Today we are going Behind the Box with Treatmint. This is new subscription box crafted specifically with cancer patients and survivors in mind.
What made you decide to start a subscription box service?
In 2011 I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Throughout my experience I kept trying to find some cool inspirational products that really spoke to the cancer experience, but kept coming up empty handed. After I finished chemotherapy I was struggling trying to find my purpose in life. I was working a job that in many people’s eyes was a dream job (in the design industry), but I wasn’t feeling like it was what I was meant to do. I kept thinking back about how there were no cool products out there to provide comfort or inspiration to cancer patients and then it hit me… I found my purpose!
How did you choose your subscription niche?
We played with a bunch of different models, but we loved the idea of a subscription box, because it perfectly matches how people connect during cancer. A common experience is that tons of people come around in the beginning, but slowly less and less people ask about you or come visit. They don’t know how to continue to support you. We liked the idea of the subscription, because month after month patients get the boxes and are connected with their loved ones. It provides a way for friends to keep reaching back out month after month.
How long did it take between idea and official launch?
It took about a year. Subscription boxes are quite a logistical challenge. It’s much more complicated than taking an order and shipping it off. We wanted to make sure we had distribution that was scalable and an ordering processing system that was totally automated. Those things took time to develop. We also put a lot of work into the branding and messaging. Talking about cancer can be tough, but we wanted to make it approachable even for people who haven’t experienced cancer themselves.
How do you source the products that will be included each month?
We source in all different ways. Sometimes it is just seeing or hearing about a product and then we fall in love with it. Other times it’s something that we come across at Market or in a more traditional way. Our goal is to create 2 of the items in the box each month and curate 3 from other brands.
What was your biggest surprise – good or bad – with your new business?
My biggest surprise was how much it struck a cord with people. I knew that it was something I was passionate about, but to see how strongly other survivors felt about it was something pretty cool to see.
What would you change if you had to start over?
Raise more money! A business like this takes a considerable amount of money to get off the ground. I think we underestimated how much a project like this costs, but we are learning!
Where do you see your business five years from now? Any changes in the works?
In five years we hope to be the first people you think of when you need to buy a gift for a friend with cancer. We will be rolling out a wholesale distribution plan for hospitals and gift shops at the end of the year. We are also working on adding a caregiver line and a children’s line of boxes. In the next few months you will see one off products that will be available for purchase like t-shirts, bags, journals, etc.
Visit Treatmint to learn more about this subscription and gift a box to someone special in your life today.