How did you come up with the name for your business?
Tell us about your business.
The Toddler Lab is the most comprehensive educational subscription box available for children ages 2 through 5 and their grown-ups. This box is hand-curated each month by a certified educator and designed to challenge and stimulate the curiosity of little learners. Each box contains a minimum of four hands-on developmental activities that kids and grown-ups can complete together at home. To complement each month's themed activities, a children's book and exclusive activity worksheets are also included.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I could answer this question in two ways. First, my daughter is my biggest inspiration in business because she is the reason that I launched this business. She continues to provide me with ideas, possibilities and motivation day in and day out. However, I could also say that my biggest business inspiration comes from a few memberships that I am a part of. I joined Launch Your Box with Sarah Williams when I was first conceptualizing my subscription box business and that membership was instrumental in helping me identify what it was that I wanted to do and create a path to actually launch my subscription box business. I am also a member of the Social Sales Girls which provides me with tons of great training on marketing, advertising, and all things business. I get so many great ideas from these memberships and they have both really inspired me to not only start this business but to continue to innovate and adapt each month.
What would you say is your greatest business success to date?
To date, my greatest business success has been the subscriber growth for my subscription box. I currently have a 0% churn rate in my subscription business which means that 100% of the people who have subscribed to my box have remained subscribed. That alone is huge. I have also been doubling my subscriber count each month since I launched. In the month of January 2021, I had hit my projected growth goal for March which was amazing.
What is the greatest obstacle you have faced in your business?
My biggest struggle so far with my subscription box business is projecting my growth and ordering an adequate amount of supplies for each month. Since each box is hand-packed by individual activities, I have to make sure that I have exactly the right amount of supplies for the subscriber count each month. Growing at the rate that I have been growing has resulted in more last-minute orders and packing sessions than I'd like. I'd like to get everything more dialed in moving forward.
What are the things that help you stay organized and get things done?
I am addicted to Airtable and it has been instrumental in organizing my tasks and business. Within Airtable, I keep track of each month's subscription box. I create a tab for each box and then list out each activity for the box along with a list of supplies for that activity. This includes the quantity that I'll need per box and per month along with the cost information and a checklist of whether the items have been ordered or received. This is key for both ordering box products as well as making sure that each activity and box are correctly packed. Honestly, I think I would be lost without Airtable.
Since you are also a mom, how do you balance everything?
Honestly, I have had help since day one. I knew that I couldn't be the type of mom that I want to be and run this business at the same time. It's incredibly important to me that I am active and involved with my daughter every single day. I never want to be that mom that ignores their kid. That doesn't mean that she's never just hanging out and watching a show while I'm working. But, I try to make sure that I get help with as much as I can afford to hire out for right from the start. I have someone who helps run my blogs, someone who does the videography, and another person who creates the printable activities for each box. Plus, I have a housekeeper so I don't lose my mind from a messy house. My mom also helps with the photography for the boxes and my husband helps me pack boxes every month.
Do you think being a mom has helped you with the success of your business? if so, how?
I think that being a mom has been instrumental to the success of my business. If I wasn't a toddler mom, I never would have created The Toddler Lab. My daughter tests out every activity that is included in the boxes and helped ignite a passion for early childhood learning that I wouldn't have discovered otherwise.
What advice would you give to other moms who dream about starting their own business, but they don’t think they can do it all?
You can't do it all and you shouldn't expect yourself to do it all! However, saying that you can't do it all doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't start a business. If you want it, go for it! You might be exhausted from staying up past midnight working on your business after the kids go to bed (I know that I am!) but the reward is so worth it! There will always be trade offs that you have to make. Right now, my dishes aren't done and my daughter is at daycare so that I can work. Find what you need to make this work and go for it!
Do you have any stories you’d like to share that may amuse, entertain or inspire others?
Don't underestimate the impact that your business has on other families! I could share 100 stories of the pictures and feedback that parents email in to me about their experience subscribing to The Toddler Lab and it makes every single late night so worth it!