Featured Retailer: ArtSnacks (Lee and Sarah Rubenstein)

ArtSnacks is a monthly subscription service for the best art products around, providing artists all over with top-of-the-line art supplies. ArtSnacks is the creative brainchild of Lee and Sarah Rubenstein, a brother-and-sister team who are also behind EatSleepDraw, one of the largest user-submitted art sites on the internet. 

Royal Talens: So we met last year and I think you guys have a really exciting approach to your business and the fun that you have shows through.  How did you come to decide to start ArtSnacks and what is it all about for those readers not familiar?

Sarah: In November of 2012, I found a unique subscription service called BirchBox, a monthly subscription of makeup samples. Since I was looking for a holiday gift for Lee’s wife, I called him up to see if this was something she would be interested in. Lee agreed that this would be the perfect gift for her, but was also super jealous. He really wanted a subscription box too.

I set out to find a subscription that would fit his interests – art and making art. The closest thing I could find was a “craft of the month box,” which was not something he’d enjoy. Lee was disappointed that an art supply subscription box didn’t already exist, so we decided to make it ourselves.

Today, ArtSnacks is a subscription box of unique, high-quality art supplies, with a mission to inspire people through the discovery of amazing art materials. Every month, subscribers discover new products, limited-edition tools, exclusive supplies, and useful techniques through our service. Subscribers are encouraged to create an original work of art using only the supplies in their monthly box, and share it with the rest of the ArtSnacks Community across social media  – we call this the #ArtSnacksChallenge.

Royal Talens: You two are brother and sister, does that ever create any challenges, or does it work to your advantage and how?

Lee: Working with a sibling is both amazing and challenging. We have very complementary skill-sets to begin with, so being related adds a unique level of trust. We make sure to play to our strengths when it comes to getting stuff done: I enjoy the analytical side of the business, while Sarah enjoys the voice and branding side of the business. Overall, it’s the knowledge and balance between us that’s made ArtSnacks what it is today.

Royal Talens: What have you done that you wish you could change?

Sarah: Everything we do, from product curation, to the copy on our website, is thoughtfully considered. We honestly wouldn’t change a thing. Lee and I are very “plugged-in” to the ever-changing world (think technology!), so we always strive to push ArtSnacks forward. That’s what small business life is all about!

Royal Talens: ArtSnacks is launching new snack boxes over the next several months that include Royal Talens products.  Which ones are you most excited about?

Lee: While we don’t publicly disclose specific products we’re featuring ahead of time, we are very excited to feature more Amsterdam and Ecoline products in future boxes! However, we recently featured Ecoline brush pens in our quarterly LetteringSnacks Box and our customers loved how juicy they were.
Royal Talens: It’s great to have younger folks in this industry innovating with new business models.  What do you see in terms of innovation that excites you in the art material world?

Sarah: After four years of running ArtSnacks, we feel the art supply industry is just beginning to incorporate more innovative products and experiences. These “younger folks” are looking for a deeper connection to their art and the process of creating art. It’s up to us and the rest of the industry to keep the creative juices flowing, which is very exciting.

Lee: We are truly grateful for what ArtSnacks is today. It has grown from being just an idea, to a fully operating business with incredible customers and product partner support!

Royal Talens: Thank you both so much and for all of our readers, please consider signing up for this great subscription box service here.  You won’t be disappointed, as you can see from the thousands of followers on their social media pages… their Instagram page is exceptionally fun!

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