Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur Series // Dr. Shannon Curtis of Back to the Basics

This week Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur Series we are featuring Dr. Shannon Curtis from Back to Basics / You Matter! Box.  Dr. Curtis and I were connected through a mutual facebook group and as soon as she told me what she was doing I thought it was a wonderful idea.  

Nowadays with the presence of social media the box can be such a great way to help promote a positive self-image and lead to more positive thinking.  “This box is filled with encouraging, uplifting items to show them that they are loved, they are important, and they matter!” 

I would like to thank Shannon for taking the time to share her story and more about her business with us.  Check out the You Matter! Box website and connect with You Matter! Box on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Enjoy the interview!
 
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
My husband and I have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. I am 41 years old. I taught math for 3 years and have been a school counselor since 2008. I earned a Doctoral degree in 2017 in Health Science with a global health track and emphasis in mental health. I see students everyday who struggle with things in their life and I created the You Matter! box to help encourage them.
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Shannon Curtis)
 
What does your business do?
My business currently runs a subscription box service called the You Matter! Box. The box is for young people who struggle with issues such as depression, anxiety, bullying, self-harm, etc. I like to think of it as a box of encouragement to let them know they are important, they are loved, and they matter. All too often young people fail to see the value in themselves.
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Shannon Curtis)
 
Who is your target audience or market?
The target audience is ages 10-22, but others could also benefit from the services.
 
What year did you start your business?
The business was established in January 2018, and the subscription box launched in February.
 
What were you doing before starting your business?
I currently work as a high school counselor & have the subscription box on the side.
 
Where is your business located? Do you have a dedicated workspace?
My business is located in Paragould, Arkansas. At the moment my workspace is our spare bedroom.
 
What would you say your biggest success has been? What was the key action that led to this success?
The biggest success has been gaining subscribers. I owe this to the Subscriptionpreneurs page under the guidance of Derian Baugh. There are so many people who are starting and running boxes and they are so helpful to offer guidance and advice. Also, the Cratejoy Subscription School page has been a huge help too.
 
What would you say your biggest failure has been?
The biggest failure was trying to start a subscription box on my own without any guidance & without doing a prelaunch.
 
What did you learn from this failure and how have you changed things to prevent this from happening again?
It was completely unsuccessful. I researched, joined groups, asked for advice and coaching.
 
What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
The biggest challenge so far is learning all I need to know. There is still so much to learn.
 
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? If so, why?
The first week after I went live with my website, I had zero subscribers. It was then that I thought I just needed to give up and just assumed I did not have a good idea. I’m so glad I held on!
 
What do you love MOST about being an entrepreneur?
I love the idea of being my own boss and pursuing something I’m very passionate about.
 
What do you love LEAST about being an entrepreneur? 
It’s scary! I am so scared of failure.
 
How have you funded your business? How long has it taken you to see a profit?
The business has been funded with my personal funds so far. We have only shipped our first month of products, so I have not see a profit at this time, but expect to within the next couple months.
 
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 did not always see myself owning my own business. I figured I would be working in the education system until I retire. It has only been the last couple of years that I have wanted to do this and can really see it being a success.
 
Where do you see your business in the next 3 to 5 years? 
I see the You Matter! box growing and expanding to where I need an alternate place to fulfill orders. I also hope to expand to other services such as school based or start a You Matter movement.
 
What advice would you give to other women that are interested in starting their own business?
Go for it! Life is too short to not shoot for your dreams.
 
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!)
The Subscriptionpreneur facebook group, The Subscription School facebook gorup, the Cratejoy website, and the Pirateship shipping website.
 
What does your day to day in your business look like?
At this time, I am gaining about one subscriber per day. The number of subscribers is not where I want it to be, but I work on the business daily as much as I can.
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Shannon Curtis) 
 
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?
I love to travel, which is another reason that the idea of owning my own business is so appealing. I am a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the Nashville Predators hockey team. We also like going to concerts.
 
Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you or your business?
I do not hope to become rich, I hope to make a decent living while doing something meaningful and helping others. There is so much loneliness and heartbreak in this world. I really want this business to be something that brings light and hope to someone else.
 
Any other comments?
Along with the You Matter! Box comes the You Matter! pack which is a “lite” version that has fewer items at a more affordable price. The box and pack both come with an activity and items to help re-wire your brain for positive thinking.
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Shannon Curtis)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
Thank you so much to Dr. Shannon Curtis for taking the time to share their story and more about their business with us.  Remember to check out the You Matter! Box website and connect with You Matter! Box on Facebook, Instagram, 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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