Launching a "hug in the post with a nostalgic vibe"
Chichester vintage entertainer Dawn Gracie has marked her 50th birthday and the tenth anniversary of her Dawn’s Vintage Do 50s and 60s events by launching a novel new business – nostalgia in a box once a month.
Dawn has taken the popular business format of postal subscription boxes, which are huge in the States, and put her own nostalgic spin on them.
Month one (March) completely sold out within 48 hours; now she’s working on April (month two).
The idea is to continue the celebration of nostalgia which has been at the heart of all her live events throughout the decade. Dawn describes the new adventure as a “hug in the post with a nostalgic vibe and suited to people who like the feminine aesthetic.”
You sign up through www.vintagefeelgoodbox.com and can order a one-off box or choose a subscription for three or six or 12 months and enjoy a discounted package in exchange for your commitment. A three-month subscription box is £99.
“This means you can sit back and forget about it until it comes in the post to put a big smile on your face,” Dawn says.
And it’s great news for the local producers: “The Vintage Feel Good Box ethos focuses on supporting creative businesses and well-being, spreading the love one feel-good box at a time.”
It all started “back in December when everything was seeming so pointless and lost when it comes to the entertainment world, and being an insomniac, I liked to lie awake and watch YouTube videos… and I found myself watching unboxing videos.
“It’s an American thing really. The business model is subscription boxes and you can subscribe to anything from toilet rolls to beauty projects or gin or whatever you want. People treat themselves to, say, beauty products every month, but they don’t know what is going to be in the boxes – and they film themselves opening the boxes.
“Sometimes people are sponsored to do it and they are obliged to be positive! But you can also watch things like the most popular top-20 subscription boxes reviewed. It is huge in the States, but you also see it over here with things like vegetables boxes.
“And I actually dreamt that I had created a subscription box. I woke up and thought ‘Wow! What shall I do?’ I really thought long and hard.”
The Vintage Feel Good Box is the result. As Dawn says, all her work, from the entertainment events to the dementia parties she holds, is all about making people feel good: “And this is about all things nostalgic. I like the thought of all the nostalgic things that people will open in the boxes that will make them chuckle. I just found myself thinking vintage feel-good box. It will be all sorts of things, gifts, edibles, wearables.
“And I know lots of crafters who make gorgeous things with a nostalgic feel.”
The first box, for instance, contained items including vintage hair bands, hot chocolate on a spoon, fortune fish with a couple of tea bags, postcards with original artwork offering little posi-tive quotations etc.
Marking her birthday in March, the March box had a bit of a birthday feel, but each month the boxes will be different, always within the huge scope that nostalgia and vintage offer.
Each month the recipients will be invited to an online zoom party complete with bingo and raffle.
Thinking 50 for her 50th, Dawn originally ordered 50 boxes for March. They sold out within two days. She ordered more, taking the number to 75. She is hoping to reach 75 again for April as she develops the business.
“I am all about sentimentality, and there is just so much that you can do. For me this is a really important year with my 50th birthday and with the tenth anniversary of doing Dawn’s Vintage Do.”