Suzzanne Cousins thinking inside the box - Entrepreneur building one-of-a-kind gifts

When approaching any new business venture, entrepreneurs are often encouraged to get innovative, creative and think outside of the box. Two out of three are certainly not bad for Suzzanne Cousins, who decided instead to think inside the box – BoxedJa, that is.

The idea came to her after she was let go from her previous place of employment, in the heat of the global pandemic. “Last year, like many other companies and institutions, my employers at the time decided to downsize their team cohort and that included the team I was a part of,” she told Living.

Cousins immediately got to thinking about her options after learning the news of her department’s dissolution. Faced with the question of ‘Where do I go next?’, she entertained a few possibilities. “I started thinking about everything. Should I start sending out resumes? Should I become a full-time minister and live off my sister? Or should I start a business?” The last option seemed to resonate with her and she gave it a shot, praying that the trial wouldn’t fail.

She contemplated several ideas. Baking was a viable option, initially, until she had her very own light-bulb moment. “I was really determined to create a business I could be proud of and that I wouldn’t get tired of doing. Giving gifts and showing gratitude will never go out of style,” said Cousins. That gave birth to BoxedJa.

BoxedJa offers a wide range of novelty gift boxes for special occasions. “We do custom gift boxes, catalogues [and] registries for bridal and baby showers, corporate gifts and, of course, curated gift boxes. We also offer customisation like engraving and vinyl. We have small and medium cardboard boxes and handcrafted wooden boxes available.”

WHOLEHEARTEDLY PROUD

Since starting this wonderful journey in August, she has been able to showcase products and services from many local brands and entrepreneurs, like Rose and Charcoal Jamaica, Kisahari Care and I Want to Make Ja, just to name a few. This is a move that she is wholeheartedly proud of, because it both promotes and strengthens Brand Jamaica. “It’s really encouraging. When I support them and they support me, we support Jamaica together,” she added.

The pre-ordered boxes include The Sarah, The Linda, The Angie, The Jada, The Irving and The Nash. These boxes were named in honour of people in her family who she holds close and dear to her heart. “Essentially, they are reminiscent of people in my family. The Sarah is for the productive person, the workaholic. That box has a journal, a mug, a sleep mask. Anything that would make a boss chick get through her day,” she said.

The Angie, named for her beloved mother, who performed her beauty duties as a cosmetologist for most of her life, comprises everything skincare and haircare. So, think self-care necessities from head to toe. It includes a bath bomb, bonnet, nail polish, body butter, bath soak, body scrub, scrunchie and natural face soap.

While The Irving is fashioned off of her dear dad, who is a mechanic. She revealed that he’s the one always trying something new and ready to fix anything that needs repairs. In that male box, you will find body wash, body gel, lotion, multipurpose tool, a small bottle of rum, beer mug, mini vodka, mixed nuts. Each collection has three tiers: mini, large and wooden. “And each tier will have different items from that list of items,” Cousins added.

Beyond the gift boxes, she also started a blog, Thinking Outside The Box, designed to give people inspiration, not only on the best gifts to give, but to share the value of gratitude in general.

Being a lover of writing, she figured that she could put a little of that passion into her business by giving people more than a tangible gift to purchase. “If someone reads a blog about self-care and then buys from a competitor, then I would have done my part to inspire them to take care of themselves, and that really is the goal to make gifting simple and inspiring for everyone.”

The young businesswoman hopes to expand her box line and give customers more options on the website so the process is much easier for them.


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