I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Korrina from Owlcrate, to get a bit of a behind the scenes glimpse into the her life.
She was kind enough to find time in her busy schedule and even left me with a coupon code to share with you all to receive 10% off your first order!
I have always wondered, what inspired you to start Owlcrate?
Korrina: Robert and I have both wanted to start our own business for many years but nothing ever felt quite right. We spent a lot of 2014 daydreaming about business, reading a lot of great business books, and listening to inspiring podcasts. In November of 2014, we decided we really needed to put something into action so we took a week off from our retail jobs to hash out ideas.
Where did you come up with the idea for a YA book themed box?
Korrina: We had begun to hear about subscription boxes, and had subscribed to a couple ourselves, and thought that it was a really fun business model. We also share a huge passion for books and reading, so it came naturally to combine the two together! I was already an active member in the YA community, so that’s the demographic we wanted to reach.
Can you tell us a little about the process it took from idea to fruition?
Korrina: Honestly, everything happened really fast. We spent the entire week brainstorming the concept of the business and what we wanted to accomplish. We decided we wanted to launch in February of 2015, and we just worked on building the website, the box, and sourcing fun items for our first few boxes.
What was the hardest part?
Korrina: The hardest part was just finding a way to balance everything. We were still working full-time at our other jobs, working on OwlCrate in the evenings and on our days off, and taking a week off every month to pack and ship all of the boxes.
Wow! That’s a lot of work and dedication, were you ever discouraged?
Korrina: We’ve been extremely lucky in that our subscribers and fans are so incredibly supportive of us, and have been from the very beginning. We’ve found that whenever something discouraging arises, we can communicate that to our followers and their support gets us through whatever is going on.
Each crate is amazing, seems like you must have an army of Owlcrate recruits, how many are on your team?
Korrina: It’s currently still just the two of us handling everything. We’ve had to hire a team of incredible people to help pack our boxes each month, but all other aspects of OwlCrate are handled by Robert and I. We will need to hire someone to help out soon though.
That’s impressive! Any words of wisdom/advice for other bookish entrepreneurs?
Korrina: Just start something. No matter what it is, just begin. We held off on our dreams for so many years because we felt like it had to be perfect before launching it. But we fully believe in launching something, and tweaking it as you go. So many people spend too much time worrying and never actually begin.
That is some really good advice, there never really is a ‘perfect’ time. This is a bit of a ‘chicken or the egg’ questions but.. What comes first for each crate, the book or the theme?
Korrina: The book always comes first. I spend a lot of time reading advanced copies of books, and when one really stands out to me, I then think of a theme that book could fit within. Then all of the goodies come next!
It sounds like a lot of fun, and work, to put together. Is there a crate that has been your favourite to curate?
Korrina: This is very tricky! Each crate has required so much energy and hard work, and I love them all. We were particularly proud of our Diversity box though. Being able to show our support of diverse books means a lot to us. And then to have the shipping of the box coincide with the USA making gay marriage legal across the country…it was just a really beautiful coincidence, and we’re happy we were all able to celebrate that together.
I didn’t know that! That is a pretty cool coincidence. What is it like working with authors and creators/artists?
Korrina: Honestly, it’s incredible! It’s one of my absolute favourite parts of the business. Supporting small business has always been important to me, and the fact that I can now do that on such a large-scale is amazing. It’s been a real blessing getting to know the authors, the publishing companies, and all of the businesses/artists we work with.
Congratulations on your first year Owlcrate anniversary! Looking back, what is one thing you wish you knew before you started? / What is one thing you would go back and tell past you?
Korrina: We’ve had an incredibly lucky and successful year, so we wouldn’t want to change anything about OwlCrate’s journey. I guess one thing we’d probably want to tell our past selves is to not be so afraid. To follow our guts and trust that things will work out.
I would say it has been a huge success; subscribers are always so excited to receive their boxes, so much so that I have to avoid social media before I receive mine so the surprise isnt spoiled!
Do you have plans to expand in the future?
Korrina: Yes, we are working on a few top-secret projects that we can’t wait to unleash on the world! We can’t say much more than that at this point, but exciting things are coming!
Really?! That is so exciting, I can’t wait to see what you guys do next!
I think subscribers would love to know a little bit more about the girl behind Owlcrate, I know I do.
What book got you into reading?
Korrina: I can vividly remember receiving a copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ from my Grandmother when I was nine years old. That’s the first book I really remember making a difference. And then I also remember the moment I fell in love with YA, when I stumbled upon a copy of ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ when I was in the eighth grade. I couldn’t have found that book at a better time in my life and it’s always mean so much to me.
What is your favourite author/book/genre to read?
Korrina: At the moment, I’d say my favourite authors are Rainbow Rowell and V.E. Schwab. Rainbow’s books just fill me with so much immense happiness, and Victoria’s books are so utterly unique that I just read them in total awe. I’m also SUPER obsessed with The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater. I love books that have a subtle creepiness to them, but aren’t horror or paranormal. It’s hard to describe, but any book that makes you feel like you’re walking through a cemetery in the middle of Autumn is right up my alley.
I have to admit I haven’t started The Raven Cycle but I will soon! I swear.
Do you have a favourite fictional character(s)?
Korrina: Ooo there are so many! Cath and Levi from ‘Fangirl’. ALL of the characters from ‘The Raven Cycle’. ALL of the characters from ‘The Lunar Chronicles’. And of course the characters from ‘Harry Potter’. You can’t really top them.
Then I must ask, which Hogwarts House are you in?
Korrina: I am a proud Slytherin!
When you aren’t working on Owlcrate or reading you are likely to be found….?
Korrina: To be honest, this past year I haven’t had much time for anything besides OwlCrate and reading haha. We’re both homebodies, so we love spending time with our friends playing board games and watching films. But we also love love love to travel. We were particularly happy to have visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida this past November.
Korrina, thank you so much for doing this interview with me. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and I can’t wait to see more from you guys! P.S. The March book choice? A+! I mean I have been debating on buying this book for the last book weeks, it is like you read my mind.
I really enjoyed learning about Korrina and Robert’s journey as well as how the magic happens for each crate. I cannot thank them enough for the interview and for making such a perfectly bookish product for me to enjoy. And for your pleasure she has left me with a 10% off coupon for your first order! I will leave a link to their website down below and I really encourage you to check it out. Every month is something a different, the genre varies and the swag is always fantastic. Korrina and Robert really do an amazing job creating a harmonious theme for each crate. Personally I have really enjoyed the tea and the reading journal they sent out but there’s really something for everyone. The only down side is you will be addicted!
Owlcrate website: https://www.owlcrate.com/
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter: @owlcrate
Code for 10% off your first order!! ‘JESS10’