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The Fox Box Story Continued...


At the end of July I decided to put a hold on my Fox Boxes while I took some time to decide what to do with them and to have the Summer off with my children. I had spent seven months working on them, each month growing bigger with more subscribers. I put together three boxes before Rudi was born and then the next four while she was snuggled on me in a sling. 

At first the boxes made me happy. Putting together the first twenty boxes in January was fun. It took some time but it was doable and it was lovely seeing the reaction of my first subscribers on Twitter and Instagram. It felt like I was doing something that made people happy. And it was making me happy too.  

But as each month went on it became more difficult. The logistics of making more boxes was really hard. The administration was more difficult and, of course, I was doing all of it with a newborn baby.

I started to realise that in its current format I would need to make hundreds of boxes each month for it to make any money. And hundreds of boxes would require a space to make them in and a team of people to put them together, which would then need even more boxes to be made to be able to pay for the space and the labour. Of course I had thought about all this before but in the beginning I had ideas of products being put in the Fox Boxes for free or sponsors of the boxes, and other things that could be done to make it all work and be profitable. But seven months in I was still a long way off making any of that happen and given my important role is to be a mother of four young children, I knew that I couldn't get anywhere near making it something huge. Seven months is a quite a good test run for a thing like this. And it was also seven months of learning more about what I like doing. I loved the styling of the boxes. I loved packing one box. I didn't like packing any of the boxes past box one. And I really, really didn't like the chaos it all brought to our already rather chaotic home.  

One day I was labelling the last few boxes and packing them into the sacks for the postman to collect. Sacks and sacks of beautiful boxes were waiting to be sent out to make lots of people smile, to make lots of people happy. All I felt was a heavy heart. I was absolutely exhausted. I'd worked so, so hard. I had earned nothing. In fact I'd had to pay to do it. And I just cried and cried.  

It was at that point that I began to realise a few things. I had had a nice idea and I had made that nice idea reality. It was fun for a while but then it wasn't such fun. It took away the time I would have had for my own making and crafting and put all that time and energy into making sure other people could make things. I had been doing something that was making other people happy but not me. It also took away time from my blog and my space for writing. It was stressful and sometimes really difficult. My tears and upset made me realise that my creative outlet is this blog and all the things I make and create for my family and my home and I was really missing it. I had gone and done that coffee shop thing...you know the one where you really love good coffee, so you open a coffee shop that sells that good coffee. But it's not fun in any way. It's not like going for a coffee with your friends. It's really hard work and stressful, and you end up hating coffee.

I have no regrets about trying the boxes for a few months. I think lots of people really enjoyed them. I am really proud of myself for stopping when I did. If something isn't working don't be afraid to stop. When you stop if gives you some space to work out why it isn't working and what you can do to change it. Or whether you just need to stop it completely. 

I have some ideas for the Fox Box brand and I had plan to have something ready to launch this month but you know what I just need some time away from it. I need to focus on my little ones, my blog and my making. It was a great experiment, I got to work with some super creative people and I made lots of people smile. 

The Fox will be back at some point in the future. But for now look out for things to make and do here instead!  

Thank you to all of those wonderful people who had faith in my little idea and helped me to make it happen. Thanks to the subscribers, the creatives, the fox box packers and the lovely friends who helped me make difficult decisions in the Summer. Thank you to Marie for all her wonderful help for a couple of months. And a huge thanks to Stef for so much help and love with his design skills, late night packing and for listening to me go on and on and on about it all from the very beginning of that first conversation over dinner!  

I hope my honesty and openness about my tiny little startup adventure has been useful. I think it's always good to try things even if they don't work out. Sometimes things work because it's the right time, right place. I think this could have worked if the time and place had been right for me. The time and place is definitely right for making and crafting, and that is something I will definitely remain firmly involved in. I hope you will too.  

Happy Making! x

{Later this week there will be a Fox Box competition to win a box jam-packed with materials to make and create with as a little 'goodbye for now'. }



This week's Floral Friday winner is...

The Fox Boxes