And for Minneapolis resident Diana Neidecker, a business around being nice.
After the Boston Marathon bombings in April of 2013, she wrote a post for her now-shuttered vegan lifestyle blog titled “26.2 Acts of Kindness to Complete to Honor the Victims & Their Families.”
To her surprise, the post garnered a lot of attention.
A few months later to further her mission and in an attempt to make the world a better place, Neidecker challenged herself to complete 365 Random Acts of Kindness, blogging about each one as she completed them.
She quickly realized that being nice felt good, and she wanted others to feel the power of kindness, too. But how?
As luck would have it, she was going to have some time on her hands. Her job as a nanny was coming to an end last fall and she began to think of her next move.
One day in September of 2013, she was out walking with her boyfriend and dog, brainstorming ideas. She remembers saying, “All I want is for people to spread their own kindness.”
Thus, the Be Nice Box was born.
Taking a cue from the popularity of subscription boxes, Neidecker landed on the idea of a box of kindness delivered to people once a month.
She wasted no time formulating the idea into reality, creating a business plan and officially launching the Be Nice Box on October 15, 2013.
The idea was simple: send a monthly box of kindness to her subscribers. Each box would include 30 acts of kindness, ten tangible items and one gift. All of the contents are handmade by local or national artists or purveyors (Neidecker creates some of the contents as well).
With the business up and running, the first box was scheduled to be delivered to subscribers in November, 2013.
Not knowing what to expect, Neidecker took baby steps in the beginning, creating just 20 boxes for November. Apparently people love the idea of being kind as she sold out of the 20 boxes in three days.
Over the next several months, the Be Nice Box gained lots of traction and her business began to grow organically. She is now shipping her boxes to people in 41 states, and has even received inquiries from as far away as England.
In fact, the interest somewhat surprised Neidecker, which caused her to take a look at her business model and make a couple of important tweaks.
For instance, starting this past September, the Be Nice Box is delivered on a quarterly, rather than monthly, basis.
“A lot of time and energy goes into each and every box, so to ensure we maintain the highest quality, we felt changing to this model was the right thing to do.”
The boxes will be delivered with the season (Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer), and contain very similar to the contents of the monthly box.
In addition, Neidecker formulated a one-time box called the Kindness Superhero Box, geared toward kids. After all, it’s never too early to teach kids the power of being nice, and the contents of this box will do just that. Plus, each box contains a superhero cape!
As if spreading all this kindness isn’t enough, Neidecker also stresses that a portion of proceeds from each purchase is donated to various charities.
Starting in October, 2014, she is now putting that money into the Be Nice Ambassador Fund, which will enable people to apply for funds to help create change in their local communities.
Neidecker admits that what she is doing – sharing kindness – has changed her life in ways she never thought possible.
“The Be Nice Box has given me perspective,” she says. “We all have a responsibility to make things better, and it feels really good to be nice. It’s not that hard to do,” she adds, “and if you don’t find an opportunity every day, you’re not looking.”
And in case you are wondering, Neidecker is still pursuing the 365 Random Acts of Kindness and blogging about it, which you can see her.
And for more information on the Be Nice Box, be sure to check out the website!