The ArtSnacks Story

How my brother and I started our side-hustle.

In November of 2012, I was browsing the Internet for a holiday gift for my sister-in-law. I found a unique subscription service called BirchBox, a monthly subscription of makeup samples. Fascinated by this, I called my brother, Lee, to see if this was something that his wife would be into.

Lee: “Yes, she LOVES makeup. Sephora is her favorite store! This would be a perfect gift for her.”
Me: “Great! I’m going to buy her a 3 month subscription.”
Lee: “Great. Is there anything out there like this subscription, for me?”

With Lee’s main interest being art, I set out to find a subscription that would fit his needs. The closest thing I could find was a “craft of the month box”– which was not something he’d enjoy. I called Lee back and broke the disappointing news to him. Then, Lee had an idea.

Lee: “What if we made our own subscription box… for art supplies!”
Me: “That could be cool! What would we call it? Who do we sell it to? Let’s brainstorm!”

Logo exploration in Adobe Illustrator. I had pretzels on the mind, clearly.

At the time, Lee and I had full-time jobs in the creative industry. Lee was an Associate Creative Director at a non-profit, and I was a Junior Designer at a high fashion, e-commerce brand. This subscription box idea would just be something that we would do on the side (after work and on the weekends). We decided that if our idea didn’t catch on after three months, we’d let it go. So, using our combined knowledge of art materials from art school, experience from our day jobs, and our Internet resourcefulness, Lee and I started to curate boxes and build a website.

Image from our first ArtSnacks photoshoot on Lee’s apartment floor! I can’t believe how lo-res this is.

When the subscription box was ready for pre-orders, Lee immediately thought of the online art community that he had created back in college: Built on the Tumblr blogging platform, EatSleepdraw is a user-submitted online art gallery. This would be the perfect community to market an art supply subscription box to! So, in February 2013, Lee wrote a detailed blogpost on EatSleepDraw (with over 750,000 followers at the time!) about their newest creative endeavor–ArtSnacks.

JK, not so detailed blogpost… but look how many notes we got! Posted Jan 2nd, 2013.

Fast-forward to today, ArtSnacks is a subscription box of unique, high-quality art supplies, with a mission to inspire people through the discovery of amazing art materials. Every month, subscribers discover new products, limited-edition tools, exclusive supplies, and useful techniques through their service. Subscribers are encouraged to create an original work of art using only the supplies in their monthly box, and share it with the rest of the ArtSnacks Community — calling this the #ArtSnacksChallenge. ArtSnacks has been mentioned by the Museum of Modern Art, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and Nylon Magazine.

*If you’re hearing about ArtSnacks for the first time and want to try it out, use coupon code SARAHSSNACKS to get 10% off your first month on our month-to-month ArtSnacks Subscription plan. Head to ArtSnacks here!