Monday, April 1, 2013

Spotlight on Mom -- Stephanie Baldwin of Create Abilities for Kids

Savannah is finally at an age where she loves doing arts and crafts, especially projects that require finger paints, stickers and play dough.  Either my husband or I try to do at least one art project with her a day.  If I can't get to it during the day - as I usually try to do it with Savannah when her sister is napping, then I will have my husband try to squeeze it in prior to the girls' bedtime routine.  One of the reasons why we may not do an arts and crafts project on a given day is that I either don't have all the supplies needed for a project, or are at a loss (usually due to sleep deprivation) on what to do with her.  With all the monthly subscription services out there, I took to the Internet to try and find one geared towards toddlers and young children and arts and crafts kits.  This is how I stumbled across this week's Spotlight Mom, Stephanie Baldwin of Create Abilities for Kids.  Stephanie created this business out of necessity, like many mom entrepreneurs, as she wanted to do arts and crafts with her little girl, but didn't have the time to gather up all the supplies or come up with a project to do.  But, with the help of her mother, who used to be a Kindergarten teacher, she created Create Abilities for Kids.

"Create Abilities For Kids offers age-appropriate art kits, geared for ages three, four, and five, contain all of the instructions and materials you need. Each project will allow you and your child time to spend together simply having fun, without your child having to wait while you prepare the materials. The kits come with everything needed for a project all in one package, from the instructions and accompanying finished product photo, to the brushes, paint and glue and other materials required."
Stephanie was kind enough to send along her March kit, which included two projects for Savannah and I to do.  I loved how the projects were geared towards Savannah's age, and that everything I needed, including instructions and a photo of the final product were included.  And, when Savannah saw me looking at the two projects, she got excited and wanted to know when we would do them. She was eager to do the rainbow kit, which is made with colored cereal loops and glue, along with cotton balls.  When we did do this and the other project, we had a blast!  I can't wait to share my detailed review with you this Friday, including photos of Savannah's masterpieces. :-)  And, I am excited, as I will be offering one lucky reader a chance to win a kit for their little one during my Feature Friday post.  So, stay tuned.
If you don't want to wait until Friday to learn more and see Savannah's final works of arts from the March art kits I was sent, then head on over to Stephanie's website and set up your subscription plan now.  Below is more information on the pricing and types of subscription packages available from Create Abilities for Kids:
Create Abilities For Kids offers monthly subscription packages containing your choice of two, three or four art kits for your child.  These kits are delivered to your door each month containing the project, art materials, and resources to further develop your child's learning.
All pricing listed below includes all kit materials and shipping and handling charges.
Two Kits Delivered / Month - $14.85
Three Kits Delivered / Month - $19.85
Four Kits Delivered / Month - $23.85
**We also offer discounted subscriptions for households purchasing kits for multiple children shipping to the same address.  Please visit the Subscribe page to view this pricing.

Please enjoy my Spotlight Mom interview with Stephanie below.  And, make sure you head back here on Friday, when I will share more about her art activity kits, and offer one lucky reader a chance to win an art kit for their little one.

Name:   Stephanie Baldwin
Company Name/Product/Service:   ‘Create Abilities For Kids’ – All- inclusive Art Activity Kits delivered to your door for three, four and five year olds.
Company Location:  Windham, NH
Company Website:
Age of Company:  one year
Favorite Inspirational Quotes:  “It’s the process not the product.”
Favorite Book:  Goodnight Moon (oh, you didn’t mean kid’s books, it has been a long time!)

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.  
I have one child.  She is four and a half and keeps me plenty busy planning art projects with her and shuttling her to activities.  Right now she is home with me full-time, but will be starting Kindergarten in the fall.  I also teach online courses at Southern New Hampshire University and ride horses weekly.
Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
Even as a mom of one I found that planning my daughter’s art projects was a challenge, between finding the time to do the prep work and gathering the supplies.  I tried doing the prep during the day with her waiting, but patience is not the greatest virtue of a toddler.  Then, I tried planning the projects the night before, but finding the time was difficult and I simply wasn’t able to get it all done.  I wondered how other moms with multiple children and careers do it.  It struck me that I would love to have someone to prepare the projects for me, gathering and putting together the supplies, cutouts, etc and providing me with instructions that were appropriate for her age group.
I spoke to my mother, a retired Kindergarten teacher, and we teamed up together to make this happen.  Utilizing her experience as a teacher, I was able to incorporate projects that would develop a child’s skills; from fine motor to writing and pencil grip.
What is a typical work day like? 
A typical work day does not begin until evening when my daughter is sleeping and goes late into the night.  Yes, I may be a little sleep deprived, but it has been well worth it.  And, I am so proud of the example that I am setting for my daughter when she tells me that she “wants to start her own company”.  
What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 
Time, time, time!  I struggled to plan my daughter’s art project before, now I am still trying to plan fun projects with her while balancing Create Abilities For Kids at the same time.
What did you do in your past work life?
In my past life I worked in marketing for a small business.  Much of the work I did included writing and design.
What have been some of your major successes?
That first subscriber was certainly a major success for the company, and so exciting.  I also enjoy the positive feedback and photos we get from existing subscribers sharing their child’s excitement and finished projects.
What have been some of your major challenges?
Major challenges are definitely finding time.  Running the company takes a lot of my efforts, so I don’t have as much time to operate the marketing aspect of the business.  We are relying a lot on word of mouth right now.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Definitely my daughter!  I want to set a positive role model for her as she grows up and settles on a career.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
Lack of sleep!  I will occasionally ask my daughter to help me with some projects.  Yes, it takes a little longer but it makes her feel like she is really helping.
What is next for your business?
We are hoping to continue growing our business over the next year or two.  From there I would like to add subscriptions available for older children.
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 
A little risk is necessary to reap huge rewards.  Certainly don’t put your family in jeopardy, but follow your dreams and you won’t regret it.

1 comment :

  1. These kits sound great for the kids and I really like the low monthly prices I will spread the word about this to my friends.