As if starting your own e-commerce business doesn’t present enough challenges, try starting it with your spouse. What could possibly be more crazy than starting your own e-commerce business with your spouse? Having a newborn baby to take care of and nurture during your startup. Now take all of that and add into the mix a growing business with online orders that keep coming in and product that needs to be shipped out.
That’s the exciting story behind BumpBoxes, a Peoria-based e-commerce business founded by Christine and Lee Deehring in the summer of 2014. BumpBoxes is a company dedicated to finding the safest and healthiest products expectant mothers can buy, and offers bundles of the best products on a subscription basis which continues to expand.
Due to its rapid growth, BumpBoxes has gotten the nod to attend Launch Festival, the world’s largest startup event in San Francisco in just over a week. This three-day event attracts companies from across the world for product demos, an angel summit, a hackathon with over 1,000 developers, and a pitch competition worth a life-changing chance at private investment.
Having been somewhat unfamiliar with the event itself, the Deehring’s were curious about the email that would ultimately lead to a conference call, booking plane tickets to San Francisco, and the nervous excitement that comes from the opportunity to present their business to a huge audience.
They’ll be featured in the e-commerce category in the Demo Pit, and paired with other companies who have less than $2 million in funding and have been around for less than three years. In the time leading up to the event, they are preparing as much as they can, but also fulfilling as many orders as the six members of their staff can box.
Behind The Box
As PEN discovered, it’s all hands on deck in the BumpBoxes office. In the space they’ve already outgrown and are moving out of soon, if you’re not answering calls, updating the backend of the site, or working on a customer order, you’re doing research on products to ensure the best quality is being found.
If it sounds crazy, it kind of is. But they have struck a healthy balance and the success has been hard-earned. “Everybody just pitches in. We work to create a team environment and everyone knows that every job is important,” Lee mentions. Certainly there are learning curves when it comes to any business, let alone one where you are taking on so many new challenges at once. “We make a great team and it’s been easy to transition to whatever role we need to,” adds Christine.
The inspiration for the business came from a mother looking for the best product on the market for her and her baby. The husband saw the need to gather all of the information his wife had scoured for on the internet, and they would create something together that would have future impact.
While BumpBoxes may be in its infancy, its founders have, “experienced enough in a short amount of time to be consultants,” as Christine put it. The opportunity to take their business to Launch Festival will only help things grow and mature even more, and hopefully there are no bumps in the road to getting this idea fully funded.