Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball

Behind the scenes with Lindsay of The Pampered Parent

September 06, 2021 Julie Ball Episode 90
Subscription Box Basics with Julie Ball
Behind the scenes with Lindsay of The Pampered Parent
Show Notes Transcript

#090 - In this episode, Julie is joined by one of her students from Subscription Box Bootcamp, Lindsay Rosenthal of The Pampered Parent. 

Lindsay is the founder and owner of The Pampered Parent, which is a monthly subscription box, an online community for moms of children with special needs. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or BCBA. She works with children with a variety of developmental disabilities, as well as with their caregivers to ensure they have all the skills and knowledge they need in order to best support their child. 

Tune in to hear Lindsay's inspiring journey in launching The Pampered Parent. 


  • Introduction of Lindsay Rosenthal and The Pampered Parent (00:01:41)
  • What's included in The Pampered Parent box? (00:04:09)
  • The Pampered Parent launch story (00:08:16)
  • The Pampered Parent community (00:11:48)
  • Growing an email list (00:15:07)
  • The biggest challenge in starting The Pampered Parent (00:21:00)
  • Favorite thing about being in the subscription box industry (00:24:59)
  • Advice for new and aspiring subscription box business owners (00:27:39)


            -use PAMPERME to get 15% off of your first box

Julie (00:01):

So you want to launch a subscription box and don't know where to start? Girl, you are in the right place. I'm Julie Ball, a subscription box coach and your host here at Subscription Box Basics, a podcast for new and aspiring subscription box entrepreneurs that want to avoid overwhelm. So grab a coffee, some pen and paper, and let's have some fun!

Julie (00:22):

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to subscription box basics. I'm your host Julie Ball. And I've got another guest today that I'm super excited to share her story today. I have Lindsay Rosenthal. She is the founder and owner of the pampered parent, which is a monthly subscription box, an online community for moms of children with special needs. Oh my heart just burst when I hear this, because I know from friends what a challenge it is and how isolating it can be. So I'm super excited to share the story. In addition to The Pampered Parent, Lindsay is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as a BCBA. She works with children with a variety of developmental disabilities, as well as with their caregivers to ensure they have all the skills and knowledge they need in order to best support their child. So I am really excited to chat with Lindsay. Welcome to the podcast!

Lindsay (01:20):

Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here.

Julie (01:23):

Awesome. Now I've been following along your journey. You're a Subscription Box Bootcamper, and we have so much to talk about, but let's first tell them a little bit about yourself. So I did, you know, I read your bio. I told them a little bit about your background, but tell us a little bit more like a level deeper so they can really get to know you.

Lindsay (01:41):

Yeah, of course. So as Julie said, my name is Lindsay. I live in South Florida. I was born and raised here, left for college and grad school and then found my way back. So I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or a BCDA, which is a lot easier to say. And as Julie mentioned, I work with children with special needs and their families in different capacities. So basically what I do is I help to teach them new skills, that'll foster independence and help the children be as successful as they can be. And then I also work with the families to make sure that they have all the tools in their toolbox that they need in order to help their children succeed. So that's what I do professionally. I also do a lot of workshops, parent trainings, staff trainings, things like that. So that's, that's a very fun, experience to just be able to meet with families and be like, what do you need and how can I help?

Lindsay (02:45):

So through that, I realized that these parents just don't do enough for themselves. Self, self care just goes out the window. They want to make sure that their families are okay. Their children are okay. which means that they don't typically take much time for themselves. And that was just a recurring theme that I kept seeing. So I kind of just got to thinking, what can I do? And that's, that's how The Pampered Parent was born. So now, I am the founder and owner of The Pampered Parent. and it's been such a wonderful journey and has been so much fun to be able to help these moms and in a different way, in a really fun way.

Julie (03:29):

Yeah. I mean, I'm a mom and I know that I put myself last so often. And then you add on another level of it, of helping children with special needs. I just can't imagine when there would be time to pour into yourself and, you know, I've, I've heard that saying about, you know, you can't pour from an empty cup and sounds like The Pampered Parent allows you to help pour back into them. So tell us a little bit more, tell us about your subscription box. Like what is included in the box. I know there's a community component, which I imagine is super important. So unpack that for us.

Lindsay (04:09):

Yeah, of course. So, as you said, it's not just a box, it's also a community. But in terms of the box, I would say we're pretty unique because there's literally no other box specifically made for special needs moms. So it kind of makes it really, really special. And when the mom's telling me when they find it, they're like, "what is this?" Because they never expected anything like it. So that's, that's really special, but in the box, there's a variety of self-care items, but in addition to that, there's always, I call it my featured item and it's sourced from a company that employs individuals with special needs.

Julie (04:52):

Oh I love that!

Lindsay (04:52):

So yeah, thank you. So that, that's a really important part for me because, as, as I always say, children with special needs become adults with special needs, and we need opportunities for them and we need to support them just like we support our young kids.

Lindsay (05:09):

So, I really wanted to highlight these awesome companies and also show my subscribers, what their children can become, and what they're capable of. So that's a really special part for me and just connecting to these amazing companies and, and spreading their mission has been awesome. So that's one part of the box for every month. And then another part is that I design an exclusive item for each box. So that can be anything from a shirt to a big tote bag, to a mug. And it always has a saying about inclusion, acceptance, disability awareness, positivity around disabilities and special needs. And that's really close to my heart as well. Just, you know, sure that everyone knows that they are, you know, people with disabilities are just like everyone else and they deserve the same respect. So...

Julie (06:04):

I can just see it, like, I can see the passion just like pouring out of you as you're talking about it. And the ripple effect of all of that is so far and wide, you know, the idea of the featured item. A lot of times with a subscription box business, the, the main biggest item, for example, or the item with the most retail value, it's called the hero item. And I can almost like relate to that as, as your featured item because they are the hero of the box.

Lindsay (06:31):

Absolutely. Yes, last month, I sent granola and it was like a beachy theme and they include it's, Love Michael is the company and they included a handwritten note from, the individuals that pack the granola, make the granola and they're all individuals with special needs. And when I saw that, I, I almost teared up, but one of my, I know my subscribers when they got that, they were like that one little thing just made it all worth it. So that was really incredible to see and just the fact that we can spread the love and spread that awareness is, is really special. And my ultimate goal too, is not just to be able to find businesses that employ people with disabilities, but also to be able to grow my business, to be able to do the same. So that's, my goal is to be able to employ, special needs individuals and, and give them that opportunity as well.

Julie (07:37):

Oh, I love that vision. And you're so clear on it this early in your business. So when did you launch your box?

Lindsay (07:44):

We launched in May, actually just a few months ago.

Julie (07:48):

Yeah so this is really early on. So tell us a little bit about your launch story. Like you've already told us how you came up with the idea and, you're a few months in, tell us just a little bit about what you did during your launch story. I'm, I'm imagining that you could have probably reached out to do a lot of collaborations or maybe that's on the bucket list to do collaborations with a lot of these organizations that employ special needs adults. so yeah. Tell us a little bit about your launch story.

Lindsay (08:16):

Yes, of course. So as I mentioned in my work as a behavior analyst, I realized that something needs to be done. so I just got to kind of brainstorming. I really don't have any like formal business background, I would say, but I've always had that entrepreneur itch, I guess you could call it. So honestly, like, I really don't know how I came up with this subscription box idea. I was literally outside in my backyard at my house playing with my dog and I was just thinking about work and this, and I just came up with a subscription box because these moms have no extra time, like no extra time. So they're not going to always be able to go out every weekend and get a massage or go to the spa or get their nails done.

Lindsay (09:10):

So I was kind of brainstorming. What's something that's convenient, that's special that is exciting that these moms don't typically do for themselves. And I came up with a subscription box and of course the online community to go with it, to give them that sense of belonging. I hear a lot of times these moms feel very lonely and people don't understand. So I knew that the community aspect, as you mentioned before, was super important. I came up with the idea, I texted a few of my special needs mom friends to see like, is this crazy or is this something that you would actually enjoy?

Julie (09:50):

Good idea.

Lindsay (09:51):

Yeah. Yeah. And thank you. And I got really good feedback. They were like, oh my gosh, like, how'd you think of this? And I was like, I've no idea. So once I got that feedback and that positive reinforcement, I kind of just ran with it. I found Subscription Box Bootcamp because like I said, I did not have any formal training. And I was like, okay, I have this idea, but where the heck do I start? and I Googled starting a subscription box and you popped up. So I was very thankful for that. and I jumped right in, I don't really like to waste time. When I have an idea, I like to run with it. So I thought of the idea in the beginning of December. And then, like I said, I, I launched, I did my prelaunch the last week of April, and then I officially launched in May sending my first box, the first week of June.

Julie (10:46):

So exciting. I have so many questions. Okay. So one, I think that was brilliant to text message some of the women that would be in your target audience. I think they obviously have a vested interest in giving you good feedback, because this might be something that they want to, something I was really thinking about is you're trying to help make it a habit for them to take care of themselves, taking care of a special needs child. Isn't a one and done thing. It's an ongoing commitment. And for them, for the moms that are, are responsible for this, helping them with this recurring subscription box, you're helping them make it a habit and they can continuously refill their cup. So I just keep thinking about that ripple effect that, you know, pour into the moms who are going to pour into the children and it's going to just go all the way out into the community. So that makes me circle back. Tell us more about your community. Like what do you do in there to help support these moms? Yes, that's

Lindsay (11:48):

A great question. So the community has been so much fun. Of course it takes time to build and engage of course. but we're really getting there and in the community. So it's called, it's a Facebook group called pampered parents and I post daily encouragement. We have guest speakers almost every week. So for example, I've brought in, a typical sibling, so a sibling of a special needs child to kind of talk to the moms about how they can best support the sibling, because that's a really tough thing to navigate. we have a monthly meditation, so it's just a 10, 15 minute meditation. and there's different types. So we do that. I pop in with, I call it live with Lindsey, once or twice a month. Yes. And I talk about behavior. So I give behavior tips. but I also talk about, you know, making mornings more manageable, activities to engage your child, especially over this, you know, school is starting now, but over the summer how to engage your child.

Lindsay (12:55):

So we do that. and we are, we're going to have like fun events. I encourage the moms to post and ask some questions. just yesterday I had one mom who was just having a really tough day and she posted, and she was just like, I need to vent. And she kind of vented a little bit and the support and the outpouring of love from the other moms was just, just amazing. so it was so awesome to see that, and the mom commented was like, I'm just so thankful for you guys and to have this tribe, which in and of itself makes it worth it. Uh, so they, they share pictures, they ask questions and it's just, it's just really awesome. And I think it really adds to that supportive element that I'm really trying to portray. and like I said, that sense of belonging, like they belong to a community and like they're meeting people all around the country who understand a little bit what they're going through.

Julie (13:52):

Oh yeah. I can't imagine. And I know that I thrive in community and when I find people that are, like-minded like, I love to hear different points of view. Don't get me wrong on that. But when someone gets it, like when someone really gets what you're going through, it can be like a lifeline, you know? so is your community for, just for subscribers or is it an open group? It's just for subscribers. Okay. So it's one of the perks. I love that. and correct me if I'm wrong, you said you work full time, right? So this is a side hustle.

Lindsay (14:25):

Yes. Right now it is, I work full-time as a behavior analyst. and right now the pampered parent is, is a side hustle, which comes with its challenges. my goal is to be able to grow it and, work toward it becoming full-time.

Julie (14:43):

I love it. You seem so clear on your goals and I love that about you. okay. So before we move on from the whole launch, you had said that you were brand new to this type of business to entrepreneurship. So tell us a little bit how you grew your list for that launch, because you had a solid launch. Right? How did you grow your list? Cause I'm assuming you started from scratch, right?

Lindsay (15:07):

I started from zero. Yes. Very much scratch. so I dove into social media right away. I started my Instagram and my Facebook page, and just spent time creating posts, creating content, a lot of inspiration, following other accounts and just reaching out and making those connections. I also did a king Sumo giveaway as you recommend as a subscription box with camp. and that was really helpful to grow my email list. So I gained, like you said, from zero, I gained a little over 500 emails for you through that giveaway. Thank you. So that was really helpful to spread the word. I also did a few Facebook ads surrounding that giveaway, which I think was really beneficial. And I just kind of started nurturing my email list. I did that giveaway for about three weeks and then I did a pre-sale, where I gave a little bit of a discount to my founding members and then officially launched on May 1st. So, I think, yeah, a lot of my subscribers from the beginning were people that I didn't know that. So that was really, really cool to see. Yeah. So it was a few were, were, you know, the people I texted about the idea because they were like texting me, like, when is this happening? What's this happening? but most of them were new, fresh faces, which was really exciting. And also, I would say the Facebook ads, the king Sumo giveaway and social media were really key to having that pretty successful launch.

Julie (16:46):

Awesome. So if you're listening and you're like, what's a KingSumo giveaway KingSumo is a software that helps you run a giveaway, but in a, not just like enter to win, the contestants can earn extra entries by doing things that you set in advance. So for example, get an extra entry for following us on Facebook, get an extra entry for watching this YouTube video or get an extra entry for visiting our website. So you can see how they would want to get, they would want to interact with your business, but also it has viral sharing capabilities. So share on Facebook, share on Twitter, share on Instagram. And every time they share they're earning extra entries. And so it gets them again, really involved in your business, but then it gets, it shares it to their networks. So it helps you get outside of your own, you know, one or two degrees of your own network.

Julie (17:41):

So KingSumo is a great software. We use it for both Subscription Box Bootcamp and for Sparkle Hustle Grow, and it's affordable for what it's going to do for your business. It's going to have a major impact. Lindsay, I'm glad that you used it. And it sounds like it was really helpful. I would encourage you to not just use it at launch and to use it at key moments in the year. Maybe there are special holidays that would really resonate with your business or just holidays in general. and when it comes to doing giveaways, always remember that to our listeners always remember, you want to give something away, that's really coveted to your target audience. So don't give away a target gift card or an Amazon gift card because everybody and their sister and brother, and mother wants that. And you're going to get a lot of irrelevant contest entries. So you want to make sure it's something really, really specific to your audience.

Lindsay (18:35):

Just planning on doing a mother's day next coming year, a giveaway for mother's day, as you mentioned, the holiday that's relevant is definitely mother's day. So...

Julie (18:46):

Absolutely definitely relevant. And there's a national day calendar. And I can't remember the link. I'll have to find the link for the show notes, but if you Google national day calendar, it's one of those calendars. It's like national ice cream day, or like randomly today is like national checkers day or something silly like that. You wouldn't believe the holidays that are like legit on this national day calendar. And so you could look at that in advance as you're planning your next quarter, for example, and then pick one each month to do or one each quarter to do a giveaway.

Lindsay (19:18):

That's a great idea.

Julie (19:19):

Just as we're talking through this, there's this one tactic that we've been using it, Sparkle Hustle Grow that I feel like Lindsay would work really well for your audience is when somebody, shares on social media, say they share their Sparkle Hustle Grow box on their Instagram stories will get in the DMS and we'll send them an audio message and say, Hey, thank you so much for sharing glad you loved your box. We want to make sure that you know, that there's an online community. And then for us, we say, and business training that goes along with your box, that might be another opportunity for you to connect with those people and say, Hey, thanks for sharing. Make sure if you're not already a part of our community, that's where you can really get support. And you would not believe the worst that those audio messages have opened for us. We have gained super fans. We have heard from people saying, I never would have thought that you would hear from the founder or, you know, we've even had conversations that led into us featuring that person. So I feel like that would be a really good tactic, as you continue to grow that audience and, and build that loyal fan base. Yeah. That's

Lindsay (20:29):

A wonderful idea. And I think the power of your voice, like you said, is, is so strong and it really adds to that personal small business feel that I think we're all going for. So I love that and I'm definitely going to do that.

Julie (20:44):

Yeah. And you could even be like, Hey, just so you know, too, if you need a private place to vent to we're here for you. Yes, definitely. That's such a good idea. Okay. So let's move on. What was one of your biggest challenges with this business so far and how did you overcome it?

Lindsay (21:00):

So I would say two main ones, come to mind when you ask that question. So the first one would be just not knowing where to start. I, I mentioned, I don't really have a background in this. It was just an idea. So I had the idea, but I didn't know where to go with it. and like I said, I Googled, Subscription Box Bootcamp came up. Thank goodness. and I kind of went from there because I think that's a really difficult part is just going from the idea stage to the implementation stage. And I think that was one of the biggest challenges and just, there's a lot of moving pieces.

Julie (21:42):

So there are to just take it one step at a time though, you know, you don't see everything all at once. You know, baby steps is still forward progression.

Lindsay (21:51):

Exactly. And that's kind of what I did. I, I may, I lists are like my best friend and I made a list of, of kind of all the things. And then just one by one, I went through and cross them off as I, as I accomplished them. And that was really, rewarding and kind of kept me going, but that was one of the biggest things is just, you know, make making sure to dot every I and cross every T at the beginning and knowing where to start. And then the other one, as we kind of already talked about was just time with my full-time job and everything else going on, time is difficult. So I have found that I need help. And that was a hard thing to accept because I am someone who I'm a perfectionist and I like to do everything myself, but I've learned that, yes, I know, but I've quickly learned that delegating is, is okay. so I'm, I'm, I'm slowly starting to learn that, and starting to, you know, reach out to potential, virtual assistants to get some things off my plate to make sure that I'm as successful as possible. But having enough time to, to really pour into the business and make it everything I want it to be has been a little bit of a challenge, but I'm working on it.

Julie (23:10):

Good. No, that's great that you're working on that. There's lots of virtual assistants out there that can help you in many different areas of your business. For me, I started with, someone helping me with customer service because I found that that was really impacting my mindset. If I got a bad review or if someone was upset, then I got this bad. I got in this bad head space and I wouldn't be able to show up in other areas of my business. So I feel you like delegating is hard. It's, it's scary, but it is so freeing. And if, as long you plan, you know, as long as you say, okay, this is how we do this and you make your list, you said, you love lists, make your list. This is how you do this. And then you pass it off. You, you know, watch over or kind of monitor that progress until you feel comfortable. And then you kind of like release it. And then that's when you feel so free to do other things or to put your, pour your time into where it needs to go like your community. Right.

Lindsay (24:12):

Exactly. Yes. That's, that's definitely the goal. And like I said, it's, it's in progress. I think that he is, it's finding someone you trust, to be able to do those things. And, so that's, that's kind of where I'm at and, and being able to use my time a little bit more wisely to spend on the, you know, on the tasks that will move my business

Julie (24:33):

Forward. Yeah. Well, you know, you're in the Subscription Box Bootcamp group. So if you have questions about that stuff or need some guidance as you do that, hiring, please let us know. our team has, has done that same thing so many times with, with different, virtual assistants or contract workers would be happy.

Lindsay (24:53):

Absolutely. Thank you. I will do it. So what's

Julie (24:56):

One of your favorite things about working in the subscription box.

Lindsay (24:59):

Only one? No.

Lindsay (25:01):

Your top things. so I have one thing I can think of one thing, just subscription box industry in general, and then one thing about like being an owner of a subscription box. So, the subscription box industry in general, I would say my favorite thing is just the community. So like for example, in Subscription Box Bootcamp, everyone is so helpful. Everyone is so collaborative. There's no competition people post questions and there's just a million answers and comments and so much support. and I think that's really rare for a lot of industries. There's a lot of, sometimes there's a lot of competition and well, you have a similar box than me, so, you know, I'm not going to help you, but I have never experienced that with subscription boxes. So I think that's my favorite part about just being in this field in this industry. And then I would say my favorite part about, actually being a subscription box owner is just being able to spoil my subscribers because it's nothing that they have ever done or do for themselves, especially since becoming a mom, and seeing their reactions. You know, when you send out a box, it's super nerve-wracking. I don't know if you still feel this way.

Julie (26:29):

Every month. I still get nervous.

Lindsay (26:32):

It's like, okay, well, that's good to hear. I'm not alone in that. It's so exciting because you're like, I think this is awesome and I would love to get this box, but then, you know, if someone else on the, on your shoulders say, but what if they don't like it? So it's so exciting, but it's nerve-wracking, but when they receive it, it's so awesome to just see how much they love it. And when they're, you know, opening the boxes and I see those videos and they're smiling and they're happy and, and that makes it all worth it. So I think that's the best part is just being able to spoil and pamper my subscribers who deserve it so much.

Julie (27:14):

I love that answer. I would a hundred percent agree. It's like shopping for your friends, but then it's like, it's just this different level of it. I love this.

Lindsay (27:22):

Larger scale.

Julie (27:22):

Exactly. Exactly. Okay. So you do this as a side hustle. There's going to be a lot of people listening that are thinking about the same thing. Like I might launch a subscription box as a side hustle. So what's one piece of advice that you can share with new and aspiring subscription box business owners.

Lindsay (27:39):

Yes, that's a good Question. So I think the most important thing is that is remembering you don't have to do it alone. I have gotten help from a lot of people throughout my, I mean, I'm going to say my journey, it's been a short journey, but still a journey so far. I connected with some other women in Subscription Box Bootcamp who were launching around the same time as me. I still talk to a few of them. Literally every day we messaged back and forth. We support each other. We bounce ideas off of each other and...

Julie (28:16):

You found your box besties.

Lindsay (28:17):

Yes I did. and you know, our boxes are different, but there are so many similarities and we can still support each other, you know, it's sometimes hard and sometimes you get frustrated and you can kind of get down on yourself and it's important to have those supporters, not only, you know, your family and your friends, but also people in the industry who understand a little bit better.

Lindsay (28:40):

I also recently hired a business coach to help me because I realized I'm really happy with where I'm at and it's been awesome, but I need to learn how to continue and continue to grow. And I just didn't know how, so, you know, with the help of Subscription Box Bootcamp and also my, my personal coach, I've really been able to figure out and navigate where to go next, which has been incredible. So I would say you don't have to do it alone is my biggest piece of advice. And then also just, just go for it, do it scared. I know I was, and I was like, I'm not ready. I can't do this. I still have all this to do, but I kind of just went for it. And, it was, it was good. It was worth it. And I would say just, just do it scared and you don't have to do it alone.

Julie (29:30):

That's really, really good advice. I love not having to do it alone. That's one of the reasons why I started Sparkle Hustle Grow because I felt lonely in my entrepreneurial journey. And then when it comes to doing it, scared girl, that's not going to go away. As you continue to grow your business and grow your box, there's still going to be other things that are going to scare the heck out of you. And you're just going to do them anyhow. You know, for me, I, I get scared every time I go live on Facebook, it just makes me nervous. And, but I still do it, you know, and I think there's just, it's really important to hear that from people that did the scary thing, and then they came out on the other side and they're fine. Everything's good. Even if you fail or don't hit a goal or something like that, more than likely that things are still going to be okay. You know what I mean? So just do it scared. I love that. Okay. So to wrap this up, where can people follow you and find you online? And I know you have a little special code to share too.

Lindsay (30:30):

Yes, I do. So, my website is and then on Instagram, I'm @thepamperedparent and on Facebook, it's The Pampered Parent. So it's all the same for me to remember, and then I made a code, specifically for people listening to this podcast. So it's PAMPERME P A M P E R M E. And that, gives 15% off your first box.

Julie (30:58):

Well, first of all, thank you for sharing that and for making that code for us. And if you're listening, you guys, if you have someone in your circle of friends or in your family that you think that would really benefit from The Pampered Parent, then share that code with them. We want to help make sure that people hear about this box so that we can, and Lindsay specifically can pour back into them and invite them into the community.

Julie (31:23):

So thank you, Lindsay, for what you're doing, I love your mission. I love your clarity and your goals and your ambition. You freaking rock.

Lindsay (31:30):

Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate you and all your help and your guidance. I, I wouldn't have been here. What couldn't be here without you. So...

Julie (31:40):

Thank you. I appreciate you. All right, everybody. If you're looking for those links, head to the show notes, to make sure that you can follow Lindsay and The Pampered Parent. Again, Lindsay, that code is PAPERME for 15% off, right?

Lindsay (31:52):


Julie (31:52):

All right, everybody. Remember to share this with friends. Rate and review this podcast and thank you as always for listening and we'll see you in the next episode. [inaudible].