‘Serials’ have been a popular form of story-telling on radio, television and, (in bygone years), ahead of the main movie at afternoon cinema screenings – no one wanted to miss an episode! Now an enterprising mother and daughter team have launched Serial Box – a monthly booty of beauty which has recipients eagerly awaiting what surprises the next delivery will contain.
Auckland’s Judith Grant and her daughter Jessie Charlton are acutely aware that many people, women, in particular, put aside their needs for those of the family – they ensure everyone else has treats while they do without.
So, when exploring options for a joint business venture, the pair thought about busy mums who may have little time, and sometimes limited funds, for their own pleasure. And, it’s easy to see why Jessie, in particular, might relate to caregivers whose priority is their family. She has seven children – six girls and a boy aged 18 months to 18 years.
“But, I’m probably no busier than any other mother or caregiver,” she says. “Yes, I have a big family but I’m a stay-at-home mum so my time is all about the family.
However, women who work, and have children, are just as busy, maybe busier. They have day jobs, but still need to meet the needs of their children, organising after-school activities, weekend sports, homework and more while generally managing housework and other commitments.”
Regardless of the demands on busy women – work and family – Judith and Jessie says the Serial Box is a way they can treat themselves to a range of goodies once a month with little effort required.
“They don’t have to go anywhere to purchase or pick up the box; it arrives at the same time each month and each delivery contains a very different array of beauty products. For example, one might be contain skin care, another makeup and another, hair products. What’s more, within each category the range of products varies enormously.”
While Serial Box is by subscription, there is no contract and boxes can be cancelled at any time. It’s also possible to buy a one-off box as a gift; themed specialty or seasonal boxes are among offerings.
“Importantly, recipients don’t need to make an appointment to travel elsewhere for this treat,” Jessie says. “They can sit down in the evening, perhaps after children are in bed, and just enjoy their goodies.”
At $39 a box, Judith says recipients can expect excellent value and, better still, $3 from each box can go towards a school of their choice.
“We decided when we started that we wanted Serial Box to also benefit the wider community. Schools register with us then subscribers just nominate which school on the list they wish their $3 contribution to go to.”
While subscribers enjoy all the fun of opening their beauty box, Judith and Jessie enjoy the process of sourcing goods and packing the boxes.
“We source direct from manufacturers and each box usually contains at least five full sized products. We also like to support small New Zealand companies by including at least two Kiwi brands,” Jessie says.
“We’ve discovered there are amazing women out there developing creditable cosmetic and skin care products, using natural ingredients. For some it’s a way of earning an income often while they have dependent children at home. We feel it is important to encourage them and give their products a boost by bringing them to the market.”
Serial saga continues...
“Until recently my husband Mac and I owned and operated a small company specialising in Noni Juice – known for its concentration of vitamins, minerals anti-oxidants – which comes from the Noni tree (Morinda Citrifolia), prevalent throughout the Pacific and South East Asia,” Judith says.
“We sold the business 18 months ago but because of our interest in natural ingredients which assist health and wellbeing, it meant Jessie and I again looked in this general direction when considering a business we could manage together.”
Since the launch of Serial Box, in May, just ahead of Mother’s Day, effective marketing via the website, FaceBook and Instagram, has seen its popularity on the rise, so much so the women are now looking beyond beauty products.
“We’re planning, a gardening box and we have a tea box in the pipeline’” says Jessie. “The tea box will contain the likes of a glass diffuser teapot, tea accessories and, of course, a range of delicious teas. We’re working on this at the moment whilst also putting together some wonderful treats and surprises for our boxes over the next few months.”
But that’s not all; this entrepreneurial duo is now looking to develop a natural skin care range, which they have called Ma, the moniker given to Judith by her grandchildren.
“Recently we did an ABC box – argan, body butter and coconut,” Judith says. “We know we can access some gorgeous, natural ingredients from throughout New Zealand and the Pacific so it seems logical to make our own skin care range.”
The pair say Serial Box subscribers can expect to see the Ma collection in their beauty boxes early next year – now who wouldn’t say “beaut!’ to that?
By Helen Perry