Today on Moms on Mondays I am happy to feature Cindy from Ruthie Box! I've never met Cindy but she lives in my neighborhood, and I was referred to her business by another mama, also a neighbor. She started this awesome business to lift up other mamas/women, and I think it is just fabulous. Give her social media a follow and order a box for a friend today!
What is the name of your business and how can we find you?
Tell us about what you sell.
I sell unique, high-end care packages! Each box contains a bar of dark, craft chocolate made in New York (Mast Brothers chocolate), super cute colored elastic hair ties, the best lip balm on the market, a charm necklace on an inspirational card and a guaranteed favorite mug designed in France. There are different flavors of chocolate, different colors and patterns of the hair ties, and different charms on the necklaces - so every box is a little bit different and has an element of surprise! They are hand-packaged and each box comes with a customized note. They are perfect for when you want to send someone a gift that is more thoughtful than flowers (or just something off of Amazon), but you don’t have the time to put a care package together yourself!
People have sent Ruthie boxes for many different occasions - for a friend who is pregnant or just had a baby (things like chocolate and a mug are perfect when you are sleep deprived, hormonal and feel like nothing fits, trust me I know), to commemorate a new job, a move, an engagement, for someone recovering from surgery or illness, a birthday, or even just to brighten someone else’s day! The best part is, unlike flowers, your Ruthie box won’t wither and die!
Why did you decide to start this business?
A few years ago one of my best friends was going through a breakup and she lived across the country. I couldn’t stand not being around to comfort her, and I wanted to send her a care package to cheer her up, but I didn’t have the time to shop around and put a good one together. So, I consulted Google for a care package company that could help me out and I was shocked that all I could find were care packages of junk food. So, that was when I thought there was a real need for this type of thing. Of course I never got around to sending my friend something, but once I had the business up and running I was sure to send her a Ruthie Box! And now she is happily married with a baby so don’t worry, it all worked out!
How long have you been in business?
I launched in June of 2014. I took a break after I had a baby, our third bundle of joy, because I wanted to focus on figuring out life with 3 littles. Also, I figured if I was going to be running a business I wanted to run it well (which meant actually sleeping a little bit). Now I am back in business and couldn’t be more excited about it! I love knowing that I am helping make someone else’s day and spreading a little joy in the world.
What is your background (college/career/etc.)?
I went to a small, Catholic liberal arts school in Texas called the University of Dallas. It is a great school and I loved going there! I got my degree in Psychology and Pre-Law, but by the end of my senior year I decided I didn’t want to go to law school. After graduation, I married my best friend and we both got jobs working in Italy, and we had our first child there - talk about an adventure! We moved back to the states and have loved raising our children near family.
Tell us a little bit about your family.
My husband, Steve, and I have 3 kids. A daughter, who is 5 and two boys, aged 2 and 8 months. Steve has been unbelievably supportive of my business venture and I’m grateful my kids are always happy to lend a helping hand (even if sometimes it’s a sticky one!).
How does this company help your family? Or you?
I am so lucky and blessed to be able to run this business from home. It has been great to pour myself into an endeavor that is business oriented, and have something in addition to family life. It is nice to have work while also not having a boss! I guess that is the best case scenario for anyone. I really enjoy researching and finding fun, quality products to put in Ruthie boxes. When we were choosing the chocolate to put into the care packages my husband and I cracked open a bottle of wine one night and ‘taste-tested’ a bunch, so the job does come with perks. :)
How do you find time to run your business?
I do most of my work at night, after the kids have all gone to bed. My husband is actually an artist in his free time and spends many evenings painting or sculpting, so it is pretty fun. We put music on and create together. I work on Ruthie box stuff and he makes beautiful art, so it is a nice groove we have going. Whenever I’m extra busy and need to get stuff done during the day, I must confess I have been known to resort to Netflix to keep the kids entertained.
What do you love about this business?
I named my business Ruthie Box after my Grandma Ruth who passed away a couple of years ago. I chose her name because she could always bring me comfort when I needed it most, and I wanted my care packages to do that for people - to bring them a piece of comfort. I love being a part of brightening up someone’s day or celebrating special occasions. Also, who doesn’t love mail? I have always loved getting mail and being surprised by a thoughtful gesture via snail mail, so providing that joy for others is great.
Where do you see your business in the future?
I hope to expand our boxes and carry more options! Also, I am now offering customized boxes for groups, for something like an office wide appreciation gift at your place of work, or for a way to ask your best friends to be bridesmaids; so I’m hoping to see growth in those areas. At this point, the entire business is just me. I made and run the website, the packaging, everything from the top down; so if one day I am at the point where I need more employees that would be amazing (and make the office meetings a little more exciting).
Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?
My main piece of advice would be to just go for it! Pursue whatever dream you may have. I know that sounds super cheesy, but it’s true. That is how Ruthie box originated, I had this idea and I thought “I just want to see how far I can take it." I love being able to see my hard work pay off, and feel like I am helping contribute to our family. It has also made me feel a renewed love of our country, where if you work hard enough anyone can enter the business realm, and most of the people you encounter along the way are encouraging and want you to succeed as well. So, enjoy living in this great country that encourages anyone to be an entrepreneur and truly take advantage of it!
Thank you Cindy, I loved having you today!