Day in the Life: Kristen Caballero of Along Came A Box | Ever wonder what a typical day is like for a gift subscription company CEO is like? Now’s your chance! In today’s Day in the Life series, Kristen Caballero of Along Came A Box shares the ins and outs of being the owner of a gift subscription company, from start to finish. Enjoy!

I first got introduced to Kristen Caballero from Lauren Frontierra’s Grit and Glitter podcast episode where she talked about her struggles with starting a business. Listening to Kristen explain all of the doubts and fears she had was like listening to myself. We had so much in common but yet had totally different businesses.

I immediately reached out to her and asked if she would be a part of the series and she said yes!

She has a completely different type of business than all of my other previous guests, most offering a service. Y’all know my goal is to have a wide variety of guests so I knew I wanted a day in the life of someone who sells a product versus a service.

Hope you enjoy!

Want to be featured in the series? You can check out the guidelines and how to submit here. I’d love to feature you!

Day in the Life: Kristen Caballero of Along Came a Box

Hi! I’m Kristen, the owner of Along Came A Box, a gift box company where you can send a gift every hour of the day. To give you bit of background info, I work from home in a one bedroom apartment, have a cat, a fiancé who works at a bank, and we’re planning our wedding and building a house. And…I also own another company called Penny Stocks Co., where I offer stock photos, custom product photography, and custom web design. So, to say I’m doing a million different things every day is an understatement and every day looks entirely different!

I tracked a random Tuesday of me working from home alone, no special events, no outings, just a very average day. I do have to say I was insanely surprised by how much I get done and totally recommend everyone writing a “Done List” instead of a “To Do List”, because rereading this made me so insanely happy!

Anyways, onto the day and the photos…

7:45 am

I woke up to the sound of my fiancé making breakfast….something he never does. He’s usually up and out in five minutes, not exaggerating, but yesterday he said he wanted to start eating a better breakfast and he stuck to it!

I usually lounge around in bed, cuddling my cat (Ollie) as my fiancé rushes around getting ready and heads out the door. I’m actually feeling really sick this morning, runny nose and sore throat, and cuddle Ollie a little longer than usual while reading emails and checking social media accounts.

Here’s our bed all dolled up…totally not what it looks like when I’m lying in it sick…

8:15 am

I open a couple of emails that get me really excited:

  • Someone I’d been in contact with just purchased a listing to have me photograph some of her t-shirts (yay to getting paid for something I find so fun!)
  • Someone else I’d been in contact with for branding and web design said she’s getting all the info together for her site and will be booking soon!

I call my fiancé, speak insanely fast since I’m so excited, and tell him the good news.

*Side Note: Planning a wedding, building a house, and pouring into a business = very little money. The struggle and stress is very real.

8:30 am

Up and out of bed, wash face, get dressed, make bed, play with Ollie while making bed, blow nose a lot in between.

I don’t wear makeup working from home, but do semi-do my hair. I typically wear black jogger pants, a lace bralette, and open-sided tank…just in case anyone happens to care.

8:50 am

I recently received my first ever custom gift box order (something we did not currently offer but made an exception for and are thinking of expanding into) from someone I’ve admired forever on Instagram. I recently collaborated with her to launch our wedding box collection and ended up booking her as our wedding photographer!

She loved the inspiration board I designed for her Southern inspired boxes yesterday and is ready to move forward. So I sit down to work while eating breakfast (a chocolate almond butter bar), design the card to go in her box, create her custom listing, and make a few tweaks to her inspiration board with the number of gifts she ended up selecting.

9:30 am

Break time, not because I ever schedule them, but because Ollie needs some attention and is clawing at the back of my chair. I pick him up and take him out on the patio since he loves getting a look from a higher perspective.

Clean up my breakfast, brush my teeth, and back at the computer.

My handsome little man…

9:50 am

Finish up working on the custom boxes, send over the email to her with the link to her listing to purchase, and get ready for a 10 am webinar I randomly signed up for on Facebook (I do that sometimes).

10:00 am

Join webinar about getting more interaction on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t really need the Instagram part but am interested in seeing how to get more than my mom and mother-in-law to like our Facebook posts…

10:06 am

Determine that the webinar isn’t for me. I’m not the best at sitting and listening to someone that doesn’t have a great story telling voice or great visuals. I just get anxious and angry until I stare at the big red “X” in the corner of my screen and realize I haven’t been listening to a word. I tried, I tried, but there’s no time to spend listening to someone who has a 90s powerpoint slide….it’s just not my thing. I like all the pretty pictures and meaningful content…

My newsletter was sent out at 10 am, so I hop onto Campaign Monitor, check the stats, review the email sent out, review my recent blog post, and update the website homepage to show a photo from the newest blog post.

I also renew my P.O. Box and get on Pinterest to pin our blog post image.

10:45 am

Coffee time and responding to Penny Stock inquiries and Along Came A Box emails. Two not too good updates:

  • A blogger rescheduled our giveaway (only a day so, it really wasn’t a big deal)
  • Main bad update: Wasn’t selected as one of the finalists for the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge that my fiancé and I spent an entire weekend working on….it’s okay we have a phenomenal executive summary and excel spreadsheet of our financials now if anyone ever wants to see it…

11:00 am

My mom calls and updates me on my grandma’s health (she has cancer, we’re trying to find out what type, although I knew this already and the updates are just on how she is currently feeling) and on news with my mom’s business. She has a couple of new places interested in wholesaling her products.

She runs a bath and body products company that I designed and photographed. Her scrubs are amazing, I seriously don’t use any others anymore.

11:40 am

Off the phone with my mom, reheat my coffee (this is a daily thing, there isn’t a day that goes by without reheating my coffee, and yes, I drink it daily), and then get back to answering Penny Stock inquiries. I create a Custom Product Photography Questionnaire and email it to our new customer, post on Instagram for Penny Stocks and realize that this Friday is 1 year from our wedding and write down a note to plan a date night for us.

Checking out what a day in the life looks like for @alongcameabox founder Kristen Caballero! #dayinthelife #ditl Click To Tweet

12:40 pm

She purchased the listing for her custom boxes! So excited to see that big number on our Shopify account! This means I can start ordering the gifts we’ll place in her boxes. I start reaching back out to companies, confirming I’m ready to place our order.

1:00 pm

Time for another webinar (this is seriously not a daily, or even weekly thing), let’s see if this one is any better.

It is amazing! Loved it! It was by The Youngrens and was titled “Fill your Calendar with Amazing Dream Clients.” I’ve never researched much on service based companies since I’ve only ever done product based up until now, so I figured I’d give it a shot. While it totally had the whole pitch to buy my e-course thing at the end, there was a lot of great content that allowed me to dream off on my own and really narrow down my ideal client for Penny Stocks and solidify my vision for the brand. I plan on rethinking through all of the notes from the Along Came A Box perspective if we do end up offering custom box options to larger clients.

2:30 pm

Webinar is done. I post to Instagram and Facebook for Along Came A Box. I like, comment, and watch Insta Stories (something I typically do throughout the day as well).

3:00 pm

I eat lunch while ordering more of the custom gift box items, mainly her custom card that will go in the box. This takes forever as they always overcharge for shipping and I have to hop on the chat to negotiate. This time I also have to call to pay by phone, but it’s worth it…I save $7, and I don’t care what you say, $7 is a lot, it’s almost two coffees.

Lunch today is a premade package of veggies, chicken, and hummus. We usually only buy one of these a week, but they’re so helpful for days like these where time just gets away from me.

4:00 pm

Brush teeth and do a mini dance (heard a great song on insta stories, told you I watch them way too often)

I go back to ordering things for the custom gift boxes including a new color shredded paper, which is also a pain since they refuse to give a discount even to loyal customers that spend a ton there. After a lot of research looking at competitor’s sites, I end up buying from them anyways since they are the cheapest by like $2…

4:40 pm

Make to-do list for tomorrow/the week. I always start a to-do list and make it wayyy unnecessarily long and usually never end up looking at it again. I just need it out of my brain I think to process it all correctly, who knows.

4:50 pm

Change into yoga clothes. Back pain + sick = no cardio or 21-day fix, so yoga it is today.

5:15 pm

New yoga DVD sucks. Haven’t moved much, lots of breathing and talking and “ommms” (not my thing), so I turn it off and turn on the Wii to do yoga on there. It’s way better, I actually sweat, use my muscles, and meditate at the end.

6:00 pm

Shower, wash hair, change into pretty Anthropologie PJ bottoms with a tank top.

6:30 pm

Grab another coffee, as I read articles and browse websites I discovered throughout the day. I usually just move the tabs to the side as I discover them and get to them when I have time. Since my fiancé is at a work event, I have a little time tonight to go through them slowly and enjoy a little time geeking out over some really cool brands.

8:00 pm

Fiancé is home and we begin cooking dinner, which usually involves long chats with glasses of wine while prepping on our island. Tonight we make a fast dinner, salmon and broccoli, both roasted in the oven.

8:50 pm

We watch The Fosters and Switched at Birth while eating dinner on our cool coffee table that lifts up so we can eat on the couch, it’s kind of a daily thing since we talk about our day while cooking dinner. My current fav show though, is The Magicians, and I live for Wednesday nights. One more day!

10:30 pm

Time to do dishes and shut everything down out in the living room. My fiancé showers while I typically read, but lately I’ve been brainstorming about my own fictional novel, something I’ve wanted to do for awhile.

11:30 pm

Time to sleep, and cuddle as our cat jumps in bed between us.

2:29 am

I know this is technically tomorrow…but I woke up because my phone buzzed and guess what? I turned it over and freaked out….a celebrity I tweeted at followed me back and DM’d me to email her with my ideas for her TV segment….whattttt?! I couldn’t go back to sleep for two hours. Not typical, but too exciting to leave off of this day!

I hope you enjoyed the totally long and semi-boring day of an entrepreneur! Please note this day luckily included no self-doubt, insecurities, or major distractions, which happen all too often. The stress of running a business is insanely hard and so so taxing!

I hope you find a little of yourself in my day and can totally relate to doing #allthethings. Have a wonderful day my friend!

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