SCOUTbox – A Subscription Box ‘For Scouts, By Scouts’
PelotonPosts is a monthly interview with a member of PelotonLabs, a co-working space in Portland’s West End with a mission to connect and encourage people stepping out of traditional modes of employment. This month, Peloton’s founder Liz Trice caught up with photographer, musician and entrepreneur Will Wohler. who started SCOUTbox with his brother.
You have an interesting subscription gift box business, SCOUTbox, how did you get into that?
My brother and I are both Eagle Scouts. We wanted to start a business together, and subscription boxes are big right now. Our previous idea was an emergency preparedness subscription box. My brother is an EMT and consults for FEMA. That never got traction, but this one blew up quickly.
When you say “blew up” . . how big is your business?
We launched in January with random items in a Shopify storefront, and started subscriptions in April with 250 subscribers, and now we have over 400 subscribers. My brother went to school for marketing, so that’s his part of the business. We got a lot of traffic initially from Facebook. We’re still both running this part-time.
You also run a portrait photography business, Wohler & Co; tell me about that.
Everyone has something that they love to do, that makes them come alive and get filled out with joy. That side doesn’t always come out very often, and that’s something I aim to capture in photography. I have a music background, so I’ve worked with a lot of performing artists, but also families and senior portraits.
When you’re photographing someone, how do you bring out that joy?
I have a process; I meet with them first and understand what they love – everyone can be uncomfortable with having a portrait taken – so we take breaks and talk about what they love and their favorite moments. You can tell when you’ve touched on something, because even the quietest person becomes animated. And once they’ve tapped into that, the walls come down, and they become comfortable.
How about if someone was photographing you? What gets you filled up with joy?
I just finished teaching the percussion section of a marching band, and it was great hearing their stories, seeing their growth as musicians and people, seeing them push themselves to get better. I’m passionate about personal development, personal and business growth. I teach a summer music camp at USM, too, but working with this particular group of students was really exciting. We just had our banquet last night and there were lots of tears and crying – people are really passionate about the program.
You’ve been in Portland for over 10 years, right? How do you feel about the changes you’re seeing?
I’m originally from Connecticut, came to USM for Music Education, and taught for a couple of years. I love Maine, and love Portland, and decided to stay. The skyline is changing, and I’m ok with that. I like that there’s still a sense of community, the buy local movement, the farmers markets, and I hope that continues. I’m optimistic.
You’ve been an ambassador at Peloton for a while, how is that?
I like the built-in networking, the customer service helping others, and the community here. I couldn’t get work done at home and this space is inviting. By being an ambassador I get to help serve the community and get all the benefits of membership.
Know someone who is starting a business?
During the month of December, you can give the gift of Two months’ community workplace membership to a friend or community member for $100.
Key deposits still apply.
Visit SCOUTbox here: http://www.scoutbox.us.