Last month, I was lucky enough to receive a bookish subscription box from Magic Chest to review. If you read my review of that box here, you’ll know that I absolutely loved it. It was such a well put together box, with amazing contents and an incredible sounding book to go with it. Obviously, these incredible bookish subscription boxes don’t fall from the sky; there’s always some hard working individual/s behind them. So today, I’m having a chat with Klara, the brain-power and mastermind behind the Magic Chest box where we talk about what the box entails, inspiration and the inner workings of having your own business!
Hi there – first of all, tell us a little bit about Magic Chest.
Magic Chest is a fantasy book subscription box that provides you with the tools to go on a unique magical adventure. In each box, you will find a hand-picked fantasy book (hardcover) and 4-6 bookishly magical products to help you throughout the adventure of the month. All items are mainly exclusively hand-crafted and designed by small local businesses for Magic Chest.
What gave you the inspiration to want to start your own bookish subscription box?
Before I started Magic Chest, I had a bookish blog where I mainly focused on fantasy books. In time, I got to know many subscription box services but most of them were outside the EU and so, quite expensive. That’s when I decided people from Europe need an alternative. And so I started my own fantasy book subscription service.
And where do the ideas of which type of products to include come from?
I browse a lot around on Etsy, but as I’m really active on Instagram, I get to know a lot of shops and designers there as well. Sometimes, I ask them and sometimes, they email me and ask whether I’d like to collab. I love bookish merch, too. So if I buy privately from a shop and I like their products, I’m likely to ask them to create something exclusive for a future box as well.
How many people are there in the Magic Chest team and which elements of the brand are you individually involved in?
Currently, it’s mainly me. I have Kevin, who helps with customer service questions. And I have somebody who does the accounting for me. Otherwise, I read the books, decide on themes, source products and vendors. I mainly do the marketing, basically everything 😉
In your opinion, what is the most challenging thing about having your own business?
I think the most challenging thing for me is accounting and myself. When you open up your own business, you invest a lot of time, money and love. But you also have a lot of stress and sometimes, the thing that stands in your way is you. For example, through my business I learned how to be patient but also how to treasure the free time I have and to be more appreciative of the smaller things in life. Magic Chest taught me how privileged I truly am for being in a position where I can open up a small business, do things in my own pace and earn money by doing what I love. Most people don’t have that privilege and I’m grateful for my customers who gave me that opportunity.
How do you come up with the monthly themes for the box?
I look for books first. If a book has swept me off my feet, I brainstorm a lot to find the perfect monthly theme that fits the book.
Do you only include books in which you’ve read yourself and would recommend?
I only include books which I would give 5 stars.
As this is a Fantasy based subscription box, what are some of your personal favourite Fantasy novels?
That’s a tough one, Jenny! I love The Hobbit and A Song of Ice and Fire (the classics), but The Last Unicorn and Harry Potter will forever have a place in my heart. More recent books, or rather authors, are Jade City by Fonda Lee, Blackwing by Ed McDonald and The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale.
Which 5 book characters would you invite to a dinner party and why?
I would invite, of course, Bilbo Baggins and perhaps even Gandalf and Dumbledore along with Samwell Tarly and Jon Snow. They are some of my favourite characters and I think the conversation we’d had would not only be magical, but deep, personal and funny. A night to remember 😊
Where do you hope to see Magic Chest in the future? Any more plans that you can share with us?
Well, the next thing that is coming up is new custom packaging for our Magic Chest boxes. I want to expand the Newsletters and maybe create a blog, but as I’m currently finishing my bachelor’s degree, that is talk of the future. As for the rest, wait and see 😉