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Hidden Gems: Meet Lauren Randolph of Kin Collective Company

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Randolph.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
In early 2020, my sister-in-law and I found ourselves at the kitchen table discussing the impact that George Floyd and the BLM movement had on us. This led to a discussion of how we could take action. We both wanted to make a more conscious effort to buy from Black-owned businesses. The more we talked and shared the more we longed for an easier way to buy Black. We found that there were multiple websites and resources for Black-owned beauty and fashion businesses, but something we both loved and wanted to support were Black-owned food companies. After some research, we were disappointed to find the same 20-30 brands being quoted and represented. We knew there had to be more companies out there.

We then had a “lightbulb moment” and thought what if we started a subscription box where we would do the heavy lifting so people could easily discover new Black-owned food & beverage brands from the comfort of their own home. Out of this idea Kin Collective was born. We shipped our first boxes to friends and family in June 2021 and have now shipped our quarterly box for three quarters straight. Along the way, we have worked with multiple companies to create custom curated gift boxes for events and corporations.

During our first year of business, we’ve supported over 25 small Black-owned food & beverage businesses from across the US, directed over $65,000 into the pockets of these businesses and curated over 500 boxes for clients and subscribers.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
With each Kin Collective box curation and shipment comes a lesson learned. We started with the dream of sharing as many products as possible in every box. “Make them big,” we said! And that’s what we did for our first two boxes, but quickly learned that with product, cost, shipping, fulfillment and more, it was not sustainable for our small business. And although we want to share as many Black-owned products as possible each quarter with our subscribers, we’ve since learned that for now, it’s better to share a smaller quantity of the same quality products and keep our subscribers looking forward to what will come in their next box.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Kin Collective curates artisanal food and beverage subscriptions for champions of economic equity to directly support multiple small Black-owned food & beverage businesses. Through a quarterly subscription model and tech-enabled platform, Kin Collective ensures participating businesses access to a discerning, engaged consumer base.

There are a couple of things that make me proud of Kin Collective and what we’ve accomplished. First, we had this idea and we brought it to life! It was hard and scary, but we kept with it and have done what we set out to do: support our community and drive business directly to (mostly small or family-owned) Black-owned businesses.

Second, Kin Collective fulfills us each and every day because it gives us a way to actively work on something meaningful that’s bigger than ourselves. Kin Collective has created an ecosystem where we and others can support small Black-owned businesses year round, not just when it’s trendy to do so (Black History Month, Juneteenth) but throughout the entire year. When we actively choose to support these small businesses, we can truly strive to create opportunity, equity and support for Black-owned businesses in our country.

Pricing:

  • Our boxes are $125 plus shipping and tax. With each quarterly box, you’ll receive a number of artisanal products for your enjoyment, straight to your home.

Contact Info:

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