By Caitlyn Daniels
Seven products. Six social media badasses. One box.
FedEx found the best way to promote small businesses, and it comes neatly packaged in a box. In an attempt to lend a helping hand, they (in collaboration with advertising agency BBDO) gathered seven products from seven small businesses and delivered them directly to the doors of six bloggers/twitter fiends/advertising geniuses via their new initiative Big Box of Small Goods.
What’s in the box? A little bit of everything: custom headphones from New York’s Grado Labs, a personalized phone case from the online store Casetify, epic pickles from Philadelphia’s Epic Pickles and a custom-tailored shirt from Woodies, to name a few. One piece from each box was chosen by the recipients (with a small suggestion from FedEx) in the hope that they, with their magical mix of talent and followers, could bring the product into the spotlight via social media promotion.
This shimmering piece made its way into the hands of Rita Mehta, founder of The American Edit. And if anyone is a fan of small business it’s The American Edit. They promote American-made brands, while paying special attention to the people who create them and the cultures they emerge from. “The American Edit is a blog we’ve watched and followed and appreciated for a long time. We value Rita’s eye and her taste and her love for American goods and the maker's story behind them. She’s our people, the perfect person to be lined up with” says Christie Casillo, founder and designer of Coastal Road. Casillo built and runs her company, as she likes to say, organically. There is no confining business plan that she is restricted to; instead, she focuses on the product. Each piece is handcrafted in the U.S. with the intent of lasting a lifetime. Proof that Rita and Coastal Road are a perfect match.
This mixing of entrepreneurs combines the social savvy of the industry experts and the creative genius of the business owners, but what helps most is both groups’ guts and knack for timing — businesses and follower bases are both built on these two qualities. But it isn’t just the social media experts that are upping the publicity of these brands. Since they found out they would all be sharing a box, they began “cross-promoting each other and liking each other’s social media,” says Casillo. “And I think this is going to be interesting, because it is something we can continue to grow on immediately. I think there’s a mutual respect for each other and a mutual respect for how grand this opportunity is. I’ve read the history, the people behind those stories, and they’re just fascinating. I’m thrilled.”
Big Box of Small Goods benefits all parties, not just the business owners. “I think FedEx is doing a really good thing to try to connect with small business and champion [them] … this opportunity could launch a whole other which, in turn, could help FedEx because that’s just more products being shipped around the world and they’re helping champion that.”