Small Business Adventures: Biddle and Bop – Part 2 “Christmas In July”

So it looks likes this is going to be a three part series. I really wanted to share my thoughts on something I seem to love. Surprise boxes! Surprises boxes is what drew me into Biddle and Bop to begin with. I really enjoy this new obsession the world has with Subscription Boxes where companies can send you sample or full size products of just about anything. They have “sub boxes” for just about everything. I have ordered Kid centric boxes from Citrus Lane for MiniMe (another review for another time), PopSugar Must-Haves for myself, and even tried a few snack boxes. These are a different topic for another day.

Biddle and Bop have a special going on for the month of July, called “Christmas in July”. It is not a subscription box, but its more of a surprise one time purchase box. With 6 months out from Christmas, I think this is a great idea. Especially for those of us who have all our birthday’s and holidays crammed into the same 4 month chunk. This is a nice refresh of some fun gift giving.

Biddle and Bop’s Christmas in July boxes consist of three different categories and boasts fun and excitement catered just to you!

“Here’s the deal: Buy a box. Boxes may be offered in the following categories: Babywearing / Kids Clothing / Play&Create. Each box will have a price listed and a minimum value that it contains. Add it to your cart and when you check out, make a note and let us know what’s on your list – ages/sizes/colors, likes/dislikes, favorite animals…  – the more info you can provide, the better we can become St. Nick / Santa / your favorite store ever. Oh, and each box will also have a coupon code for you to use next time you shop!” (Biddle and Bop Christmas in July)

This seemed like a fun surprise and a great deal! With a new store full of stuff that I didn’t own yet, I couldn’t resist the urge to try out some of their products in a creative way. They have never experienced shopping with me, they don’t know my trend, so why not cater a box to me based upon a small description. Something that I also found so amazing and customer centric was their return policy on Mystery Boxes, which can sometimes be duds!

Get some “coal”? We sure hope not, but we do allow exchanges for store credit only, return shipping is on you. Items must be in new condition with tags and original packaging, and must be posted to us within 3 business days.” (Biddle and Bop Christmas in July return policy)

Now that my friends is customer friendly!

I originally wanted to try their Babywearing Mystery Box. This is what drew me to them to begin with. However, the more I explored and talked with Jessica from Biddle and Bop, the more I wanted to see what the fuss was about with these toys. MiniMe is no longer a toddler and she has new interests, mostly in the creative artsy type. She loves doing craft projects and now that I have found a store that carries products for an older crowd, I couldn’t resist the urge to try them out. So I ordered 2 Mystery Boxes from them.

They have different sized boxes with different price ranges catered to just how much you want to spend or to what type of product you need. Their Babywearing Mystery Boxes come in 4 different types, Summer, Baby, Toddler and Wear All the Babies. Ranging from $155 to $350, it gives a reasonable price range for those who are open to a surprise and looking to stay within a budget. This also gives the buyer a little more of a narrowed field of interest in case they are new parents only looking for something that fits their tiny new baby, or if they only have tots who are going to need a bigger carrier. These options are kind of unheard of, and as someone who has explored and considered trying a Babywearing Mystery box before, I couldn’t believe what they were offering in these boxes!

“Try something new and save, plus – get some awesome bonuses thrown in!

All boxes also include bonus extra(s) and/or store credit! See details below. Remember, we pick the contents, so tell us about you and what you like, and let us surprise you!

To help us build the best box ever, please give us lots of details! First time wearer? Favorite wrap size? Colors you like or don’t care for, what you own already, patterns or styles to avoid or ones you love? Let us know your little one’s weight and age as well. We may throw in stuff they’ll grow into but we won’t add things if they’re past the weight limit. 

Don’t know the gender of an expected arrival? While we don’t define gender by colors, we know you probably have your preferences already – so don’t just tell us “boy” or “girl” – tell us what you would love to wear!

Boxes are valued at a *minimum* of $15 over their cost PLUS you’ll get an extra goodie or goodies worth at least $25 and a stocking stuff coupon for future shopping! It’s a crazy good deal and we can’t wait for you to get the box we’ve designed just for you!

Sorry, but Santa (cough… it’s really us!) cannot fulfill exact item requests in surprise boxes – if you only want a specific thing (or two or three) then mystery boxes may not be for you.

Baby Boxes contain one baby* SSC and one mei tai, ring sling, or wrap
Tot Boxes contain one toddler* SSC and one mei tai, ring sling, or wrap
Summer boxes contain one Bitybean carrier and one Fidella item.
Wear All the Babies boxes contain 3 items, typically an ssc AND a mei tai or ringsling, AND a Bitybean or wrap!

No Beco Toddlers included in mystery boxes. Carrier accessories may be included in minimum value shown.
*Baby SSCs include: Tula Standard/Beco Gemini/Beco Soleil with insert. Toddler SSCs include Tula Toddler or Beco Soleil.”

I chose to go with the Baby Box because we don’t have a baby yet and I keep loaning out or selling off my baby carriers. They have a small selection of carriers, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get caught up in getting stuck with a tula or a wrap, since they just aren’t my obsession right now, but I thought I would give it a shot. If anything, I really wanted to know if they could match up my style. I’ve never heard of a Babywearing Mystery Box that has soft structured carriers before, so I couldn’t resist this fun!

Here is the description that I sent them to match me up for my box:

“Babywearing…. planning for our rainbow baby. We are outdoorsy, with a splash of mama needs glam. Rock climbing, yoga loving dad who has no reservations about pink, and a fashion loving, high heel wearing triathlon training mom who loves being in the water. Would prefer more blue/greens/greys, and more boyish approach but we also don’t believe in gender specific anything. Would prefer something with a lot more flexibility in wearing style that might distribute weight a little better. Something that can be used from birth. We love super heroes and nature, not a fan of animal prints or modern art. We don’t have a little one yet, but our families are big, and we’re always exploring and super nesting, looking for useful, grow with you, and brands that supports nature, sustainability, and local economies. Always looking to try new things!”

Honestly, part of me really wanted a Beco Soleil with the infant insert, and a Mei Tai wrap that they have. Those were what I was eyeing when I considered buying this box. I know it could have been safer to just buy the box myself, but this seemed like a fun way to get around it. I would be happy with a gemini also. I needed either one of those. What I was really trying to skip was another tula.

I also decided to get a Create and Imagine Mystery Box. With a name like that, how could I not! This was perfect for MiniMe who loves all the creative fun stuff. There are four different boxes ranging in price from $24.99 to $249.99. So it was a lot larger price range, which is good for those just wanting to surprise one kid, versus those who have a little army they want to keep busy. I also love the name of their box sizes, that in itself is creative.

Just pick the box you want, then tell us all about your kid(s)! Age, likes, dislikes, favorite colors and animals… their patience level and favorite types of play, and of course, their name(s) so we can properly label their gifts!

More then one kid but just want one box? No problem, just let us know so we can make things as “fair” as we can and label things accordingly! Simple boxes may have more shared items due to the lower value, so if you want a really great surprise for multiple kiddos, choose the “giant” box!

Please note that “boxes” may be shipped in bags. The box, or bag, might not really be giant… but it’s what’s inside that counts! There is no actual party in the “Party Box,” but you’ll want to throw one when you see all the fun it contains – so let us know how many kiddos to expect, we can add similar items for up to 4 kids or different gifts for up to 6 kids, plus things to share!

May contain a hand selected mix of items from the “Create” and “Imagine” sections of our store.

Box Values at the very minimum:
Something Little: $30 minimum value
Simple: $85 minimum value
Giant: $130 minimum value
Party: $300 minimum value”

You really are going to get bang for your buck with these boxes and I think that is part of the appeal. Not only that, but their toy selection is super unique and I couldn’t resist. I decided to go a little smaller for the first time since she is just 1 child and order her a Simple Box for $69.99. Reasonable price and would work for both her Birthday or Hanukkah. This is the information I shared for ordering her box:

“Soon to be 6 year old girl is a singleton who is very creative and loves the outdoors, but is also very timid. She loves riding horses and go karts, and so badly wants to be tall enough to ride a roller coaster. She has her own little outdoor treehouse, and hates dress up (sad I know). Only wear dresses and leggings, and loves all things that sparkle. Has an obsession with all things cute and small and colorful. Lives in a world where rainbows and unicorns and all the stuffed animals in the world have pink corvettes to drive around in. A little bit of a hoarder, who doesn’t like to get dirty, but would rather spend hours sitting under a tree doing crafts and coloring then well, pretty much anything else. Please no paints, or chalks, animals seem to enjoy eating them.”

I had no idea what to expect so I figured this was a win win for us all since neither one of us have played with either brands, and since it was all about creative and imagination, it couldn’t be a loss.

I am looking forward to receiving these mystery boxes and seeing how well they match to our personalities. Who knows, I might be back for more before the month is over! This is really something unique, fun, and definitely not available at Target.

In total I spent a little over $300, and there was a $6.50 shipping charge which I was surprised by, but for the size of the boxes, I couldn’t really complain. I got really used to Free Shipping, but part of the Small Business mentality is remembering that small businesses have overhead, and a few dollars towards shipping will definitely help that overhead.

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