New subscription box promotes, showcases Manitoulin talent

MANITOULIN—Manitoulin Island now has its own subscription box—Island Box—a monthly box of goodies that features a variety of products made on the world’s largest freshwater island.

“I was looking into subscribing to a dog themed subscription box,” explained Island Box creator Julie Rochefort-Wood who resides in Sheguiandah. “It sparked the idea that a Manitoulin subscription box might be a neat idea. I know a lot of people who make great things, but because Manitoulin is so spread out not everyone has a chance to find out about the products or purchase them.”

After the initial ‘spark’ Ms. Rochefort-Wood said she couldn’t stop thinking about the idea and decided to run with it.

“I was so excited that I stayed up late conceptualizing and connecting with makers,” said Ms. Rochefort-Wood. “I did a lot of research on other subscription boxes—there were ones for everything from food to makeup etc., but I wanted to focus specific on Manitoulin businesses and artisans. There is such a variety of talented people on the Island.”

The first edition of the Island Box is filled with all kinds of made on
Manitoulin goodies.

Ms. Rochefort-Wood came up with the idea for Island Box at the end of March and by April had launched the website and had the first box for sale.

“It was really quick, but the response has been amazing,” she shared. “I decided on $45 a box, it just felt like a good price where I could offer a good variety of products.”

The Island Box will feature up to five Manitoulin products each month themed around the seasons.

The first box, which shipped out earlier this month, was a spring theme and featured a Manitoulin scenic card from Jenna Carter, handcrafted soap and a bath bomb from Maiden Manitoulin, a body wash and body mist by Bare Naked Beauty, earrings from Mo’Lovely, a Garden’s Gate trail mix cookie from the Island Jar and seed bombs made by Ms. Rochefort-Wood.

Island Box can be purchased monthly online and can either be shipped directly to your home or you can skip the shipping cost and it can be picked up at The Island Jar in Little Current.

The unique Island Box packaging not only looks great, but is completely compostable including the inner package that is made from shredded newspapers and flyers.

“Even the stamp that I use is water-based ink so you can use it as a fire starter,” said Ms. Rochefort-Wood, noting that she didn’t want to increase the amount of garbage heading to landfills with the Island Box.

The response for the spring box was great, with Ms. Rochefort-Wood shipping Island Boxes to North Bay, Sudbury, Brockville, London and Windsor, in addition to a number of boxes picked up at the Island Jar (15 Water Street East).

“One woman was so excited that she wanted to order six months worth of boxes,” she said. “I’m glad that everyone is liking Island Box. It doesn’t even seem like work to me. I have been having so much fun creating the boxes and getting to know so many cool people.”

The June Island Box is on sale now, with orders due on May 22 and the boxes available for pickup/shipping out on June 1.

The June box is camping/outdoors themed and will include products from 4elements Living Arts, Anchored Jewelry, Manitoulin Brewing Company, VDW Photography, Manitoulin Botanicals, Bare Naked Beauty and the Island Jar.

There will also be a special addition Father’s Day box, which will be a slight variation of the June box, specifically designed for men.

For more information about the Island Box or to order the June box visit, www.islandbox.ca. If you are a business owner interested in getting featured in a future Island Box you can contact Ms. Rochefort-Wood at julie@islandbox.ca.

Ms. Rochefort-Wood will also be a vendor at this year’s Manitoulin Trade Fair from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, May 28 at the Northeast Town Recreation Centre.