Until recently, Julie Blum never allowed herself to enroll in one of those subscription box programs, which offer periodic delivery of niche products, because “it felt so decadent.”
Ruth Hetland, pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Audubon, Minn., conceived the idea for ConseCrate in July and launched the website Aug. 31. The first orders shipped in November and will be followed by a new box each month.
Blum said she subscribed because the program looked “fun and interesting,” and with subscriptions starting at $35.32 per month, it seemed reasonably priced. She was intrigued by photos on ConseCrate’s website and Facebook page of items she might receive. “All of those things look interesting, fun and appealing to me,” she said. “They also look like items that I may not typically buy for myself but that I would enjoy receiving. Especially the items that are irreverent, sarcastic and playful.”
Hetland developed the idea for ConseCrate after a friend convinced her to try a different subscription box. “It was so fun to get a surprise in the mail each month,” she said. “It felt like this little treat in the midst of the day-to-day challenges. As I learned more about the wide array of subscription boxes out there, I thought about how fun it would be to create a box designed exclusively for ordained women and other professional women in ministry.”
“While there is so much joy in ministry, it can also be a surprisingly lonesome endeavor,” said Hetland. “I want ConseCrate to be a source of encouragement, inspiration, connection and joyful surprise.”
Each month’s box contains four to six items and could feature a book, a tool for ministry, a sustainable-solution product, a beauty-and-wellness product, unique treasures, and access to online media and coaching. Hetland stocks the boxes through relationships with small businesses and promotes items created by fellow clergy across denominations. Each box’s theme and colors correspond with the church season.
“This project matters immensely to me because I see how hard my sisters in ministry work,” Hetland said. “I know how deeply they care about their congregations, their families and their faith. Many feel quite isolated, serving in places far away from family and friends. While there is so much joy in ministry, it can also be a surprisingly lonesome endeavor. I want ConseCrate to be a source of encouragement, inspiration, connection and joyful surprise as women in ministry receive this ‘happy mail’ each month in the form of a box of items curated just for them.”
At press time, ConseCrate had 164 subscribers. Most are clergywomen, but Hetland said she would love to see more congregations explore the idea of getting ConseCrate as a gift for their pastors, deacons, youth workers and other professional women in ministry.