What’s the one organizer you use daily without considering its aesthetic? Your pillbox. In a time when the visual appeal of an item has become equally as important as its functionality, this overlooked bathroom accessory was begging for an upgrade, and Noka Supply has done just that. The female-founded company looked to the pillbox’s past for inspiration while focusing on modern design details and sleek, eco-conscious materials to create a pill (and vitamin) organizer you’ll no longer hide in your drawer.
Manufactured pills are a product of the Victorian era, so it’s no surprise pillboxes were subsequently established as a new necessity. During this period, pillboxes were designed with the same meticulous eye as glamorous timepieces and cosmetic cases. These antique treasures bear the definitive features of all vintage collectibles — ornate (often painted or etched) designs, story-worthy details, and the use of materials like gold, silver and stone. Somewhere along the way, though, these gilded pillboxes gave up their decorative charm to make room for everyday functionality and an awkward, displeasing plastic design … until now.
Lauren Egge got the idea for Noka Supply when working on her senior thesis for Stanford University’s product design program. With the hope of solving a real-world problem, Lauren asked her peers what they used every day that needed improvement. After an overwhelming response that people hated their pillboxes and felt frustrated with the standard organizer’s appearance and design, she knew something needed to change.
According to her study, people not only dislike their pillboxes but also feel a sense of embarrassment when using them in public. “No one wants to pull out their medications in the middle of the day and have to answer prying questions or field sarcastic comments,” says Lauren. “The Nokabox is intentionally stylish because I saw that if we could make pill organizers a stylish accessory, it would make it more likely that people would stick to their health routines.”
The Nokabox, which is available in once-a-day or twice-a-day options on SB Shop, officially came to life a few years later after Lauren worked as a consultant in the travel industry and found herself coming back to the necessity of a redesigned pillbox. She decided to start Noka Supply and solve this problem once and for all.
The name “noka” comes from the angonoka tortoise of Madagascar, whose protective shell not only keeps it safe but also acts as a stylish camouflage — a perfect description for the Nokabox’s features. Each organizer includes drawers large enough to hold all of your medications or vitamins, which includes up to four fish oil pills, eight multivitamins or 24 aspirin-sized pills. Its sleek case is made with vegan leather and microfiber lining and is durable enough to last you years to come. Each organizer is available in white or black, and the once-a-day option even includes an extra drawer for carrying additional pain reliever-sized pills.
Another standout feature of the Nokabox is the sliding drawers and double-magnet closures, which like many ultra-successful innovations (hello, Post-it Notes!), was a happy mistake. As Lauren tested prototypes, an issue with the 3D printer caused the mechanism that initially kept the drawers from being fully removed to stop working. She went ahead and tested this prototype on customers, and they noted how convenient the removable drawers were for loading and taking vitamins or medications. So, Lauren kept the removable drawers in the design but needed to ensure they would stay in place when not in use.
Consequently, two tiny magnets were added to hold the drawers closed without losing the organizer’s stylish look. StyleBlueprint’s Director of Marketing Megan Casey says, “I love how the little individual pill drawers have a magnet to keep them in place … It just makes taking my pills and vitamins a little bit [posher] every day.” Not only are the added magnets practical, but they also offer haptic satisfaction by clicking back into place and pulling the pill drawers safely back into their home, or in the Nokabox’s case, its shell.
Lauren and the Noka Supply team prove that if you search for improvement in the monotonous details of everyday life, a brilliant idea can bloom into a beautiful business. The Nokabox evokes the treasured feeling of Victorian pillboxes while appealing to the sleek, subtle, travel-friendly desires of today, and it’s proven to be a game-changer. We’ve learned to never underestimate the impact an update can have on our everyday routine and to look just a little harder at those forgotten items sitting in our drawers.
All images courtesy of Noka Supply unless otherwise noted.
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