. Pillow Covers

So my poor long suffering hubs loves me but has had it up to his eyeballs with my throw pillow obsession. He doesn't mind the ones currently in use it's the bins and piles of "off season" ones that drive him nuts. A few years ago I discovered pillow covers and pillow peace has reigned ever since. The above pumpkin pillow covers are some I picked up a couple years ago and love adding to my fall decor. They are still available so you can snag a couple here.

5. Marble Cheese Boards

I am totally obsessed with these bad boys. I have seen them everywhere this fall and I am in love. I will get one but I am not sure which one yet. I do love this mix of wood and marble one available here but I have seen some at Target & Homegoods that are pretty fun too. When I do take the plunge I will try to remember to show you guys which one I chose.

What are your favorite decor trends this fall? Share in the comments as I do love to discover new things! 

Thanks for listening,

Monday, September 19, 2016

Introducing... Rebecca Snail Mail...

Ever since the very first moment of forming Rebecca Mail I knew I wanted to include a card in every box. The reason for it was I wanted each person who received one of the boxes to spread the "Happy" further and the best way I can think of is to send a hand written card.

In these days of electronic everything there is a real ground swell to get back to what is important, and one of those important things is nurturing a genuine connection with those we care about. We all remember as a kid opening cards on your birthday, holding your breath hoping to find some cash, but as we got older the message in the card started to mean more... Now we get a few hundred birthday wishes on social media but a hand written card telling us how much we mean to the sender is practically an endangered species. As humans we crave connection, but here at Rebecca Mail we also are on a mission to make the world a happier place. 

Our new Snail Mail box wants to help you do just that. We will send you 5-6 fun, quirky, encouraging note cards every month. We hope as you sort through the cards someone will come to mind immediately who you will send each one to, but if not, keep them handy so you can try to mail them all before your next box arrives! But we want you to have some fun doing it so each package will contain a fun new pen or pencil and another little desk top surprise just for you. With plans for as little as $18.50 a month and no additional shipping charges now is the perfect time to start sending notes again! 

Now through October 5th use coupon code MEETTHESNAIL and save an additional 10% off your subscription! 

The Rebecca Mail lifestyle box is just for you, add Snail Mail today and spread the happy!

Thanks for listening,

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Welcome... A Brief History...

Welcome to the official Rebecca Mail blog where we will share with you more about Rebecca Mail (like spotlights on contributing businesses), some of our current favorites, our day to day lives and the occasional random thought. In short... It's your place to get to know us.

First a little of our history... Rebecca Mail started as an idea in early March of 2016. That idea took root and grew into a GoFundMe campaign and in June 2016 we shipped our first 30 boxes... We were so excited!

My daughter Allie and I packed all those boxes in a few hours time in a little corner of our over crowded basement in Rockport, Maine. If that spot was going to serve as our "head quarters" would need a lot of work!

Here is something you didn't know about that first box... My mother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in late May. She was super excited about Rebecca Mail and wanted to be part of it so when the Stand Tall cards came in she carefully folded each one and put it into it's cello sleeve. Since she had arthritis in her hands it took her about a week. Which at the time was frustrating since I could have done them in a couple hours but in retrospect was a sweet gesture. I like to think a small part of her blessed each of those first boxes. 

Over the next couple months we learned, grew and shipped out two more boxes...

July's boxes we packed by myself and my older daughter Katy. We had so much fun chatting and packing each one in the slightly more organized corner of the basement thanks to a huge yard sale.

By August we added Jen Blake to the Rebecca Mail family although we didn't know exactly what her role would be at first. She is a close family friend and someone I have worked with in a past business so it was an easy transition. 

Hello Jen!

Thanks to her incredible energy we excavated the rest of the basement (having huge yard sale #2) since we now needed the space as Rebecca Mail continues to grow by 25%-40% a month! 

To give you an idea of what a huge job that was the house we live in used to belong to my parents who were hoarders "collectors" of everything and when we moved back to Maine and took over the house the entire contents of our home got crammed into that same basement. When we did a bit of a renovation a few years ago more stuff moved down there... Then I worked in Direct Sales and added my samples, props and inventory to that basement... It was full! 

 While prepping and packing our August box we decided Jen's role would be permanent and eventually (down the road) full time, but her title is officially Operations Manager. As we grow, Jen's role will grow, for now she is my official #2 and personI run nearly everything by. She helps keep me organized and our brain storming has helped me come up with some of my favorite ideas so far. Most importantly she understands how I work and lets the process happen. 

Also in August we said goodbye to our brown boxes with wash tape...

And got our first custom Rebecca Mail boxes.

The increased and organized space also allowed us to set up a little photo studio area so we could take better pictures of our boxes and the items we put in them... 

We have had a lot of fun but here is a little secret... The above photos were taken before we had our backdrop frame so poor Jen was standing behind the backdrop, holding it up! (Sorry Jen!) 

September marked the end of our soft launch phase. We expanded our "shop" offerings and more importantly we added Lanette as our Finance Manager a role I do not envy because I like to focus on everything up until it launches or ships, then I am off to the next idea. I don't like keeping the books or the numbers and usually end up with the shoebox method at tax time. It is now Lanette's job to sort that mess out.

I knew Lanette from a business I was in previously and we had become close friends who stayed in touch. She was also no longer in that business and looking for some part time work when I jokingly asked her if she wanted to keep the books and deal with the numbers. She was actually looking for just that kind of job she could work from her home in Pennsylvania.

Her addition came as we were planning our September box... Our best yet, if I do say so myself.

And since she and Jen have come on board I no longer feel like I am making it up as I go. 

We have big things planned, some that we will be rolling out in the very near future! We have most of the next six months mapped out and I can't wait for you to see what we have in store for you!! So strap in, hang on and get ready for big things from Rebecca Mail! 

Thanks for listening,