We had the good fortune of connecting with Leeanne Antonio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leeanne, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Gratitude always serves me a generous pour. Whether I’m receiving or giving gratitude, it can really turn my day around. Gratitude is simple, pure, free, and the world needs more of it often. My business Bad Day Box was born out of gratitude. I had so many friends show up for me in unexpected ways during my hardest days. In a way, Bad Day Box is a love letter back to them and an opportunity for others to feel this too. I tend to find where there is gratitude, there is purpose. Most recently, I volunteered at UCSD at a vaccination site and so many people thanked me for volunteering my time. Since the pandemic I have craved this human interaction, and wanting to help. It was what I really needed.
What should our readers know about your business?
Bad Day Box acknowledges the unexpected times in our lives that leave us hurting. It is designed to send self-care to your friend’s doorstep and bring them some sunshine on a dark day. Gift giving made simple and more personal than typical flowers or edible arrangements. The items in each themed box are hand picked to inspire creativity, adventure, and healing. Perfect for when you don’t know what to say but want to show you care. I introduced the brand to my family and friends back in December 2019 over my birthday and showcased what I called Beta Boxes and sold two initial boxes called Expletives & Hygge. Last March 2020, I planned to launch a Kickstarter. The world shut down simultaneously and it didn’t feel like the right time to launch and ask for funding. I spent the remainder of 2020 creatively and scrappily pivoting. While I held off on launching my Kickstarter, I reminded myself what this brand stands for: showing up. So I launched giveaways for our frontline medical community, sending gratitude in a box to nurses and other heroes. I curated three Stay at Home friendly boxes, inspired by the changing times around us in 2020. In a year when all small businesses were struggling, I found ways to keep Bad Day Box growing while supporting my friends’ businesses in the same breath. Before the end of the year, I took on a custom holiday gift order and it triggered financing terms with my wholesale website that enabled me to launch 8 new boxes just in time for the holidays. The shifting landscape of 2020 forced me to make some natural leaps and some uncomfortable ones too. I didn’t expect any of this to happen the way it did but I’m so grateful for the foundation it built. Sometimes you don’t have a Plan B but it unfolds anyway with your community and good intentions. The pandemic brought a lot of unexpected bad days for so many of us and I’m glad I was able to provide a way to make some people’s days a little brighter. What really resonated — pandemic or not — is that there is no shortage of bad days that need a little brightening. I plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign in a very different way than I originally planned. The funding will allow me to scale my business and extend the brand experience to fully designed boxes, new themes and collaborations with other small businesses. Stay tuned!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is interesting to ask during COVID times! I won’t be shy and will provide some special places in a couple neighborhoods in San Diego proper and hope you exercise safety and precaution.
Balboa Park: This park is the first time Spanish-Renaissance architecture was used in the United States. You can make a whole day out of walking and exploring the park even though the museums are closed. When possible, I suggest touring the California Tower which is iconic to San Diego.
East Village: The Central San Diego Public Library in East Village is a beautifully designed treat both on the exterior and interior. I never get sick of going there to peruse the books or enjoy the views. Lola55 is also in the vicinity and deserves some love. I fancy a green pozole and I can get it with a really good margarita here.
Ocean Beach Pier + Sunset Cliffs: Watch the first minutes of Almost Famous, if it feels familiar it’s because that is OB! Ocean Beach Pier got messed up from the recent king tides so it’s not open but it is in fact the longest concrete pier. You will never regret a walk and/or sunset at Sunset Cliffs, it is unapologetically romantic.
Bayshore Bikeway + Ferry + Coronado Bridge: Every year or so, I find myself riding the Bayshore Bikeway. It includes a tour of South Bay and a ferry ride from San Diego to Coronado or vice versa pending where you start. Also included, views of the Coronado Bridge.
Torrey Pines Glider Port / Blacks Beach: During this pandemic I spent a lot of sunsets at the Torrey Pines Glider Port parking lot. It’s perfect for low commitment beach vibes and if you aren’t brave enough to head down to Blacks (whatever your reasons). It’s a dirt lot next to the golf course but overlooking the ocean. Pack a picnic, chairs and a book (or if you’re me, a notebook and all your Sharpies). You might encounter some nudity or a house DJ, but this is your warning.
Adams Ave.: There’s a lot to say about what you can eat and imbibe on Adams Ave. but my favorite combo is Cantina Mayahuel + An’s Dry Cleaning. I love the blood orange margarita or mezcal paloma and all the tacos and tortas are superb. Across the street, An’s Dry Cleaning is a gelato place that was…you guessed it an old dry cleaning place! They have a rotating menu of fabric inspired flavors. My heart belongs to Canvas- an olive oil and rosemary infused gelato topped with himalayan sea salt.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I love the community Creative Mornings San Diego has created and what they stand for, because everyone is welcome. I look forward to this monthly breakfast series and often leave so inspired. Currently this breakfast series is hosted virtually every month.
Kylie Clarke Photography & Bad Day Box