A health and wellbeing entrepreneur has launched a new business to combine her love of books with promoting self care for women.

Kendal-based Danielle Hone founded The Real MEE Project – a UK-wide monthly subscription box service aimed at women.

The boxes are created with products supplied by female-led small businesses.

“I wanted to provide women with a treat – to have this time to relax, read a book, enjoy some beautiful products and get this surprise box through the post,” she said.

“I’m particularly excited about the Christmas box, as it’s such a special gift – whether for yourself or a loved one.”

Each month, subscribers receive a novel and treats ranging from scented candles to organic luxury hand cream and gluten-free chocolate brownies.

“It’s really important to me that it’s always a female author and a female-centered business,” added Danielle, who is keen to hear from local suppliers whose products might be suitable.

The Real MEE Project (standing for Movement, Education, and Enjoyment) was born out of online sessions, networking meetings and Danielle’s lockdown-inspired rethink of what she wanted to do after years teaching Pilates and working in health and wellbeing.

Her target market is women over 40 who are regular readers but curious to try new writers.

Danielle added: “We all get stuck in a rut with things.

“If you are a big reader you have probably read most of the top 20.

“Or you might be someone who loves reading but just hasn’t got the time to research what’s new, so you go for whatever is quick and easy.

“I want women to discover new authors who perhaps don’t get a big audience, so I’m making connections with smaller publishers.

“The first book was from a one-woman publisher down in Oxford who’s got about 10 authors on her list and she does the whole thing herself.

“One of my friends who took out a box said: ‘Gosh, I would never have picked this book up but I’m really enjoying it’.

“That’s the beauty of it.

“I want it to be an experience to open the box, so there’s always an extra little gift that’s wrapped up, and printed on it is ‘Do not open until page...’.

“That gift will relate to a specific page in the book so you’ve got an extra element of surprise there as well.”

Danielle could tailor her boxes to individual subscribers or expand to other audiences including treats aimed at men.