Today we’d like to introduce you to Whitney Ebert.
Whitney, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My husband and I have always had an obsession with making and playing games. I remember one time when we were in our early 20’s we dedicated an entire weekend to designing and creating a drinking game specific to my husband’s home town and high school friends. Of course, this was WAY before we had kids, so we had tons of extra time to play around and just have fun.
Anyway, fast-forward a few years and now we have kids, so our time is limited.
However, we still have a passion for creating games.
Now, we have channeled that love into creating children’s learning games.
As an elementary teacher by trade, I wanted to find a fun, learning activity for my son that would allow him to work independently and learn foundational math and reading skills. However, when you go on Google and look for “Learning games” almost everything that comes up is an app or computer game. Where are all the screen-free, hands-on learning games that kids can work on independently?
Nowhere. They are called workbooks and those are just plain boring.
It’s funny because my husband approached it differently. He was looking for an activity (other than screen-time) to hold my son’s attention so that he could go to a brewery and not have to constantly entertain the kids. He wanted time to relax.
He started locking up a treat inside a box and making my son solve a series of puzzles to “unlock” the treat. Magically, this kept our son enthralled for almost an hour!
Who knew that a random (and cheap) surprise in a box could keep kids so entertained!
We knew we were on to something amazing when other kids at the brewery would come over to our son and sit down and work on the puzzle challenges with him. Random kids sitting down to play our homemade games!
Additionally, our son’s friends would beg to play a “lock box” game whenever they came over to our house.
When I saw kids begging to learn, I knew this was a genius idea.
Blimey Box games are a combination of a treasure hunt and escape room for kids in a portable kit. The teacher side of me works on making the games learning-based (using California State Standards) and my husband enjoys adding tweaks to continue to challenge little brains and promote out-of-the-box thinking.
After seeing how much our son loves these puzzle games, we started taking our lockbox games everywhere with us. Restaurants, breweries, camping, and road trips because you never know when you are going to want 40 minutes of uninterrupted time!
A few months of making the games for our son and his friends, and we decided that this is something we should share with other parents. There are so many busy parents out there who would like some time to themselves without having to park their kid in front of a screen. And we have a way to help.
And thus began our journey with Blimey Box.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
“Starting a business is a piece of cake!” – No one ever.
We are still in the start-up phase of our journey, but we have already endured many struggles.
At one point, I remember thinking it is a miracle that any children’s toys ever get created. There are so many legal hurdles to overcome when manufacturing a product that is going to be used by kids!
I try to stay positive because I believe that we learn so much from making mistakes and overcoming obstacles. My husband usually rolls his eyes, but I am seriously amazed at all we have learned during this last year.
If anything, my biggest piece of advice to young entrepreneurs is to stay positive! Download the Motivational App on your phone if you have to, but always look on the bright side of any challenge you run into.
If you are truly passionate about what you are doing and believe that you are going to change the world, it is easier to have an optimistic mindset when starting a business. Passion and positivity are key!
We’d love to hear more about Blimey Box.
Blimey Box games are hands-on, screen-free learning games that are fun and highly engaging for young minds. Our goal is to help busy parents teach their young children creative problem-solving and growth mindset skills with fun, hands-on brain games.
We came up with an easy solution for busy parents to mentally challenge their smart kids. When young kids are advanced learners, it is often difficult to find games and activities that stimulate and challenge them.
Blimey Box has downloadable games that require gifted children to not only practice and learn foundational math and reading skills, but more importantly, it also supports perseverance, growth mindset, creative problem-solving, and out-of-the-box thinking. These skills can be difficult to teach to young learners using traditional approaches.
We are so excited to be able to help so many parents provide hands-on, fun, and challenging learning games to their young kids. All parents need to do is print the games and set them up with the locks and boxes. It takes less than 5 minutes for parents to set up, but kids enjoy 30 minutes of brain stimulating fun!
Our purpose is to give busy parents the tools they need to challenge their little learners and help them become critical thinkers.
“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” – George Dorsey
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
Podcasts are amazing! You can learn about anything (and I mean ANYTHING) and discover tons of helpful information. There are tons of business coaches, online marketers, even teachers giving wonderful and helpful advice on podcasts.
Some of my favorite Podcasts I LOVE and find so helpful for business advice are:
The Product Boss Podcast https://www.theproductboss.com/podcast/: These are two amazing women who share helpful information for product entrepreneurs
BizChix Podcast https://www.theproductboss.com/podcast/ – Natalie Echdahl encourages, educates, and promotes female entrepreneurs.
Flipped Lifestyle https://flippedlifestyle.com/category/podcast/ – this Kentucky couple started their businesses online and they help teach families how they can do it too.
Once you find a podcast or business coach that resonates with you, I suggest attending one of their live events. Chances are that if you identify with the coach, other people like you do too. They will be your people!
Networking with people at live events is invaluable. When you find like-minded and motivated people just like you, it is more about building relationships than just “networking.” I’ve met some of the most amazing people at live events and it has helped me grow and shape my business beyond my dreams.
- Website: blimeybox.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blimeybox/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlimeyBox