“Call Me CEO” is your master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership, and finding YOUR perfect balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship.

Thinking of how you could build a subscription box business? In this insightful episode, Camille is joined by Sarah Williams, the innovative founder and CEO of Launch Your Box. Sarah wears many hats, including being a podcast host and author. She recounts her inspiring journey, starting with the launch of her own subscription box company, Framed!, and how she transitioned that success into coaching others through Launch Your Box.

Sarah generously shares her expertise in creating and maintaining a thriving membership and coaching program. She also delves into her strategies for leveraging social media and software to effectively grow your subscriber base. Whether you’re just starting or looking to enhance an existing subscription box business, Sarah’s tips and tricks are sure to guide you towards providing a personalized and engaging experience for your subscribers.

Tune in to gain valuable insights and take your subscription box business to the next level!


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Looking for one on one coaching to grow your team, reach your goals, and find the right life balance. Grab a free discovery call with Camille:




Connect with Sarah Williams:

Follow Sarah on Instagram: www.instagram.com/howtostartasubbo

Visit Launch Your Box at: www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com / www.launchyourboxwithsarah.com/links

Visit Framed! at: www.framedbysarah.com

Connect with Camille Walker:

Follow Camille on Instagram: www.instagram.com/CamilleWalker.co

Follow Call Me CEO on Instagram: www.instagram.com/callmeceopodcast


They launched their subscription box, and they had 100 subscribers right off the gate. And I was like the proudest mom ever of this person. And I thought, okay, I love this feeling. I love doing this, and that's when I started my coaching business Launch Your Box.



So, you want to make an impact. You're thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We'll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.


Hey, everyone. This episode is special because it is two parts. The first part is Sarah Williams telling us all about her multimillion-dollar business, where she started this subscription box business, and how she is also teaching people how to do the same sort of business in episode one. Episode two is how to get through building your confidence, getting through a divorce, how do you identify as the new person you're becoming? Very vulnerable, it's probably one of the most vulnerable episodes I've ever done. So, make sure you're listening to episode one and two that are both with Sarah Williams, and I can't wait for you to hear it. Make sure you are subscribed. And let's dive in.


Welcome back everyone to Call Me CEO. This is your host, Camille Walker. And every single week, I'm telling you this is an awesome, awesome episode, you're not going to want to miss, but hold on to whatever you're holding on to, whether it's laundry, the car steering wheel, or whatever it is, this is going to be an amazing episode.

And Sarah Williams, who is our guest today, holds nothing back. So, what I love about this is she's very authentic. She's going to tell you how it is. She's going to share with you what it was like to go through divorce, build two multimillion-dollar businesses. And it's all around starting with one box, a subscription box that has changed her life, her business. And the way that she has approached business is really cool.

She's also a best-time selling author on Amazon for a book she just launched called One Box at a Time. She's also the podcast host of the Launch Your Box podcast. And she shares with everyone how she built a successful business with subscription boxes. So, Sarah, thank you so much for being on the show today.

SARAH [2:30]

Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

CAMILLE [2:33]

Yeah. So, tell our audience a little bit about you. As we're getting to know you a little bit more, where do you live? How many kids do you have, and all of that?

SARAH [2:40]

So, I am in North Texas. I'm in a town called Wichita Falls. It's nestled in between Amarillo and Dallas, if you are a Texas native. I have two kids, two teenagers, two malvehy teenagers, let's just say that when they get that age, 15 and 18. So my son's 18. My daughter's 15. My son's graduating in a few months, going off to college. So, that's a first for me.

And I started my business 11 years ago. And I love to tell people, I'm going to say my age, but I was 35 when I started my business. You don't have to have it all figured out in your 20s. I was 35 when I started my business, and it was off of a series of getting laid off. So, I was laid off three times in a row from three different positions with three different big companies that I worked for. And I thought, man, I'm taking this into my own hands, I want to have control of my future.

And every time I got laid off from one job to the next, there was just something in me that says, you can do this for yourself. And I had worked in retail. I worked for Fortune 500 companies. I'd worked in retail since I was in high school. So, I knew a lot about retail and products and selling and customer service.

And so, I started my business 11 years ago, and it was really just a small local gift shop, and we personalized everything. So, that was my niche. I was the place to go to in my town that you could have something personalized. You could bring it in, I would personalize it. You could pick something off my shelf, I would personalize it. And that was my specialty. And it was really a gap that I found in our market in my town. I was the only place really doing that.

And then, I had a little tiny 600 square foot shop, the tiniest thing. And that grew into a 2,000 square foot shop. But I kept seeing the repeat customer, and these became people that I knew. And I was really the only person that worked there for a very long time. I was everything. And I would see this repeat customer, and they became my friends over time. So, every month, they'd come in. Maybe they were buying a gift for someone else. Maybe they were buying something for themselves.

And I was doing Facebook Lives back then. And they would say, "Oh, I saw that on your Facebook Live." And I would be like, "Oh, it's sold out." And that was a great problem have, not that I had really deep inventory or anything, maybe I had five and it sold out. But I kept hearing that from people, and I thought, how can I create something for my VIP customers? The ones that come in every month, maybe something for them, maybe something for somebody else.

And that's where this idea for the subscription box came in. And at that time, that was like 2016, there really weren't a lot of people doing subscription boxes, it was really big companies that were doing them. And so, it felt really intimidating for someone like me, a small business owner, to figure out how to do a subscription box.

And at that time, it wasn't even selling online. So, it was just about putting it in the backburner. I had things to do. I had toddlers, they were five and eight back then. And I was being a mom. And so, it just kept eating away at me.

And finally, I just blurted it out to my web developer. I had a website, I didn't sell anything on it, but it was my store location and stuff like that. And we were updating it one year. And I said, "I want to start a subscription box, but I don't know how to do that on the back end, I don't know how to set up the logistics." And he looked at me, and he said, "If you can figure out what to put in it, I'll make it happen."

And so, I started this subscription box. And we are 11 years later, I've made 70 some different boxes. I have thousands of monthly subscribers that I get to ship boxes to every single month all over the country. Through the years, that turned into the second business of mine, which is called Launch Your Box.

And people started to see I was growing quickly. Those first subscribers, I had 44 subscribers turned into 100 within two months, turned into 300, turned into 600, turned into 1,000. And people were watching, and they would see these videos I would post of all these stacks of boxes everywhere. That was my favorite thing to post, because it always got people's attention.

But people started asking me, "Can I pick your brain? Can you tell me where you buy your packaging? Can you tell me how you buy product in bulk? Can you tell me this?" And I was just freely giving information, "Sure. I'll tell you this, I'll tell you that." And I was like, okay, maybe this is a thing. I've never taught like that before. So, I didn't even see myself as a business coach or a teacher or anything. I was just someone that built this business from scratch. I had an idea. I made it work and it was growing rapidly.

And so, someone in the DMs that I had been giving free information to all this time said, "Can I hire you for three months to help me launch my subscription box?" And I was like, "Sure." And they paid me some really ridiculously low number because I didn't know any better. And I gave them all my information for a couple hundred bucks. Over three months, they launched their subscription box. And they had 100 subscribers right off the gate. And I was like the proudest mom ever of this person. And I thought, okay, I love this feeling. I love doing this. And that's when I started my coaching business, Launch Your Box.

CAMILLE [8:07]

Oh, my gosh, I can already tell you, we had a little pre-chat before we're here at this point, and so hearing these little details that led up to what you built is really exciting to me. I love that you took something that you had a specific niche for and that you saw this gap.

And from what I've heard, it's interesting, I live in Utah. And I have heard that in Texas and even more south that people really love monogram, they want things personalized. They want their name on everything. And has that changed at all during the course of these 11 years? Or is it consistently that these people are still in it?

SARAH [8:47]

It's so consistent, and it is totally a Southern thing. My ideal customer is a Southern busy mom. And we have this thing in the South that says it's not really yours unless it's monogram. It's not really yours unless you have your name on it. And so, it is very much a Southern thing, but I have subscribers all over the North. And they could be Southern transplants that moved up north, or they could just be Northerners that are like, "Hey, what are you Southerners doing down there? Because I like it."

And so, it's really been incredible because it is such a niche. It's so niched down, but that's something that I learned early on that helped me explode. And if we can niche down into something, and that even went for coaching too, I could teach people how to run a retail store. I could teach people how to have an e-commerce shop. I could teach people marketing online. I could teach people anything. But I stuck to my guns. I knew niching down worked, and I said I'm going to teach people how to start a subscription box. I could teach people how to start a membership. I have a multimillion-dollar membership too. I have courses. I could teach people so much stuff at this point, but we can't.

And as entrepreneurs, we want to do everything because we can, but we actually can't. And that's something that we struggle with a lot. And so, when I got focused in my e-commerce business and really went all in on the monograms and stopped doing everything else, that's when it grew. When I got focused in the coaching business of who my ideal customer was and that I was going to only teach them subscription boxes, I exploded.

I have taught over 4,000 students how to start a subscription box at this point. And I wouldn't have been able to do that if I would have been for everyone. If I would have been for all e-commerce or all retail shops or all product business owners, I would not have done that. And that's the power of niching all the way down into something.

CAMILLE [10:42]

Yeah, I agree with that. I am guilty of the shiny or the distraction and wanting to help a lot of different people and not narrowing it down. So, this is really good I'm hearing this. And my specific niche is mothers in business, but that's not as specific as subscription boxes. That is so, so unique. And I love that. It actually makes me think of Pottery Barn. Who do you think of when you think of other monogrammed products? I think Pottery Barn, and they've done that so well. And they really niche down into that group. So, I love that you have done that.

Can you tell our audience what the baby steps of developing this business was like? Can you just take us back 10 years, 11 years ago, and those baby steps of how you got it going? Obviously, you had built up customers pretty well, because you already had a brick-and-mortar. But how do you suggest that people do this who don't have that and are interested in that?

SARAH [11:45]

I didn't have that in the beginning. I didn't have that in the beginning. So, I go from being a store manager and district manager for retail locations. So, I was already in the community. So, people knew me. I was in the community. I also was part of a volunteer organization in the community. So, I have this networking going on before I even knew that I needed networking. And we all have that in our daily lives. It could be our moms groups. It could be the carpool moms that we're with like, "Okay, I'll pick up on Monday, you pick up on Tuesday." We all have networks.

And so, we have to start there, wherever we're at, because we've been networking our whole life. So, I've already been in the community. And so, what I needed to do was I needed to figure out what I could sell and what people were going to buy. I put up an Etsy shop, I started a Facebook page, and I started to sell my things from there. And I was handmaking a lot of things at that time. And then, I started to go to these local shows. So, I would go to the Christmas show and the Spring show.

And I didn't have a physical location. I was making things in my house when my kids were at school and staying up late after they went to bed, and I was making good money. I was making money. I was working for myself. I was home when the kids got home from school.

And I was really excited about that because I had come from Corporate America, where I was working six days a week in these retail stores. I was working holidays, I was working weekends. And now, it was really changing for me. I got to be home with my kids when my kids were home. I got to be home on nights, be home on weekends, be home on holidays. And I could do this online.

And then, it was online, but it was like Facebook, and then somebody would pay me out with a check as I would drop it off. It was so old school, or it would be on Etsy. That was the only website I had at the beginning. So, then I started to do shows. And that's really how I built my customer base. And people would look for me specifically at shows like, "Oh, there's that monogram lady. There's the monogram lady."

And then, one show, I actually took some of my machines, and I was monogramming on the spot. And the amount of people that just stood there and watched me monogram, I was like, this is it, they want to see me do this, even though it's just a machine stitching things out, I'm programming it in, they're watching it stitch out, but I'm personalizing it in front of them. And that really changed the game for me.

And I did a show at Christmas time one year. And I made like $5,000 in two days. And I thought, okay, I need a store. I need a place where I don't have to deliver everything or people aren't showing up at my house at all hours of the day. Everybody in town knew where I lived at that point. And I had stuff all over my house, all over my house, and my husband at the time was like, "Can you clean off the kitchen table, so we can eat dinner?" I'm like, "Yeah."

Every flat surface had stuff on it drying or prepping or whatever I was doing. And so, I needed to get my stuff out of the house, so I could just be at home when I was home and not feel like I had to work all the time when I was home.

So, my first store was 600 square feet. And I really just thought it was a place for me to work at and for people to pick up their stuff, and I would go there during the day while my kids are at school. People could come by and pick up during the day if they could or on their lunch breaks. If not, I drop it off when I picked them up from school after work or whatever. It turned into a shopping location.

And that next Christmas, I had a line wrapped around my building out in the cold people waiting to get into shop because only about six people could get in there and shop at a time. And so, I looked at my friend who had come help me for this event that I was hosting. And I said, "I need a bigger place." And she was like, "You can't do another Christmas here."

And so, that's when I moved into the 2,000 square foot shop. It was my second location. It was amazing. I was there for four years. And that's where I built the subscription box, I would have never been able to build that in the 600 square foot store. But that's when things started to shift for me. And I'm thankful that they did in 2019 because we know what happened in March of 2020. And I had to shut my retail store down. And I didn't know at that time how long I had to lock those doors. I had employees that I had to pay. It was really hard to show up and sell cute little monogram things when the world was so uncertain, but I had this subscription box that I had built.

And so, I didn't have to sell anything. I had thousands of subscribers at this point, I had six-figure reoccurring revenue coming into my business at this point. I didn't have to sell a thing. I could pay my employees. We divvied out the product. We all packed hundreds of boxes at home at a time, met up, took them to the post office. We made it work while the store was closed.

And then, I realized I don't need the store to make it. The store was taking a lot from me, the hours it was open, the amount of people that I had to have on staff to staff it. It was a lot. And I'd started this business, so I could be with my kids. And now, I've turned it into this whole big thing where I'm away from my kids all the time again. And I was like, I think we're going to not have the brick-and-mortar. People weren't coming back to shop anyway. So, it was this big, empty place.

I moved into a warehouse by Christmas of that year, and I made my hours so perfect. We are open nine to three, three days a week. Now, all my employees, which are all mothers but one, they get to drop their kids off at school, and then come to work and then leave work and go pick up their kids because we're only there nine to three. And it made perfect sense for me and for them. I got to be with my kids, they got to be with their kids. I didn't feel guilty about leaving at three to be with my kids when I knew they couldn't be with their kids, but it just worked. And we worked one night till six. Everybody alternates. So, one person does that every six weeks or so.

And so, it was a way that we could still have the business, but get back what we wanted when I started it, I wanted that. And I wanted that for my employees too. I didn't want to go home and be with my kids, knowing my employees were there till six o'clock every night. I didn't want that for them. And so, that's when we started the warehouse.

And I was able to do my coaching. I do my coaching at the warehouse in my office there. And the warehouse runs, they really don't need me for much. But I curate the boxes, and I show up and sell some things on social media. But it's been a really great journey.

CAMILLE [18:26]

Wow. I am so inspired by this, seeing the differences that are made when a woman owns a business and that it's family-focused in a way that you can get the work done and still be with your family. This is the kind of business that is changing the future of America, and I really mean that. And it's so inspiring to me. And I'm sure it is for many who are listening too.

You said that you had 16 employees. How long did it take you to get to that point of needing that many and deciding who does what, that CEO role of deciding who and where and when and what? That's a lot. So, that's a big question to ask. But is there something you could tell us that helped you in those transitions and growth?

SARAH [19:13]

Yeah, I think that that's probably the hardest thing that we go through, especially when we start our businesses as a solopreneur. Letting go of things, and not that I'm a control freak, although somebody's that knows me is laughing right now. I just felt like this was my baby. This was another child of mine that I birthed, and I watched it grow. And now, I'm just going to let a nanny come in. I can do that.

And so, really it was a struggle for me. And I think that I struggled with that for a lot of years. I probably didn't hire as fast as I should have, but I feel good about the steps that I took along the way. So, really I hired my first person when I was in that 600 square foot store. And that was out of just panic. I couldn't keep up with it. I couldn't keep up with orders, I couldn't keep up with customers. And things were falling apart. And I was missing orders. And I didn't want that to happen. So, that was my first hire.

And I was so scared to hire someone because at that point, I really wasn't giving myself a regular paycheck. I was in this business building phase, and I needed to build inventory. So, really, all my profits were going back to restocking inventory and machinery and equipment because I was personalizing things. So, this equipment is expensive. And so, I was really building the business. I wasn't even really paying myself. I might give myself a car payment every couple of months to feel good about helping around the house with the bills or things. I might buy groceries, but really, I wasn't giving myself a paycheck. And there's so many of us that don't for a long time.

But when I hired her, I said, "I need you to help me get through Christmas." It was temporary. And I thought that gives me an out. I don't have to stress about it. But I'm not going to make it through Christmas, if I don't get some help in here. And we just celebrated her ninth anniversary with me. So, she's my shipping and receiving manager now. But it was just that.

And so, that hire showed me, I thought we would double the output of what I could get done, but we quadrupled it. I was instantly able to give myself a paycheck when I hired her. So, that was a really pivotal point, I could pay her, I could pay me. And I was so confident in what we need to do. It helped me with the next hire and the next hire. So, really hired for my in-person team for my e-commerce, my retail and e-commerce business.

Then when I started the coaching business, I did all of that myself in the beginning, probably for the first six or eight months. But I did a launch about eight months into building this business. And it got 400 brand-new members, and I couldn't handle 400 people asking me questions every day. And so, that's where I needed community support, I needed back-end support. I knew my graphics were terrible, I needed someone to do some higher-level things for me. And that's when I started to hire remote help for the coaching business.

So, of this 16, nine are remote, seven are in person. And some of them overlap both businesses. So, you have a marketing tech that does ads and graphics for both business, I have a copywriter that does blogs, emails, sales pages for both business, I have customer service that handles billing for the coaching business and billing for the subscription box business. So, some of it is overlapped. And some of them work only at Framed, and some of them work only at Launch Your Box.

So, for me, you can't hire too many people at once because that causes confusion and chaos. So, my advice for hiring is, what's the one thing that you're not doing well right now that you could really use some help with? That's the first person I would hire. And once you get to a point with that person that you don't have to continue to micromanage them, you're ready to take something else off your plate. And that was really how I did it.

And I think for so long, Camille, I kept thinking the bubble was going to burst. Things were too good to be true. My businesses were both growing rapidly. I was making millions of dollars with both of the businesses. And I thought, this is going to go away, this is not real life, this doesn't happen to people. And I just thought, I don't want to hire too many people because the bubble is going to burst, this is going to go away, and then I'm going to have to fire people, and that's going to hurt my heart. And I don't want to do that.

So, I just was trying to take it on myself thinking it was temporary, thinking I was on a wave, and it was going to come back down. But it's never come back down. And I think that was a mindset shift that I had to make that, no, this didn't happen to me, this is happening for me. And I had to lean into that. And I know without a shadow of a doubt, it's sustainable. And it's scalable, and it's growable. And no matter what happens in this economy, I'm selling $80 subscription boxes in a really rough economy right now. It's not going anywhere.

I'm selling an experience. I'm selling a feeling. I'm not selling a box of stuff. I'm selling something for women that they actually do for themselves. I'm personalizing it for that woman that opens that box. They don't know what they get before they get it. When they open it, they have never seen it before. It's a mystery. And so, to pull up and see that turquoise box sitting on your front porch and be like, "Oh, my god, I wonder what Sarah sent me this month," and to know it's personalized for you, that's what I'm selling.

It's not about the pullover or the cute crossbody or the earrings or whatever is in that box. It's about doing something for yourself, treating yourself because as women, we are doing for everybody around us in our lives every single day, and we really do for ourselves.

When I go to the mall with my kids, I am never coming back with something for me, I am always loaded up with stuff for my kids. I might stop and get some lotion at Bath and Body Works, that might be the only thing that I get for myself. But how many times do we do that as women? Our whole lives, our spouses, our parents, our kids. And that's what I built that business to be. And so, that's why it's still selling because it's not about the stuff. Anybody can buy stuff anywhere. It's about the feeling that they get when they open that box, that experience that they have.

CAMILLE [25:36]

I believe it. I think that you really hit the nail on the head, because for sure, when I go shopping, even if I get birthday money,and I go to a store, and I'm there to buy something for myself, if I saw something that I know my kid would love or something that would look so cute on my daughter, I will spend my money on them because that's the joy of that giving. And you think about that.

But you're right, to have that surprise for a woman is quite rare, where you think, this is going to be something that I like, and it's going to come and I'm going to love it. So, tapping into that is amazing, that you were able to do that. And I'm curious for the experience of that. How did you curate something knowing that everyone would like it? How did you do that?

SARAH [26:23]

That's a juggle. And I think that's where you have to lean into who you are. And I struggled a lot with that building the business because I didn't want to go live, I didn't want to be the face of my business. And matter of fact, I was trying to hire influencers to do box openings to wear my products. But I kept looking at Instagram influencers. And I was like, I don't know that my audience would relate to them. They're really young, they're super tan, they're gorgeous. I don't know if my audience would relate to that. We're just moms, you know. We're not 20-year-olds.

And I started to look at the stats, I think my subscription was in 1,000, 1,500 subscribers at this point. And I started to look at the stats of my subscribers. And I realized that I was the influence of the business. And a lot of my subscribers at that time were local. I had 400, 500, 600 of my 1,000 subscribers local in my town, and my town's not that big.

And everywhere I went, somebody was wearing one of my shirts. And I thought, I got to get out of this town or I'm not going to be able to sell any more things because everyone's already wearing my stuff. How many more people can wear the same shirt in the town? And so, for me, when I started to look at the stats.

At that time, I was a little heavier, and I was embarrassed by that. I have recently lost 60 pounds. And so, that journey that I was on of not loving who I was, I thought, I'm older, I'm in my late 30s. I am overweight, I am not tan, I am not young, I am not all these things.

But when I started to look at those stats, I could see the age range of my subscriber, which was typically 35 to 50. That was how old I was, it was typically the highest number, in my sizes, I sold the most large and extra large of any shirt size. And I was wearing an extra large. And I was openly saying, "I have on an extra large," on camera, so they could see how the size fit.

So, they were like, "Oh, if she can wear an extra large and she looks nice in that, I'll look nice in that too." And I wanted to be inclusive. So, I had sizes up to 3x because that was something that I dealt with a lot too being overweight. I just wanted to put something on that made me feel good about myself and walk out the door. And I was tired of going to the mall and everything was too short or too tight, or it just didn't fit me the way I wanted to.

And so, that was really what I talked about. I talked about the fit, I talked about how it covered all the muffin top and the rolls on the side or the cute cardigan that you could put with it, so you didn't have your back fat showing or whatever it was. I openly talked about what I was insecure about on camera, because I realized that I was influencing the buying decisions from my store.

And once I leaned into, I'm not perfect, I'm not young, I'm not tan, all the things that I thought I wasn't and just said, you know what? I'm a middle-aged woman. I'm overweight. I just want to feel good about myself like everybody else. And once I just leaned into that, and I also thought you had to talk really prim and proper and professional online. So, I'd be like, "Good morning. Hi, I'm Sarah Williams." And once I dropped that and said, "Hey y'all," because I'm Southern and that was my customer. I was afraid to say y'all because I thought it would make me not intelligent online.

So once I dropped this, I had to be this perfect person on camera and just showed up as myself, and I would tell funny stories about how I locked my keys in my car orI forgot my kids' lunch and I got to go take it to school, all the things that we do that are just scatterbrain or whatever, people could relate to that. And people were showing up.

And I would say, "If you like my style, you're going to like my box." And that's what I did. I just found the person that liked my style. And I didn't try to be for everyone. I didn't try to make sure every single person was going to like this. If I liked it, I was putting it in the box because I kept saying, "This is my style. This is my style." And I was attracting people that liked my style.

I love big earrings. I want to put big earrings in the boxes. If you don't like big earrings, fine. Don't get the add-on with the earrings, totally fine. But I'm going to put big earrings. I'm not going to put little earrings and medium earrings and big earrings and alternate that every month. So, everyone gets something they like, this is my style. So, if you don't like big earrings, don't subscribe to the earring part of the box, right? You have options.

And so, I just was unapologetically me, but not in a tacky way. I'm not snarky. I'm not insulting. I'm just who I am, the sweet Southern girl. And that's how I showed up to be, and I attracted people like me that liked my style.

CAMILLE [31:24]

I love that. And when you say you were attracting people, was this on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok?

SARAH [31:31]

We didn't have tick tock back then.

CAMILLE [31:32]

Okay. I didn't know what year we were talking. You were saying pots-pandemic. I didn't know if we were in that space yet.

SARAH [31:38]

No, this was really Facebook and Instagram. I was so anti-social media, I could barely keep up with one.

CAMILLE [31:46]

If you do one right, keep going.

SARAH [31:48]

And I realized my age group was on Facebook. Some of them were on Instagram. And so, I leaned into that a little bit. But it's like figuring out who your ideal customer is, and then just meeting them right where they're at. It's a little different for the coaching business because I am on Facebook, and a lot of our training's delivered on Facebook.

But I'm finding a lot of people on podcasts and YouTube. And so, that is a different way to track the audience because business people listen to podcasts, business people find solutions on YouTube. And so, that's where I need to be. So it's like who's your ideal customer? And where do they hang out? Because you need to go be hanging out wherever they hang out. LinkedIn is another place I find coaching students, but I would never find my monogram box person on LinkedIn or a podcast or things like that. So, you just stick to where your people are.

CAMILLE [32:43]

Yeah, that's really good advice. I think that you've really tapped into that. And switching over to your coaching business a little bit more, how were you able to grow that as rapidly as you were? 400 in your initial launch is crazy. Were you telling people who were subscribed to your boxes, or how did you bring in these new students?

SARAH [33:04]

No. So, I built the coaching business from 19 members to 1,600 members in the first 12 months. And I did that very systematically. So, the 90 members when I started, I launched my beta program, I had to figure out what I was doing. I'd never been a coach. I had taken courses, but I had never even been in a membership.

And so, I decided to do a beta launch. And what I did was everybody that has sent me a DM, "Can I pick your brain? Can I ask you about this?" I sent them a DM back and I said, "I'm starting this thing called Launch Your Box where I'm going to teach people how to start launch and grow their subscription box. It's going to be this price a month, this will be the beta price, I'm going to build it with whoever is these founding members. There's nothing built yet. I have nothing. I have a Facebook and the Facebook group. And I'm going to build it with the first 20 members."

And so, I reached out to everyone, and I said, "There's 20 spots." And I think I only had 30 people that I could reach out to, but I had 19 people join. And so, I put them in a little Facebook group. And I had a plan, I made an outline of what this was going to look like. And I was going to deliver training every month. My plan quickly went out the window because what I thought they needed, they needed different things for me. So, it was this learning process that I went through from August to February. I worked with them, and I was building content so then I could launch.

But also, I realized that I didn't have a Facebook page for these people. All I had was my retail business. I didn't have an email list. I didn't even have a website at that time. I just had this Facebook group. So, I started my Facebook page. I was a good five, six years into my retail business, and I forgot how hard it is to start a Facebook page from scratch. And so, it was like watching grass grow over there. And so, I was like, I've got to jumpstart this, if I'm going to launch this thing in the next few months, I've got to find people.

So, I built an ebook. So, I wrote an ebook, it was called The Subscription Box Blueprint. And it was just a really simple 10 or 12-page ebook, really basic of this is the roadmap to getting to a subscription box, and I sold it for $10 because I didn't want to fund ads out of my retail business. So, I was like I got to generate some money to pay for ads to get this in front of the right people to collect people, right? So, I sold it for $10.

And within 30 days, I had thousands of people that have purchased it. And those were my perfect person because it was the subscription box blueprint. These were people that wanted to start a subscription box or had a subscription box.

CAMILLE [35:52]

How did you sell that book to thousands?

SARAH [35:55]

I did Facebook ads.

CAMILLE [35:57]

You did Facebook ads to sell the book?

SARAH [35:59]

To sell the books. It was $10. So, I call this an SLO, a self-liquidating offer, which is something I teach my students, but basically every bit of money that was making from it, I was putting back into ad spend. And so, if I sold it for 10 bucks, I put 10 more dollars back into ad spend. And I was selling several a day. So, I was having a $50 a day budget, I didn't want to come out of my pocket. I had no budget for this.

And so, I sold thousands. And that allowed me to keep running ads and without having to pay for the ads out of my pocket. Everything that I made with this offer, I was putting back into ad spend, and I was growing my list. I had more people on an email list than I had followers at that point.

CAMILLE [36:40]

Which is way better because email's something you own.

SARAH [36:43]

Better. That's how I got 400 new members when I launched. And so, this was going on. So, in the background, this is rolling on Facebook ads, we're pumping more money into it because we're selling it so fast. And I'm building my following. And I'm building the content. So, month one, this is how to build an audience, month two, this is how to purchase packaging. And I'm building the content. So, now, I get to launch.

And I'm about 30 days out from launch now. And I'm like I need more audience faster. Let me do a freebie opt-in. Now, I've got money from this $10 ebook. And I'm getting an acquisition cost of like $6. So, I'm making four bucks on every one of these things that are sold. So, now, I'm banking some money a little bit. Let's do another ad. and I do a packaging cheat sheet. That was the one question that people ask me most often everywhere on Facebook, Instagram lives, "Where do you get your packaging? Where do you get your packaging?"

I made a one-page document that was called Sarah's packaging cheat sheet. Free opt-in, I got 50,000 emails within 18 months on that packaging cheat sheet. And it was so specific because it was subscription box packaging. And my subscription box was on the front cover of it. And so, these were two niched down opt-ins that I started to build my business with.

So, then, I launch in June, get 400 members, I now got to hire some people to help me with all these people. Now, I've got a legit business here. I went from 19 to 400. And I'm growing, and things aren't growing month-to-month, but I'm out there. And I was talking to my business mentor one day, and I said, I want to get more people in here. I'm building this content. This is so scalable. All I have to do is get more people in. It's the same amount of work for me, right?"

And I said, "How do I get more people?" And he goes, "What would make somebody buy from you?" And I just really flippantly said to him, "If people could hang out with me for a week, they'd want to buy, they would want to join because they would know how much knowledge I have, how smart I am, what a good coach I am, how empathetic and transparent I am. They would hang out with me for a week. They would want to be in my membership." He goes, "How do you make that happen?"

And I sat there for just a couple hours thinking about how do I make that happen? And I did something called subscription box coaching week. So, for $10, people could come hang out with me for a week. And I went live three times a day. So, they would understand how much knowledge I had to share, my personality. I was interviewing some of my students that had launched at that point. I just made a whole fun week out of it inside of a Facebook group. And I added 1,100 new members in five days in that launch.

And, now, I was at 1,600 members in my membership, the very first year that I launched it. And so, that's really how I went from zero to having a seven-figure coaching business in 12 months. And that was in 2020, and we've built our second program which is Scale Your Box which is a more advanced version of what I teach. I teach the basic in Launch Your Box, and then I take that same material and I teach the advanced strategy to my Scale Your Box students.

And then about a year and a half ago, I started a mastermind because I had these students that were making six, seven figures in their subscription box businesses. And they're like, "We want more, we want more of you, we want more." And so, I built the mastermind, and I get to work with those six and seven-figure entrepreneurs every single month. And it's just filling my cup up more than I could ever explain.

CAMILLE [40:29]

Wow. When you did the $10 "Come hang out with me" week., did you promote that through Facebook ads as well?

SARAH [40:36]

Yes. And I was using that as an SLO.

CAMILLE [40:38]

Okay. So, did you have a Facebook ad manager that was doing this for you?

SARAH [40:44]


CAMILLE [40:44]

Okay. So, you had someone that you trusted and knew and said, "Take this," and was it a static post picture that you shared?

SARAH [40:52]

Yes, because I hated video. Still to this day, most of my ads are static posts. And it's finding the sweet spot of what will stop people's scroll. And we had done ads with the ebook and ads with the cheat sheet and those boxes, whatever it is, I have a turquoise box, that is my subscription box, anytime I am standing in front of a pallet of boxes or a stack of boxes or a wall of boxes, it stops people's scroll. Even to this day, even four years later, that's what stops people's scroll.

So, we knew that was what worked. So, we did a series of me standing in the middle of the boxes, I did one video where I'm busting through the boxes, "Come join me at coaching week," but those boxes were the key because that was the niche. When people saw those boxes, they knew exactly what they were. And they knew that they had been thinking about it or wanting to start that.

And so many people that I interview on the podcast now are like, "Yeah, I saw your ad for coaching week. I've been thinking about a subscription box, but I didn't know how to get there. And when I saw your ad for $10, I was all in." And so, that's what it was, I made them a no-brainer offer. And then in that $10 week, I gave them thousands of dollars worth of value. And I didn't hesitate to give value because that's what I'm good at. I'm good at over delivering and giving a lot of value. And I just needed people to see that if I gave this for $10, can you imagine what $57 is going to buy you or $97 for Scale Your Box?

That's what I needed them to see, I needed them to spend enough for a really good latte for a whole week of Sarah. And if they weren't convinced by the end of the week, they weren't for me. But I had a 42% conversion rate at the end of coaching week to membership. And that's huge. That's huge in our industry.

CAMILLE [42:48]

It's crazy huge.

SARAH [42:50]

To have a conversion rate of 15% is huge, but to have a 42% conversion rate. And that I 100% believe is because of the way I showed up, the way I showed up every day, the way I delivered without holding anything back, the way that I gave them some quick wins so they could feel progress during the week. And just the amount of time and attention that I put into answering their questions in the chat, live, wherever, I blocked everything out for that week. And I was solely focused on these people in this group. And that converted for me because I showed up for them.

CAMILLE [43:30]

Oh, my gosh, I hope everyone listening is realizing how much gold this is because I feel like these are strategies that are working today. And it's also such a fresh take on that. How do you turn that freebie or that something into an offer that it would be silly not to take? Is their coaching or offerings? You said you use Kajabi in our previous conversation for hosting your membership. Are you an Amy Porterfield student, because she's such a Kajabi proponent? I'm curious what coaching or ideas you took into creating these offers?

SARAH [44:07 ]

Yeah. So, I took DCA, and I was going to make Launch Your Box a course. Okay. So, this was my roadmap. I'm like I'm going to learn how to build a course, because like I said, I wasn't a coach. I had never done this before. So, I was going to put it into a course.

But also, my business mentor is Stu McLaren. I've been in his mastermind for five years, Amy and Stu are friends. This is how it connected. And I thought this would be so much easier if I just launched it as a membership because then I wouldn't have to have it all put together.

And so, I thought this is the lowest-hanging fruit. Let me design a course inside a membership. And then, they have access to this course as long as they're a member. But because they're a member, I can give them some every month, right? And so, now, that's exactly what it is, and the membership model is so great because it's just like having a subscription box. It's recurring revenue every single month. And all I do is show up and deliver content.

And so, that was the sweet spot for me. I knew what recurring revenue did for my ecommerce business, it stabilized it. It allowed me to hire people and more and more because I knew I could cover their paycheck, I didn't have to worry about showing up and selling. If I got the flu, it was fine. I had six-figure revenue hitting my bank account on the first of every single month, it was no-brainer. How can I replicate that? That was a membership.

And I had joined Stu's course to help grow my subscription box. But while I was in Stu's course, I saw all these people building memberships, and I was like I could do a coaching membership because it was coming in my DMs. And this is where my train of thought was heading while I was taking his course. And so, that's how it all happened for me. And I learned how to build a membership, I learned how to build a course, and I just married them together. And that's Launch Your Box.

So, now, when someone comes into Launch Your Box, they have a training library that's from start to finish of building an audience to post-launch. And you can come in and you can just binge Netflix, watch that, wherever you're at, maybe you already launched and you want to go through the marketing module and you want some tips and tricks on email flows and automations, great, it's in there. Maybe you're frustrated with your shipping or fulfillment right now, you feel like it's taking forever and you need to streamline that, go to that module because it's already built in there. Maybe you've never done a proper launch, you've started your subscription box, you've got 20 subscribers, and you're just not getting anywhere, let's go do a proper launch because that's in the launch module.

So, they can come in and get that stuff. And then, every month, I'm showing up doing the Q&A, I'm doing a tech training, I'm updating an existing training or providing a new training that goes in the library. And I get to do box opening. So, I take members' boxes and I do an unboxing. And I give them live feedback. I'm opening the box live for the first time on camera, and everybody gets to be a part of that. And so, I'm giving social media reviews. I go live every week in the group with some sort of training, but they have the course in the library that they can access at any time with whatever stage that they're in.

CAMILLE [47:26]

I love that. So, are you saying with Kajabi, you're hosting the membership through Kajabi as well? Is that how you're doing that?

SARAH [47:33]

Yeah. So, it's that reoccurring fee on Kajabi, connected with Stripe. And then, they have access to their training library right in Kajabi. And I can see their progress just like a course. So, when someone runs into the group and says, "Nothing's working," I can go in and say, "You haven't watched this module or go watch this one."

We can give them real-life feedback based on Kajabi. So, they can watch the videos, we can put worksheets, we have tons of worksheets, swipe files, resources, right in every video, right in Kajabi. So, if I'm teaching something about setting up your welcome series on your email CRM, I give it the swipe files for that welcome series to get them started right in that training video.

But Kajabi is doing really well. And I set up all my freebies and $10 opt-ins on Kajabi as well. So, that's a separate product. We just set that up, and they can purchase the $10 ebook on Kajabi. They can download the opt-in on Kajabi for the packaging cheat sheet. So, all my customer base is right into Kajabi right there.

CAMILLE [48:34]

Yeah, I like that. So, when you're doing live, are you doing that through Facebook? Because that's the one thing Kajabi I feel like is a little bit missing is I noticed that Amy does that too where she'll still do her stuff on Facebook, where I'm like, come on, Kajabi. That's the one thing.

SARAH [48:53]

Kajabi has something now. But for me, I do a lot on Facebook. And that's where my people are. So, getting them to consume the stuff because they're already on Facebook is easier than having them go to a Kajabi community platform to log in or check in.

CAMILLE [49:10]

Right. And you can't tag them the same way, too.

SARAH [49:13]

Right. And so, what we've done to put it in Kajabi, because I do have some people that only want to consume stuff through Kajabi, is we have Searchie, which is Stu's software that takes all of our Facebook lives, sucks them into the platform, and we have a playlist in Kajabi. So, in their Kajabi library, there's a tech training. So, every time I go live and do tech training, there's a tech talk playlist. There's a Sarah's Q&A playlist, there's a box opening playlist.

So, Searchie brings the live in to Kajabi into the playlist. So, if somebody wants to go watch a series of box openings that I've done, it's all right there inside Kajabi which actually is easier to find than the Facebook group anyway. So, I always encourage people to go watch the videos in Kajabi because they're organized better than trying to sift through the Facebook group.

CAMILLE [50:02]

I hadn't heard of Searchie. That sounds really cool, that they play so well together. I'm sure that was on purpose on Kajabi's part.

SARAH [50:09]

Searchie also has a feature where it has a search bar. So, you could say, poly mailer. It's a type of packaging. You don't have to know what that is. But you could say poly mailer. Every time I talk about a poly mailer, all those videos are going to pop up in Kajabi. So, it's going to have training.

CAMILLE [50:24]

Cool. So, it just pulls it from the intelligence of the program will just pull up from what you say?

SARAH 50:28

All your videos are sucked into Searchie, and then they're searchable. So, if I said you should set up at a farmer's market, and somebody was like, I need set up at a farmer's market. And then, they type in farmers market, every time I talked about a farmer's market, it would say, minute 2:39 in this Facebook Live, it would say training at minute 4:59 in this training lesson. It would list all of the places that I said the word "farmer's market" or had it in the title.

CAMILLE [50:56]

That's cool. I want to look into that more.

SARAH [50:58]

It's great for your members to be able to consume your content because we need them to do that. We need them to do that with our subscription boxes so that they don't have boxes full of products sitting there and the next one comes. We need them to get it out and use it, consume it. We need people to do do that with our content that we create. If people are paying every single month and they're not consuming your training, they're going to cancel on you. So, how do we get them to consume it? We have to make ways to help them consume it easier.

CAMILLE [51:25]

Absolutely. Yeah. I love that advice. That's super helpful. Sarah, this has been absolutely amazing. I am so thrilled that we have connected. You've shared so much information with us. We are doing this in two parts. So, if you're hearing this episode now, we're going to wrap up this one about how to start your own subscription business.

And Sarah's story, part two, which is the next episode, we're going to dig into Sarah's divorce, managing home and family, and also how she's been able to overcome self-doubt to have such a resounding successful business. So, I hope you'll tune into part two. But, Sarah, for everyone that is listening right now, where can they find you and support you online?

SARAH [52:07]

Now, if you're looking to start a subscription box, you can find me over at www.launchyourbox.com And if you just love cute monogram things you can find me at www.framedbysarah.com.

CAMILLE [52:19]

Awesome, thank you so much.


Thank you for tuning in to this episode. If you're looking for coaching and wanting to level up your business as well as grow your team, that is what I love to do. I help moms in life and business balance, which balance is all about season. What does that look like for you? And is it time to hire an assistant? Is it time to open that podcast, release that course? What does it look like? I am here to help. You can reach out to me at www.camillewalker.co, or you can reach out to me on Instagram @camillewalker.co


Hey, CEOs, thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment in a 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram @callmeceopodcast. And remember, you are the boss!


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