Read about what people are saying about Alaska Cache Box
Matt Buxton firstname.lastname@example.org Jan 8, 2017
FAIRBANKS — Whether you’re looking for an easy Alaska-themed gift for friends Outside, to discover new and interesting Alaska-made goods or are looking for a little reminder of the 49th state, there’s a service for you.
Alaska Cache Box is the creation of longtime Fairbanks resident Melissa Nelson, and offers a handpicked collection of Alaska-made products in a box mailed out every quarter.
The subscription box business has been wildly popular, offering subscribers monthly or quarterly shipments of curated items. There are boxes that focus on beauty products, outdoor recreation, pop culture and even professional wrestling.
The Alaska Cache Box is $45.95 plus shipping and is sent out four times per year, in March, June, September and December. Individual single boxes are also available without a subscription for the same price.
“I started hearing more about subscription box businesses and didn’t see any for Alaska, so I figured I’d give it a shot and try to start one,” she said. “It was more of an experiment to see how to run a small business like that and how to help promote other Alaskan small businesses. When I started it was and it still is my main goal to promote other small Alaska businesses.”
The boxes contain a collection of clothing, foods, dog treats, jewelry, art and other items based on the preferences of the subscriber. Nelson works with small businesses throughout the state to find new and interesting items to put in each box.
She said she tries to stay away from too much Alaskana items — things that scream Alaska — and focus more on the broad wealth of items made by Alaskans.
“I hope I can get another side of Alaska out to people that isn’t the reality TV side. There’s more depth to Alaska than what you see on television,” she said.
Nelson said she got the idea for the curated subscription box after selling her jewelry at craft shows and holiday bazaars. She said the craft business can be tough, and it’s often up to one person to produce, market and sell everything.
“I work mainly with very small companies. A lot of times that are just one person doing all the work,” she said. “Having been there and really still being there — because this is a sole venture here — I really understand how taxing that can be and how it really helps having a little bit of support.”
She said one of her goals is to set up an online community for these kinds of small businesses to meet each other, offer advice and find ways to collaborate.
Nelson’s goal to share Alaska with others goes beyond the items she chooses for each box. In addition to the business, her blog spotlights businesses as well as Alaska artists and must-eat places in Fairbanks.
The Alaska Cache Box has been a small but growing business, Nelson said. She said she ships boxes across the country, but also plenty throughout Alaska. The box has received positive reviews, with many subscribers saying they found it a good way to stay in touch with the state or get a taste of a state they want to visit.
“My goal and my purpose for this isn’t to make a lot of money and retire in the Bahamas,” Nelson said. “That’s not my goal here — and realistically it’s not going to happen — but my goal is to get Alaska out there to people, and get this smaller artist stuff into people’s hands.”
Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.