In our hunt to bring our members the best of luxuries items from around the world every month of the year, we stumble across hundreds of amazing companies, some doing some really interesting things.
One such company we discovered was Cool Hunting – an award-winning publication out of our very own NYC, focused around bringing to light the latest in tech, design, style, arts and culture. Everything out there you should know about, Cool Hunting has been seeking to explore in each issue.
They have been in operation since 2003, but last year, they launched something remarkable. Their Omakase Box is one we’d love to find under our own tree at the Robb Vices offices this holiday season. We met up with Josh Rubin, Founder and Editor in Chief and Evan Orensten, Founder and Executive Editor, to learn more about this over-the-top annual offering.
When did you first come up with the idea for your Omakase box?
We launched Omakase last year. We’ve done some really popular product collaborations, and our holiday gift guides are always the most visited thing we do online all year. So, we set out to marry the two in an interesting way. Being CH, we wanted to add in the promise that all the gifts are things you can only get from us which is how we landed on only including artist commissions, brand collaborations and early access product.
Can you please break it down for us what it is, how someone partakes in the experience?
CH Omakase is a surprise holiday gift box filled with artist commissions, brand collaborations and early access products. Each box is filled with items chosen for that specific customer. There are several things we’re making that everyone will receive, but there are other things that are in a very limited edition so we choose recipients we’re confident will like the items.
Omakase is available for purchase now until the end of the summer. We survey each customer to learn about their likes and dislikes so that we can curate the box for them. Boxes are delivered in early November so there’s enough time to decide what to keep and what to regift.
What are some questions you might ask someone who decides to purchase the Omakase box?
The first question we ask is, “Understanding that the total value of your Omakase will be the same, would you prefer to have fewer things that are more expensive or more things that are less expensive?” Knowing whether someone is a “less is more” or “more is better” kind of person is a great first differentiator. From there we ask about the best gift they ever received and the best gift they ever gave. This gives us a sense of their imagination and creativity. Other questions are more tactical—categories they’re interested in, clothing sizes, social profiles, etc.
Their answers and social profiles (if they share them) help us get a sense of the person and inform what we choose to put in their box.
The Omakase Box begins at $1,000 and can go skywards to $100,000. How do you exceed expectations on that level of cost?
It is a lot of money … and that’s the entry level! LOL. Firstly, we promise that the value of the box contents will exceed the purchase price. We don’t include a price sheet in the box but have it all tracked in case anyone ever asks. Last year no one questioned that they were getting more than their money’s worth. Each $1,000 box has 10-15 items in it.
If you check out this page you can see some of the things we made last year: https://omakase.coolhunting.com/2016-products
Every box got the chocolate bar and candle. Most people got the G-RO suitcase and Cole Haan sneakers and many the Tumi backpack. The Master & Dynamic speaker went to select higher-tier customers. Only a few people got the Ember mug, Uniform Wares watch and Tom Fruin glasses.
Are most people buying this as a gift for someone or for themselves?
Last year almost everyone bought Omakase for themselves. A few people bought a full box as a gift for one person and a few other people bought a box to divide the contents among various recipients.
Did you have anyone at the $100,000 tier?
Nope. Not yet. At that tier we’re expecting people that want to leverage our access to create money-can’t-buy experiences … or, we’d become their personal holiday shopper.
You offer speakers and office chairs, suitcases and larger items. How does it arrive to me if I order, say, a $10,000 box?
Last year we managed to deliver the $1,000 boxes as a single (large) box. At the $10,000 level, we had to break things up in to a few boxes. We’re based in NYC so for some of our local customers we hand-delivered everything. They appreciated the service, and it gave us a first hand chance to see how they responded to all the products.
What’s new for this year in terms of this Omakase box?
This is only our second year doing CH Omakase. Last year, we limited the number of boxes to 50 so that we could wrap our heads around the whole program. This year, we have increased that number significantly, but still are limiting the total. We believe in focusing on quality over quantity.
Get your own Omakase Box from Cool Hunting right here: https://omakase.coolhunting.com/