Sampling the Conscious Lifestyle
22 Jan, 2012
While only 55 percent of Americans between 16 and 29 are employed, the plums in today’s job market for intelligent and motivated candidates are in software design, healthcare, engineering, management and accounting. But Jameson Morris, 23—along with his partners Jesse Richardson, 21, and Bjorn Borstelmann, 24—took a different route, driven by the passion to help others live conscious lifestyles.
Morris and one of his two partners had already founded a thriving online magazine called Organic Soul, and their newest enterprise— Conscious Box—is yet a further effort to make a difference, with little to no help from anyone else. “They both have basically been passion projects,” Morris explained. “We are young multitalented guys, and most everything we have done has been all between us. It was really just a lot of hard work and late nights and living in our office.”
Morris grew up in the mountains of Wyoming, imbued with a passion for the outdoors and environmentalism, showing an entrepreneurial spirit (starting a successful local hot-dog stand) at an early age and never looking back. Jesse Richardson was raised in a similar environment—in Idaho and Wyoming—and is a graduate of UCLA as a political science major with focus on ethics, social responsibility, and education. Borstelmann also hails from the mountains of the west, and has been involved with sustainably minded enterprises his
Conscious Box came about through a need perceived by its founder, Morris. “Many people are trying to live more consciously but they really don’t know where to start,” Morris said, “or they’re overwhelmed by all the choices. Conscious Box stemmed from us trying to live conscious lifestyles and attempting to explain to loved ones and family members how to do that as well.”
Conscious Box is a service through which subscribers are shipped a monthly selection of pure and sustainable products handpicked from businesses that care for the planet. A subscriber this month would have received samples of 14 products—aesthetically presented in an eco-friendly package—including health-conscious snacks such as spirulina energy bites and Raw Revolution, certified fair trade and organic coconut oil, a healthy herb-based
coffee substitute, an eco-safe hand sanitizer, vegan and GMO-free parmesan, and several other items.
“It’s like a natural products tradeshow in a box,” said Conscious Box subscriber and Organic Connections publisher Ken Whitman. “There are lots of fun samples to try. The variety is surprising, and you might try out a product and find you like it and then add it to your list of ‘regulars.’ How many full-sized products are you going to buy just to try them? That, along with the great presentation of the package and their high standards, is what makes the box an event when it arrives.”
“We’re really trying to get people to see Conscious Box as an authentic source that they can trust,” continued Morris. “We’re also endeavoring to give an exposure to smaller businesses that don’t have the resources to get distribution in a store like Whole Foods.”
Unlike similar ventures, a company cannot pay a promotional fee and have their product or products included. “Businesses don’t pay to be in the box and can’t buy their way into it,” Morris pointed out. “Our business model is that subscribers pay for the monthly service, but the businesses that are involved donate their products to us. If they come to us and want to be in the box, we make sure it’s a company that stands by our values and philosophies.”
For the most part, though, Morris and his partners are constantly seeking out products to include in upcoming subscriber packages. “We have many processes,” said Morris. “We go to trade shows, and we’re always looking on Twitter, at cool little online magazines or things like that. When we do pick businesses, we talk to the owners and seek to develop personal relationships with them and really get to know how they started and how they work.”
Conscious Box has only been out a few short months, but response has been outstanding. They already have 2,200 Facebook fans and 3,500 Twitter followers. “It’s sort of gotten viral,” Morris remarked. “We haven’t actually spent any money on advertising—we’ve been working with bloggers and YouTubers and it’s been spreading out there. Word of mouth has been huge, and at this point we have just over a thousand monthly subscribers in a few months. People are really thankful for the service.”
For the future, the company is seeking to make it even easier for customers to buy the full products only sampled in the box, as well as expanding their efforts to provide detailed feedback to the companies that had products in the box. “We’re doing the best we can to make it a totally win-win situation for the businesses and for the subscribers as well,” Morris concluded.
It’s a new wave of entrepreneurs—and it’s quite refreshing to see ones like these making such a difference for our planet and society.
For more information on Conscious Box, visit www.consciousbox.com.