What a delightful surprise! MuskokaStyle received a Cottage Crate at its door recently: a gift box full of goodies made in cottage country. Melissa Whittle, mastermind behind this new cottage company, curates these thoughtful gift boxes. Our Cottage Crate included Muskoka Boat House Soap, tasty Cranberry Maple Syrup, Muskoka Bear Wear socks — even music by cottage country local Marc Ekins! MuskokaStyle asked Melissa Whittle to explain the concept behind the unique items inside each Cottage Crate:
MuskokaStyle: What’s the story behind Cottage Crate?
A: I’ve always been a fan of the independent producer, the artisan, and the entrepreneur. I love it when I “discover” a fantastic product. When I started working with a local festival I was amazed by the diversity of local vendors showcasing unique quality products that are created in cottage country. I was constantly sharing these finds with friends and family. Somehow, that merged with the idea of a subscription box service. With some research and planning, Cottage Crate was born! Our first Crate went out in February of 2016.
MuskokaStyle: What’s inside a Cottage Crate?
A: Products made in — or inspired by — Cottage Country. There are five to six items in each crate — everything from socks to sunglasses, fudge to soda pop, home décor… even music!
MuskokaStyle: Who’d love to receive a Cottage Crate?
A: Everyone! Anyone interested in buying local, or who is familiar with cottage country and curious about local products. It’s a chance to discover something not mass produced and a little more unique. We have already shipped to all but one province! We see folks ordering subscriptions as gifts as well as subscriptions for self — it’s a great treat to receive in mail that you can totally share with the family.
MuskokaStyle: How do you select items?
A: Word of mouth, research, conversations. I stumble on some. Some are referred. Some reach out to me. It’s a process of curation and finding unique, tasty, cool, usable items that would be fun to discover in a Cottage Crate. Of course, products also have to fit in the crate!
MuskokaStyle: Is it delivered to cottages? Or homes? Or both?
A: Both. Whichever mailing address they choose, shipped by Canada Post.
MuskokaStyle: Is it a new kind of Welcome Wagon?
A: One could use it as such! It would be a great way for those recently relocated to discover some of the great cottage industry producers in the area. It would also be a great way for those with roots in the area to showcase some local items to visitors or faraway friends.
MuskokaStyle: What’s in the future for Cottage Crate?
A: We will be offering one-time gift Crates in three sizes. Plus, we just launched a quarterly subscription for U.S. customers. That’s very exciting!
MuskokaStyle: Give us details on how to order…
A: Subscription base price is $43/month and gift crate prices range from $50 – $150 Contacts: www.cottagecrate.ca Instagram & Twitter @cottagecrate Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CottageCrate/