Amanda Kelly—Stash Builder Box

In your 1st month you’ve seen phenomenal success. How did you launch? And (besides your awesome product) what would You attribute your success too? 

I launched using the subscription platform Cratejoy & they have an incredible section of advice, tips, tricks and help for all subscription boxes. I buried myself in articles, audiobooks and their advice on how to get the ball rolling. I started my pre-launch phase in March, opening on April 16th for orders. 

My husband has been an entrepreneur for almost 5 years now, I would say that watching his journey has been so helpful to me in my own life and this new journey. I've gleaned so much from him over the years that he's truly so smart and gives me the best advice.

Did you expect this type of success so early on?

To be honest, I still am blown away at the success we've had in month one! As a box with a cause, we take 20% of all proceeds from every box sale to make quilts for kids. We launched our "Heart Builders" team in March & our team is made up of over 50 volunteers to each play a part in making a quilt. We launched this Heart Builders team before we even launched our box. We far surpassed our sales goal for month one all the while building up our Heart Builders team. It's truly shown me the incredibly generous heart of the quilting community and those wanting to make a difference in the life of a child. In no way did I expect this at all, but I do believe that it's an awesome way to help and so many people have an amazing heart to help.

Example of a Stash Builder Box

Example of a Stash Builder Box

What demographic would you say is most interested in Stash Builder Box? 

It's been interesting to see because it's truly such a variety of demographics. We get the early to mid 30's Moms with young kids who quilt while their kids nap, girls who are in high school, the older women who have hours free in their days to make quilts - even to the men who quilt. I truly believe that sewing is a skill that can cross over into all ages and demographics and we've truly seen such a variety! 

What’s your favorite quilt you’ve ever made?

When I was 15 years old, my Dad was working for LifeFlight and was sadly in a tragic helicopter accident that took his life. My Dad left behind my Mom & us 4 kids that ranged in ages from 17 down to age 3. This past year, my Mom generously gave me a bag of my Dad's old work T-shirts that I ended up turning into a quilt for my older sister for Christmas. It was truly made with blood, sweat and tears. My sister has it hanging up on her wall and it is my favorite and most sentimental quilt thus far. 

A portion of your proceeds go to charity. What types of charities do you work with, and have you been able to see any of the donations carried through yet? If so, what’s that like…

We are a box with a cause and we enjoy working with children's charities to bless kids in need. We actually just did our first quilt donation to an organization called Mission Fiji last week! We rotate charities every 3 months so starting in March, we were making, collecting and finishing quilts and with all the helping hands of our Heart Builders, we completed 15 quilts! It was amazing to see everything come together and to be able to bless the children of Fiji after villages got destroyed from the tropical cyclone this past February. 

We did our Mission Fiji donation & now our current organization is called My Stuff Bags. They provide children entering crisis or foster care with an individual duffle bag full of items to keep, including a blanket of some kind. We are planning on helping them from now until August. It's amazing to see the response for Mission Fiji and I can't wait to see how things go with My Stuff Bags! 

What’s your favorite thing about quilting? 

My favorite thing about quilting is being able to give them away. My life verse is Proverbs 3:27 which says, "Do not withhold good from whom it is due, when it is in your power to act." In my own life, quilting has truly been a way to utilize the talents I've been given, to show kindness and spread love to the best of my ability.

What’s been the biggest challenge in starting your business? 

The biggest challenge with starting this business has been prioritizing my time. With 3 kids to shepherd, raise, and spend time with each daywhen I get some down time I truly have to prioritize. 

It's been a good challenge and a stretching challenge because sometimes I have to check my need to do's vs. my want to do's. I have to make sure what I choose to do is the best use of my time and focus in that moment.

Do you work out of your house or do you have an office space? How has that transition been?

I am blessed to be a stay at home Mom to 3 little girls every day & I work on this out of our house. I work on it when my girls take a nap during the day and after they're down for bed at night. I am thankful for my supportive husband and his help, advice & patience with it. We just shipped out our first months box on May 15th and my whole basement became a packing, shipping, assembly line which was CRAZY. He helped me until 2:30 in the morning for 2 nights in a row even when he had his own stuff to do. He's has his own business yet he was still incredibly helpful. The transition has definitely been a growing experience and challenge in so many ways!

How’d you come across Bookly and what made you pull the trigger?

I actually was referred to Bookly by my husband through a series of connections he had. I pulled the trigger for so many reasons! Being a full time Mom and knowing nothing about QuickBooks, I wanted to work with someone who had experience & would be willing to do it all. Bookly has all the features I'm looking for, the ease in which I can find what I'm looking for & the help when I may need it. It's an amazing company and I'm excited to work with them! 

How do your kids feel about your transition into a “mommypreneur” –have you found it hard to balance the two? Do they like to get involved?

My oldest will be 5 in December and she absolutely Ioves to help. Prior to doing this business, I would always be sewing when the younger 2 babies took naps and she would always be my shadow. She's allowed in my scrap bin and she will "make quilts", cut fabric, draw pictures and make "presents" for her friends. With an entrepreneurial husband who walks the balance of the "business tightrope" so well, he's an amazing example to me of putting family first. We never want to forsake our family for the sake of money because to us that's not what this life is about.