I started my company because I was tired of constantly collecting toys FOR my kids but never really CONNECTING WITH my kids.
So this is a deeply personal reason - but honestly becoming a parent was awesome, but I am a VERY work oriented person. I would work 24 hours a day if I could. However, I CRAVED that deep unbelievable connection with my kids; the kind that will last them through adulthood and tie them to me when they are older. The kind that takes planned effort to create (like sleepovers, and activities and monthly bucket lists and such)
I realized that if I didn't make an effort to make sure that I didn't just waste the day and not take the time to do a fun project with them, or go on a safari outside, or cook with them, then they day was gone and I couldn't get it back.
Well days VERY quickly turn into years and I didn't want to look back on my kids childhoods and mourn the fact that I didn't take advantage of them and make them more magical and REALLY connect with them.
But again, it takes a lot of EFFORT to make those special moments happen.....
I decided I want to make it easy on parents to have fun experiences that are memorable.
The bucket list for example; every month I put on the refrigerator a bucket list of things I want to do with them by the end of the month.
For example, if its spring time I want to bring them to the beach and have a picnic, I want to play hide and go seek, I want to build a fort and sleep in it with them. etc.....
If I didn't post that list on my fridge so that I saw it every day, then none of those things would happen because I would forget and then get drowned out in ToDo's and such.
Once the month is over, I dream up a new list and put that one on the fridge.
So that is my reason =)
It has taken me almost 3 years to get to where I am and we still haven't even launched yet. It is a process for everyone. I started by finding the designer I knew I was going to need to draw each individual character as I saw them in my mind.
I had to find a factory that could specialize in custom doll creation which meant they would have to have highly specialized designers that can sculpt with clay from 2D drawings to 3D samples and then machines that can create the molds based off of the custom sculpt.
The factory also had to have access to specialized non toxic scents for the dolls hair and body, AND be able to mix in an additive to the polymer that allows the polymer to break down in a landfill in months instead of decades.
We found them on Alibaba after interviewing dozens of factories.
Starting a physical product company is incredibly cash and time intensive. Highly skilled niche factories require minimum order quantities in the thousands! (That means you can't order any less than that.) These custom made products (like dolls) have never been created before and so they require hand sculpted prototypes and hand made molds to be created in a time consuming process that takes months to complete.
I was able to launch my company because in 2015 I finally received a $20,000 check from a hospital lawsuit that happened after 8 years of litigation (at 24 I got blood clots in my lungs from using birth control - but that's another story for another day). I also have another company called Arrangements Floral Studio that was doing well and I used some of the profit from that companies revenues to fund Maple Box Kids (previously known as Maple Box Dolls.) I launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised $15,000 through crowdfunding. Finally, I got an angel investor to invest $50,000 to purchase the MOQ's of the final product I needed and buy the molds.
As of right now we will have our product off the ground this Summer 2019
I feel like I have a lot of funny/interesting stories. I write about them on LinkedIn But I think the most interesting might be how I got my Angel Investor. You just never know how you are going to make connections but I was laying down getting my eyelashes done and she asked me about my company - I told her that funding was crazy and just like that she said "I know somone who will invest in you." I was like Whaaaa -- haha... we met, I pitched and within 30 days I had a check in my hot little hands.
I felt like never in the history of money had it ever been placed in more apt and skilled hands. I was READY for this!
My pearl of wisdom is this: If you feel it in your belly and if it calls you - never, never stop!
We will see how things go! We might take on a seed round a year or so after we launch for expansion.
Companies wanting to reduce their tax burden and foster community donate to a 501c3 that deploys funding for women in a process that is fast and informative for the founder. The founder then pays forward the money back into the fund in a few years when she is stable.
Time is nothing. I get so caught up on how long things are taking, but honestly I am building a powerful foundation and only TIME can allow for a foundation like that. Details that get colored in take time. So don't ever worry you are getting too old, or things are taking too much time. Enjoy that process and not just the ending.
We are the worlds first subscription based doll company that curates experiences for parents and kids together. Wether you are learning about the message behind our logos, where we source our products, how we make them biodegradable, why our dolls are scented or why we design our website and ad campaigns the way that we do... you are interacting with a company that is first and foremost created from the passion of a human being. Me. And every single detail is passionately thought about.
The very heart of why we exist is in our desire for / love of connection over collection. To me, that means staying present in as many moments as I can with all of my senses engaged and a desire to make the most of that moment.
Yes, relationships are life greatest journey.