Inside mybestbox's radical plan to reinvent the fulfillment center - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Aug. 18, 2016 12:56 pm

Inside mybestbox’s radical plan to reinvent the fulfillment center

The subscription box startup has a new warehouse — with room to experiment.

Inside the mybestbox warehouse.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

mybestbox is already shipping wellness-focused subscription boxes, but the startup has a big vision for changing the model. The company has plans to use data to determine the contents of the boxes.

But since they are shipping goods, physical space also comes into play. Standing in the company’s new warehouse space, CEO Fatima Dicko talked about rethinking how lines for packing boxes, and the way sales are made. She acknowledged they don’t have all the answers yet, but the new space allows the company to explore what’s possible.

“We’re really interested in building a skeleton, a framework that can support our future innovation,” Dicko said. “Today, the value proposition that consumers want in this business can’t be delivered with traditional fulfillment centers.”

A sample box gets ready for its closeup. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

A sample box gets ready for its closeup. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

The move was the latest in a series of highlights for the company this year. In the spring, the company was a member of this year’s AccelerateBaltimore cohort that won an additional $100,000 at the end the four-month accelerator program. It was also a finalist in Kevin Plank’s Cupid’s Cup competition.

The building where mybestbox is housed on South Pulaski Street is one of the many nondescript former industrial buildings in the city that’s active with businesses, but the location of the warehouse in West Baltimore also offers a chance to rethink an area for the future. Dicko pointed to adjacent buildings on West Pratt Street that were damaged in the unrest that followed Freddie Gray’s funeral.

“We’re in a position to create symbolism behind economic development,” she said.

State Sen. Catherine Pugh says she's "all in."

State Sen. Catherine Pugh says she’s “all in.” (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

The company continues to garner wider interest. State Sen. Catherine Pugh, who is the Democratic nominee for mayor, attended the warehouse’s opening event and said the company fit her love of healthy living. Jason Towns, who is raising a $10 million fund in D.C. for minority-run startups called Groundwork, also made the trip to Baltimore.

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“When we see businesses like this in our community, we must encourage, we must empower and we must enhance,” Pugh said.

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Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. A graduate of Northeastern University, he moved to Baltimore following a stint in New Orleans, where he served as managing editor of online news and culture publication NOLA Defender. While there, he also wrote for NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune. He was previously a reporter for the Rio Grande Sun of Northern New Mexico.

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