Lifebox was was started by 2 health nuts that found this thing called a Fasting Mimicking Diet. At the time it wasn't available to the public outside of a physicians office so we put one together, order some supplies, put up a shopify store and went to market. It's essentially a 5 day meal plan for extreme calorie restriction (725 cals per day).
Fasting mimicking is an incredible health hack, but not such a great product to sell. It’s difficult to do (requires fortitude). It also doesn’t have much recognition, so you’re left with the difficult task of educating your target market before selling to them. It’s also fairly difficult to assemble all the pieces and the margins are low. And, as always when food is involved, people are picky so we got a lot of special requests to exchange items.
On the brighter side, once we were operating we began getting requests for products that could help other areas of health, like sleep, stress, eye strain, skin health, etc.
We started doing some researched and concluded that there isn't an eCommerce store, or any store, that where someone could go to find cool, healthy lifestyle products. The vast majority of businesses in this space focus on diet or fitness, so we decided to fill the void and curate products for the lifestyle segment of health (Similar to what huckberry.com has done for outdoor gear).
So why are we selling?
For multiple reasons. The first is that the founders are separated geographically, making it difficult to run a business. One of us is currently living in Slovakia.
Another is that we bootstrapped and didn't see the opportunity for the pivot to lifestyle products until to late - although we did go ahead and redesign the website to reflect the pivot.
Lastly, both the founders are working full time jobs at other startups and don't have the time to dedicate to this to grow it properly.
We have primarily used Facebook and Instagram for our social media (numbers are below), but haven't been good at converting from them. However, that was before we added the new products . . .
The domain is hosted under GoDaddy and just renewed this month for another two years.
The business is set up through G Suite, analytics are through GA.
Email through Mailchimp. We still get between 5 and 10 contact inquiries per week.
Circling back for a minute, for the most recent site redesign we partnered with a company called Wolfpoint Agency that specializes in eCommerce design and CRO. They are certified ShopifyPlus. I have nothing but great things to say about them - they’re work consistently exceeds expectations, their design is beautiful, they communicate very well and are just an all around pleasure to work with.
We ship the inventory ourselves, without a drop-shipper. We set up this way to save money until volume grew enough. Our supplier relationships are all direct, currently we have wholesale agreements with MiiR, Swannies, and UVO - we'd be more than happy to turn over the account info here.
We have a 38% margin on the MiiR Cups, 30% on Swannies, and 50% on UVO. Retail margins are great.
We're sad to be selling this opportunity to create a store that helps people find cool products to improve their health - specifically focusing on lifestyle, outside of diet and nutrition - but feel confident that someone can pick this up and make it great!