There’s no better way to kick off your Monday or your week than with a little inspiration. I’m so excited to be interviewing Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Sabena Suri in my new interview feature, Sitting Pretty With Sabena Suri of BOXFOX.
Sebena Suri is one of the co-founders of the rapidly-growing female-led company BOXFOX.
BOXFOX makes gifting and connecting with the ones you love so easy and modern with their thoughtful, beautiful curated, and interesting gifting boxes! I’m in love with the PAMPER and the NIGHTSTAND boxes but I also love building my own boxes too (p.s. you can add Bling Wipes to your boxes, which you might remember from here!). So today Sebena is spilling on what it takes to be a successful modern-day female entrepreneur, on her Los Angeles musts, on why you should never forget the art of gifting, and so much more so keep reading! Happy Monday! xx
Sitting Pretty With Sabena Suri of BOXFOX on Rhyme & Reason
Name: Sabena Suri
Neighborhood: Brentwood, CA
Job: co-founder and CMO of BOXFOX
Instagram Handle: @itssabena
Let’s Talk Business…
Describe your company, BOXFOX, in 3 sentences or less.
Founded in 2014 in Los Angeles, BOXFOX is an ecommerce gifting company created to bring the age-old art of gifting into the 21st century. Our mission is to create stronger relationships through elevated and personal gifts, enabled by simple user experiences, supported by premier service, and grounded by a commitment to authenticity.
What has been your most rewarding experience since starting the company?
There have been a lot of “pinch me” moments since starting BOXFOX. We started in an apartment in Venice, CA with an idea, nothing more. Fast forward a little over 3 years, and we’re onto our third warehouse and a team of 13 amazing foxes (and counting!) I’m just grateful that I get to come into work doing something I truly love everyday, especially because it’s something that is making the world a little kinder and more connected in an age where that’s really needed.
Can you tell us a little more about your role as co-founder and what it requires?
I oversee both the underlying business development strategy of the company — web innovations, customer experience, and strategic partnerships — as well as our Corporate Concierge team, or B2B arm of the business. All three founders are still heavily involved in launching new boxes / collections, sourcing new brand partners, and brainstorming major marketing milestones.
What is a typical day in the life of Sabena?
No two days are the same as an entrepreneur, which really keeps it fun! I usually start my morning with an am workout, which wakes me up and gives me the endorphins and energy to keep me focused all day long. I listen to podcast on my commute (my favorite is How I Built This). The day goes on from there, and I could be working on a number of things: creating a proposal for a corporate client, meeting with my sales team on current leads and prospecting strategies, concepting our new holiday collection, or talking financial projections with my co-founders. Sometimes I’ll stay late if there’s a major deadline (or if I’m working on a really exciting project); if not, it’s dinner / drinks with a friend or a networking event. It been amazing to connect with other LA-based women entrepreneurs.
What inspires your pre-curated gift boxes and the products you source for them?
When we first started BOXFOX, we knew we wanted to create gifts that reflected the sender (and ultimately their relationship with the recipient), so our goal was to create thematic gifts that told a story. That philosophy has carried over—some of our best-selling boxes are PAMPER, NIGHTSTAND, and THANKS, which are the perfect gifts across a variety of occasions.
Is there something you know now that you wish you’d known when you started your company?
I think our society positions entrepreneurs as people who either “have it” or don’t. While I definitely think an entrepreneurial spirit is something some people are born with, I also believe that we all have a seed of that inside of us. Before starting BOXFOX, I assumed that I didn’t have what it took to be an entrepreneur — I was a rule follower and kind of did things by the book. I thought that’s what I was meant to do! As soon as I just eliminated the self-doubt and went for it, I realized that this is what I was born to do. If I had let the initial fear hold me back, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Let’s Talk Fashion…
Describe your style in three adjectives.
Simple, modern, relaxed.
What are your wardrobe staples?
Leather jacket, camel duster, white tshirt, high knee boots, leather mini skirt, ripped black skinnies.
If I peeked into your closet, what color would be the most prominent?
Neutrals galore! Black, white, grey, olive, and denim.
What wardrobe piece would you splurge on tomorrow if you could?
Black leather Gucci Princetown loafers (sans fur, not that edgy).
Are there any trends you’re excited about right now?
I love the return to 90’s grunge with a modern twist. I feel like there’s so many ways to take it to a dressed up place, whether it’s adding feminine ruffles or a really sleek mule. I also love balloon sleeved everything — big top, skinny jeans = winning formula.
If you could switch closets with anyone, who would it be and why?
I’m obsessed with everything Sincerely Jules wears. Whether it’s jeans and a t-shirt or a party dress, just the epitome of California-cool style and rocks it all.
Let’s Talk Beauty…
What are your beauty must-haves?
I’m really into Fenty foundation right now; the perfect color match and consistency. I also love Anastasia brow pencil, Nars Laguna bronzer and lipstick in Dolce Vita.
Are there any natural or clean beauty products or lines you’re loving right now?
Herbivore Botanicals. They were one of the first-ever brands we carried and still one of our best sellers. My personal favorites are the Jasmine Green Tea Mist, Orchid Oil, and Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment. Lifechanging for your skin.
What perfume do you spritz on as you walk out the door?
Chloé (the signature one!). Flirty, feminine, perfect for any season. I can never switch.
Let’s Talk Travel…
Beach or Mountains?
East Coast or West Coast?
What is your favorite destination? Are you planning any upcoming trips?
Tie between Greece and India. Totally different, but one is just paradise on earth (hello moussaka, black sand beaches, and all-white buildings) the other is where my ancestors are from, so every time I go, I just feel so culturally fulfilled and connected to my roots. Plus, every region in India is so different — you really get to experience it all.
Go-to beverage when you’re traveling?
Iced almond milk latte in the am (always!), margarita in the evening because I’m on vacation, right?!
What is your top bucket list destination?
Let’s Talk Los Angeles…
What is your favorite part of living in Los Angeles?
Literally everything! I always tell people that it’s the ideal city: weather, food, people, music, culture, shopping…can you tell I love it? I think my single favorite thing is that though I’ve lived here for nearly 10 years, I always feel like I explore something new.
Fill in the blank: “On the weekend, you’ll find me at _____________.”
Body by Simone, then brunch.
Best date night restaurant?
Best brunch restaurant?
AOC or Huckleberry.
Best healthy food restaurant?
Best boutique(s) or shop/shopping?
My favorite store is Artizia. Pretty dangerous that they just opened one in Century City! I also love Revolve for online shopping.
Photography via BOXFOX