The Story of The Preschool Box

We are coming up on almost a year since we sold our business The Preschool Box.  I’ve been meaning to sit down for a while and actually write out what all happened and the actual story behind our little business but life keeps staying busy as ever.  I’ve finally found a few minutes to sit down behind a keyboard so here we go. 

I started The Preschool Box (with the help of my wonderful husband Tim) a little over 8 years ago.  I had previously been a kindergarten teacher but decided to stay home when I had my first baby. It was a difficult transition for me going from being a teacher with work friends, a work schedule, a career, etc… to staying at home with a baby everyday.  I missed teaching dearly and I really needed a hobby of some sort to keep my sanity.  After two babies, and during my 3rd pregnancy, the idea of The Preschool Box came about. I’d have people asking me to teach their little ones or for advice on how to get their little ones learning at home.  I used my teaching skills on my oldest Owen and had him reading by the age of 3.  I wanted to help other parents acquire the skills they needed to be their child’s first teacher. 

              At the time, Tim had been working at a start up that specialized in the platform that subscription boxes used to run their businesses.  With his knowledge of the subscription box industry, and my knowledge of early childhood education, we were able to launch a 12 month subscription box that gave parents the tools they needed to teach their preschoolers the basics of reading and math at home.  Each box contained fun, educational, and hands on learning activities designed by yours truly. 

              We officially launched The Preschool Box just 2 months after our third child Charlie was born (which was crazy by the way). It was a fun, hobby business that gave me a creative outlet.  It stayed quite small for the first couple of years as we learned the ins and outs of running a subscription box and officially being small business owners.  I did not take home a pay check for the first couple of years of the business, but we were running it debt free without ever taking out any loans.  We were running the business out of our home for several years. 

              The business slowly grew and I eventually found myself needing some extra help packing the boxes.  We hired our first part time employee around 2017. After running the business out of our house for several years, we were running out of space and eventually finished off an attic space in our home to expand as workspace for the business.

              Things took a big turn when Covid hit.  As preschools and daycares were closing their doors, we were seeing a huge influx in orders.  Parents were frantically looking for things to do at home with their preschoolers and our little boxes were the perfect resource for many of these families.  Within just a few months of Covid hitting, our business grew 10x.  We could no longer operate out of our home and had to quickly find an office/warehouse space that would accommodate packing such an increase in boxes being shipped out monthly.  We ended up hiring about 5 more employees within a matter of months.  It was a huge blessing to watch the business grow so fast, but also made for a bunch of challenges as we shifted from running a hobby business to an actual small business with employees and a growing customer base.  We eventually launched a second subscription box that was a reading/craft box for kids and we started going by the name Subscription Box Kids.

              I learned a lot about being a business owner and a boss. I also learned a lot about marketing, internet sales, business relationships, taxes, customer service, being a CEO… the list goes on and on.  I had never seen myself as being a business owner, but somehow that’s what I was doing.  I still had three young kiddos at home and balancing the growing needs of the business along with trying to be a present and good mom during a pandemic was not easy.  There were lots of late nights getting work done after the kids had gone to bed and I was feeling pretty dang exhausted.  Tim was always a great help and there’s so many aspects of the business that I could have never done without him. But the business was taking over all of our lives and I was tired all the time.

              Things with the business eventually started leveling off and then slowing down a bit.  Early 2023, we were approached by a company from another state that was interested in purchasing our business.  After some negotiations, we agreed to sell. It definitely felt like a God send with how all the timing and logistics worked out.  We officially handed over the business August 1st of last year.  I  stayed around for a few months to help with the transition.  It was a strange feeling.  It was sad to see something we worked so hard to build be put into the hands of people we didn’t really know.  It also felt like such a huge burden of responsibility was lifted.  I have no regrets about selling the business and have really enjoyed a much slower (but still somehow pretty busy) pace of life.  It’s nice to see the business we started still successfully continuing on.  “Fly little birdie, fly!” I sometimes laughingly think to myself. 

All in all, this whole experience has stretched me and made me grow in so many ways. I’ve met and worked with some wonderful people, now many whom I call my friends.  I also have a much bigger appreciation for small business owners and the heart and soul they pour into making their businesses be successful. 

By Tina

Tina is a mother of 3 who lives in Texas with her wonderful husband, daughter, and 2 sons, 2 dogs Homer and Bailey, cat Caboodles, and a bunch of goldfish. She loves Jesus, animals, kids, and serving in the community.

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