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The Hustle

Name: Shuchi Vyas (GuestBox)

Shuchi Vyas is the innovative mind behind the startup subscription box service, GuestBox. As a seasoned traveler and host herself, Vyas built the beginnings of GuestBox while hosting her own friends and family in New York City. Vyas saw that as AirBnB's popularity was growing, so were the demands of the guests and the strain on the host. She sought to solve that problem with GuestBox. She works with brand partners to assemble each box with 20+ goodies for $50/box. In the age of disruption, Vyas is finding a way to bridge the needs of the disruptors and the status quo. Their subscription box service is not only great for AirBnB and vacation rentals, but also boutique hotels. And Vyas' idea is gaining traction. GuestBox has won multiple startup challenges, and was chosen to be part of Tampa Bay Wave's inaugural TechDiversity Accelerator cohort.

Media

Years in Tampa Bay

Hustle (job)

Founder of GuestBox

What do you do?  

A tool that helps hotels, vacation rentals and AIrBnBs boost guest loyalty. It's a physical box that has toiletries, skin care items and snacks. We feature a lot of conscious companies, as well as those founded by female and minority entrepreneurs.

Why do you do it?

I founded GuestBox to combine my experience of travel and social good. I also noticed an emerging trend in the industry to go towards a more personalized experience. The more I immersed myself in the sector, the more I realized that we're the perfect solution to add back that human element to hospitality in an increasingly digitized world.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

Living in New York City, you're always strapped for space and time. I always had a box in my apartment that had basics like linens, towels, toiletries, etc to welcome my friends. And then I carried that concept over when I first started AirBnBing my Manhattan apartment. My guests were always delighted to have something a little extra, and something that takes care of their essentials.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

People think that GuestBox replaces hotel amenities, that's not really what we do. We provide those items that guests may have forgotten to bring with them as well as ones that they're delighted to have and experience for the first time.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Since we're an industry leader, a lot of what we do requires hand-holding and establishing industry behavior. This is a good challenge, but it takes a little time to onboard a new customer.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Soon after we started selling, one of my advisers shared with me that we could possibly even sell to hotels. I thought the product that we had created was just for AirBnBs and vacation rentals until we realized we were solving a huge pain point for hotel staff, in terms of putting together items for VIP guests.

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