The Country Sparrow launches Granite Falls-based subscription box company
Lisa Carter found herself floundering a bit in 2020, wanting something new in her life, but unsure of what that would be. After her father-in-law passed away in January, and her mother had a massive stroke in February, she says her family was grieving a lot of different things. “I was just trying to figure out what was what, where I was landing, and then I started receiving a subscription box,” she says. She made the purchase after hearing a friend of hers talk about one that she and her daughter received. “And that really started me thinking back to when my husband and his family had the Greenhouse and Gift Center, and the things that we would do there. I missed that creative part of it,” she says.
Thus, the idea for The Country Sparrow was born. In the time between the initial idea in 2020 to the company’s launch in December of this year, Carter has been organizing ideas and seeking out items to build each month’s subscription box. “November was a big month of getting all the right paperwork and all of that done,” she adds. Her ideas for the subscription box service center around the wants of the busy career woman. “What could I bring to that? The busy career woman that sometimes gets lost in today’s world and the busy-ness of work and family, kids, and all of that,” Carter says.
The Upper Minnesota River Valley Arts Meander was also an inspiration. “When the Meander came around, we were walking around to different places and I thought - people need to know about these artisans and about the neat features of small towns,” she says. “It’s for the busy woman, but with those small town, simple ideas. I wanted to bring some of this uniqueness and specialness of living in small-town America, small-town Minnesota to women everywhere that need that and want that.”
Each month’s subscription box is curated with around four to five items that are meant to be enjoyed and used, rather than adding to an accumulation of belongings, Carter says. “It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but can be something that reminds them that they’re special, and unique in their own ways. That they’re loved and cared for, and that it’s important to take that time for themselves,” she adds.
Each month, customers can purchase a box with a curated theme, whether it be one box at a time or a subscription for multiple months. Throughout the month leading up to the next month’s release, Carter provides sneak peeks on her social media page, with links to purchase the box from the website. “This next one’s theme is Cozy Winter Warmth, and so it’s all about how now that you’ve gotten through the holidays, it’s just time to relax, to rest, to be cozy, and find that me time,” she says. “The box also includes instructions to plan time to take care of yourself.” The Cozy Winter Warmth box includes a sherpa shawl, planner, and some other items that tie the theme together. For February, Carter has planned a theme of simplicity with handmade features such as a breadboard, bread mix, and more. “Each month will be different,” she says. “Every once in a while there’ll be some clothing items or a shirt of some kind that will be made by us.”
The company currently is operated by Carter primarily, with help from her husband and a good friend. The idea for the name came from living a very country-focused life, but also from the spiritual meaning of the Sparrow bird. “A Sparrow is known for being thought of as passion and persistence and strength in a small package,” she says. “We were trying to think of something that really represented what we were and what I was wanting to do. One of my favorite songs is His Eyes on the Sparrow, and so that’s where it kind of stemmed from. The business will have some Christian spiritual meaning to it.”
Carter currently ships the subscription boxes within the United States, and ships those out the first week of the month. She also hopes to add more local artisan's work to the subscriptions in the coming months. She says the most enjoyable part of the process so far has been the response from family and friends. “Those that are like this is really cool, and I can’t wait to see what you do with it. That has been heartwarming and just gives you that feeling of yeah, this is the right thing to do. And the creative part of it. Planning out the next six months of what’s in those boxes has been fun,” she says.
Those interested in learning more about The Country Sparrow can check out the business's Instagram and Facebook pages, or visit the website at thecountrysparrow.com.