The New Creative
by Cassandra Bernard
There is a variety of subscription boxes on the market today, but only one of them is a carefully-curated collection of PEI artisan-made products delivered right to your door.
The PEI Treasure Box was launched in the winter of 2016. Founder of the subscription box, Savannah Belsher-MacLean, came up with the idea two years ago but benched the idea for a while as she had many other projects on the go. Eventually, she decided it was the right time to find a business partner. Savannah and Alyssa Holman-Johnston have been friends for many years and bond over their love for Prince Edward Island and entrepreneurship. “Promoting Island products, and as a maker from PEI, I’m in this awesome community of other makers and I’m so excited about that but I also have this huge Island pride,” says Savannah.
Being makers themselves—Savannah is the owner of Swoon Creations and Alyssa the maker of Lou La Belle Skin Care—their goal was to create a box of products that people could see exactly what they were going to get upon ordering.
With PEI being as small as it is, there is an overwhelming number of local makers and artisans. “There is so much and I think it gets overlooked sometimes how much stuff is on PEI. People think it’s so small, but the maker community is amazing. They hustle and hustle all the time and are producing so much cool stuff and it’s sold all over the world,” says Alyssa.
The Winter Solstice box was a huge success in 2016. “My very first order, someone bought three. One for themselves and gifted two to other people,” says Savannah.
The girls are currently working on their next box which will be a classics collection for Islanders and those who have moved away.
“One of the sweetest [customers] was this man who lives in Fort Mac, he and his wife, and they hadn’t been back to PEI in a while and he wanted to give her a taste of PEI, which is exactly what I wanted,” says Savannah.
The box is also ideal for visitors to the Island who may not have time to shop around. “If someone who is here on a cruise ship has three hours in PEI and comes to Victoria Row and a restaurant and then goes back on the boat, I want them to be able to order a PEI Treasure Box to see the things that they missed from North Cape and from Souris, and from Cavendish and from Murray River,” Savannah says.
The two makers are endlessly working, and shopping, reaching as many local artisans as possible. “We both shop locally so we’re always seeing new, cool stuff at the Etsy market where all of our amazing friends are there with their amazing products,” says Alyssa. They want to offer well-known products, but they plan to promote lesser known makers as well. “We’re inspired from all different levels of experience,” she explains.
The new classics collection box will be launched in October 2017 filled with local products for a great price, taxes and shipping included. “We want it to be affordable,” says Alyssa. “If we can promote PEI in a cool new way, we’ll do it.”