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Sample Oklahoma

New Oklahoma-centric Subscription Boxes Help Local Nonprofits

Libby Ross of Oklahoma City saw how nonprofits and charities were suffering alongside small businesses in Oklahoma, and she came up with a unique way to help both.

Many charities in Oklahoma were not able to hold their major fundraising events and donations were down even as the need for their services skyrocketed during the COVID pandemic. She, along with a group of other like-minded Oklahomans, found a way to help both small businesses and nonprofits at the same time.

In October 2020, Sample Oklahoma was launched to highlight hyper-local products and help charities statewide.

“The idea behind Sample Oklahoma is to create a platform of technology that brings many people across Oklahoma together. We link small businesses, as well as local nonprofits, to create a community that is thriving and supporting each other,” said Ross. “We are able to sell wonderful Oklahoma-made products by Oklahoma businesses. In return, our net proceeds go to local charities and nonprofits.”

The Sample Oklahoma subscription boxes allow subscribers to receive samples of locally-roasted coffee, handmade cutting boards, crafted bows and more each month.

And every month, a specific nonprofit receives the proceeds.

Although shoppers can visit the Sample Oklahoma page at sampleok.com, the organization introduced the subscription boxes in a new launch as of February, 

“We have a monthly subscription box that we sell for $29, and all the products are always valued at $50 and above,” said Ross. “So you automatically get a good deal. When that subscription box shows up, you have a variety of Oklahoma products in it to sample.”

The samples are given to Sample Oklahoma for free to include in the subscription boxes, and the full-size products are for sale on the website. Ross said the arrangement allows samples of products to be experienced by people who may never have known such a product existed.

“Our newest vendor is Barking Dog Bakery, which makes handmade naturally healthy dog treats. We also have handmade cutting boards from Nanna Janna’s Handmade Cutting Boards, which are made locally in Norman,” Ross said.

Rhonda Thoma, the founder of the Single Parent Support Network, was among the group of people supporting Sample Oklahoma. In addition, the group now includes ambassadors, influencers and like-minded business owners.

“It's always easy for people to say no at first, but once they realize that they're able to do something good, as well as share their business, it's really a triple win,” Ross said. “They get to help a nonprofit, they get to advertise their business, and then they get to have their products out in front of people that may have never heard about them before. So once they really are able to sell the concept and understand that, they're on board.”

Each monthly Sample OK box contains handpicked products from a variety of Oklahoma-based businesses. These products are chosen specifically for you based on your answers to the short quiz you are to complete after signing up. Products range from apparel, beauty products, food and beverage, candles, and more.

After you subscribe, your box will be shipped within 8 business days. Boxes are usually shipped during the second week of each month, but if your initial subscription takes place after the 20th of the month, you will automatically receive your box during the first week of the following month.

Once your box has shipped, you will receive a tracking number via email. Subscriptions renew automatically each month, but you can cancel at any time.

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