MOST BUSINESSES HAVE AN ONLINE PRESENCE NOWADAYS, EVEN IF THEY HAVE A BRICKS AND MORTAR SET UP TOO, BUT THE THING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA IS THAT EVERYTHING CAN LOOK SO PERFECT, SO CURATED, SO GLOSSY FROM THE OUTSIDE. I WANTED TO GET BEHIND THE CURTAIN, INSIDE THE MINDS AND INTO THE HEARTS OF SOME OF MY FAVOURITE BUSINESSES AND FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT RUN THEM. I FIGURED IF I WAS CURIOUS TO KNOW MORE, MAYBE YOU COULD BE TOO?
WELCOME TO MY FORTNIGHTLY SERIES THE FACE BEHIND THE BUSINESS. COME BEHIND THE SCENES WITH ME, BEHIND THE PERFECT IMAGE WE SEE AT THE STORE FRONT LEVEL AND MEET SOME WONDERFUL KIWIS DOING WONDERFUL THINGS (AND LEARN THEIR SECRETS TO SUCCESS).
Renee has created this fantastic box of goodies, delivered monthly for you and your little people to get crafty together. The options are endless and the inspiration is phenomenal. It’s a perfect opportunity for you to spend ‘hands on time’ with your children and for them to get a sense of satisfaction from creating and achieving something all on their own. Plus they love it when we sit with them and actually be and actually do! But you know that already! Mum’s are so clever at finding gaps in the market for other Mums and bringing us things we didn’t even realise we were missing until we discover new products like My Fun Box.
Get cozy and read more about the face behind the business that is My Fun Box!
About the business:
Where did the original idea for your business come from?
I came across an American company that made really cool kids activity boxes. I contacted them directly asking to be a NZ reseller of their product but they weren’t interested. I asked to buy their product wholesale. Still not interested. I even struggled buying their product online as they wouldn’t accept an NZ address or credit card. I had to get friends in the States to purchase and send a few boxes to me as I really wanted to see that they were like. When they finally arrived I LOVED them and was inspired to create my own version for kiwi parents. Phil and I spent over a year putting numbers together and researching the concept. Once we started talking to friends about the idea we decided it was now or never and to just take the risk and start the business. We launched in December 2014.
What are you most proud of with the launch of your company?
That I did it! Phil and I spent nearly a year doing the numbers and doing research so it was great to finally just bite the bullet and do it 🙂
What has been the most difficult part of your journey?
Getting the word out there and building my database. Having a product based business is very different to my service based design business. I’ve had to learn a lot along the way … actually, I’m constantly learning and trying new things.
What has been the most rewarding part of this experience?
Having Nate being excited about it. He said the other day ‘I’m proud of you mummy for having your fun box work!’. Can’t beat that!
Do you have plans to expand your range?
Most definitely. I’ve had many mum’s suggest a travel box for long haul flights. I really need to get onto this one. But basically, every month is a new themed box which keeps me busy. Oh and party packs is another idea in the pipeline too.
What’s your mantra or the one piece of advice that has stuck with you through the process of starting your own business?
Don’t give up! Phil is SUPER supportive and keeps telling me “Thomas Edison came across a million ways not to make a lightbulb before he found the right way. So keep trying … you’ll get there!”
Tell me a little about you or your family.
Phil and I met 8 years ago on a blind date. 6 months later we’d moved in together. Now we own a house and have 2 boys together. Nate is 3.5 years old and Mitch is 23 months. We have our fingers in a few pies … Phil works full time at Supply Chain Solutions, spends evenings working on Beverage Works (which is a duty free alcohol business) and he’s starting another business shortly. I have been self employed as a graphic designer for 9 years doing logo, website and print design work.
How do you juggle being a Mama and running a business?
Mondays and Fridays are my ‘mum’ days where I hang with the boys going to playgroup, doing chores etc. Tuesday through to Thursday, from 8.30am till 3.15pm, the boys go to daycare and kindy. That’s when I do my graphic design work. My Fun Box happens in the evenings, nap times and when possible, one day during the weekend.
Do you have any tips on how to make a successful business work with a young family?
Be organised and plan everything. Make the most of the time you’ve set aside to work on your business … don’t get sucked into Facebook during ‘work’ time!
What’s your favourite (family) activity or outing?
Probably going to a park together. We seem to have SO many social occassions lately that I can’t remember the last time we went to the park as a family. Just this weekend gone, Nate went to 4 parties. Crazy, I know!
How do you get ‘me time’ and what do you enjoy doing to achieve that?
I very rarely make time for ‘me time’! My days start from 5.15am and I feel I don’t stop until bedtime. So perhaps bedtime and a bit of Lightbox on my iPad is my ‘me time’ 🙂
What words of advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
If you’re passionate about it then give it a go. But do your research first 🙂 And just know that it takes time to start making your millions 🙂 It takes at least 3 to 5 years to start seeing a profit I reckon.
Your go to meal?
Lasagne every time. Nate, my eldest, is SO picky with food but this is one meal he will eat. And I can hide heaps of vegetables in it without him knowing 🙂
Your child/ren’s favourite food?
I’m embarrassed to say that Nate’s favourite food would probably be chocolate biscuits. My nana buys them for him and we see her every Friday. Nate goes straight for the biscuit tin when we arrive at her place. Mitch loves pretty much all food. It feels like he’s constantly eating. He’s 22 months and has been in size 3 clothes since Autumn. He’s my monster 🙂
You can find My Fun Box online via these channels, so please pay Renee a visit:
See you soon with another inspirational business owner!