Following the momentum from creating my first website: ROFL Mail, I couldn’t wait to make another. Then, I decided to create a website where I can provide a variation of the same service, for a different audience. I decided to call it Mystery Shipment. I would ship out surprise goodies as a gift, aka a mysteryshipment.
While ROFL Mail‘s were primarily gags/pranks, MysteryShipment‘s were going to be monthly subscription boxes. These boxes were to hold quality products, based on what the subscriber was a fan of. Plus, in the days Mystery Shipment was first conceived, subscription box services were trending big! But all this was to change, not too longer after the first few months of being live.
It all started when my wife was having a hard time picking out a secret Santa gift for her coworker. Watching her struggle was no fun, so it only made sense I provide my assistance. I asked her what her budget was, who the gift was for, and what does she know about the colleague. Stating a budget of $15, and the coworker being a bicycle-enthusiast, I went out and got her something that someone like him could use. It was a hit. That made me want to provide the same service for others, where they’d specify their budget, maybe the occasion – then I would take care of the rest.
Subscription to non-subscription
But it wasn’t always about “surprise gifts”, to be exact. There weren’t any themes necessarily, at first. MysteryShipment was originally a subscription box service. I started off by allowing people to pick what type of products they’d like to explore – and by explore I really meant explore, because I would source unique products from all over the world. So if someone subscribed to a monthly ‘tea subscription’, they’d some of the most unique, exotic teas that I had sourced from various countries around the globe.