The Wickedly Talented Ladies of Macabre Merch: Six Questions for the Beauty and Brains Behind the Killer Shop, Creeper Crate
Is it possible I purposely picked one of my very favorite shops to feature on Valentine’s Day? Possible and probable! If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that I am completely obsessed, head over heels, madly in love with Creeper Crate. I discovered this monthly themed horror box after becoming disenchanted with other horror boxes that lacked originality, quality, or value. Creeper Crate was the perfect thing to fill the void in my horror heart — an extremely affordable monthly box of unique horror merchandise, bath and beauty products, enamel pins and accessories, and more. Unlike other boxes, this one features products from small business owners worthy of support. After subscribing for several months, I’ve never once been disappointed. In fact, each month somehow seems to be better than the last. This is one box of horror goodness that truly delivers and is worth far more than what you pay for it.
1. What was the inspiration for starting your own business and how did you get started?
Subscription boxes are actually a newer discovery for me, which is pretty strange now that I think about it! Yes! I’ve been living under a rock for the last few years! When I finally started seeing subscription boxes, I noticed there were a TON of Nerd/Geek boxes, a TON of Bath & Beauty Boxes, and a SUPER small amount of Horror boxes. But I also noticed that there wasn’t a box, in the Horror Genre, geared specifically towards Women. So I thought it would be really cool to come up with my own! I love Horror movies and collectible items but I also love girly stuff and I figured maybe fellow female horror fans do as well! So why not create a box that had a little bit of both, make it themed each month, and focus on Horror Movies and Characters that the Horror Community and I love so much!
Now I have this idea for a monthly box, and I sit on it. I don’t know where to start! I know I want to feature small shops, but what if no one wants to be in the box or can’t be in the box? Can I afford to put shops in the box? I also figured nobody would want to buy the box and it would go nowhere.
After about a month or so of going back and forth, I decide to go for it. I pitched the idea to my better half and a couple of friends, who are small shop owners, and they loved the idea! Great! So one of those friends, Sparkle Monster, and I each made an item for the first box. I picked some other items I thought were cool and put the first box together. I made a website, threw it up on social media…and now Creeper Crate is on its 2nd year!
2. When and how did you fall in love with horror?
I first fell in love with Horror in the 3rd Grade at a Slumber Party. We watched Troma’s Rabid Grannies (1989), and the movie absolutely terrified me, but was also so exciting for me to watch! I LOVED being so scared. I didn’t know if I should keep laughing nervously or cry haha! After Rabid Grannies, I would catch Horror Movies now and then (Jaws, Halloween), but I would say I really didn’t dive further into Horror until Scream came out in 1996. I was super obsessed with the movie and literally binged Horror Movies after that! I went back and watched 70s Horror, 80s Horror, SO much Horror — and I LOVED it all! I love the adrenaline rush and anxiety I get from Horror Movies!
3. How do you choose shops to partner with for your subscription boxes…and what do you look for in selecting products to include?
The first thing I look at in a shop is if they’re solely Horror related. While I did step outside of the Box with Labyrinth last April, Creeper Crate is a Horror Themed Box, and my goal is to feature Horror Shops specifically. I’ve actually been VERY fortunate! I would say 95% of the shops that I’ve worked with, or are working with, somehow found Creeper Crate and reached out to collaborate.
When a small business contacts me or I search for one, I look at the type of items offered, the quality of the items, if they’re feasible for the box and shipping, and if they fit the budget. I also look at how long it’ll take a shop to create an item and if they can do an exclusive piece. I try to find items that relate specifically to the theme of the month and are a play on, or refer to, a scene or piece in the movie the box is paying tribute to. So if you haven’t seen the movie of the month, you may be completely confused with an item included!
For Bath and Beauty products I look for those that are Vegan and Cruelty Free. While I look specifically at Horror Shops, I have worked with shops that are not in the Horror Genre, and they’ve delivered some horrifically awesome items!
4. What’s the best part about running your own business, and what’s the hardest part?
The best part of running my own business is that I can do it from home and I’m my own boss! I’m a stay at home mom, so running Creeper Crate out of the house allows me to be with my kids full time and I don’t have to answer to anyone. Another favorite part of running my own business is all the rad people I’ve come to know and the killer shops I’ve been able to work with. I’ve developed some amazing relationships and partnerships!
I remember being sooo nervous to contact Demonic Pinfestation about being in Creeper Crate, so I wasn’t going to. I figured there was no way she would want to be in a no name box! Another shop pushed me to make contact so I did, and now Melissa and Demonic Pinfestation play a MAJOR role in Creeper Crate, and she’s a friend for life!
The hardest part of running my own business is trying to have it stand out on it’s own and separate it from other, similar businesses that have come up. I really strive to prevent being a “same box, different name” subscription box, and that really limits the amount of shops there are to work with in this genre. It’s also difficult to try and top the previous box and not have a box absolutely suck.
The other hardest part of running my own business is that it is predominately online, with Social Media playing a HUGE role in keeping Creeper Crate alive, as it does with any business nowadays, especially smaller businesses. Right now the algorithm on Instagram is constantly changing and it’s becoming harder for businesses to reach their audience, which has slowed down a lot of business for shops that I know. And once we think we have it figured out, it changes again!
5. Tell me why you think it’s important for people to support small business? Is it especially important for people to support female-owned business (if so, why)?
I think it’s VERY important to support small businesses ESPECIALLY Female-owned AND in the Horror Genre! It’s a niche, a required taste, and not a mainstream genre that everyone’s falling all over! It also seems that there’s still a certain stigma that surrounds Women who love and enjoy Horror, and those that work in the genre. And because of that I feel like we have to work even harder, and we already work our asses off!
Running a small business is not easy, especially when you’re just starting out and paying bills and putting food on the table is at stake! If it IS easy for someone, then I want their name, number, AND their secret haha!
With all joking aside, products created by a small business tend to have more love, care, and time put into them, and I guarantee there were probably some blood, sweat, and tears involved! If you purchase from and support small businesses you’re supporting the owner, their family, and you help keep them going and growing. Creeper Crate is big on featuring and supporting small businesses. I want to get their names out there, I want to help them grow.
6. How can people follow/interact with you on social and purchase your products? And is there anything else you’d like to add or promote?
Creeper Crate is definitely not for everyone. It’ll be a hit for some and a complete miss for others. It’s geared towards Women but is not specifically a “Beauty” Box. Creeper Crate is a Horror Themed Box and focuses on Horror Movies and the Characters in Horror Movies. If you’re not really a big Horror fan, then this box may not be for you!
If you’re interested in purchasing a solo box or signing up I HIGHLY suggest that you fully check out www.creepercrate.com to see exactly what Creeper Crate is about. Check out the Past Crates section, watch some unboxing videos on YouTube and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ANY questions you may have BEFORE purchasing or signing up.
Creeper Crate will be at Spook Show 6 in La Mirada April 7th, 2018 and Midsummer Scream with Demonic Pinfestation in Long Beach, CA July 28th & 29th, 2018! Come out and say Hi!