One year ago, Daphne and Lana’s business, YEG Box, was just a thought in their minds. The friends would often run together and talk about the local items they had recently bought. Anyone they gave a gift to would ask: “Where did you get this?!”, so they decided to turn their savvy for finding unique local goods into a business. YEG Box is a monthly subscription service, sending boxes full of goodies from local Edmonton makers to people all across the country. Earlier this year they sold their first subscription box, and recently started the quarterly YYC box.
WORKING TOGETHER IS BETTER
Daphne and Lana reached out to us at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey. They say they were two lost ladies with a dream, and needed help with navigating how to start their business. They had the vision and just needed some support from us.
Edmonton Made asked the ladies to partner with them and have also been a great resource, with a wealth of resources at their fingertips and a true desire to help.
Like most business owners, Lana and Daphne wondered if people were going to like their idea and support their business. Some people doubted that they would be able to put a box together with locally made goods every month. Luckily, their boxes have become well-known and they are able to introduce their customers to 5 local makers each month, with no shortage of quality goods in sight.
Daphne and Lana love making connections with other local business owners and featuring their goods in the box. For them, meeting the different makers and sharing new stories each month is one of the best parts of running YEG Box. They take great pride in helping to showcase amazing products that people may not know about.
They see Edmontonians as very caring people who want to support their city, but say that they may not know how or where to do that. They think that people are so interested in what they are doing because people want to connect with their city, to see that there is a soul behind it.
A very proud moment for them was the introduction of their “Loved” box, which allows them to support great charities like the Canadian Women’s Foundation. When they came up with the idea and started spreading the word, they found a great community willing to offer their services to help create a video about the project. They saw that if you start at a place of wanting to do good, it really grows.
“Every time someone buys from us, it is not just us. Every small local business celebrates every purchase because it means something. It means dance lessons, soccer practice.”
SHARING THE LOVE
Coming from healthcare backgrounds, Daphne and Lana knew they had lots to learn about running a business. They weren’t afraid to reach out for help and take it upon themselves to learn what they needed to know. Along the way, they gained some great insights to share with others:
Just do it! You just have to close your eyes and jump. Take that leap of faith if you really believe in it in your heart.
There are days where it definitely feels overwhelming – everything you have to figure out and do. You know there are a lot of things that have to happen, and you sort of see it as a mountain instead of ticking off one task at a time. Once you train yourself to tick off one task at a time, it’ll all be behind you.
Partner with a friend because that way you are accountable. When one of us is feeling ready to hide in our shell, the other one has found their mojo.
THE FUTURE IS LOCAL
YEG Box had the opportunity to sell their boxes at Southgate Mall for the holiday shopping season. As a result, they were able to hire two part-time staff, which was important for them – they see being able to create employment as a great benefit of owning their own business.
Daphne and Lana love being champions for the little guy because they are little themselves. They love it when people message them with questions or come to them looking for help, so feel free to connect with these amazing ladies through their website or social media channels:
We can’t wait to see how they elevate Edmonton next!