On Pinterest, snow days with your kids look warm and cozy. Mugs of steaming hot chocolate with just the right amount of marshmallows. A big pot of chili simmering on the stove. Wet gloves and snow pants hanging out to dry in the mudroom. And well-behaved kids creating refrigerator-worthy craft projects. Here in the real world, parents know that tableau isn’t always accurate (at the very least, at least one kid tracks in snow from their boots).
But one local company is aiming to alleviate cabin fever with an easier answer to crafting.
Tiny Little Goodness, a Springfield-based company that launched in October, curates and ships art gift boxes with everything you need for creative projects.
“We wanted to make sure (parents) could have creative moments with their kids that they didn’t have to plan,” says Shay Shiely, co-founder of Tiny Little Goodness.
The craft boxes, which are available in both small and large sizes, come in multiple themes and arrive kitted out with everything needed for kids to create something fun. Themed boxes include a Dino Box that features art supplies like dinosaur figures, colorful paints, Popsicle sticks, foam cutouts and various “doo dads” as the enclosed checklist refers to them. Each box also comes with the necessary tools like paint brushes and mini glue—meaning moms or dads don’t have to make any last minute trips to Michael’s. A Princess Box is also always available. Plus, each season, the team behind Tiny Little Goodness dreams up themed boxes. This month, a snow-themed box is featured on the site, along with a Valentine box.
Shiely, and her co-founder Nancy Tomchik, came up with Tiny Little Goodness when they were looking to find more flexibility and creativity in their careers. The pair met at a local university in 2012 where they worked on, as Tomchik says, “all the fun things in college,” like residence life and student affairs. Both art lovers, they decided to team up using Shiely’s education background (she has a master’s in education and human development and a stint as an elementary school special education teacher with Teach for America under her belt) and Tomchik’s event planning experience to launch a series of art class pop-ups in Northern Virginia.
When they each got married and Shiely subsequently had a baby, they decided to adapt their talents to the elementary school set.
They asked themselves “how could we move from 18- to 24-year-olds to 4- to 8-year-olds,” explains Tomchik.
The result was Tiny Little Goodness, a company that harnesses their expertise, but allows them to put family first. “We wanted a business that would grow with our families,” says Shiely, as her 16-month-old cheerfully crawled under foot during a coffee shop interview with Northern Virginia Magazine. “Plus, we could reach a broader audience with selling online.”
The Tiny Little Goodness boxes focus on process art—meaning all the tools are provided for a fun afternoon of crafting, whatever the final result looks like.
“It’s about the act of making and using your imagination to create,” says Shiely. “There’s no right way to make a snowman.”
On the horizon, Shiely and Tomchik will continue to expand their art box offerings and look for opportunities—like potentially hosting art-themed birthday parties—to help parents make crafting fun and easy for their kids.
“Our business is called Tiny Little Goodness because we want to find goodness in every day and find moments to spend together with family,” says Shiely. “It’s about community for us.” And knowing crafting is about the process, not the Pinterest post. // Mini boxes (for at least two crafts), $25, large boxes (four crafts), $55
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