On The Fli
Happiness on the Mesa comes in many forms. Sometimes, it’s a beautifully-prepared meal. Other times, getting a good sweat going. Maybe your happy place is a community-led collaboration – or just the feeling of coming home to your favorite neighborhood.
Yes, finding your bliss in the everyday is the secret to joie de vivre – where delight can come from something as simple as a charmingly-wrapped box. And if “brown paper packages tied up with string” are no longer one of your favorite things, consider stepping up your wrapping and shipping game with today’s featured business, Boxfli.
Boxfli is a small storefront with big ideas, urging you to fli in the face of modern wisdom and consider that creativity often comes from thinking inside the box, as well as out.
Behind The Boxes: The Team at Boxfli is as Fun and Colorful as the Items They Carry
photographer: brandy young
“I’m in real estate, so the idea for this business came about during the last recession,” began Jayne Flinn, who co-owns Boxfli with her husband, Mike. “The bad economy left us scratching our heads, thinking, ‘How do we fill empty buildings? How can we make income not tied to real estate?’ So one night, we started brainstorming business ideas over a glass of wine and – because Mike is already in packaging and I was already managing this property – we just married the two ideas and Boxfli was born.”
From the moment you step foot inside, it’s clear that Boxfli is not your average mail and shipping storefront.
“Boxfli is the coolest shipping shop,” emphasized Flinn. “No more boring, brown boxes. We are doing something unique, colorful and fresh. Instead of trying to spruce up boring boxes with paper, at Boxfli, the box is the wrapping paper. We specialize in bright, graphically-appealing containers that ship just as they are. The results are delightful, festive, ready-to-send packages full of all the personality you can handle.”
“For most people, shipping is a hassle,” added Spencer Richley, head of Boxfli’s Marketing and PR. “A dreaded chore to be ticked off the to-do list. So our whole idea was to turn that on its head; to flip it.
“We want you to look forward to coming into Boxfli, selecting your materials and sending packages off in the mail. So everything we do here – from the look of the store, to the types of shipping materials we carry, to the friendly staff – it’s all done with fun and positivity in mind.”
“We have clients who say, ‘I walk in here and I immediately feel happier,'” added Flinn. “And that makes me so happy to hear because we are all about doubling the fun. We want your experience at the store to be as fun as the experience of the person receiving your awesome package.”
Flying Colors: Boxfli is a Rainbow Explosion of Shipping Materials and Unique Gift Ideas
photographer: brandy young
Are you “all thumbs” when it comes to wrapping a gift to ship? Boxfli is happy to help. Their staff is equipped to give your items the professional wrap-job they deserve.
“When we wrap packages, we’re going for that ‘gift within a gift’ feeling,” said Flinn. “So we put a lot of emphasis on that. We teach every member of our staff how to wrap beautifully, and spend lots of time mentoring them so they know how to properly select the right-sized box, etc. We have our team practice packaging different items so they know how to get it right.
“The key is really in the measurements, because if the box is too big, we’re wasting our customers’ money on shipping costs. If the box is too small, items could break. So we train our staff to find that sweet spot and pack everything securely – with a careful eye on aesthetics – to make sure your package is nice, safe and gorgeous, too.
“Of course, with all that being said, sometimes it is fun to pack a few small gifts inside a too-big box full of crinkle. That way, your recipient gets to dig for their little surprises in all that crinkle. It makes your gift more of an adventure; much more interactive.”
Boxfli can also custom-print boxes for special occasions, party favors, gag gifts and more.
“If you’re planning your husband’s fiftieth birthday party, come on in and we’ll print his face on fifty boxes for your guests,” laughs Flinn. “Or custom-print personalized, holiday boxes for your Christmas cookies, this year. On a more serious note, we can custom-print boxes with your business logo to use for promotional items or client gifts. Really, the sky’s the limit with what we can do.”
Even eco-conscious gift-givers can ship with a clear conscious.
“All of our boxes are eco-friendly in the sense that they’re all made from recycled materials,” said Richley. “They’re also 100% recyclable. We don’t use packing peanuts or Styrofoam or any of that stuff. All our packing materials are recycled, which surprises some people because it’s all so bright and colorful.”
Box Office: Beyond Shipping, Boxfli Rents Out P.O. Boxes + Carries Amusing Gifts / Cards
photographer: brandy young
Boxfli can prove especially sanity-saving at busy, shipping times of years, like the holidays.
“People will come in with bags full of gifts at the holidays, items they need to mail to friends and families around the world,” said Flinn. “And they’re usually only here for a minute before the lightbulb goes off and the stress leaves their face as they realize, ‘You mean I don’t have to wrap all these presents? You’ll wrap and ship them for me?’ It’s a beautiful thing, making people’s lives easier and better, that way.”
And while wrapping and shipping colorful packages is a big part of what Boxfli does, it isn’t the only thing. They have a wide (and often hilarious) variety of tchotchkes, trinkets, gifts and gewgaws that perfectly embody the dual promise of the store: 1) they’re all easy to throw in a box and ship, and 2) they’re designed to bring a smile to the face of your recipient.
“Working at Boxfli has really driven home the point that it’s not necessarily about the price of the gift, it’s the thought that counts,” said Richley. “So you can gift a $10 luchador bottle opener, but if you attend to the little details – wrap it in a beautiful box with beautiful packaging – it’s going to mean the world to your friend. Because in that moment, it’s not really about the bottle opener. It’s about the time and thoughtfulness you took in putting together a beautiful experience for them.”
And you don’t just get to use Boxfli to send funny gifts and beautiful packages – you can receive them there, too! That’s because they also rent mailboxes and serve as a post-office-box location. Add to that their notary services and other business amenities, and living the fli life just seems to get better and better.
“It’s all about happiness and helpfulness,” said Flinn. “How can we be helpful? How can we bring happiness into your day? Whatever it is, we’re on it.”
Thank You, Boxfli Costa Mesa, for Spending a Colorful Morning with Us!
photographer: brandy young
So beyond her existing real estate connections, why did Flinn choose Costa Mesa for the flagship Boxfli store?
“Oh my gosh, I just love the people, love Costa Mesans,” said Flinn. “Costa Mesa is the real deal. It’s an eclectic place. Yeah, people are professional and earn a great living – but they’re not stuck up about it. They’re not trying to outshine others all the time. People in Costa Mesa are mostly creative and grounded – I love that. You might get a customer walking in with jeans and flip-flops, but he’s a multi-millionaire; he just doesn’t feel the need to rub it in.
“There’s a funkiness and artsy-ness, here – plus great restaurants and culture. When we first opened, we got a lot of comments like, ‘Why didn’t you open in Fashion Island or Newport?’ Well, we opened here, on purpose, because we wanted to be in Costa Mesa! We love our location and, because we’re centrally-located, we can still easily serve customers from all over Orange County.”
“Costa Mesa has a lot of diversity and that’s pretty cool,” added Richley. “There’s an easy way about Costa Mesans. They come in with a smile on their face, but their nose isn’t up in the air. It’s really fulfilling and uplifting to get to interact with customers like that, every day. Doing this job, I get to meet so many different kinds of people – it’s just a really cool feeling.” ♥
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