Out the door...

Every month we are hard at work planning, researching, testing, marketing, purchasing, creating, writing, designing, and finally 'crating' GIRLS CAN! CRATE. It takes a lot to get a crate from start to finish. The moment we drop those red polka dot crates at the United States Post Office, well, there's a great amount of excitement and anticipation because we can't wait to hear about what our little ones think or receive pictures of them using our crates. 

"So, what does the process look like exactly?" you may ask. I'm so glad you asked! Here's just a small glimpse at what it looks like to get a GIRLS CAN! CRATE from conception to mailbox...

 GIRLS CAN! CRATE: When a crate goes out the door, what do you hope for it?
MEGAN: I hope little girls meet these fearless female role models and think, "Girls are awesome," in one breath and then, "I'm awesome" in the next. I want them to realize that the best way to change the world is to be themselves, fearlessly, and then do that. Also, I want them to tell their friends, so that more girls join the GIRLS CAN! CRATE club.

Months and months before we send out the current crate, we sit down and map out the 'who.' We take into account the time of year---a crate, for example,  that would feature a woman who worked with plants wouldn't work in the dead of winter as we'd probably want to do a planting activity and given that for much of the country winter means snow and ice, so no planting. We take into account who we've featured in previous months---we want to offer our subscribers a variety of women that we feature so that little ones can see the beauty in diversity, whether that be in the field that the woman worked in, the character trait she exemplified, or her background. And so on and so on... there's really so much more that we consider! But once we select who goes with which month, the fun begins....

 GIRLS CAN! CRATE: When a crate goes out the door, what do you hope for it?
KRISTEN: I hope that a girl sees something of herself in the woman that we've featured, whether that be in what the woman did or who she was. Selfishly, I hope she likes the story because as a writer, you want your work to matter! I, also, want her to love the play prop...because that's usually one of my favorite parts! 

I, Kristen, begin to really dig into the woman's background to learn more about not just what she did, but how it was that she did it as the woman she was. Does that make sense? Take Maya Angelou, for instance. Yes, I was familiar with her poetry; I loved her work and how she used her voice with intention to spur on change. I knew that she'd experienced trauma as a child, but as I dug deeper and learned that as the result of the trauma and what happened to her assailant, she was mute for 5 years. Her voice became that much more powerful to me. Her words of intention became that much more meaningful. Thus, she became the Powerful Poet. From there, I begin to write her story, and other written components of the crate. And the more I learn, the more that I glean that sort of information, that learning of the character trait, the obstacles that were faced, how she overcame what she did, well all of that spills over into other areas of the crate and the business of crating.

While I'm immersing myself into the life of our featured lady, Megan and Alison are designing activities that resonate with the lady's life, her character, and the field that she worked in. They want to ensure that each activity aligns with that woman whilst being fun and educational for our subscribers. And that the activity works! There have been times where they've come up with an idea for an activity and tested it only to have it not quite turn out for whatever reason.  We won't send out a crate that's not as excellent as it can possibly be. So, they try again until we're all satisfied that it will be a great activity. In order to do that, though, we also must get a very important stamp of approval....from other little ones. We test the activities with littles within our age range. If they're satisfied and enjoy it, then we're good. But if there's even a hint of something not working with them, we tweak it until it does work for them. That said, we recognize that every kiddo is different. So what may capture the attention and imagination of one little one may not capture the attention and imagination of another. But we're confident that every crate will contain some element that will resonate with each little one that opens it up.

GIRLS CAN! CRATE: When a crate goes out the door, what do you hope for it?
ALISON: I hope it's the best crate yet! That it inspires, educates, and is most importantly, so fun

From there, Megan takes over as the graphic designer and works on designing activity book pages, activity instructions, and more, while Alison is busy ordering what is needed to get the crate together and working on writing up activity instructions and more. All this happens while we're also working on blog posts, social media posts, and life stuff---maintaining relationships, buying groceries, keeping appointments, and all those other adulting tasks. You know, that thing called life. :) 

Then, we all come together as a team and put each crate together. We hand-pack each crate. And for me, I think this makes all the difference. We get to see our product from the very start through to the very end. While we could arrange for a Post Office pick-up, there's something so satisfying about placing them into the bins on ship day ourselves and sending them out across the country. We leave, take a moment to breathe, and then...we get right back to work because the next month has already begun and we've got work to do and little ones to inspire...

GIRLS CAN CRATE: If you had to create a crate for yourself, what would you want it to be called?

ALISON: HA! It would be Alison Shores, the Spontaneous Motivator!

MEGAN: Hmm...The Creative Crater, I'd love for a crate about me to be called the Fearless, Funny, Compassionate, World-Changing Crater, but that's not me yet. I'll work on it.

KRISTEN: Errrr....that's a hard one, but what about something like The Accidental-On purpose Adventurer? I've done a lot of "adventurous" things that I didn't set out to do, but challenged myself to do anyways when they presented themselves....

This was taken at an event we held at a local Tucson toy store in April where we introduced little ones to the Fearless Flier, Bessie Coleman. GIRLS CAN! CRATE is a group effort! We can't do this alone...Josh helps with photography; Megan as Amelia Earhart, Kristen as Rosie the Riveter, Alison as Bessie Coleman, and our friend Eva, who we bounce ideas off of and is a sounding board for us. 

This was taken at an event we held at a local Tucson toy store in April where we introduced little ones to the Fearless Flier, Bessie Coleman. GIRLS CAN! CRATE is a group effort! We can't do this alone...Josh helps with photography; Megan as Amelia Earhart, Kristen as Rosie the Riveter, Alison as Bessie Coleman, and our friend Eva, who we bounce ideas off of and is a sounding board for us.