Boss Babe: Jessica Longstaff
Company: Box Love
Tell me a bit about your business.
Since a young age, I've always wanted to start my own business and I wanted to do something to spread positivity. I had a look around me to see what resources I already had, to see how I could utilise these...
My mum is a Postmistress and has a little gift shop attached to her Post Office. This is something I've grown up with and from a very young age I'd spend most of my Saturday mornings helping out. She'd call me "gift shop manager" and let me order stock for her and arrange little displays.
What made you decide to start it?
Being surrounded by gifts and post my whole life made me think of BoxLove. I've also always been obsessed with sending my friends post as little 'pick me ups'. I've lived in Edinburgh most of my life (since I was 5) and have close links to Aberdeen and Glasgow. Watching my mum with her business made me realise the importance of supporting local businesses, which is why I try to incorporate local businesses in my boxes as much as possible.
What’s a typical day/week like in your shoes?
I can never sit still, I'm always doing something or causing mischief. In normal, non-covid, times I'm extremely social and rarely at home. During the day you'll find me in the gym and at night I'll be at the bar with my friends. I'm an exercise addict and a huge believer in work hard, play hard.
What’s been the most difficult thing to get your head around when you started up?
In a word - tax. I'm very creative but not so good at the admin side, I've actually hired an Accountant now to do it for me as I don't trust my tax capabilities.
Have you encountered any hiccups along the way?
Yes, many! One main hiccup was the fact originally when trialing my boxes with friends, I made a lot of my own products. I would spend hours perfecting the perfect candles/lip balms etc. but wasn't prepared for the time that went into it. You also have to get product testing for any products that go onto the skin and get them sent to a lab to check they're safe, it was also a lot harder getting insurance for products you make yourself. I found it really difficult trying to juggle box making and making my own products, so it made sense utilise all the wonderful local products we already have in Scotland.
How do you stay motivated?
I read my reviews once a week, these are a reminder that my little boxes of love are actually doing good in this mad world and really do brighten up people's days!
Knowing that I'm making people physically smile gives me enough motivation to keep doing what I do and it's a really good feeling.
What’s your main marketing took/social media platform? Are there any you want to try out that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
I mainly use Instagram and Facebook, I'm trying to get into TikTok and there will be a BoxLove TikTok coming very soon! I also use Canva for some of my posts, which is really easy to use!
What’s next for your business?
I'll be looking to expand it out to the UK and not just Scotland, there is definitely the need there and I don't want to limit my boxes just to Scotland. I want to spread positive vibes throughout the UK.
Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?
My advice would be - do it. To be honest, I came up with my BoxLove idea 7 years ago and I wish I'd done it sooner! Just be prepared to work all hours of the day, I never switch off and never stop working.
What do you do to relax?
I have ADHD so weirdly, exercise relaxes me, it calms my mind and helps me to switch off my busy brain. I feel so calm and relaxed after a HIIT session. I also do lots of Yoga, which totally calms me.
And lastly, what did you have for breakfast?
A super green smoothie with spinach, banana and almond milk (I'm not always this healthy, promise!)
Thanks so much Jessica! I absolutely love how you're spreading the love around with your boxes, especially during the past year we've all had. If you're interested in sending one of these boxes to a loved one, head over to the Box Love Instagram page for all the info you need @boxlovescotland.