Sep 082014
 

At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!

We also believe in debunking myths. So let’s wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to ……. yes, you’ve got it – help mama.

This week, we are sharing a company called Curiosity Box ….

Curiosity Box
Curiosity Box is a subscription service whose mission is to provide you the convenience of having a collection of crafts and activities on hand at a moments notice – for use on a rainy afternoon, a quiet evening after a busy day, or some quality one on one time!

Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?

I have always been a self-motivated, enthusiastic and adventurous individual both in my professional and personal life. For ten years I poured every ounce of my passion and abilities into a job in the field of social services. After my first son was born, like many new moms, I struggled balancing a 9-5 work week with the responsibilities of being a mother and wife. After realizing for myself how difficult it was to spend quality time interacting with my son as well as pushing myself professionally, the idea for Curiosity Box was born. Taking the plunge into entrepreneurship is no easy feat, but after diligently developing a business plan, a marketing strategy, an online retail website… as well as having a second child… Curiosity Box was officially launched in April 2014. Not without its challenges, Curiosity Box is now almost 5 months old. After a furious start and unwavering commitment the business has continued to grow and has now delivered crafts and activities to curious young minds across Canada. As we continue to develop product and explore partnerships I am continuously inspired and humbled by the support I have received from family, friends, and other entrepreneurs in London, Ontario and across Canada… without them Curiosity Box would still be an entrepreneurial story waiting to unfold.

How do you feel you are helping moms (and Dads!) most?

I think we can all unanimously agree that the most precious thing in life is time. Time spent with our children, grandchildren and loved ones is even more precious. Time is fleeting… it should be everyone’s goal to make every second count. The whole concept behind Curiosity Box is to simply enhance the quality time that you get to spend with your children, grandchildren and loved ones by having a collection of crafts and activities on hand at a moment’s notice. It’s partly about convenience it’s partly about not having to plan… but it’s all about having fun during those precious moments that you have with your loved ones.

What (or who) inspires you when it comes to creating a business committed to helping moms (and/or babies)?

Inspiration for creating Curiosity Box has come in all sorts of forms but my biggest inspiration is from my two busy little boys. I’m sure every mother goes through the same thing I went through when both my children were born, you feel this overwhelming urge to spend every conceivable moment with them. Easier said than done right?! It turns out life is kind of hectic and that precious time you yearn for is something that a lot of us either don’t have or crave more of. The overwhelming need to spend more precious time with my children is really why I created a business that is solely focused on helping parents engage in creative time with their kids. As with a lot of good ideas, the concept behind Curiosity Box has an amazing number of positive spin-offs… Obviously quality time is important… but what parent doesn’t want to pry their kids away from their iPad, TVs, and video games to take part in some good old-fashion crafting and activities?! There isn’t a child psychologists around that won’t tell you that social interactions as well as cutting stuff out with scissors, colouring, painting and gluing… and perhaps just as importantly, following directions, asking for help, and putting stuff together… foster the sort of developmental skills that turn kids into world renowned artists, genius engineers, and steady handed surgical residents. Ok, so putting together a sock puppet isn’t going to magically turn your child into a rocket scientist… but you really never know what that precious moment spent with your child is going to end up inspiring… Curiosity you say?! Heck ya!

What are some exciting new developments for your business?

We always are finding new ways to help busy parents and kids be excited about crafting, creating and exploring! Therefore, we continue to add product line to help parents find convenient ways to engage with their children while having fun. We are also currently growing our brand partners. Just recently though we have made a first-of-its-kind partnership with global brand KINDER® SURPRISE® and we were also awarded the PTPA Winner’s Seal of Approval, which is a parent-tested, parent-approved review-based award.

The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?

It isn’t easy… but it’s so worth it. I think there is another level of job satisfaction when you are involved with building, developing, shaping and growing something that you’ve started with your own hard work, patience, sweat and tears. As with anything in life being an entrepreneur takes dedication. You have to be wholly and earnestly devoted to your business, take your lumps when they are handed out to you, and humbly accept credit when credit is due. You might be thinking to yourself, oh boy I’m not sure that I have what it takes… but it turns out when you are truly passionate about something you’ll start leaping over hurdles that you would have otherwise been terrified to leap over and not even think twice about it. Don’t think you can handle the late nights? Have another cup of coffee. Wondering how your sales projections will pan out? Don’t worry about it, just knock on a few more doors. Worried about whether your business will be a success? Throw away everything you ever knew about the metrics of success and ask yourself one simple question… Do I love what I am doing? Then just do it. It isn’t easy… but it’s so worth it.

Some more information about the founder:
Curiosity Box Founder

Our favorite part about Curiosity Box is…  how excited kids and parents get when they see that they can have a box full of fun delivered right to their door! Seeing pictures and hearing the stories about how kids have LOVED their Curiosity Boxes coming every month have truly brought tears to my eyes. I love that I can help parents engage with their children in a convenient, fun and creative way.

When people find out what we do, they often say: “What a cool concept. I love this idea! What kid doesn’t love getting mail?!”

In my free time, I love to … spend time with my family and friends. My husband and my boys mean so much to me and we love to do so many fun things together…of course we love crafting and doing activities, but we also love camping, hiking, exploring and just hanging out! I also love hanging out with our friends.

The last book I read was… Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

We are dreaming of… so many things for Curiosity Box. I have big goals and dreams for this company and I can’t wait to continue to see where things go!

 

If you have an occasion to give a child a gift, we highly recommend Curiosity Box as a great option!

Use Discount Code MOMMIESFIRST to receive 10% off of your subscription.
Valid until September 15, 2014.

You will receive Easy Daysies in your first box in October!


More Help Mama Posts:
MADESQUARE – an app, but is MUCH more than just an app! It enables you to use photos from your phone and create them into a beautiful memory, keepsake or gift!
The New Mummy Company – a company devoted to helping new Moms!
L’il Tights by Skights – fun and warm knee high socks for little ones
Simply Fun Families – a website filled with great ideas and products for families to do together
LPH Illustrations – Susy the Soother Fairy (a book about giving away a soother)
Naked Nursing Tank – one of the best nursing tanks out there
coldfront – a personal cooling pack that stays cold for up to 12 hours
Zipadee-Zip – a slumber sack that helps babies transition from swaddling

Aug 252014
 

At MommiesFirst we believe in moms helping moms!

We also believe in debunking myths. So let’s wipe out Super Mom and replace her with Happy Mom! And in support of Happy Mom, we’re launching the Help Mama series, which is dedicated to introducing our community of moms to companies whose sole purpose is to ……. yes, you’ve got it – help mama.

This week, we are sharing a company called MADESQUARE ….

Mini Wood BlocksBamboo PrintsPhoto Strip Book
MADESQUARE is an app, but is MUCH more than just an app! It enables you to use photos from your phone and create them into a beautiful memory, keepsake or gift!

Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial story?

LAURA: First, taking a quick step back: As the wife of a Hipstamatic Co-Founder, I was obsessed with taking thousands of square photos and when it came to printing them I didn’t really relate to anything that was out there. Come to find out my friends and soon to be co-founders Jill, Danielle, and Molli felt the same way. We had a hard time finding products we’d be excited to hang in our homes or give our family and girlfriends — so we decided to do something about it. It’s been an amazing process of brainstorming, designing, and finding the right materials for each product. The 4 of us all bring specific expertise to the table: Jill & myself with business, Danielle with design and Molli with mobile. Individually we oversee different parts of the business, and we make decisions as a team. This structure works great for us.

How do you feel you are helping moms (and Dads!) most?

JILL: Like every first time mom, I take as many photos as I can of my sweet 7 month old boy. I want to capture all of his firsts and I am lucky to be able to snap every moment, easily and effortlessly, with my iPhone. The biggest change in family photography in recent years is the absence of the physical photo. I want my son, Sullivan, to be able to discover tangible photos of his life — not find them on the internet or a hard drive. MADESQUARE is helping parents by giving them an easy way to print their photos in the same place that they are taking them — their iPhones.

What (or who) inspired you when it came to creating your business?

DANIELLE: I am lucky enough to have three awesome female co-founders — Jill, Laura, and Molli — that inspire me everyday. Our growing community is also an inspiration and helps us evolve and grow as entrepreneurs. Allowing people to have an outlet for their aspirations, and giving people permission to pursue their passion — after all, that’s what we get do to every day.
We believe in the power of change — whether that means swapping what’s on your wall, or changing your path completely. And we want to help you do it.

What are some exciting new developments for your business?

LAURA: MADESQUARE is not just about printing your photos, it’s about how they live in your home after you do so. In our blog we inspire our community with DIYs, product tips, photo styling, and shopping ideas.

DANIELLE: We’re taking this one step further later this month and next by collaborating with WellRoundedNY on some new baby-centric DIYs for their community. #OhBaby it’s going to be awesome.

The 2 biggest pieces of wisdom you’d impart to about being an entrepreneur?

MOLLI:
First –  Don’t shy away from a challenge.
Taking an idea from concept to creation to execution is a tall order, so be ready to dig in and get your hands dirty. Some of the work and challenges you plan for, and others will arise that are unforeseen. The key is to give it your all, all the time, so you can see your beautiful ideas and hard work come to life. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Second –  Remember why you started in the first place — so have some fun!
In all of the challenges you’ll face, it can be easy to forget the big picture — why you started in the first place. When you’re managing what seems to be a never-ending to do list, it can be easy to lose sight of the original fun and passion that fueled your initial idea — connect back to that as often as you can.

Some more information about the founders:

MADESQUARE founders

From Left to Right:
Laura Buick, Jill Mroz (with Baby Sullivan!), Danielle Moore, and Molli Sullivan
Our favorite part about MADESQUARE is…  being able to create for the sake of creating—everyday.

When people find out what we do, they often say: “Do you print rectangle too?” The answer is no — we are the only square-centric photo app!

In our free time, we love to … travel, create, entertain, drink bubbles, discover vintage finds, shop local, and above all else we love to photograph every moment along the way.

The last book we read were… “A Beautiful Mess: Photo Idea Book” and “Girl Boss”

We are dreaming of… a destination — where pictures and personality meet, and creativity and inspiration mingle.

 

We encourage you to give MADESQUARE a try!
madesquare-coupon
Coupon Ends September 25, 2014

More Help Mama Posts:

The New Mummy Company – a company devoted to helping new Moms!
L’il Tights by Skights – fun and warm knee high socks for little ones
Simply Fun Families – a website filled with great ideas and products for families to do together
LPH Illustrations – Susy the Soother Fairy (a book about giving away a soother)
Naked Nursing Tank – one of the best nursing tanks out there
coldfront – a personal cooling pack that stays cold for up to 12 hours
Zipadee-Zip – a slumber sack that helps babies transition from swaddling