19 Subscription Box Business Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Start A Subscription Box Business

Subscription box businesses offer customers a niche set of products on a monthly basis.

They're in high demand as they add value to customer service, offer exclusive products and can be highly profitable.

To start a subscription box business, understand your niche market, provide quality products, perfect your box design, build a good relationship with fulfillment companies, and market your service.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a subscription box business:

1. Vowed Box Co. ($4.8K/year)

Lindsay Scholz came up with the idea for Vowed Box Co. while planning her own wedding and struggling to find non-traditional gifts for herself and her bridesmaids. After testing the market with an Instagram account and receiving overwhelming interest, she launched the business with an initial investment of $2,000 and has since sold five boxes in its first week. Social media, email marketing, and SEO have been instrumental in attracting and retaining customers for Vowed Box Co.

How much they make: $4.8K/year
Current team size: 0

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How I Started A Gift Box Business For Non Traditional Brides

Vowed Box Co. is a line of curated, quirky gift boxes with non-traditional brides in mind, offering four different products that have helped the business become profitable most months since its launch in 2018, with a monthly income of roughly $600.

About
Lindsay started Vowed Box Co. about 6 years ago
Revenue
Lindsay grew the business to $400/month
Read by 29,522 founders

2. Southern Cigar Co ($240K/year)

Michael Arciola III, founder of Southern Cigar Co, came up with the idea for his business while brainstorming business types that wouldn't require a large time commitment or initial investment. After considering subscription boxes, he decided on cigars as the consumable product to sell. Despite a slow start with only 3 customers in the first month, Southern Cigar Co has grown to generate ~$250k in revenue per year with a 20% year-over-year growth rate.

How much they make: $240K/year
Current team size: 0

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How I Started A $20K/mo Cigar Subscription Business As A College Student

Southern Cigar Co. is a cigar subscription box business founded by Michael Arciola III while he was a student at Florida State University, currently bringing in $250k a year and growing at 20% year over year.

About
Michael started Southern Cigar Co almost 9 years ago
Revenue
Michael grew the business to $20K/month
Read by 25,828 founders

So... can you actually make money with a subscription box business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. Bambox ($720K/year)

Charles Carette, CEO & Co-founder of Bambox, came up with the idea for his business while working at a third-party logistics provider in Argentina. Seeing the opportunity to make the lives of parents easier, Charles and his co-founders designed a monthly subscription-based ecommerce for baby essentials combined with a virtual assistant to guide new parents. Despite facing challenges in a country where ecommerce is not widely trusted, Bambox has grown to ship over 1,100 boxes per month and has an MRR of $60,000, with a projected ARR of $750,000 for 2019.

How much they make: $720K/year
How much did it cost to start: $100
Current team size: 7

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How We Grew Our Baby Subscription Box To $60K MRR

Argentinian startup Bambox has grown its monthly recurring revenue to $60,000 and ships more than 1,100 boxes of baby essentials a month, a figure expected to help it achieve an annual recurring revenue of about $750,000 in 2019, after launching its first subscription service in July 2017. 

About
Charles started Bambox over 6 years ago
Revenue
Charles grew the business to $60K/month
Costs
It cost Charles $100 to start the business
Read by 15,858 founders

4. Cannabox ($4.2M/year)

Michael Berk came up with the idea for Cannabox when he saw a gap in the market for a subscription box for cannabis accessories. As a daily cannabis user, he wanted a convenient solution to purchasing the items he needed. With an initial investment of $1,000, Berk launched Cannabox in 2013 and has since grown it into a successful business with an MRR of $350,000 and 11,000 subscribers.

How much they make: $4.2M/year
Current team size: 3

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How I Started A $350K/Month Cannabis Subscription Box

Learn how Michael Berk founded and grew Cannabox, a monthly cannabis subscription box, to have an MRR of $350,000 and 11,000 subscribers, by being a pioneer in the industry, hiring the right people, staying humble, and using SEO, email marketing, and social media.

Revenue
Michael grew the business to $350K/month
Read by 14,456 founders

So... can you actually make money with a subscription box business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

5. Bundleboon ($420K/year)

Nelli Jeloudar, the founder of Bundleboon, came up with the idea for her curated shopping service for kidswear after seeing a demand for a similar service from her friends with children. She launched the business as a side hustle and quickly received 300 pre-orders, generating close to €45,000 in revenue with only €2,000 spent on startup costs. She later partnered with a retail partner to keep inventory risk low and focused on validating the concept before scaling.

How much they make: $420K/year
Current team size: 5

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How I Started A Subscription Box Business For Kids

Bundleboon is a kidswear shopping service where parents complete a style quiz and receive two personalized outfits for their child, and only pay for the items they keep, generating €45k in revenue with only €2k spent on startup costs in the first 2 months, with a goal of becoming a tech company with a styling algorithm and automating the styling process.

About
Nelli started Bundleboon almost 6 years ago
Revenue
Nelli grew the business to $35K/month
Read by 11,383 founders

6. PenaltyBox Sports ($4.8M/year)

Drew Laine, Founder and CEO of PenaltyBox Sports, came up with the idea for his business while living in his in-law's basement. With no infrastructure or logistics, he decided to start a subscription box company for ice hockey players just two days before Black Friday. Despite the challenges, the idea took off and now the company has a thriving community of 45,000 passionate hockey parents, players, and fans.

How much they make: $4.8M/year
How much did it cost to start: $15K
Current team size: 8

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How Starting A Subscription Box For Hockey Lovers Led To A $400K/Month Sporting Goods Online Store

A subscription box business for ice hockey players turned into a thriving e-commerce and sporting goods manufacturer that generated $275k in a month due to leveraging Facebook groups and community building.

About
Drew started PenaltyBox Sports about 7 years ago
Revenue
Drew grew the business to $400K/month
Costs
It cost Drew $15000 to start the business
Read by 8,223 founders

So... can you actually make money with a subscription box business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

7. EatTiamo ($120K/year)

Nicholas Figoli and his business partner Francesco Pelosi came up with the idea for EatTiamo while they were living abroad in Paris and missing the taste of authentic Italian cuisine. They noticed the lack of affordable and easily accessible Italian products in the market, especially in the US where the demand for Italian food is high. This led them to launch EatTiamo, the first subscription food box service that brings the best of Italian food directly to American families.

How much they make: $120K/year
Current team size: 5

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How Two Italians Started A Subscription Food Box Business

Italian food subscription box service, EatTiamo, delivers monthly boxes of carefully selected Italian delicacies to 300 American families across the US, with the aim of reaching a break-even point of 1,000 boxes per month by 2020.

About
Nicholas started EatTiamo almost 8 years ago
Revenue
Nicholas grew the business to $10K/month
Read by 9,373 founders

8. Mouse Book Club ($120K/year)

David Dewane, the co-founder and president of the Mouse Book Club, came up with the idea while sitting on a bus and noticing everyone on their phones. He realized that people are constantly reading on their phones, but often don't remember what they read. This led him to create phone-sized physical books as an alternative, mailing over 40,000 books to 60+ countries and generating $170,000 in sales in the first two years.

How much they make: $120K/year
Current team size: 0

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How We Launched A Book Subscription Service And Sold 40K Books

The Mouse Book Club is a start-up that mails physical, pocket-sized books to help readers disconnect from their digital devices, with over $170k in sales and 40,000 books sent to 60+ countries in the first two years.

About
David started Mouse Book Club over 6 years ago
Revenue
David grew the business to $10K/month
Read by 7,884 founders

9. Candy Japan ($78K/year)

After moving to Japan and discovering the diverse and unique candies available, Bemmu Sepponen came up with the idea for Candy Japan. With flavors and varieties that are hard to find outside of Japan, Bemmu decided to start a subscription service that would send surprise boxes of Japanese candy to people all around the world. Since launching in 2011, Candy Japan has shipped over $1 million worth of candy and has paid Bemmu's living expenses in Japan for 7 years.

How much they make: $78K/year
Current team size: 0

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Starting A Japanese Candy Subscription Service

This case study follows Bemmu Sepponen and his business Candy Japan, a service that has shipped over $1M worth of Japanese candy to people all over the world and has paid Bemmu's living expenses in Japan for seven years, however, the company has seen a decline in subscribers due to changes in the industry and in costs.

About
Bemmu started Candy Japan over 12 years ago
Revenue
Bemmu grew the business to $6.5K/month
Read by 9,475 founders

10. Comic Crate ($24K/year)

Pam and Gene Farley, owners of Comic Crate, came up with the idea after seeing how comic books helped their kids learn to read and love reading. They realized that busy parents didn't have the time to visit a comic book store, so they created a subscription box where parents could choose the rating of the comics received, making it easier for kids to have access to appropriate and engaging content.

How much they make: $24K/year
How much did it cost to start: $100
Current team size: 0

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How We Started A Curated Comic Subscription Box With $100

Comic Crate is a curated comic subscription box with a unique selling point where the buyer gets to choose the rating of their comics received, grown from a $100 startup to an average of $1,000 in revenue per month in just 18 months.

About
Pam started Comic Crate almost 6 years ago
Revenue
Pam grew the business to $2K/month
Costs
It cost Pam $100 to start the business
Read by 6,882 founders

11. Urban Tastebud ($612K/year)

Bryan discovered subscription boxes while working on a gluten-free menu blog. His article about the best gluten-free subscription boxes became successful, which led him to focus on niche-specific subscription boxes.

How much they make: $612K/year
How much did it cost to start: $210
Current team size: 0

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How I Started My $51K/Month Subscription Box Review Business

Urban Tastebud is a profitable affiliate marketing blog specializing on subscription box reviews that now draws in $51,000 a month; the founder started by writing quick easy-to-read list articles and has remained profitable for 9 years by his consistency while focusing on growing his content and using social media platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest to increase traffic.

About
Adam started Urban Tastebud over 11 years ago
Revenue
Adam grew the business to $51K/month
Costs
It cost Adam $210 to start the business
Read by 5,109 founders

12. Lit League ($36K/year)

Christina, one of the three founders of Lit League, came up with the idea after starting a book club with her daughter and seeing the positive impact it had on her and other kids. With the help of co-founder Lauren, who had experience running book clubs, they created Lit League to provide parents with the tools to run their own book clubs at home and foster a love of reading in children.

How much they make: $36K/year
Current team size: 0

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These 3 Momtrepreneurs Started A Book Subscription Box Business For Kids

Lit League is a startup that creates book-themed activity boxes for kids ages 3-12, offering a monthly subscription or individual box options; the company has tripled its growth in one year, becoming an approved materials vendor for 11 different charter schools in two states.

About
Christina started Lit League about 5 years ago
Revenue
Christina grew the business to $3K/month
Read by 3,025 founders

13. Plate Crate ($3.9M/year)

Josh, the founder of Plate Crate, came up with the idea for his business while playing independent baseball and struggling financially during the offseason. After realizing there were no subscription boxes for baseball, he decided to start his own and launched Plate Crate in 2015. Since then, the business has grown immensely, with over $300K in monthly revenue and a successful expansion into Soccer Crate.

How much they make: $3.9M/year
How much did it cost to start: $1.5K
Current team size: 3

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I Created A Baseball Subscription Box & Grew It To $3.9M

Plate Crate is a monthly subscription box for baseball enthusiasts, which started as a side hustle by the founder with just $800, and now generates over $300k of monthly revenue after six years of consistent growth.

About
Josh started Plate Crate almost 9 years ago
Revenue
Josh grew the business to $325K/month
Costs
It cost Josh $1500 to start the business
Read by 3,263 founders

14. Birchbox ($200M/year)

How much they make: $200M/year
Current team size:

Birchbox: Katia Beauchamp : How I Built This with Guy Raz

Case study: How Birchbox disrupted the beauty industry to attract hundreds of thousands of subscribers, despite receiving negative feedback when it launched in 2010.

Revenue
Katia grew the business to $16.7M/month
Read by 900 founders

15. ConseCrate ($12K/year)

How much they make: $12K/year
Current team size: 1

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First $1,000: Lutheran Pastor Sells & Ships “Consecrate” Subscription Boxes

ConseCrate provides ministers and clergy members with unique subscription boxes containing a range of sustainable and wellness products, and despite only launching last year, the business grew organically through social media and now ships 500 boxes each month.

About
Ruth started ConseCrate over 3 years ago
Revenue
Ruth grew the business to $1K/month
Read by 504 founders