Episode #48

Anna Van Dijk from Lunchbox Mini

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In this episode of Beyond the Inbox, host Sam interviews Anna Van Dijk, the founder of Lunchbox Mini and Crumbs Co. Anna discusses her journey as a founder and a parent, sharing the unique challenges and successes she’s experienced in growing her online business.

Anna begins by discussing the unique order flow system she has developed, featuring a VIP squad for loyal customers. This system operates much like a customer loyalty program, rewarding customers for repeat purchases and incentivizing them to continue shopping with Lunchbox Mini.

The conversation then shifts to the topic of email marketing. Anna shares that she sends out two weekly emails, one focusing on personal updates and another highlighting new products or offerings. She emphasizes the importance of personal connection in these emails, often including photos of her team and behind-the-scenes glimpses into the workings of the business.

A significant part of the podcast is dedicated to discussing the balance between personal and professional life, particularly as the public face of a brand. Anna shares her initial struggles with putting herself at the forefront of her brand, and how she overcame these challenges by imagining she was talking to a friend. However, as her children grew older and her brand grew larger, she found it necessary to establish boundaries to protect her family’s privacy and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Anna also shares her experiences with product lifecycle and customer purchase behavior, noting that many customers start conservatively, then return to purchase more products once they feel comfortable. To encourage this behavior, Anna sends a follow-up email offering free shipping to customers who may have forgotten to add additional items to their order.

The interview concludes with a discussion of Anna's second venture, Crumbs Co. This offshoot of Lunchbox Mini offers purpose-sized silicone molds for baking that perfectly fit into the compartments of the lunchboxes, making lunch packing even more convenient for parents. Anna has seen significant success with this new product line, selling out with each release and establishing stockists in five different countries.

Throughout the episode, Anna offers valuable insights and advice for other parents thinking about starting their own online businesses, emphasizing the importance of setting clear boundaries, being personable with customers, and constantly innovating to stand out in a saturated market.

Read the transcript:

  • (11:07): Discussing the order flow and the concept of a V I P squad
  • (11:41): Introduction to the topic of milestone emails in e-commerce
  • (11:57): Explanation of their customer loyalty program
  • (12:43): Discussion about the policy of free shipping within Australia
  • (13:00): Conversation about the frequency of email campaigns and the content involved
  • (14:07): Discussion about the founder's personal involvement and presence in the brand
  • (14:24): Sharing about the initial struggles of putting oneself in front of the brand
  • (15:04): Insights into the growth of the online community through personal interaction
  • (15:57): Discussion about maintaining privacy while being a public figure in the brand
  • (16:13): Sharing experiences about the evolution of family involvement in the brand
  • (17:04): Realization of the need for boundaries in sharing personal life in the brand
  • (17:54): Discussion about the balance between personal and professional life
  • (18:23): Sharing about the influence of Jerry Seinfeld's work-life balance
  • (19:10): Discussion about the product lifecycle and customer purchase behavior
  • (20:44): Introduction to Crumbs Co and its contribution to the business
  • (21:39): Explanation of the inspiration behind Crumbs Co products
  • (22:33): Success of Crumbs Co and plans for new product launches
  • (23:20): Process of gathering feedback and iterating products
  • (24:15): Discussion about balancing parenthood and business
  • (25:15): Importance of learning to delegate tasks in business
  • (26:00): Importance of productivity and time management in business
  • (26:44): Future plans for Lunchbox Mini
  • (27:56): Information about where to learn more about Lunchbox Mini
  • (28:29): Conclusion of the interview