blackbox

my B.O.B. - Divine Luxury

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We were happy to introduce Nikki, owner of Divine Luxury Bath & Body through our my B.O.B. campaign on Instagram! This campaign brings awareness to Black businesses from the owner's perspective. At blackbox we believe it's important to know the vision and purpose behind a business. Through our blog, we can dig deeper into their stories and provide a fuller perspective with you!

After registering her business in February 2014, it wasn't until her daughter asked "Mom, when are you going to start your business? You have all these supplies just sitting here wasting away; JUST DO IT!", that kicked Nikki into gear to just do it, and launch her natural bath & body company, Divine Luxury.


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What was it about bath & body products that made you want to start your own collection and launch Divine Luxury?

I'm a nurturer by heart and I love helping others without expecting anything in return. I've been that way since childhood. There are two things I truly enjoy doing for others, that's preparing a meal for them or making them feel beautiful. I started Divine Luxury Bath and Body because I felt the process would be a lot easier to start and it was my way of giving back to others, especially women. There's something about bath and body products that can change to your mood and put a smile on your face at the same time. 

You mentioned your daughter asked you when you would to start your business after a period of stagnation, what was your response to her?

After registering my business in February of 2014, I stopped. I didn't start creating products or anything. I was still doing some research, but hadn't created anything. One day my daughter came up to me and said, "Mom, you have all these supplies you order for your business just sitting around collecting dust, what are you waiting on...just do it!". At that moment, I said your absolutely right, and I immediately starting working on my bath salt collection. She was the push that got me out of my own way. I was so afraid to actually "start" because I had no clue on how to actually run a "successful" business. But, I moved my feet and I have been going strong ever since she made that statement to me. I'm learning as I go, taking the good with the bad. I'm just glad I STARTED. There's no failure in starting.

How awesome that your husband was your first sale to get the ball rolling. How has your business grown since that first sale?

Yes, having the support from my husband is amazing. To know he has my back while I'm on my entrepreneurial journey gives me a piece of mind because I know he will always keep it 100 with me. Since he made the first purchase in 2014, business has had a steady increase, and honestly, I'm glad it has been growing at a gradual pace. I'm not going to lie, in the beginning sales were very slow and most of my customers were friends. I was afraid that sales would never pick up. However, once I started doing more conferences and events, I was able to introduce my brand to the masses. By doing more shows, it has helped increase sales and brand recognition, which creates lots of return customers. I appreciate everyone who supports Divine Luxury, but the return customers make a huge difference in a brand's success. 

What did you learn from your great grandparents and great aunt as entrepreneurs that has helped you with your business?

Growing up I had relatives who owned sucessful businesses, however, being so young I never asked them questions on how they got started or what things to avoid while owning a business. I just knew I wanted to have something of my own when I got older. Hopefully they are looking down on me and are proud that I'm following my dreams. 

What advice would you give to someone like yourself, who has an idea, but is scared to take that first step to launch?

My advice to someone who wants to start their own business, is to make sure you research your market and identify what you can offer that no one else is offering. If you can find a mentor in your desired field, that's great. Even if they are not, a business mentor will guide you on not making the same mistakes they did or at least be a great resource for you to share your ideas.  Also, start saving money to fund your business. In the beginning you want to establish your business name, website, photos for your site, supplies, etc. Those things cost money, so make sure you save for them, because I would avoid getting a loan for the longest time. Remember, banks want their money regardless of you selling your product or service. Work on your on personal credit to improve it, if it's not so great, just in case you do want to get a loan. Also, use your free resources like the SBA. They offer tons of free classes and other service to help you grow your business. The last thing I will say is invest in your own personal growth as a brand owner. That means taking a class or attending a paid conference. Once you stop learning, your business will stop growing. Oh, one more thing, surround yourself with people who are moving in the direction you want to go and learn from them. That's it and have fun while you live your dream!!!


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It was such a pleasure learning more about Nikki's journey to launch with her business, Divine Luxury Bath & Body. It goes to show that supportive people and belief in yourself is key when taking a step into the unknown with entrepreneurship. We wish Nikki continued growth and success!

Our discovery is your discovery.

Inside the Box: August Special

This post was written by CoFounder, Brittinee Phillips.

This post was written by CoFounder, Brittinee Phillips.

new branding, who dis?

As you may have noticed blackbox has had a little more oomph in its visual images as of late. In June, we had the pleasure of working with Luxe Radar + Lotus Media Studio founder, Queneisha Harvey, and photographer Denise Grier, to bring our visual story to life. Our focus was to provide you with an understanding of what it's like to be a blackbox subscriber and how we bring the box together each month for you.

This special edition Inside the Box is your look into the creative process and planning for our new blackbox images. Our ongoing plan is to revamp the images each quarter/season to add a little more pop and zest to your visual experience of blackbox. Of course, we're always connecting with and curating from Black businesses to bring you unique, quality, and Black made products. The wonderful products included in our visual story came from businesses previously featured in our blackbox. Big shout out to Thrifty Upenyu, Akaimi the Artist, Southern Elegance Candle Co., HiRuna Island Soaps, and Coco Bubbly.

So how did we decide what would work best and express how we hope you feel and receive blackbox? Keep reading to find out more on our thought process and how your feedback helped!

smiles for days

from diy to upgrade:

When we started, most of our blackbox images came from DIY sessions between Jacque and me. While I have a background in photography, our limits as a small business meant making due with the equipment (our smartphones) and resources (make-shift backdrops and inexpensive craft materials) to create earlier shots of our monthly boxes. Visually we knew there was a better story we could share with you to bring blackbox to life - especially since our box content is a surprise every month. To ensure that happened authentically and true to our mission, I asked myself three questions - who, what, and why.

WHO ARE WE TO YOU?

Just another subscription box? Nope! Jacque and I created blackbox to introduce folks to other Black owned businesses who make equally unique and purposeful products as any other brand or business out there. Since we aren't bringing you standard sample size items, and all of what we curate comes from indie Black businesses, I felt it was important to showcase the personalized experience you can have with us as a subscriber. To do this, I knew we needed to work with a creative brand that shared the same aesthetic and similar mission as us: promoting and loving Black ingenuity, creativity, and uniqueness.

WHAT ARE WE EVEN SAYING?

Buy, buy, BUYYYY! Nope. That didn't feel authentic, and especially would make what blackbox is doing seem like a gimmick or quick way to make a buck [FYI: we're still growing and everything we earn we put right back into our business]. So what is our message with our visual story? Jacque and I realize that you all live different lives, but share some common threads - you're proud Black people or supporters of blackness, you want to be supportive of your community but don't always see the clear path to do so, and you want to feel special as well [who doesn't?! :) ]. With our box we envision you happy, overjoyed, surprised, intrigued, and excited when you open that month's box. That's part of our message.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

For Jacque and I, we know how much a dollar matters and how each of us have different priorities. Money doesn't grow on trees, and we all got bills to pay! But what if the dollar you spent was done so intentionally to fulfill a purpose? Such as, the purpose of supporting Black owned businesses and getting a unique, personalized experience of your own out of it. The discovery experience with blackbox comes full circle: 1. Purchase a one-time or monthly box with us, a Black owned business, 2. Receive curated products from other Black owned businesses in your box, 3. Like, love, and/or adore what you receive and continue your patronage with those Black makers and blackbox for future discovery opportunities. A win, win from our perspective 🖤!

upclose blackbox

A huge thank you goes out to all of our supporters and subscribers. We love you all. And for those new to blackbox - welcome, come on in and join the discovery experience. Our growth only means better experiences for each and every one of you. It also means a stronger platform for the amazing Black business owners we partner with.

By the way...have you subscribed to all of our boxes since March? Tell us what your favorite item(s) were thus far in the comments below. Reminder, the October box window is now open and you have until September 15 to secure your box here!

Your box full of hue.