Just Go Grind Podcast Episode #125

#125: Sabena Suri, Co-Founder and CSO of BOXFOX, a Customizable Gifting Platform on Track for $8-10M in Revenue in 2020

Sabena Suri

Sabena was born on Long Island and raised in the Bay Area. She realized her heart was in SoCal and traded in the City by the Bay for the sunnier skies of Los Angeles. Ever the USC over-achiever—student government chair by day and leadership fraternity by night—she was selected as a USC Global Fellow, earning a 3-month summer fellowship in Hong Kong with Burberry and graduated magna cum laude with a BA in PR.

In 2014, Sabena and her two co-founders, Chelsea Moore and Jenni Olivero, were inspired to create BOXFOX, an LA-based e-commerce gifting company, with a clear mission: to create stronger relationships through beautiful and personal gifts, enabled by simple user experiences. The three women identified the need for a comprehensive gifting service that lets both consumers and corporations send high-quality, personalized gift boxes for any occasion.

At BOXFOX, Sabena wears many (designer) hats, namely managing their Corporate Concierge program, driving B2B business development, and working closely with developers on site enhancements and solutions that are constantly improving their offerings. Sabena and her two co-founders were named on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the retail and e-commerce category.

Connect with Sabena Suri

Some of the Topics Covered by Sabena Suri in this Episode

  • How and why BOXFOX got started
  • The brainstorming phase and the original idea that Sabena and her co-founders Chelsea and Jenni came up with
  • Defining their target audience and figuring out how to reach them
  • How they launched and their initial marketing strategy
  • The importance of using the connections and resources close to you as an entrepreneur
  • Creating growth by turning their product into a shareable moment
  • The process of coming up with their name and logo
  • Establishing the clear pillars of their brand early on
  • Establishing the roles of each of the three co-founders and how those have evolved over time
  • The process of making BOXFOX their full time gig and how it was different for each of the co-founders
  • How turning into a multi-million dollar business affected the company and the challenge of maintaining company culture
  • The importance of PR and figuring out how to best leverage it for their company
  • The B2B side of the business
  • Customer acquisition and how they shifted their strategy
  • The importance and value of rewarding loyal customers and how they developed a loyalty program that works for their business
  • How they decide on which products to include in their boxes
  • The challenges of offering diverse products and what makes their company unique
  • How their view of the competition has changed over time
  • How customer feedback affects their product selection
  • Turning products into gifts and anticipating customers’ needs, especially amidst COVID-19
  • How the pandemic has affected BOXFOX
  • How corporate gifting changed their business
  • How Sabena views growth for her company moving forward
  • Where BOXFOX is at today and the element of growth with existing corporate customers
  • Sabena’s long-term vision for BOXFOX
  • Expectations versus reality as an entrepreneur
  • Sabena’s podcast and book recommendations
  • A typical day for Sabena
  • Strategies Sabena uses for maintaining a daily work-life balance
  • What Sabena does to recharge
  • Sabena’s advice for other entrepreneurs

Links from the Episode

Listen to all Episodes of the Just Go Grind Podcast

About the Just Go Grind Podcast

Just Go Grind is a podcast started and hosted by Justin Gordon, Platform Lead at CoEfficient Labs and a USC MBA in the class of 2020, that exists to help you launch and grow your business, supporting you along your entrepreneurial journey with new episodes each week featuring entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other go-getters.

On the show we discuss:

  • How the entrepreneur started their company
  • What strategies were used to get the initial customers
  • How the entrepreneur built their team
  • The best marketing and growth strategies for different businesses
  • The biggest challenges the entrepreneur had to overcome
  • Short term vs. long term thinking in a business
  • The first things someone should think about before starting a business
  • How the entrepreneur manages their time day-to-day
  • The biggest lessons from their entrepreneurial journey
  • And much, much more!

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