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Those Who Can’t Find It, Make It

by Lisa Diggs

They say necessity is the mother of invention.  In the entrepreneurial world that often manifests itself in the would-be customer creating a business.  Such is the case with Staci Dietzel, nurse, mom, and founder of RunnerBox in Dewitt, Michigan.

An avid runner, Dietzel likes to try out new products to support her athletic endeavors. Like many people, she sometimes found items she adored, and some were not so favorable.  Unfortunately, love them or hate them, you are often forced to buy full-size bottles or large quantities, when all you want to do is try something out.  That led her to look for alternatives like subscription boxes, which often contain smaller quantities of a variety of products.

“The idea of subscription boxes had been out on the market for a little bit. I was searching to buy one for myself because there are so many for beauty products, and I couldn’t find any for runners so I decided to create one,” said Dietzel.

“The process has been bigger than I thought it would be.  It’s been a challenge, but interesting,” she continued.

Dietzel started planning the company in the summer of 2012 and began shipping boxes in December of that year.  It has been growing quickly, largely through social media.  The company is active on Twitter and Facebook and invites bloggers to become their ambassadors.

For example, a blogger named Josephine of www.plantbasedrunner.com posted “Last week I received something very cool in the mail, a RUNNERBOX. A what you wonder? A Runner tested, runner approved box filled with a sampling of running related nutrition supplements and products.”  She goes on to describe the service and echo Dietzel’s sentiments about the value of sample sizes.

According to Dietzel, “A lot of runners had the same feeling as I did that there are a lot of products you want to try, but then if you don’t like it, you’re stuck with it.”

That, and the variety, and perhaps the joy of a present filled with surprises arriving on a your doorstep on a regular basis, could be what is leading to the company’s success.

Clients of RunnerBox may choose products that are geared exclusively toward running, or those selected with triathletes in mind.  You can order a one-time gift box, gift cards, or a bimonthly subscription.  Subscription boxes arrive every other month, and include a wide range of products like energy bars, gels, chews, protein shakes, and other accessories. The shipments are different each month, and the boxes include an inspirational quote on the inside cover.

The company is also always looking for new products, and Dietzel is especially interested in finding products to feature that are Michigan-made.  If you have a product to recommend contact RunnerBox


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