Some of the best business ideas come from our own life experiences that we know the rest of the world would benefit from. This is absolutely the case with Kwaku Osei-Bonsu and his idea for TheStrangeRootsBox.

As a college student, Kwaku’s mother would send him care packages that really covered all the bases. These incredible care packages had your usual home-sickness curing snacks and candy, but they also came with books and other real-life necessities. These care packages made being a broke college student a lot easier to handle.

The Strange Roots Box

According to Kwaku, “These care packages were a lifeline.” We totally get it—these care packages sound like they were love in a box.

Kwaku decided that he wanted to make it easy for families to send their loved ones care packages that make them feel loved and cared for the way his mother’s care packages did for him.

We think he hit the nail right on the head when he created TheStrangeRootsBox.

We took the guess work out of finding authors, toiletries, accessories and snacks produced by small black owned businesses. It’s truly a win-win. You get what it is that you need and so do they. How’s that for the dollar circulating once in our community? We think not. #CuttheTree #Therootsknowbetter strangeroots.co

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Currently, the subscription boxes are delivered primarily to college students, military personnel, and geriatric patients.

But there’s more. TheStrangeRootsBox features amazing products from Black owned businesses, giving Black business owners an opportunity to gain more exposure and creating an even stronger sense of community for subscribers.

“Our ideas, coupled with where we spend our dollars, literally shift entire industries. It was clear that we had the buying power to make a difference in our own community. We just had to ignite the fire.”
– Kwaku Osei-Bonsu

And on that note, let’s get better acquainted with Kwaku!

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Kwaku Osei-Bonsu, CEO and Founder of TheStrangeRootsBox, LLC.

Kwaku Osei-Bonsu

Tell us a little about your side hustle.
I run a subscription care package entitled TheStrangeRootsBox, which sends items manufactured by small black businesses to college students, military personnel, and geriatric patients nationwide.

How did you get the idea for TheStrangeRootsBox?
I came up with the idea as a student at Howard University after my mom began sending me care packages that she constructed along with elders from our church. I worked at trying to get this idea off of the ground from that point forward, but different obstacles such as cost of living and the work toward a new career in the tech industry prolonged my time frame. I am now, fully devoted to making sure that this succeeds.

TheStrangeRootsBox It’s more than just a box… It’s a catalyst. …a gesture. …a hug. …a change agent. A way for you to change our world. Be the solution…no matter how strange. www.strangeroots.co Hurry, only one day left to enjoy 10% off of the May box!

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Tell us the story of how you made your first dollar. 
I put together our first box in March of 2017 and pushed pretty heavily on Instagram to gain people’s attention. A peer of mine from HU, now living in California, bought my first subscription and I couldn’t believe it. Strange Roots was finally on its way!

Looking back, do you feel like you were qualified to be running this kind of business?
Absolutely. I may have been nervous but I certainly knew that I was right for the job. It was a passion project so it wasn’t something that I took lightly.

What made you take the leap and finally launch TheStrangeRootsBox?
Seeing someone else attempt an idea similar to mine and realizing that they were “eating my lunch.” I knew that competition was good and that there was a need for a product like mine. No one was going to execute it my way so I took my shot.

Which business stage would you say TheStrangeRootsBox is in? (Hobby, side hustle, small business, large business)
As of right now, Strange Roots is my side hustle with hopes that it will become a full time gig within the next year.

Would you like for it to grow past the side hustle stage?
I am working toward focusing solely on Strange Roots, working web dev as a freelancer and djing full-time.

Now that you’ve launched, and are selling boxes, is there anything you would go back and do differently?
I would have tried harder to make Strange Roots happen back in 2014 when I originally had the idea. Other than that I’d say that we’re moving in the right direction.

If you could go back in time to the day before you made your first hustle dollar and tell yourself anything, what would it be?
I would tell myself to just get started and make shorter deadlines. If you don’t start you can’t finish and deadlines that are too far apart don’t offer structure.

Even though TheStrangeRootsBox is still in the Side Hustle Phase, you’d never know that if you’ve ever received a box. This is a high-quality product—with only high quality items being chosen to be in the box.

TheStrangeRootsBox is the perfect example of how you can run and grow a successful, polished operation while still maintaining your full-time responsibilities.

Huge thanks to Kwaku for sharing TheStrangeRootsBox’s story and becoming one of our featured Side Hustle CEOs. Visit StrangeRoots.co or get your box (or a box for someone you love) right here.

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