When asked why she began her business, ‘inchargebox’ Kate Curry is full of passion and enthusiasm explaining it’s importance. It was instigated by a visiting neighbour who was struggling with teenage boys who were addicted to online gaming and their tech devices. One had dropped out of school and never left his bedroom, and the other was also spending all his time gaming.
Kate also thought it very important that screen time was limited within her own family. The World Health Organisation recommends no more than two hours per day and to enforce this Kate and husband Andrew were initially taking and hiding phones etc, only for the batteries to go flat once produced again. There was also always a mess of cords and charging devices everywhere.
To solve this problem Kate has worked on and developed the inchargebox. Initially produced here in Australia, production costs have meant it is now made overseas. It’s made of powder coated steel and is lockable with either 5 or 10 USB ports inside and is big enough to hold phones, iPads, kindles, school computers etc. They have been selling for around two and a half years and in that time Kate has sold over 1000 units with new distributors and overseas markets in New Zealand and the US looming.
The main advantages of the inchargebox is that it helps families set boundaries with tech time, takes control of tech clutter and frees up time and energy for non screen activities. Introducing children to the concept from the time they get their first devices is a great way to manage control from the very start. “It’s bedtime so all devices into the inchargebox until morning”. Studies show that kids are missing sleep as they use devices during the night and we all know how good a full night’s sleep is for us!
Kate feels there are a few factors that are influencing the success of her business. Word of mouth is the biggest one and also having an online presence. It’s the only one in the world so at this stage there is no competition. Word of mouth is mainly coming from Mums who are discussing with others how they now feel more in control and less stressed not having to argue with kids about tech boundaries. Once things are locked up, they are locked up and it avoids family arguments over usage.
A good challenge to have in any business is dealing with the issues of supply and demand. When we caught up with Kate, she had actually sold out of a couple of her models.
Cash flow can also be a problem…needing enough money to buy materials to keep producing to demand.
Website challenges can also be frustrating with Kate finding that communicating what she wants and actually getting it to her satisfaction are not always on the same page!
Time also influenced Kate to give up another business of hers which she has run successfully for five years in her back garden. Called The Zen Den, it was a venue for offering Pamper Parties to young girls. But with the increasing success of inchargebox, Kate had to make the decision to concentrate on that and give up Zen Den.
Why Support Marcellin?
Regularly a family joins our Marcellin community as new Year 7 parents and makes their presence felt straight away by their willingness to be involved and engaged…and the Curry family exemplify this.
They have enthusiastically embraced everything and feel they want to be as involved as possible as they are in for the long haul with Freddie being in year 7. They also have a long history here with Dad Andrew and his brothers all attending here in their school days as well.
They appreciate the sense of community and the caring for others philosophy. The events they have attended give them a chance to meet others and they love that there are various opportunities to socialise. And finally the introduction of Polaris and its new way of learning has impressed them.
Kate has recently finished doing a Business course and has actually been nominated for a National Award in the AusMumpreneur awards which recognises and celebrates Mums achieving success in areas such as business excellence, product development and digital innovation to name a few.
Her opportunities involve greater sales in stores and overseas (with leads in NZ and the US already). She also tries to keep her overheads low.
And of course keeping her website up to date with not only product information, but sharing findings on kids being online for too long and being able to connect with other parents.
Looking after herself is also important as being a Mum and business woman can be challenging. Kate finds her relief in 80s dancing classes and Zumba.
Nickname at school (Mandeville): Katie B
Favourite subject: English Literature
Favourite Holiday Destination: New York
TV Show you’d like to appear in: G.L.O.W or Wentworth
Favourite Canteen Food: Chocolate Donuts
Favourite Artist: Pink
Who would you like to meet?: Prince or George Michael
AFL Team: Hawthorn (and specifically Cyril!)
Car: A pink 1973 Chevvy
Dogs or Cats: Cats AND Dogs
Finally: Kate would love to offer anyone in the Marcellin community a 10% discount on purchasing one of her inchargeboxes. Have a look here: www.inchargebox.com.au