Creative QT is a family-owned business and we love seeing fellow parents following their passions and turning them into small businesses. Kristie from Little Learning Hands did just that, and she is here to tell us all about her journey.
I’ll start by introducing myself! I’m Kristie, a mom of two, and the owner of Little Learning Hands. Little Learning Hands is an educational subscription box for preschool aged kids. Before Little Learning Hands and having kids I was working in preschool special education. I loved my job, but when we started a family I decided to become a stay-at-home-mom. I really missed teaching though. Once a teacher always a teacher, right? So, I started doing fun educational activities with my son right around his first birthday. I started sharing these activities on Instagram and eventually started a blog, Little Hands Big Imagination.
The blog received so much positive feedback and support very quickly, which was super awesome and unexpected. One thing I noticed was numerous comments from parents saying they would love to do these activities, but don’t have the time to get the materials or prep the activities.
Then a little light bulb lit up in my head. That’s when the idea of starting a subscription box began. I spent about five months researching the subscription box model, planning activities, and looking for the best places to find products to include. Finally, Little Learning Hands launched in May 2018!
Each box comes with an activity for math, science, literacy, art, and engineering. The great thing about Little Learning Hands, is that all of the materials are included so you don’t have to worry about running to the store to get something. All prep work is already done making it super easy to jump into the activities with your little one!
Along with all the materials, a parent guide is also included to help guide you and your child through the activities. The parent guide has step-by-step instructions with pictures, three bonus activities in the back, and three fun snack ideas for kids! The boxes are always packed full each month! So full that I sometimes panic when I go to pack boxes and I worry everything won’t fit. It then becomes a game of Tetris and I have to figure out the best way to place everything in the box to get it all to fit! Luckily I have always been able to find a way to get it all in there!
Being a stay-at-home-mom of two kids while running a business from home certainly is not easy! My husband also travels for work and is typically gone weeks at a time, so I can’t really depend on him to give me a chance to get work done! Any parent knows how difficult it can be to get anything done, especially with toddlers in the house! In the beginning I was pulling my hair out (not literally) trying to figure out the best way to manage my time.
Creating a schedule became a lifesaver for me! I give myself a specific task for each week of the month to help avoid getting overwhelmed with too many tasks at once. I also have to really do my best to get the kids to nap at the same time. Every day I keep my fingers crossed it will work out that way. If they nap at the same time I jump on the computer and start planning, start cutting things out, or start packing boxes. Some days I don’t get so lucky and wait until they both go to bed for the night before getting any work done. There have been plenty of late nights, but I never mind those nights!
After being open for only a short few months and really thinking about it, I decided to close down Little Learning Hands temporarily while I go back to school. This was such a hard decision to make, but I am certainly looking forward to reopening again in the future! I have met some wonderful people and families throughout this journey and am so excited to get back to it as soon as possible!
Thank you so much Kristie for sharing with us your journey to starting your own small business. We wish you the best of luck with returning to school and the future success of Little Learning Hands! Be sure to follow Kristie's continued creative adventures with her kids over on Instagram, @littlehandsbigimagination.
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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