Comparing the curated retail boxes of Columbus

Columbus entrepreneurs are tapping into the curated box craze. The latest offering, SALT effect, which launches in July, delivers to customers' doors every other month information about service-learning opportunities. “You really look forward to it,” says cofounder Kristie Sigler, explaining the appeal of subscription boxes. “It's really fun to get something in the mail. And it saves so much time. The subscription box model just makes it easy and exciting.” 

Here's how Sigler's new concept stacks up with two other online boxes with strong Columbus ties: Mercury Mile for runners and BarkBox for dog owners. (BarkBox is based in New York, but its second office is in Columbus.)

SALT Effect

salteffect.com

Launched: July 2018

Founders: Sigler and Mary Sterenberg, a Columbus CEO contributing writer

Target customers: Socially-minded families looking to spend quality time together

Cost: Single box: $49, three-box subscription: $141, six-box subscription: $270

Cool Items: Journal with a wood book cover for “plant-blindness” service project

Fun Fact: 20 percent of profits donated to charity

Mercury Mile

mercurymile.com

Launched: September 2017

Founders: Matt DeLeon, Greg Gleason, Joey Mayo and Mike Ward

Target customers: Fashion-forward runners looking for unique athletic wear

Cost: $200 to $225 for a single box of running apparel chosen by a stylist

Cool Items: Seattle's Five12, which makes clothing out of recycled coffee grounds

Fun Fact: About 70 percent of customers are women, says co-founder Matt DeLeon.

BarkBox

barkbox.com

Launched: 2012

Founders: Matt Meeker, Henrik Werdelin and Carly Strife

Target customers: Dog lovers looking to spoil their pets with unusual goodies

Cost: About $21 per month for a box of toys and treats; “Super Chewer” box starts at $39

Cool Items: NYC-themed “Central Pork Pizza” treats and “Lady Liberty” squeaker ball

Fun Fact: More than 10 million boxes shipped to date