Recently we were contacted by a pretty amazing new company called Spindletop Box. It is a husband and wife duo starting a new subscription box company highlighting Texas artisans. How could we not love everything about this?
Not only are Paul and Jill two of the sweetest people ever, but they have a true and genuine passion for introducing people to Texas-made goods. When I asked them their mission for Spindletop Box, their reply was:
“Simple. To put great handcrafted products from small Texas businesses in as many hands as possible. Not only to help widen the customer base and support the entrepreneurial love and passion of Texas artisans but to share great new products and Texas culture with as many people as we can.”
Obviously, that is something that we can definitely get behind! It is also pretty much our exact reason for starting the blog (except they’re a hell of a lot more eloquent and use infinitely less cuss words). After talking to them, researching their company and checking out their first box – we are officially hooked and are looking forward to our monthly goodies!
Be forewarned this is a hell of a post. But stick with us! Not only do we review the inaugural box but we also got to talk to the couple behind Spindletop Box and do a spotlight feature on Jill and Paul. So, keep on reading!
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REVIEW OF THE JUNE BOX:
TEXAS STYLE GOURMET POPCORN by Back in Time Popcorn – based out of Conroe
“Texas Style gourmet popcorn is made with a combination of jalapeno cheddar and sea salt caramel popcorn destined to delight your taste buds. It is the perfect blend of spicy, salty, and sweet.”
NOTES FROM US: I honestly feel like no description I give will accurately depict my love for this treat like the legit real life text I sent to @SpindletopBox:
TEXAS BLUEBONNET SOAP by Main Street Soap Co. – based out of Arlington
“This Texas bluebonnet (state flower) handcrafted soap is a combined work of art and science. Using a combination of rich vase oils and raw ingredients, free of any detergents or chemicals, these superior skin conditioners will leave your skin feeling luxurious, fresh, and soft.”
NOTES FROM US: I am IN LOVE with this soap. Bare with me because I am going to sound crazy. But, this soap is SUPER creamy. I realize that’s not really a thing but it is so creamy and lathers so beautifully. Not to mention it smells fantastic! This may be The Husband’s favorite soap I have used to date.
TEXAS HOME GROWN VINYL DECAL by Marie Loraine Co. – based out of Richmond
“Decorate your laptop, tablet, phone, planner, car window, bumper, or coffee mug with this amazingly cute, waterproof decal made with professional grade vinyl that will last up to 8 years.”
NOTES FROM US: This little decal is so super cute and I decided to put my Home Grown decal on my wine cup. I wanted to put it on the truck but that required me washing it first and I was too antsy to stick it on something. Perfect fit, easy to apply, and super presh. Already picked out the next one to put on my vehicle!
LASER CUT TEXAS MAGNET by RhinobyCKS – based out of Dallas
“This uniquely designs and laser cut wooden Texas magnet adds a special touch to your fridge or any other strong metal surface.”
NOTES FROM US: SUPER CUTE. Perfect size and beautifully cut. It is proudly displaying our soon-to-arrive baby nephew’s announcement and baby shower invite. Not only is this adorable to have in general, but it would be perfect for wedding favors, bridesmaids bags, hostess gifts, etc.
TEXAS WILD by Meier Ranch Foods – based out of Fredericksberg
“Jelly from Texas Wild will bring a delicious taste to your table. Made with authentic, fresh ingredients from the juice of the Prickly Pear Cactus (state plant) that grows wild in Texas. You’ll love these all natural products, made with no preservatives, that has a rich fruity flavor.”
NOTES FROM US: I hate to admit this, but I was skeptical. My last encounter with a Prickly Pear jelly was bad news. But man, was I pleasantly surprised! It is a thinner consistency than you see from preservative-filled jelly, so be careful! I nearly poured the bottle out tipping it a bit. But damn, it is delish! I’ve had it on an English muffin every morning since we received our box and will definitely be purchasing again soon!
RED HABANERO AND PEQUIN SAUCE by White Label Hot Sauce – based out of Austin
“Red habanero and chile pequin paired together in a balanced table hot sauce intended to enhance and spice your favorite foods. The chilepequin pepper is a hot, nutty pepper and the tate native pepper of Texas.”
NOTES FROM US: I was also nervous about this. I can handle a fair bit of heat and have currently been slathering all meals in Yellowbird’s serrano sauce. But the word pequin scared the shit out of me. That being said, we both are SUPER loving this sauce. It is a little nutty, a little earthy, a little vinegar-y, and it packs a punch of heat. I hate sauces that are all heat and no flavor, this is good heat and all delicious flavor!
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If this was their showing right out of the gate – I cannot wait to see the goodies in next month’s box! (SPOILER ALERT: next month’s theme is “Backyard Barbecue”!) So for all y’all who take pride in this great state of ours and want to help support local businesses – this is a great way to discover some amazing shops and their wares.
I adore Jill & Paul – when I approached them about adding in a feature and questionnaire to the box review they were all about it. I loved it! They are both so sweet, genuine, salt of the Earth kind of people. You know when you first meet someone and you’re like…damn, I could totally envision us being friends! (I hope that doesn’t come off nearly as stalker-ish as it reads). But there was just something about them that I immediately warmed to and wanted all y’all to get a sneak peek into the people behind Spindletop Box and adore them as much as we do.
Plus, The Husband and I find it super comical that if we answered the questions, it would pretty much be verbatim. So, take a minute and get to know Paul, Jill, and their little precious pie, Hayden! Then go give them a follow on social media (and sign up for a monthly subscription). As always, #SHOPLOCAL, #SHOPTEXAS.
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F A V O R I T E :
- Local restaurant:
- Local business:
- Paul: We love all of our local businesses!
- Jill: TRUTH!!! 🙂
- Pandora/Spotify station:
- Paul: Spotify; Texas Red Dirt Radio
- Jill: Pandora; Playing as I type this, Texas/ Red Dirt Radio. Also, a favorite is Texas Country Made Radio
- Paul: Needless to say we don’t fight over the car radio very often.
- Meal to cook:
- Paul: Come on… Smoked brisket, potato salad, coleslaw, homemade bread, and all the fixins!
- Jill : HAHAHA; let’s leave that to my hubs with the culinary degree; I got mac and cheese covered.
- Paul: Hey, don’t forget about hard boiled eggs as well.
- Jill: Don’t put down my mac & cheese and hard boiled eggs. They’re the best!
- Paul: I know they are!!
- Place to vacation:
- Paul: Vacation?? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
- Jill: I would absolutely love to travel to Ireland
- Paul: We have actually set that as a goal for our 5 year wedding anniversary.
- Jill: YEA!! I can’t wait!
- Color or medium to work with:
- Paul: Briar, I handcraft briar tobacco pipes in my spare time.
- Jill: Mostly diapers, sippy cups, and blocks. LOL
- Paul: Don’t forget bleach and 409… my wife likes to clean.
- Jill: Consider it my meditation.
- Instagram account(s) to follow:
- Jill: The list could go on for days!
- Paul: I really like accounts such as @instagramtexas or @texas, great photos from all over the state. It gives me ideas of where I want to visit.
- Jill: Ohh yea, I didn’t know that about you. I like to follow community farmers markets.
- Paul: I don’t have time to be telling you everything. LOL
- TV show:
- Paul: We don’t watch much TV, but we always watch Live PD on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Jill: Too busy chasing around the most precious (by precious, I mean crazy and seems like he’s filled with red bull all day) toddler 🙂 but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
- Hayden: Masha & Bear, Sarah & Duck, or absolutely anything with a tractor in it.
- Thing about Texas:
- Paul: EVERYTHING! But mostly the kindness Texans have and the pride they have in their state. I have lived in 5 states besides TX (IN, AR, MD, RI, CO) and there ain’t no place like Texas!
- Jill: Whataburger! But honestly I think Hubs summed it up pretty good. There is just something about Texas that can’t be explained… Spirit, Pride, I don’t know but there is just no place like Texas.
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T H I S O R T H A T :
- Night in or night out?
- Paul: Night out on the back porch – or any night with a babysitter.
- Jill: What hubs said — he’s my fav.
- Beard or clean shaven?
- Paul: Beard, once I started shaving my head I had to do something. Trust me, clean shaven head and face, is not a good look on me.
- Jill: Beard!
- Summer or Winter?
- Paul: Winter, nothing like cold nights and fire places.
- Jill: WHAT??? Are you crazy? Summer, all the way! But, I do have to admit, I love a fire on a chilly night.
- Paul: Well, it doesn’t help that I inherited an innate ability to sweat just by looking out the window during the summer time.
- Call or text?
- Paul: Definitely text. Unless I call you, then I feel like talking.
- Jill: Honestly, it depends on who it is and what it is regarding
- Coffee or tea?
- Paul: Is that even a question? Coffee!
- Jill: Coffee until about 3pm then I switch to sweet tea or a Dr.Pepper- super healthy, I know.
- Paul: 3pm? By that do you mean all day, everyday? I don’t know how many times I have opened the microwave to find a forgotten cup of coffee.
- Jill: Let’s just say we both really like coffee!
- Herbivore or Carnivore?
- Paul: Carnivore, and the redder the better.
- Jill: BACON!!!
- Paul: Sooo, true. We go through a LOT of bacon at our house.
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A B O U T Y O U :
Are you a native Texan? If not, how did you end up in Texas?
- Paul: 100% native, I was born and raised in Nacogdoches, which is the oldest town in Texas by the way.
- Jill: 100% native as well, I was born and raised in Greenville.
- Paul: We have moved around some but thank God we made it back!
- Hayden: Dad was in graduate school when they had me so I was born in Indiana, but I got here as fast as I could.
What city do you live in? (or area!)
We currently live in the Conroe area.
- Paul: Happily married, for the most part, since July 2015!
- Jill: Hey, now!
- Paul: You know I am messing with you. It has been like walking on a cloud.
- Jill: Ok, I wouldn’t go that far. 🙂
- Jill: Not at the moment. 😦
- Paul: No, but we have a 2 year old son, Hayden, and the difference is negligible.
What artist/band would you love to see in concert?
- Paul: This one is really hard for me to answer because the list is just too long. Best answer I can come up with is, if I could go back in time, SRV.
- Jill: Who is SRV?
- Paul: Come on babe… Stevie Ray Vaughan.
- Jill: OHHH…duh!! I would love to go to a George Strait concert.
If you could keep any animal as a pet, what would it be?
- Jill: Flying squirrel.
- Paul: Really?! Things around here aren’t crazy enough? You want to have squirrels flying around all over the place.
- Jill: HAHA it would be fun!
What is your ideal weekend like?
- Paul: This may sound like a sales pitch but honestly, just visiting farmers markets and checking out the different businesses and products.
- Jill: Completely agree 100%.
Where did you get the idea for Spindletop Box?
The idea for the Spindletop Box came from the combination of our goal to start our own business and the pride we have as Texans. Somehow we had sort of landed on the idea of a subscription box and we were bouncing ideas off of each other about what the box should focus on, then the light bulb came on! Small Texas businesses! We could support multiple businesses each month and help them grow by putting their products in the hands of new customers, and our subscribers will receive the best small-batch, artisan products that they may have otherwise never known existed… it sounded like a win win situation to us.
How did you come up with your name?
Spindletop was an oil field located in the south eastern portion of Texas. There were rumors about oil being under Spindletop Hill, however, it was thought to be impossible to drill. The Hamil brothers, young, ambitious and known as some of the best oil drillers in the business took over drilling Spindletop hill. What they soon learned was the water pumped into the well was too thin to keep the sandy walls from collapsing, their solution…mud. On January 10th, 1901 after drilling for two months Spindletop erupted and changed the face of America forever. The geyser that came out of the oil derrick shot 180 feet into the air and produced oil at an estimated rate of 80,000 barrels per day for nine days straight. Within a year, over 500 oil companies had been created including Chevron Corporation, Gulf Oil, and Texaco. In the spirit of this story, 117 years later, we are drilling and searching all over the great state of Texas for those hidden resources and small businesses that can be sent out, not just throughout Texas but across the United States. Who knows which small Texas business out there will become the next Texaco?
Do you have subscription plans or do you purchase a box month by month?
We offer 2 box sizes; our Sample Box Subscription contains 3-4, handcrafted Texas items and our Standard Box Subscription contains 5-6, handcrafted Texas items. We offer each subscription box option with month-to-month, 3 month pre-pay, or 6 month pre-pay plan.
Can I send a box as a gift?
Absolutely! Spindletop Box makes a great, unique gift for Birthdays, Housewarmings, Thank You’s, Mother’s Day, Anniversary, Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, Corporate/Client gifts and much more. Not only do we offer a single Spindletop Gift Box in our Shop, but you can also give any of our Spindletop Box Subscription options as a gift as well, simply choose the subscription you would like to gift and select “This is a Gift” at checkout.
What can people expect to find in their monthly box?
Every month, Spindletop Box subscribers will receive a collection of small batch, locally produced, handcrafted products that we have personally and meticulously hand-selected, inspired by a fun and exciting theme. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list and follow us on social media to uncover sneak peeks of upcoming boxes. Our products are sourced from direct relationships with Texas artisans. Each product that we share is remarkably distinct, ranging from gourmet treats, handmade snacks, condiments, canned goods; traditional soap, candles, or other bath and body essentials; novelty home-goods and textiles to unique crafts. If it can fit inside of the box, it could show up on your doorstep.
Does each month have a theme or is it your favorite products of the moment?
Each month is curated around a different theme, to keep it fun and exciting. For instance, our first box was themed “All About Texas” and our July box will be themed “Backyard Barbecue” which will focus on BBQing, being outside, and enjoying summertime with friends and loved ones. Who knows what kind of fun themes we will come up with in the future.
What is your favorite part of running your own business?
- Paul: The possibilities it provides. While there are moments that are scary it is fun to build something yourself and watch it grow.
- Jill: Not only do I get to stay at home with the little one but it has given me inspiration and a sense of purpose in life.
- Paul: I think what it comes down to for us is… it just makes sense. We enjoy working together, towards a common goal and building a better life for our family while helping other Texans do the same.
What is it like working with your spouse?
- Paul: Ummmm…do you want the real answer or the nice answer?! I’ll give you the real answer… it is absolutely awesome! One major aspect of marriage is to have someone there to share in your successes and lean on through your failures. Entrepreneurship can be lonely and frightening so it is great to have someone by your side, wanting to head in the same direction as you.
- Jill: Not quite sure how to top that answer.
Do you have a favorite product you’ve come across yet?
While we do have some products we prefer, we support all of the small businesses equally.
Any weird talents, fun facts, or helpful tips you want readers to know about you?
- Paul: One of my proudest achievements besides my son Hayden is I obtained a MS in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame. I also have a culinary art degree from Johnson & Wales University and worked as a Chef at multiple restaurants across the country. In my spare time I handcraft briar tobacco pipes, you can check out some of my work on my Etsy shop PBattlesPipes.
- Jill: When we first met during our college years, we absolutely could not stand each other. LOL
- Paul: That is so true, and to top it off we were lab partners in our biology course. We still can’t figure out how we ended up together. LOL
- Jill: But we have been going strong for 8 years!