Here in the UK, we’ve been a bit jealous of all the vegan subscription boxes available to US residents, especially after Kortney’s post about the Vegan Cuts Beauty Box! While regular beauty boxes have been on the UK market for a long time, we’ve been seriously lacking in the vegan and lifestyle department. Well, all that has changed, because a rather brilliant business named The VeganKind (or TVK for short) launched in November and has had us all doing happy dances at the beginning of each month.
TVK send out one box each month, filled with a variety of vegan products ranging from food over toiletries to household products. I’ve just received my third box and am really happy with it. I’m not going to go into each box in detail (you can read reviews on my own blog if you really want to), but you can see a sneak peek at the type of products subscribers are sent in the pictures above. Apart from the vegan items, each box also includes a collectable vegan recipe card, which makes it great for anyone who’s curious about a vegan lifestyle as well as seasoned veggies (by which I mean long-term vegans, not tomatoes with cayenne pepper). The company also donates 10 pence from every box sold to an animal charity chosen by subscribers each month.
Recently, TVK revealed that they now also ship to Europe, which is great news in my book! While the packaging costs are a little higher for this option, non-UK subscribers will be able to sample a variety of products which might be a bit hard to find in their home countries, which is an option I would have loved when I was living in Germany (Germany has gotten lots better at veganism in recent years. When I made the switch in 2010, it was hard!).
Rather than go on and on about how great the box is (it really is), I’ve conducted a little interview with TVK’s founder, Karris, who is one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the chance to speak with. I hope you find her views on running a vegan business as enlightening as I did! Karris – if you’re reading – thank you so much for this!
Q: How did you come up with the initial idea behind The VeganKind?
A: I made the transition from vegetarian to vegan over a prolonged period from the end of 2012 right into part the way through 2013, and I think one of the reasons it took me so long to fully make the change is a lack of knowledge around veganism and a lack of support (I only know two people who are vegan, one of whom lives in Australia and one who I don’t see very often, and I am sure lots of other people are in that same situation). I wanted to create a service that not only appealed to existing vegans, but also to vegetarians looking to make the leap, and to people who were generally just interested in making more ethical lifestyle choices. It was a sum of my experiences and something I certainly wish had been around when I was going vegan.
Q: Although the current economic isn’t great for small business owners, you’ve taken the plunge and provided us with a great new vegan service. How has your experience been so far?
A: It is always scary moving out of your comfort zone and trying something new, especially as you say in the current climate, however we have had an unbelievable response within the vegan community and I am overwhelmed by the number of subscribers we have had. It has exceeded my expectations and I am really excited to see where TVK goes from here.
Q: Has there been anything about launching and running TVK that’s really surprised you, that you hadn’t expected to happen at all?
A: It sounds corny but I actually just can’t believe the sheer positivity that has surrounded us and our launch. I can count on both hands the number of negative comments I have seen about our boxes, and considering how many we have now sent going into our fourth month, I am absolutely delighted. Our subscribers are genuinely lovely and reading all of the positive comments makes me feel truly overwhelmed. I also love the fact that I have had so many messages from veggie’s who have used TVK to help support them on their journey into veganism which is exactly what I hoped we might do.
Q: Do you think fully vegan lifestyles – as opposed to ‘just’ a vegan diet – are becoming more popular? If so, why is that?
A: I think that knowledge is power, and the sheer volume of evidence around the cruelty in the dairy, egg, meat and byproduct industry is becoming insurmountable, and this is turn is helping to shape ‘moral’ vegans who live the lifestyle rather than just a plant based diet. I think that both have their place and the recent media storm around Beyone and Jay Z living a plant based diet was actually a great thing – anything raising awareness of the cause is positive in my eyes.
Q: Fast forward 5 years: Where do you see yourself and TVK?
A: I very much see TVK expanding over the next few years – we are already in Europe and I would love to see us move worldwide. We are shortly going to be launching an online shop where you will be able to purchase some of the most popular of our featured brands, and I would love to see us developing our own product line too – you have to think big, right?!
Have you ever had a vegan business idea you were seriously considering? What did you do?
Disclaimer: I receive a 50% blogging discount for this box linked to my own blog, but had absolutely no obligation to feature it on Vegan Housewives. Either way, I would never publish anything but a 100% honest review!