Every couple of months, I get a delightful surprise (I know it’s coming, but I never know what’s in it!) through the door and it’s always one of my favourite deliveries.
My Horse Box send me their boxes every other month, to photograph and share with you guys and it’s a job that I really enjoy doing. Not only do I love the boxes, the packaging and the contents, I love the idea. I really like the fact that founders, Annabelle Brittle and Jonathon Slater, have brought something that is popular in other industries but not really seen in the horsey sector, into our world.
I also really love their approach. They’re excellent on social media and seem to really have their brand and target audience nailed down.
So, with this in mind, I decided it might be a good idea to grill Annabelle and find out more about how the business came about…
Tell us a little about you two, the people behind the brand.
So, My Horse Box is run by myself (Annabelle) and my partner Jonathan. We met at university and four years later, we’re running a business together!
Jonathan does all the technical bits, like logistics and looking after the website. Whereas I see to all the creative parts, like coming up with themes each month, sourcing the products, and doing the social media.
And tell us about your business.
My Horse Box is a monthly equestrian subscription box.
Each month, our subscribers receive a beautiful parcel, filled with surprise goodies for horse and rider – we’ve been told it’s like Christmas every month! Each box has a theme; in the past we’ve had an Eco box, a Summer Time box, a Showing box, and even a Valentine’s box.
What made you set up My Horse Box?
I used to subscribe to lots of beauty subscription boxes, and I loved the concept of trying new products in this way. When I started horse riding, I suddenly wondered if such a box existed for horses. Ideally I wanted a big, luxury box full of grooming products and organic treats and cosy riding socks…
And guess what? There wasn’t anything like that on the market! So to cut a long story short, we decided to do it ourselves.
Who is your target market?
Our target market is any horse lover who also enjoys trying out new products and discovering new brands. We always aim to include a mix of products from well-respected brands and smaller, bespoke companies, so hopefully every box contains things our subscribers have never used before.
Tell us about the products in this shoot. And what made you decide to hire a professional photographer?
The September ‘Back to Schooling’ box contained some really fab goodies. There was the relaxing herbal tea for horses from True Horse, an apple bit balm from Old Style Horse Remedies, two pairs of fabulous socks from Equetech, some super handy tack wipes from Aqueos, and some Herballs treats from Hilton Herbs.
Seeing as our luxury boxes are what we’re known for, we always want to show them off as best we can, so hiring a professional photographer is a no-brainer. We love how you always reflect the premium contents with your dreamy photos; it’s a match made in heaven!
What have been your biggest struggles, in running your business?
Not having a clue what I’m doing!
Jonathan owns another business, so he knows ‘how it all works’, but I haven’t the foggiest. Luckily I’m social media savvy and that was a huge plus when we launched the company, and since then I’ve just been winging it and learning as I go!
And your biggest wins?
Being able to say that it works.
Anyone who’s ever had a business idea and turned it into a reality will tell you that it’s the best feeling in the world to look at your brand and go: “holy crap… I did this… and it actually worked… and people like it!”
What inspires and motivates you?
Honestly, and I know this sounds cheesy, what inspires me most are our customers. Every time they receive a box and message us saying how much they love it, I get so emotional.
Last month a subscriber said, “I don’t know how you do it, but each box is somehow even better than the last”, and that was just the best compliment. Also, I’m always so overwhelmed that a couple of our subscribers have been with us from the very first box, it’s so lovely and we’re so grateful.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Another cliché: always trust your instincts.
This is a hard lesson to learn when one half of the business is impulsive (Jonathan) and one half is cautious (me), but despite the fact we’ve had a few hiccups along the way, everything always works out in the end. And if something sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is!
What would be your biggest piece of advice to any small business owner trying to make a success of their business?
For goodness sake; get on social media. I know it’s a drag at times and I know sometimes it feels like you’re shouting into the void, but having a strong social media presence is invaluable. It gives you the opportunity to connect directly with your customers and target audience, and find out what they like.
What are your goals for 2018?
Make even bigger, better, more beautiful boxes! Oh, and maybe get a horse…
If you’d like to subscribe to My Horse Box for yourself or as a fab, unique gift for a loved one, you can use the following code to get yourself 15% off, at myhorsebox.com.
GET 15% OFF USING
These boxes make a fabulous gift for someone, or a little treat for you and your horse. Either way, who wouldn’t like to receive a surprise gift through the post every month?!