Omaha cashes in on subscription box services

Posted at 4:29 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 17:29:34-05

Pay a fee and have clothes, toys, beauty products delivered to your door.  Stitchfix, Birchbox and others have added to a growing industry -  the subscription box service.

Last year, the top ten companies in the subscription box industry made more that 500 million dollars.

Kate Bacome spends about 50 dollars a month on subscription box services, from cat themed gifts to beauty products.

"I am kind of into doing facial masks. So this one you get, I don't know how many you get, but this is a whole month's worth," she said.

Bacome has even made it social, sharing subscriptions by splitting the costs with friends or using them for white elephant gifts. It's folks like Kate that are making the box business a big cash cow. It's a pretty successful model too.  Of the hundreds of beauty boxes that have popped up since 2012, only eight have gone under. Of the hundred 50 plus food boxes, only 16 have been canceled.

Omahan's have started their own businesses too. Tonya Ludwig started 621 gifts out of her West Omaha home, which features midwest mom and pop treats.

Inside the Mastercraft,  Omahans Wanye and Laurie Brekke and Bill Harvat have started Dungeon Crate, a niche toy box for fans of dungeons and dragons-a fantasy board game. Each box is $39.95 and has surprise contents for subscribers.

"It is a renewing subscription, so you can sign up for one month, or 3, 6, or annually," Wayne Brekke said.

For these business, it's total start up. A lot of DIY. For the Dungeon Crate folks, family and friends helped pack the boxes Saturday that shipped out Tuesday. It's a lot of work, partially because of the initial success, which surprised even the owners when they launched their box last month.

"We were hoping for 200. Gosh that would be great, if we could get 200. That was our first goal. We hit that the first day," Brekke said.

They now plan to grow to other niche services. And with subscribers like Bacome waiting, it's a new way of business, a model that is thinking outside of the box.