Unique Markets' Cool L.A. Founder Launches a Feel-Good Subscription Box for Discovering Indie Brands

Care Package is a 'win-win' new brand that supports indie brands.

Ask us what the most effective happy chemical inducer is next to playing with puppies, and we'll tell you it's receiving a care package. Now you can make everyone in your tribe feel warm and fuzzy while supporting small businesses with Care Package, a quarterly subscription box that serial entrepreneur Sonja Rasula launched after the pandemic nearly wiped out her events-based company, Unique Markets (which has been hosting digital events).

Pretty and purposeful, Care Packages include quality, hand-crafted goods from a variety of small designers and emerging brands, 75% of which are women- and minority-owned. Each one is curated by Rasula, who's become a master curator after having worked with over 11,000 small business owners, independent designers, and artists while running Unique Markets since 2008.

"We decided on Take Care as our tag line because we think that idea is so important. Take care of others, take care of yourself, TAKE CARE. And of course we love that you can do double the wellness work when you subscribe to our seasonal boxes, because not only are you taking care of yourself but you're also buying from small businesses so taking care of others as well. WIN WIN!," says Rasula.

Photo: Courtesy of Valerie Vogt/Care Package

Inside the fall box, which Rasula has been busy curating, packaging, and shipping herself — in addition to running the website and working with the brands — are goodies from P.F. Candle Co., a wife and husband-operated handmade fragrance goods company; Clevr Blends, a brand that carries dairy-free super lattes made with adaptogens and probiotics; Graf Lantz, an LGBTQ+-owned brand creating sustainable handmade wool felt bags and accessories; and Project Runway 15 winner Sarah Donofrio, who designed two limited-edition bandanas for Care Package.

Plus, Care Package is including an exclusive pair of gender-neutral, reversible cotton face masks that Rasula dreamed up ($25 value) in all welcome boxes until supplies last.

One of the items in the winter box will be from Tea Drops, an organic and fair trade bagless tea company, fans of which include Michelle Obama and Tory Burch. Oh, and Rasula spilled the tea to us about a couple of other items she designed for the next box, like a chic pair of enamel mugs and a full bath-size, hand-loomed Turkish towel with a Washington D.C.-based brand.

Photo: Courtesy of Valerie Vogt/Care Package

A single Care Package is $150; a quarterly subscription is $140 per box, paid every three months (and includes free shipping); and an annual subscription is a one-time payment of $500.

Care Package's ultimate goal? Rasula says it's to support people who give it their all, sacrifice everything for their dreams, and put all their love and passion into the products they create — which ironically describes Rasula, who says pivoting Unique Markets into an at-home experience is "the biggest risk I've ever taken."

Shopping small these days isn't just nice, it's necessary, as small businesses create 64% of all new jobs in the U.S. After a rough few months battling COVID-19, small brands are moving forward despite their financial fragility. In July, 86 percent of small businesses reported they're either fully or partially open, up from 79 percent in May, according to the latest MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Coronavirus Impact Poll.

Photo: Courtesy of Valerie Vogt/Care Package

But shopping minority-owned small businesses is the sweet spot as the pandemic has hit these founders disproportionately hard, a new special report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife shows. In fact, the results of the poll revealed 66% of minority small businesses are concerned about having to permanently close their business versus 57% for non-minority small businesses.

Rasula says Care Package is always looking to spotlight great small businesses, so anyone can email their information and price lists to info@hellocarepackage.com. Just remember: they only curate four boxes a year and have a few spaces for each box.

Want a box of feel-good treasures that supports small shops delivered to your door? Subscribe to Care Package today and get $40 off an Annual Subscription with the code UNCOVERLA through September.

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