Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service.
Pampered Teacher is a subscription box for teacher gifts. Each box contains gifts for female teachers, like fashion accessories, beauty products and useful supplies for the classroom. There are a handful of questions we ask at checkout so we can surprise teachers with gifts that fit their needs and style.
What inspired you to launch your business idea?
I am a mother of two school-age boys. Over the years I’ve worked closely with my son’s teachers, including in-class volunteering that has left me drop-dead exhausted after an hour. How do they do it all day, all week? Then at the end of the year I see some parents not know what to give teachers to show how much they are appreciated.
There were years when room mothers bought useless gifts for the woman who devoted an entire school year to nurturing our children.
It wasn’t the fault of the room mom – there just wasn’t a clear, sensible gift available.
Secondly, my mother was a teacher for almost 20 years, and my father spent all 20 of those years with no idea what to get her for any special occasion. He would have jumped at the chance to put his gift giving on auto-pilot with a subscription box like Pampered Teacher.
What problem does your business or organization solve?
We provide a variety of quality teacher gifts that are hand-selected to fit a teacher’s lifestyle. We make it simple for teacher’s loved ones and room parents to select a subscription to fit their budget, and offer free shipping on all subscriptions.
No more teacher mugs! Make way for a gift that makes teachers feel really appreciated.
What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
I am a very private person. I don’t publicize my emotions or personal life very easily. So when it came to creating my on-line store I first took a very pragmatic approach. I presented my subscriptions as a list of features rather than conveying the real purpose, which is to thank teachers for their dedication to the most important aspect of our future – our children.
And without everyone having experiences like mine where I left a classroom with a debilitating headache because kids were falling out of their chairs, talking over instructions, spilling glue in their lap….I could go on…others can’t fully capture how a single teacher orchestrates 25+ personalities and instills an understanding of common core requirements.
Free shipping and stylish gifts just doesn’t make people get the whole picture. So I had to dig deep into myself to find the words and images to convey what I was really going after. Businesses are so much more than a product or service.
Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Project Eve has shown me so many positive examples of woman taking a leap outside their comfort zone.
Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry or startup story.
People who are in the same or similar situation as you, are more likely to help you because they “get it.” At first I was really hurt when my friends were not sharing my Facebook page and retweeting my tweets. Then I found that people I didn’t even know – but were fellow entrepreneurs – were giving me big shout outs. My friends aren’t being rude. They just don’t know what it takes to launch a business. Just like I’d never know what a teacher goes through if I hadn’t been a witness to it.
So it’s important to join groups of like-minded people so you can help each other. There’s room for everyone to excel.
Company: Pampered Teacher
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