Career

Entrepreneurial Lessons: Bhavna Malkani, Co-Founder of MeeBox UK

Subscription beauty boxes are nothing new but one entirely dedicated to nails and with specific themes is ground-breaking. That’s the idea that Bhavna Malkani, along with best friends LJ and Nathalie had over a post on Facebook that changed their lives forever.

In this interview, she talks about the Meebox USP (from homage to pop star Rihanna to their favourite cocktail, themes are creative, random and always a hit), the challenges to scale and run a business where partners are separated by three different time zones, and the advice they took from Nike.  

Project M: What motivated you to launch the brand?
Bhavna Malkani: It’s such a funny story on how MeeBox was launched. It all started with a comment my best friend Nathalie, made on Facebook about buying yet more nail polish. LJ and I commented on her post straight away, and immediately said the same thing which was Nathalie had too many red and coral shades and perhaps she should venture into other colours. We joked and said that we could actually start a business from Nathalie’s bathroom by starting a nail subscription box from her and boom! A magical light bulb moment happened and MeeBox was born. We didn’t quite sell Nathalie’s nail polish collection but it certainly was our inspiration! We took the conversation off Facebook, started a Whats App group called ‘Who Run the World,’ and since then, we eat, sleep and breathe this amazing adventure! We literally live in each other’s pockets with our group chats as we’re located in 3 different time zones –California, Florida and London

We are 3 best friends who are nail polish fanatics, just like our customers. Our combined professional experience, passion and interests is what drove us to launch MeeBox. Within just a few months of launching, we’re so happy that we have created a fun brand, constantly planning new ways to bring creativity, surprise, fun and value for money to our customers. We interact with followers morning, noon and night, offering personalised interaction, nail advice, tutorials to the MeeBox community, that is continuing to grow on a monthly basis. MeeBox is our dream and passion.

It’s no happy accident that we ended up running a creative nail business.  Back in 2012, Nathalie and LJ lived in the UK, they were flatmates and I would hang out with them every weekend (picture a scene from Friends – it was kinda like Monica and Rachel’s apartment!) At the time, LJ was training to be a nail technician, so Nathalie and I were more than happy to be her guinea pigs. We loved shopping for nail polish, trying different colours and brands. It definitely built a strong foundation for MeeBox.

Project M: What are the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
Bhavna Malkani: Although we have many positive experiences with MeeBox, we have of course faced challenges. One of the USP’s of MeeBox is we always make sure we find the exact shade or product that fits the theme perfectly otherwise we might end up postponing the theme, which is exactly what we did with our Intergalactic theme. We were keen to release this theme in the winter months due to the colours and nail art accessories being quite wintery. We also had a specific magnetic polish in mind however it wasn’t quite released in the market yet. Can you believe we came up with the idea for this theme in 2015 but didn’t release it until December 2018!? It wasn’t until an indie polish called Wikkid released a beautiful magnetic polish called “Taboo” that we were able to then release this box. Had this not been released, it may have been shelved for another year! HA.

Project M: What advice would you share with those thinking about creating a business?
Bhavna Malkani: Often people ask us for advice on business as we work with many small and independent businesses. Our advice is stolen from Nike – just do it. Put yourself out there. What’s the worst that can happen? So many people have such amazing ideas but often too scared or worried. You’re not alone!  It will never be the ‘perfect time’ and the time is now. There’s an amazing community out there to connect with, platforms and resources to support you in your goals such as workshops, networking events and business breakfasts in workspaces such as Hunter Collective. We have connected with amazing people on our journey.

Learn more about Meebox here: https://meebox.co.uk/

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