For Kate Johnson and Julia Allen, it’s about shopping local and all things Okanagan.
That’s the motivator behind the duo’s new quarterly subscription box service Locality.
Jam-packed with five-to-seven artisanal Okanagan goods handpicked by Johnson and Allen, Locality subscription boxes feature health and wellness products, bath and beauty goods, non-perishables and various coupons for local wineries valued at about $150 per box.
“We love shopping local and subscription boxes are such a hot trend right now, so we decided to combine the two ideas,” said the Vernon-born Allen.
After a stint out west, Allen and Johnson, who is originally from Kelowna, moved back to the Okanagan to raise their families and pursue the iconic lifestyle felt across the region.
“We wanted to come back and have a simpler lifestyle for our kids,” Johnson said. “It’s a lifestyle people want to be a part of whether they live here or not.”
Part of that Okanagan lifestyle, they said, is the laid-back approach to city life that they missed in bigger centres.
“You still feel like you’re living in a city but you don’t have to commute an hour to work,” Allen laughed.
That love sparked the germ of Locality after they returned to the Valley.
“Last summer Kate and I were sitting on Kalamalka Beach talking about what we wanted to do for work and came up with this idea,” Allen said.
It all took off from there, and before long, Allen and Johnson had signed up for the annual Enterprize Challenge in January, which they won in April.
“That really kind of pushed us to really start this,” Johnson said.
By the end of the month, they had their plan in place and launched their brand Feb. 1, receiving overwhelming feedback from across the nation.
“We had people saying, ‘Why didn’t this exist, it’s such a great idea,’” Allen said. “Get a taste of the Okanagan while living in Calgary — that’s exactly what we wanted and people are saying that. We’re just feeling thankful for the community support.”
Johnson and Allen’s first Locality subscription box is slated for delivery in June.
“We sold out right before midnight last night (May 1),” Allen said. “We’re definitely adding more in the fall.”
For now, Allen and Johnson plan on containing shipping within Canada until they see what international appeal they can muster up.
“We’re going to conquer Canada and see where that goes,” Allen laughed.
The boxes, which are geared towards females, feature works from various Okanagan artisans. However, the contents will remain a mystery until the boxes appear on doorsteps.
“Our lips are sealed, but we can say you’re going to love it,” said Allen, the design-woman who brings her music management background to the table. “Everyone loves a surprise.”
Johnson, the get-it-done girl who comes from a business and sales background, agreed.
“It gets people excited,” she said. “This is the next phase of online shopping.”
To amplify excitement, Allen and Johnson said a proverbial golden ticket to Kitsch Wines’ exclusive Splendor in the Grass summer party is hidden inside one of the 151 summer subscription boxes.
And, after the summer box is released, Johnson said they will highlight the artisans that made the service possible and host workshops with those artists for members.
“We’re relaying that local love.”
Locality subscription boxes are available for $85 quarterly or $307 annually for savings of 10 per cent. To subscribe, visit www.iamlocality.com. Subscriptions for the summer box are sold out. The next box will be shipped in the fall.