Mother, daughter starting monthly boxes

Raquel (left) and India Clavette are a mother-and-daughter team launching Thavin & Marcob

Like surprises? Oak Harbor mother-and-daughter team Raquel and India Clavette are hoping enough people enjoy opening a monthly box of carefully selected goodies to get their fledgling business off the ground.

Each month, the Clavettes’ company, Thavin & Marcob, will choose a theme and send subscribers a box containing two to four themed items, the women explained during a recent visit to their home-based business.

The products will all be made wholly in the U.S. by small-business entrepreneurs, though they needn’t be handmade.

“We’re going to feature entrepreneurs from all over the country,” said Raquel, 41. Each product will come with a written description of its creator and contact information for reorders.

Subscriptions cost $45 per month, which includes Priority Mail shipping. The company takes credit-card numbers and renews subscriptions automatically unless the subscriber cancels.

Payments are taken through PayPal.

The first boxes are due to be shipped next month, with the theme “Grand Opening.”

“That’s really a catch-all,” said Raquel. Themes in future months will be more focused, she said.

Raquel said she got the idea for the business when she went Christmas shopping and couldn’t find well-made, unique gift items in the retail stores.

Etsy, a mega-site for hand-made goods, “isn’t really discriminating enough,” she said.

Subscription boxes are hot right now, she noted. Among the best known are Birchbox, offering beauty-product samples, and the Taste Club, offering food samples.

“Faith boxes” support ministries, containing “items from organizations that respect God’s people and His creation,” according to one provider of such boxes.

Among the first items the Clavettes’ customers may get are:

“Little Box of Date Nights,” 24 wooden two-sided discs with 48 date-night ideas such as “Make home-made pizza with wild toppings” and “Build a fire in the fireplace or fire pit and roast s’mores.” From Sweet Bella Stationery, sweetbellastationery.com.

Hand-drawn adult-oriented coloring pages (not obscene) from Vidette McDowall, who maintains an Etsy site under the name VidetteCreates.

Shoelaces from Armor Tactical Laces — “made in the U.S. using mil spec materials and hand-inspected … the choice of professionals.” From Armorlaces.com

Their website offering a discount to charter subscribers got 500-800 hits per day for several months, encouraging the team to pursue their idea, they said. About 300 people signed up to get a promotion code entitling them to a discount on the first box.

Yet their subscriber list so far has only 10 people on it. Raquel attributes that to a technical glitch and said she’d like to have 50 and 200 subscribers.

Thavin & Marcob — a name made up of bits from all five of Raquel’s children’s names — asks its selected suppliers to sell their goods to her at wholesale prices. She anticipates the business will be profitable, though pricing of the boxes and other details are subject to change as the business develops, she said.

Raquel’s husband, Donald, works repairing wind turbines, so instant profitability isn’t essential.

India, 20, a student at Skagit Valley College, said she helps with every aspect of the business and especially appreciates supporting small businesses.

For information go to https://www.thavinmarcob.com/