Starter Series: Box Play

Janette Eusebio Harwell reviews & interviews

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The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.

Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.

Our product line was inpired by our daughter Chloe (then 2 1/2 years old) who was OBSESSED with two things–empty boxes and stickers. As are most 2-5 year olds! Our mission behind Box Play is to promote creative play that stimulates curiousity, enthusiasm and learning in kids. We make eco-friendly recycling activity stickers that repurpse box cartons and tubes into fun, new toys. And they're made in the USA.

What do your kids think about your job?

Our daughter thinks that I work too much. She tells me almost every day. But she does love all the art projects we get to do together and she things it's pretty cool that I work from home. 

Tell us about a total mom + biz fail.

Year 1: When Chloe was 3, she started using our iPhones to take photos. One evening she took several photos of me (unbeknownst to me) and hit share after.  It was a series of (25 or more) shots of me at my computer with my back to her.  She said “Look mommy I took pictures of you.” I have a home office and sometimes my work life overruns my home life. Most definitely NOT a proud moment.

Year 2:  Just a few weeks ago it was Picture Day at school and I completely forgot. I sent my sweet and only child off to school looking like Orphan Annie—ratty hair, wrinkled uniform (could’ve won the Guinness Book of World Record for WRINKLIEST piece of clothing) and an unwiped chocolate milk moustache. When I got the text from my husband after he dropped her off at school I felt like the biggest mom fail.

Share with us a total win (brag away!)

I volunteered to do a Halloween craft project for Chloe’s class. We recycled toilet paper rolls into cute little mummies (attached photo). She was SO proud to have me in her class with all of her friends and teachers. I nearly wept from the joy on her face.

What’s your relationship with Mamalode?

I was actually introduced to Mamalode by a mutual friend of Elke’s. I think it’s really smart that you have one word “themes” each month.  I love the focus, the great content and writing styles.

About the Author

Janette Eusebio Harwell

Janette Eusebio Harwell is the founder and owner of both and . She struck out on her own in 2004 to start Stir Design and Advertising. Then in 2011, inspired by her 2-year-old's obsession with old boxes and stickers, Janette launched Box Play for Kids whose mission is to promote creative play that stimulates curiosity, enthusiasm and learning in kids.

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