In 2013, our tiny group of Outlaw customers demanded a subscription box.
"What fun!" I thought to myself as I perused the handicrafts of friends like Miriam Dema. "I can create a curated subscription box of small batch and handcrafted American made goods, and send it out to people monthly!"
We quickly realized that the logistics of a monthly box was going to exceed our (then, just me and Russ) abilities, so we scaled back our big dreams to a bi-monthly subscription box.
At first, it was kind of a hodge-podge of stuff, but then I decided to put some more constraints onto the box, making sure that it actually didn't lose money for us (a feat that I'm not sure we ever fully accomplished). I started featuring a bi-monthly theme, including featured Outlaws of the West.
I wrote a reasonably well-researched informational insert called PANIC IN THE BATHROOM (internally, I'm an 8 year old). You can see an example of that fine publication here:
After a while, it was taking longer and longer to write these inserts. And I don't know if you can tell (of course you can), but I'm not a professional page layer-outer.
It was time to increase our subscriptions, so I decided to partner with a friend of mine to make some patches, and we announced the Clean Getaway Theme as The Scoutlaws.
YES, it's true.... there was a time when you could earn Scouting inspired patches for learning about such exciting things as "HOW TO EXECUTE THE PERFECT TRAIN HEIST."
Here's a great sample from one on YOUR CONDUCT IN BARS:
(if you're reading that and wishing you could read the rest -- and of course you are, it's a fricken masterpiece -- fear not. We'll be republishing these here in the journal over the next few months. You might be interested to know that the author of the Scoutlaws was none other than our newest contributor to the Outlaw Journal, Jason Epstein!)
This was a fricken' fantastic piece of work, if I do say so myself, but I was truly bummed to learn that most people were just throwing away all the other accoutrements and only using the soap.
Since I was payin' a pretty penny on these articles and patches, spending a lot of time on layout and editing (skills I think we have established are not in my wheelhouse), and our subscriptions weren't increasing significantly, it didn't seem worth it.
But here's the thing: As we've established, the Clean Getaways were always borderline profitable (sometimes dipping into unprofitable... turns out, it's actually lots harder -- and more expensive -- to make custom soaps than it is to make regular soaps), but I personally know many of the subscribers... if not as personal friends, as customers who have become friends over the years. I've seen them as a kind of subsidized care package. Kind of like if you paid me to curate something every other month just because you think I have good taste, and I did it for you as a favor because we're friends, and I just charged you the cost of the materials.
And the funny thing is that in looking at the subscribers, I think one of the reasons that our subscribers wanted to stay subscribed was because they just like us and want to support our small business... and so neither of us were getting what we need out of this relationship.
So it's the dawn of a new day for our friend The Clean Getaway ☀️
As we've done in the past, we're going to shape-shift the Clean Getaway. Instead of your custom handmade soaps, we're going to change it to something that many people have requested (and we agree is a darn great idea):
- Two bars of milled soaps
- One bottle of lotion
- One stick of deodorant
We'll be doing this transition seamlessly just like we did for the reversioning (is that a word? It is now!) of the previous iterations of the Clean Getaway. All the current Clean Getaway subscribers will receive the new, bigger box, and will get a bi-monthly selection (that we pick). If current Clean Getaway subscribers would like to switch to a single-scent Clean Getaway, we can make that swap super easily!
For example, one month, you might get two Blazing Saddles bars of milled soap, one bottle of Blazing Saddles Lotion, and one stick of Blazing Saddles Deodorant, and two months later, you might get Fire in the Hole bars of milled soap, a bottle of Fire in the Hole Lotion, and a stick of Fire in the Hole Deodorant.
If you're a scent soundtrack person (you have your scent and you'd like to wear that forever and ever), we'll have the Clean Getaway Subscription Box available in your own scent soundtrack (like we do with the Double Down, but with milled soap and a deodorant).
This whole project is launching for existing Clean Getaway Subscribers on the 24th of this month. We will announce the launch of the New Day Clean Getaway later this month, so stay tuned!