Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur Series // Corrie Wiedmann & Kelsa DeBrabant of Wonder Crate

Welcome to another interview of the “Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur” series on Busy Bee Kate. Today we are featuring two women, Corrie Wiedmann and Kelsa DeBrabant, founders of Wonder Crate.  Wonder Crate  is a subscription box that promotes social emotional learning and empowers kids ages 5-8.

Corrie and Kelsa launched their small business in 2017 and you’ll get to learn more about how they started Wonder Crate in the below interview.  I love how they talk about empowering children and their desire to “make a difference in the world in our own unique way.”  I feel like it’s such a powerful statement.  

You can find Wonder Crate on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest and get to know Corrie and Kelsa and more about Wonder Crate in the below interview!

 
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Corrie is a mom, educator and entrepreneur at heart. She has a degree in elementary education and psychology and has spent years working in the field of education. Kelsa is a mom, designer and teacher that has spent years working in the mental health field. In 2013 she launched her first business, Happy Patches.
 
What does your business do?
Wonder Crate is a monthly subscription box that promotes social emotional learning and empowers kids ages 5-8 to make a difference in the world. Each month, they gain real world skills to be more confident, manage emotions, embrace challenges and stay positive.
 
Who is your target audience or market?
Our target audience is moms that want to make sure their kids are equipped with the social emotional skills they need to cope and live happy balanced lives so basically all moms!
 
What year did you start your business?
2017
 
What were you doing before starting your business? 
Kelsa was running Happy Patches, a Mindful Moms group and teaching. Corrie was consulting for start-ups.
 
Where is your business located? Do you have a dedicated workspace?
It is an online business so we are both able to work from home offices.
 
What would you say your biggest success has been? What was the key action that led to this success?
Getting started and getting that first subscriber. You put your idea out in the universe and just hope that others will like it as much as you do. We knew when we shipped our first month of boxes that our mission of providing kids with the social emotional skills they needed to live happy healthy lives had begun.
 
What would you say your biggest failure has been? 
Each day we are learning something new. We struggled with the age range for our box in the beginning and finding activities that worked well for everyone. In our first box we didn’t test all the activities on the full age group & discovered one of the activities was too challenging for 4-5 year olds. We then adjusted our age range to 5-8. We don’t want the activities to be so challenging for a 5 year old that they get frustrated but at the same time we want the 8 year old to be challenged in order to grow. It is tricky.
 
What did you learn from this failure and how have you changed things to prevent this from happening again?
Luckily, Kelsa’s kids are 5 & 7 so we now test all activities and books on both of them to make sure they work for the full age range.
 
What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
Marketing and getting the word out on a small budget. Luckily, we live in an age of social media. I don’t know how small businesses did it before social media. Advertising is very expensive.
 
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? If so, why?
The beauty of a partnership is that when one person is having doubts, the other person is there to remind them of the importance of what they are doing and why they are doing it. As hard as it can be, we can’t imagine doing anything else.
 
What do you love MOST about being an entrepreneur? 
We love that it is a new challenge everyday and we are constantly learning new things. Plus we get to make a difference in the world in our own unique way.
 
What do you love LEAST about being an entrepreneur?
Constantly learning new things. In the beginning there was so much new technology to learn. We are constantly learning about new apps and services to help our business. It can be overwhelming.
 
How have you funded your business? How long has it taken you to see a profit? 
We funded it ourselves. Our revenue is steadily increasing but it has only been 3 months so we are not profitable yet.
 
Did you always see yourself owning a business? If so, is this the business that you thought you would be owning? If not, what did you think you’d be doing?
I had been helping other people with their startups and was trying to learn as much as I could so I could start my own business when the timing was right. Kelsa was already a small business owner in a different field. When we reconnected last year, we started brainstorming ways to build a company together that combined our passion for bringing social emotional learning to kids.
 
Where do you see your business in the next 3 to 5 years?
We will continue to grow our subscription customers but also hope to add a line of retail products for developing emotional intelligence. We want kids all over the world to have the tools they need to live happy, healthy lives.
 
What advice would you give to other women that are interested in starting their own business?
Just do it! If your passionate about something don’t let fear stop you. Expect it, and move forward anyway. There are so many great resources out there for starting a business- use them all (books, Internet, podcasts, Facebook groups, etc). Also, find a great community of entrepreneurs for support. We are part of several groups on Facebook and have several mom friends that run their own businesses that we can ask for help or support.
 
What is one program, tool or app that you can’t live without for your business? (If you have more than one, please feel free to share more!)
For social media, Word Swag is a great app for creating posts. Asana helps us divide up tasks. Mailchimp is great for building our email list and sending out newsletters. We recently started an affiliate program using Refersion.
 
What does your day to day in your business look like?
Since we are both moms we try to get most of our work done between 8-3. However, we usually get back on the computer after the kids are in bed. As an entrepreneur, no two days are the same.
 
As a business owner it can often be hard to find time for ourselves. What are your favorite hobbies and what do you like to do when you are not working?
We both like to read & run. Kelsa is attempting to run a marathon in every state.
 
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or your business? 
Wonder Crate is all about empowering children! We want to teach all children the social and emotional skills that will empower them to explore their world, challenge their current abilities, look for ways to make the world a better place, and expect their own efforts WILL change the future.
 
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Thank you so much to Corrie and Kelsa for taking the time to share their story and more about their business with us.  Remember to check out the Wonder Crate website and connect with Wonder Crate on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
 
Are you a small business owner?  Do you have a story to share?  Help others discover, learn, and support your business too!  Contact Katie at: kate (at) busybeekate.com for details or through our contact page.
 
Be sure to stop back next week for another interview and don’t forget to check out our past interviews here.
 
 
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