Interview with the bearbox team
If you're on the Facebook group (join it if you haven't already!) or if you checked out our About pages, you've learned a little bit more about all of our backgrounds. The thought of digging a bit deeper with a little interview sounded fun, so I asked my fellow team members, including myself of course, a few questions. And here...we...go:
What do you think separates The Bear Box from other subscription boxes? (Aside from the products!)
Monica: The personal connections we are making...getting to know the vendors personally, connecting The Bear Box customers to these local business owners and their products, and making a difference in our community by helping local businesses get connected with new clients.
LeeAnna: This box provides not just us, but the customers and the businesses a unique opportunity to revolutionize how we view our economy. I believe one of the biggest financial problems of our generation is the lack of awareness about where our products come from. This box gives consumers a deeper connection to the products and the business owners, and that alone adds an irreplaceable value to each product.
There is nothing like this out there, but there needs to be. Joella: I think the biggest thing that sets The Bear Box apart is the focus on connecting customers to local business owners. That’s our end goal: to open a flow of communication. We want to shine a light on the unique businesses which already exist in Alaska. And trust me, there are a lot of really cool ones!
Mindy: I think one thing that separates our Box from other box subscriptions is that we are really focused on providing full size products, and hope to encourage local Alaskan's to shop locally, while providing people from other areas a fun taste of Alaskan products! Chad: For me, it's definitely the building of deeper relationships and connections. The goal, and what ultimately drew me in, was the idea of using social media and the web to bring local consumers and business owners together in a way that we weren't really seeing. And that's exciting!
What part of this undertaking has been the biggest challenge so far?
Monica: Being patient! It’s so exciting and I wish I could do it all now!
LeeAnna: I have a hard time remembering not to "spill the beans," because I get so excited about the people I'm talking to and the products I'm learning about. I really just need to let the surprises unfold!
Joella: So far this project has actually been a lot of fun. We have a really positive team and I’m lucky to be a part of the action. As the data analyst, it’s been really interesting to start thinking about how to take the skills I’ve learned in a classroom (fresh college grad here) and apply them to a real business. Because things are unpredictable; we don’t have a lot of control over what kind of data we’ll get. I think my skill set will grow a lot as I learn how to take what I am given and extrapolate as much as possible from it in a way that will be useful to this team. We want our customers and business connections to have a good experience with us, and that’s what I’m here to make sure happens.
Mindy: I think for me, the hardest part has been my fear of failure. I really want this to succeed, but sometimes my mind can get negative and think about the "what if" which is silly, but that's the only thing I can think of that has been a challenge for me so far in this endeavor.
Chad: It's definitely been accidentally spoiling things. My wife's had to go "hey, I want to be surprised too" but I just want to share everything! Also, keeping focused on the current objectives and not so much on future ideas, as important as those can be.
Where do you see The Bear Box one year from now?
Monica: Hopefully sending out hundreds of boxes filled with Alaskan-made items across the country!
LeeAnna: I'd love for this box to start changing the way that people shop, and hopefully it will start a new trend here locally (and everywhere!) to connect people to people, and not just people to products.
Joella: I’m hoping that The Bear Box continues to grow, but I’d just be happy to know that we had a positive impact on Alaskan communities. Maybe we got some businesses really psyched up and they have a whole new set of customers. And maybe we’ll get to educate some people in the rest of the states about what Alaska’s really like. That would be cool.
Mindy: I see the Bear Box being a channel for local businesses to get the word out about who they are and what they offer. I think this Box will boost the Alaskan economy and be a fun way to connect consumers to businesses.
Chad: I see us hopefully blowing up and going national. That'd be pretty cool to show off more of Alaska to those that aren't as familiar. But I'd be happy just knowing that we built new and strong relationships between consumers and businesses.
What did you last watch on TV and why did you choose it over something else?
Monica: American Horror Story... because I had a friend staying with me and that was the only series neither of us had started and both were interested in.
LeeAnna: *gulp* Rick and Morty. My husband and I typically choose a show to watch together as a series, but lately our summer schedules have not allowed us to explore anything too deep, so Rick and Morty is a popular fallback show in our house.
Joella: The last thing I watched on TV was Himuoto! Umaru-chan, which is an anime about a high school girl who seems really perfect and sweet when she’s in public, but at home she just plays video games and eats snacks and annoys her older brother. It always gives me a craving for some Cola. I chose it because it’s a good, light-hearted way to start my Monday.
Mindy: Oh my gosh. I hate to admit this, but the last thing I watched on TV was Bachelor in Paradise. Being part of Bachelor-nation is my guilty pleasure, even though I'm ashamed to admit it! *laughs* Chad: Into the Badlands! It's set in a post-apocalyptic world where a feudal society has cropped in part of the world and the barons there vie for power and control. It has some cool worldbuilding and awesome martial arts action. I love it!
What do you love doing the most when you find yourself a bit of free time?
Monica: I love being outside and taking my kids on adventures. Anything from fishing, to hiking, to going to the zoo, to exploring the parks all over Anchorage...we enjoy being in the great outdoors.
LeeAnna: Board games with my husband and our friends. I'm also often caught planning our next big social event. However, when I need my alone time, I'm sitting at my beauty vanity (probably just browsing for memes) or taking a bubble bath.
Joella: Usually if I have free time I find myself 1) reading a paper on math or statistics research, 2) playing the piano, or 3) cooking something delicious. Basically, I love math, music, and food.
Mindy: I love to do special things with my kids, even if it is just a walk to the nearby creek, or cooking something together. I live next door to my family so we spend a lot of time together as a big group doing large family meals or playing games. I also enjoy yoga and meditation when I need some quiet time.
Chad: I tend to go through phases. Sometimes I'm in more of an outdoorsy mood, so I want to do some hiking or camping and sometimes I'm in more of the homebody mood, so I like to sit down with a fun videogame or a good fantasy novel.
What is a favorite quote that helps inspire you?
Monica: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -Theodore Roosevelt
LeeAnna: “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” -Albert Einstein
Joella: “Never, never, never give up.” -Winston Churchill
Mindy: "Though she be but little, she is fierce." -William Shakespeare
I like this quote because even though I am just one person in a sea of people, I can make a difference. I can be fierce.
Chad: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hopefully you all enjoyed getting to know us a little better! If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
What do you like to do with your free time? Sound off in the comments and let's get to know each other!