In Conversation with Maria Berglund of In Kind Boxes

Maria Berglund_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Moms on a mission with baby shower gifts that give back.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I wanted to be a source of love and support for new moms, especially moms in need. Gift boxes like ours didn’t really exist. We’re filling a gap by offering baby shower gifts that give back, as well as a gift that is for both moms and their babies.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I have been a stay at home mom since 2012 when my first son was born. I have always been interested in volunteering and giving back. When we moved to Oregon in 2013 I joined a local mom group to make friends for myself, and my son. I joined the Moms Club board then, and stayed on as President for 3 years because I cared about bringing moms together to support one another. When my youngest came in 2017 I took a break from it all and focused on family. In 2019 decided I wanted to give back in a bigger way and started In Kind Boxes.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

No. That was never a title I sought out, although I do love the independence of working for myself.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

I wouldn’t say we had a specific strategy in place. We reached out to friends and family and asked them to show our social channels love, and help us spread the word about our mission. It’s tough in the beginning getting the word out! We’re still working daily on building awareness for what we do. Influencer marketing has been very helpful in that regard.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

Last year we had a challenging time with supplies. Some essentials that we include in our gift boxes were extremely hard to find due to COVID-19. These items (infant healthcare kit & hand sanitizer spray) were standard in our gift boxes prior to the pandemic. It was really important for us to continue to have them in our donated gift boxes especially. When doing research with our nonprofit partners who work with families in need, I was told that the expense of a thermometer was something many families couldn’t afford. I wanted to ensure that families receiving our gift boxes had the healthcare kits for that reason. I worked really hard to source them because of it.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

I am very proud of the work we do giving back. To me, that’s the most important thing- it’s why I started In Kind to begin with.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

As of right now, we don’t have any employees. In Kind is run by me and all of the day to day is me volunteering my time when I’m not busy with my kids. When we get to the point of hiring staff, I would look for folks who have a passion for our mission to give back.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

COVID-19 has impacted our work in a few ways: 

  • There are more families in need of our support than ever, so demand is high for donated boxes.
  • We were hoping to build awareness about what we do by participating in physical events, but that’s not really happening in Oregon. I work on building relationships, and connecting with people through our social media channels instead. 
  • Fundraising is tough right now because many individuals and businesses have been impacted by the pandemic.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

We just recently opened up our gift box donation program nationwide. Now we can help moms across the United States! As we continue to grow, I would love to have a physical location where we can have people help pack, deliver and ship gift boxes. I would also love more collaborations with businesses who want to donate products to our gift boxes, and help us help new moms.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Patience. When you’re passionate and driven, it’s hard to be patient, but sometimes it’s necessary.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

I wish I was less afraid, and believed in my capabilities more. This is all new territory for me, and I had imposter syndrome in a big way.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I don’t know if there is such a thing as balance for moms. We have a lot on our plates usually. I’m always multitasking, and doing my best to juggle work and family. Some days my best means checking more things off my list than other days. This is where patience comes in. I try to have patience with myself if I don’t get to everything I wanted to that day.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I am Canadian 🙂

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Have a grateful mindset. I think about all the things I “get to” do for In Kind each day, rather than things I “have to” do.
  • Write things down & make lists- they help me stay focused. 
  • Give yourself a break. Take time for yourself, drink water, get outside, move your body. Caring for myself helps me care for others better.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

I love reading about all of the inspirational Entreprenistas! Women are amazing. When we work together to lift each other up we are capable of doing great things.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Chef Joanne Thomas on Transforming Her Passion into A Culinary Business

“I didn’t realize that it was my gift. I know it was something that I enjoyed and it’s something that I loved, but I didn’t learn that it was my gift until I got into my 30s.” As a young girl, Joanne Thomas used her Easy-Bake Oven to make the best light-bulb-baked brownies that anyone…

April Gargiulo on Addressing the Luxury Skincare Market Gap

“So often in the beauty world the purpose of the communication is to create a sense of fear and insecurity and I refuse to participate in that.” In this episode of Entreprenista, we sat down with April Gargiulo, founder and CEO of Vintner’s Daughter, a Nutritional Skincare brand founded on the principles of unparalleled quality…

Cigdem Oztabak on Her Marketing and Communication Consultant Company

Hi, Cigdem! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi, I’m Cigdem. With over 21 years of experience in marketing and a fervent entrepreneurial spirit, I bring a comprehensive background in product marketing, communication, and content marketing focused on B2C mobile fintech app, B2B software sectors. Currently, I serve as a panel…

Keynote Speaker and Success Coach Rosann Santos on Her Business Journey

Hi, Rosann! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi, I’m Rosann Santos, a keynote speaker and success coach. I enjoy coaching my clients by using their strengths to move them forward. My exceptional communication skills in both English and Spanish allow me to stand out above the crowd. I empower, enlighten,…

Veteran Sherrie Bryant Shares About Her Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Company

Hi, Sherrie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hello, My name is Sherrie Bryant. I’m a veteran and woman-owned business. I served 31 years of service in the United States Army. I founded BLK ESSENSE, LLC, with one goal: to provide handcrafted and high-quality fragrances made from essential oils. BLK ESSENSE…

Transforming E-commerce Brands with Data-Driven Email Marketing with Shlesha Pandey

“I’ve tried so many things, I’ve been in the feast and famine cycle. First you struggle to get clients or customers and then you struggle with your marketing to keep up with that. It’s never ending. There’s always something to do and it’s important to take a pause and step back and look at how…

Mastering the Art of Serial Entrepreneurship with Divya Gugnani of Wander Beauty & 5 SENS

“Every email that goes out with a pitch to tell someone about the brand—they may not answer, they may not opt in for product, and we may not gift them, but I built one more touch point of brand awareness and maybe [they] read that email and discovered our brand. You have to be what…

Style Meets Comfort With Alexa Stimpfel’s Company, The Shoe Fairy

Hi, Alexa! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: My name is Alexa! I am the visionary entrepreneur behind The Shoe Fairy, where style meets comfort in the world of high heels. I am a shoe designer, e-commerce expert, a trailblazer in the bodybuilding industry, and above all, a mother. I founded…

Alexia Dubois’ Company Offers Sustainable, Luxurious Kid’s Apparel

Hi, Alexia! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi, I’m Alexia. At Shop Amour USA, we offer a unique selection of carefully curated European kid’s clothes brands that embody our strong values and commitment to quality. Our exclusive collection of premium kid’s clothing is designed and produced in Europe. We work…

Sandra Morno Helps Women Entrepreneurs Manage Their Money

Hi, Sandra! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Sandra Morno, a tax strategist and IRS Enrolled Agent, and I run SSBM Consulting LLC. I specialize in helping women with six-figure service businesses in the U.S., who live abroad or travel, manage their taxes. My mission is to educate and save…

Conquering Financial Trauma with Alejandra Rojas

“We learn the financial services, we learn what is in that system. We don’t learn about our relationship with money. We don’t learn about our relationship with success. We didn’t learn anything that has to do with the emotional and mindset side of money. You might know the instruments, you may know the old literacy…

Emily Walker Created Her Own Freedom With a Medical Credentialing Business

Hi, Emily! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi, I’m Emily, the owner of Integrity Medical Credentialing Services. I help providers build a strong base for their practice by ensuring they are connected correctly to the insurance companies needed and that their credentialing and information are accurate and current. What excites…

Building a Beauty Empire from the Ground Up with Kitsch Founder, Cassandra Thurswell

“I realized with every business that I’ve ever had, that is my strength, being of service. I’m an excellent waitress. I am an excellent people pleaser. I will serve until the day I die because I genuinely love doing it so much.” In this episode of Entreprenista, we sat down with Cassandra Thurswell, Founder and…

Carissa Jennings on Turning Pain Into Passion With Her Beauty Supply Store

Hi, Carissa! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi, I’m Carissa Jennings, a widowed mother of one child and inspiring author of a memoir I’ve been working on since 2016. A year after the death of my terminally ill father, I turned entrepreneur by turning my pain into my passion. I…

Christina Nicholson on Her Modern Marketing Agency, Media Maven

Hi, Christina! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Christina, I’m a journalist, national TV producer, and publicity and content creation agency owner of Media Maven. Our three-part YES Method amplifies the brand’s media exposure without breaking the bank. I started Media Maven after working as a local TV anchor and…