Want to receive the coolest care package ever? I mean what you consider cool, not your parents. Let them know about Box-O-Box, the brainchild of 28-year-olds Justin Zucker and Michael S. Hauke. Raking in over $500,000 last year in sales, Box-O-Box is jammed not only with memorable munchies and cute goodies but with humor, TLC and a bit-o-attitude.

What is Box-O-Box?

Box-O-Box is hands down the coolest, most fun, creative, inventive and all around awesome care package that a parent can send their college student to help them connect on a level far beyond the typical gift/e-mail/letter.

How’s your business doing?

In the three years that we have been open for business, we have doubled our bottom line each year. We have partnered with industry leading companies that supply us with product for our boxes and initiated creative marketing approaches that forged relationships with colleges and universities; as close as Maine and as far as Hawaii. Many customers have told us that we have really set the standard for what students are receiving as gifts from their parents while away at school.

What have been some of the best responses from customers to your boxes?

There is no better response than when a parent forwards us an e-mail they received from their kid, containing a funny picture of the student with the box, some of its contents strewed amongst the dorm room and a heartfelt e-mail thanking their parent for this “awesome” or “bad a@#” care package. This connection between parents and students is really what fuels our growth, and drives our success.

How has business changed over the past three years?

We have really taken control over the content of our boxes in terms of sourcing and selecting vendors. A few years ago it was hard to find 100% organic products or even socially responsible companies that are in line with our focus on product integrity.

Is it hard being so young in the business world?

Yes and no. Working with colleges and universities can sometimes be a bit tricky and problematic. You would think that a company with owners/workers close to the age of college students would offer strategic advantages as a partner, but often institutions view our age as a weakness that equals lack of experience. That said, however, we always bring a refreshing energy to a lot of the tables we do business at. A lot of great stuff can come from the right mix of minds in a brainstorming session.

This isn’t your first business. Talk about Dirty Business Laundry Delivery Service.

No, when all combined, it’s our fifth! Dirty Business Laundry Delivery Service was the first venture we embarked on, and was started from a class project. Our intentions were to open a business with almost zero dollars, operate it from cash-flow, test our service between various markets, push the envelope on some conventional economic, marketing and financial methodology and see if we could sustain. It worked! We both wanted to move on to other ventures and ended up selling the business a couple of years after its inception. A great experience that has really helped us set the stage for more successful ventures.

What are some tips you have for young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business in this economy?

Live at home for as long as you can! No, but seriously, the main issue usually comes down to money, and right now, people are coveting and hoarding it like squirrels with acorns. It is easy to tell someone with capital to throw it into the market and see what happens, but typically young entrepreneurs don’t have that money, banks are not lending it and unless you have some rich parents, friends or family, it’s a tough rope to tow. You need to get creative and really utilize as many resources as possible. Leverage debt carefully. Leverage equity carefully. I would say suck up any pride you may have about “doing things on your own” financially or otherwise, as many young entrepreneurs feel that if they approach potential partners or companies that may be interested in helping them foster or incubate their idea, that it will be stolen and they have missed their “shot.” Ninety nine percent of the time this is not the case, and in this economy, many companies that have fixed assets and massive overhead would welcome another company potentially utilizing it in a way that benefits everyone involved. It only helps them out in the short and long-term.

Where do you see Box-O-Box in the next three years?

We see Box-O-Box filling the college niche equivalent of what 1-800-FLOWERS has filled for the professional and adult market for “gift giving.” We feel that they speak directly to their customers and market. Right now the opportunity is prime in the college market and it’s not fair that students have not had a better alternative.

For more information, visit boxobox.com.