Jenni Olivero | BOXFOX
There's nothing like those crystal clear epiphanies that show you're on the right path. Sometimes even just my favorite song playing on the radio is enough to comfort me that I'm moving in the right direction.
Never have I been more aware of these tiny realizations than since the start of BOXFOX, a personalized gift box company I co-founded with best friends Chelsea Moore and Sabena Suri in March of 2014. What started out as a simple idea - pretty and personalized gifting - quickly became reality as we started meeting on Monday nights after work. It was so natural. Of course we’re starting a business! Of course we’re doing this! Let’s go get a business license and draft our business plan! We look back on our early Monday night meetings with such fondness and laugh. We were so conservative. We were detail o b s e s s e d. It took months of our late-night fine-tuning to curate the six prepacked boxes we launched with. In part because we were starting from scratch, learning how to create brand relationships, and in part because we were unsure of ourselves.
I can’t pinpoint an exact moment that pushed us past that barrier, but somewhere between those initial Monday meetings and our website launch that November, we let go of any doubt. We were all in. We were and remain so confident in our company, and it’s been so evident in our decision making. Deciding what to post on Instagram, deciding to introduce black boxes, deciding to host a pop-up shop - as the founders, we’re the only ones who are going to make those decisions. Sure we can ask for advice from family and friends, but in the end it's all up to us. And truthfully, most of our biggest decisions have been practically instinctual: made with confidence, quickly and from the heart.
"Our women’s intuition is a gift, and we shouldn’t take it for granted."
One example that's top of mind is the decision to move into our warehouse. With our momentum coming out of Christmas, we thought we’d start looking for a commercial space, just to get a sense of what was available in our area. Chelsea took a few tours but one warehouse in El Segundo really stood out - a smaller, shared space just a few blocks from our apartment. All three of us felt the energy, and at that point we had the seasonal upswing of Valentine’s Day ahead of us. We knew this was it. We knew we wouldn’t survive another holiday operating out of our apartment/garage/storage unit like we did that nightmare Christmas. We needed the space, we needed to make a decision, and we couldn’t have asked for a better arrangement with the shared tenant. You can’t ignore the signs when they line up that serendipitously. So, we all agreed to sign a lease.
That’s been part of the beauty of growing our business. We’ve been moving at such a fast pace that we’ve been forced to make gametime decisions fairly quickly. We’re trusting our heads and our hearts. And over the last two years, we’ve really built up the confidence in ourselves and our brand to make choices, write emails, and speak with conviction.
Of course, I certainly do fall prey to the “I don’t know” limbo. The minutes of my life I’ve wasted toggling through Netflix! But I think one of the big lessons I’ve learned with BOXFOX is importance of following my intuition. Now, more than ever, I pay so much attention to my inclinations and reservations. Maybe that’s just because I have more trust in myself these days. With two years of BOXFOX under my belt, plus paralleling that with my job in sports marketing, my confidence comes a little more naturally. And hopefully with more time, experience and hard work, there’s even more where that came from.
Overall, I’m of the mindset that our women’s intuition is a gift, and we shouldn’t take it for granted. Everything can become clouded so quickly as our insecurities seep in and our minds race. But with a recipe of confidence, experience and conviction, it becomes easier to find those wonderful moments of clarity that help pave the path forward.
Just last month I had another clear, crystalizing realization. I'm excited to share that I quit my job and started working at BOXFOX full time on March 4th. Up until now, the timing hasn't been right for me to make that transition. Of course I'm sad to leave my job and the network I've built up at Sports Studio, but all of the sudden, BOXFOX hit a new level of capacity. Quitting my job became as obvious as it was necessary. There was no fork in the road, just one clear path that I needed to take. It's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, and there's more hard work ahead, but I'm excited to see what else we can accomplish.