Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amanda Kristinat, Owner of FXY Box Co., located in Flagstaff, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I have a subscription box company called FXY Box Company. It currently has two boxes shipping monthly, the Everlasting Autumn box & Firefly Tea box. The Autumn box is for the die-hard Autumn lover and features artisan-made items that bring all the wonders of Autumn to your door each month.
We strive to source all our products from small-batch companies. Many of our products are handmade or from women/minority-owned companies. The tea box is for the tea connoisseur and delivers four delightful teas to your door monthly. My customers are mostly women between 20-80 who have a love of Autumn and/or Tea and have an annual income of 50k-100k.
Tell us about yourself
I have been an entrepreneur at heart since I was a kid, always coming up with different businesses I could start, from a summer camp to a tea room were on the list. My first company was a Tea Party Cratering, then later started a business consulting firm for nonprofits called Silver Lining Business Consulting, and finally my subscription box company. Most of my professional career has been in non-profit management from Boys & Girls Club or a Musk Ox Farm.On top of my companies, I am currently the Chief Financial & Operations Officer of Moonshot, a business incubator helping entrepreneurs start, scale, and grow companies, and I have been on the Forbes Finance Council since 2019.
I started playing with the idea of starting a subscription box when my kids were teenagers trying to think of what we could all do together as a family. After months of brainstorming together, we finally landed on our idea and made our dream a reality. Now my youngest is 18, and we have had many twists and turns in the adventure, but we are still going strong. What continues to motivate me each day is still my family, plus my customer's love for our product and my wonderful staff. I couldn't do what I did without all their support.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishments as a business owner are that I'm still going and always looking for a new opportunity, that I can now share my experience with other entrepreneurs, and that I can give back to the community around me.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur is that in the end, your success and all the tasks come down to you, which can make you feel alone in your venture. Another hard thing a least for me is to stay focused. I love business, and I can get distracted by all the different ideas and options out there, and it's important to stay focused and true to your company's core purpose.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Sometimes we get caught up in waiting for the right moment or trying to perfect our product/service, but the truth is you will never achieve perfection or find the perfect moment to start, put that aside and do it anyway.
- When you start a company, you always have some form of bias about your product or customer, which can cause people to take things personally, misinterpret situations, or lose customers. It is paramount that you leave your biases behind and listen to your customer and outside sources. One of my biases for my Autumn box was that everyone would want the October box to be Halloween-themed. Turned out I had many complaints and requests not to have Halloween, so that's what I did and created an option for a separate Halloween box.
- When you start your company, every aspect of your business and its success falls on your shoulders, so it's important to take care of yourself by getting appropriate rest, asking for help, and taking a break.
- I know you ask for three, but... Engulfing yourself in understanding the financial aspects of your company will help you make better decisions, forecast the future, and ultimately succeed.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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