It’s been a long long time since I’ve posted on this blog. Since our Kickstarter campaign back in July was successfully funded for $23k, it has been non-stop StemBox madness for me! There were a few immediate and obvious actions to take like hiring legal and accounting firms to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. And from there it just became a matter of building a real company that could inspire young girls everywhere into believing that STEM is totally their jam!
Since the Kickstarter we’ve appeared on New Day Northwest Seattle’s morning talk show, done plenty of interviews with folks like MTV, Fortune.com, KPLU, and more while also being featured on the gift lists of Melinda Gates and Time.com.
Not to mention we signed a contract with our first corporate sponsor, Clorox’s subsidiary, Green Works Natural Cleaners. This moment is basically the second I realized that this wasn’t a dream, and StemBox needed 150% of my time and energy. So I left my research job at Fred Hutchinson. Suffice it to say, lots of crying on my last day and being scared of what would happen for the entirety of the process. I’m still scared sometimes, to be honest. But being scared and working through the unknown is what startup life is all about… I guess! With statistics that say 9/10 startups fail, it’s hard not to be scared, especially when you’ve put all of your eggs into that basket. But enough of the scary stuff, back to the fun stuff!
I was also invited to speak about StemBox at the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas (my home town!) along the likes of Bill Nye, which was an amazing and humbling experience, I could write a whole other post about it, but I’ll spare you all and just share the video of the 15 minute talk I gave and an embarrassing photo I took with Bill backstage.
Bill was really nice, but very busy. He stopped by the festival for a few hours to rest and give his talk, but immediately after his speech, he was whisked away in a golf cart to the airport. Luckily, I got to him before they drove off and he jumped out of the cart to chat and take some pictures before speeding off again.
After all the dazzling sparkle of press and interviews there is the cold hard reality that this was all just hype for an idea. We hadn’t shipped a single box* while all of this was happening. So that left a lot to prove and live up to. Definitely something daunting that I lost sleep over, but a challenge I was ready for!
So after dozens of interviews, hundreds of emails, thousands of dollars, and what felt like a lifetime of waiting, it happened.
We built 750 boxes and shipped them to girls all across America.
And the rest is history. Just kidding, there’s still about infinity+1 things to do everyday. I’ll be updating our blog when we send out a new box every month to help explain the process and emotional value each box has to me, as I think it’s a very important way to remind girls the humanity behind science and business. I’ll also try and share the fun stories that come along with being a first time entrepreneur and longtime feminist. So stay tuned and help keep up our momentum by sharing StemBox with your friends, getting in touch with me (even just to say hi**), or by subscribing! Box by box, StemBox is changing the playing field for girls and women in STEM. #BOSS
And finally, just for fun, I will leave you with my all time favorite gif in the world.
*We did host 2 small workshops in Seattle, but that’s still not running a fully fledged business!
**Emails just rain down from the sky these days, it just never ends, although not all of them are fun emails. Please forgive me if it takes me forever to respond!