Meet Leslie: Owner of Play To Grow Co
I met Leslie at her house one morning. The sun was shining and it LOOKED like a gorgeous day, despite temps being in the upper 20’s when I headed over. It’s silly because I’ve been taking clients for so long, but I still get so nervous and anxious heading out to meet clients, and feel more nervous doing this personal project and trying to connect with other women business owners. As usual, I never have any reason to be nervous, Leslie was so welcoming and it was so nice to get to know her a little. Leslie and her husband have lived in Holliston for about 10 years now and they have 3 adorable children.
Leslie grew up in New York, but ended up moving to Massachusetts after attending college in Massachusetts. Leslie and her husband lived closer to Boston, before deciding to settle down in Holliston where they would start their family. Leslie was a school teacher, and decided to leave the workforce when her second child was born (because as any parent knows, 2 kids in daycare is CRAZY expensive).
Leslie decided to launch Play To Grow Co and start selling her amazing sensory/activity kits in January 2020 (which was possibly the most perfect timing). Her background as a teacher is so valuable to her business because she has so many wonderful ideas for different motor skill activities that her bins can be used for, and as you can see in the photos - the bins are adorable! She finds some of the coolest things to create her bins with - the bins come with a homemade dough that Leslie makes herself (some with glitter in them) and the dough goes along with the theme of the kit - one had an adorable little fence and some farm animals (along with some fake grass and other stuff), there’s an outer space themed kit that came with some wooden “space toys” and some foam space themed stickers - they’re really all so awesome! The best part is - she creates new kits regularly, so she’s coming up with new themes and ideas!
Prior to meeting her, I sent her some questions to answer. Keep scrolling to see her responses and get to know Leslie a little more :)
What’s the name of your business and where is your business located? Play to Grow Co. officially began in January 2020 in Holliston, MA. You can learn more about Leslie's business by checking our her Facebook Page or her Instagram Page
What type of business is it? Leslie sells hands on activity kits for children. Here’s what she had to say about her company: The idea originated from finding new and creative ways to play with my children without buying more "stuff". It is rooted in the ideals of giving kids a creative outlet that enhances their imagination, independent play, while strengthening fine motor, literacy, and numeracy skills. I incorporate simple and hands-on materials and try to engage kids in a creative way.
Tell me a little bit about yourself? I was an elementary school teacher prior to becoming a stay-at-home-mom in 2014, so turning that teacher part of me "off" while home with my kids wasn't automatic. I am passionate about literacy, so pairing a book with a learning activity was a fun way to teach my kids to play and learn. Providing creative ways to increase their independent play time was also giving me a bit of a break! Over the last few years, I would drop some activities off at a friends house for their kids to try out, and after some gentle nudging by friends, my husband, and family, I decided to try and get those activities out to other moms.
The next few questions Leslie answered all together
What has your biggest challenge been starting your own business?
What is your favorite part about running your own business?
What is one thing you wish you knew before getting started?
Not having a business background has been a challenge. However, becoming a mom qualifies you for an incredible skillset beyond imagination. Time is a challenge. Like every parent right now, balancing multiple school schedules and ranges of emotions is all encompassing. Creating content and growing my following on social media hasn't been as easy to do, but I have that flexibility which is a really important asset of starting my own business. Though small, I have an incredible loyal clientele. Moving forward, I would like to tie in more literacy opportunities to help engage reluctant readers or challenge readers that need it.
What advice do you have for anyone trying to start their own business? My advice for anyone trying to start, is to trust your gut and go for it. It doesn't have to be perfect, expect to make mistakes, but keep going!
Who is your role model/who inspired you to start your own business? I am inspired by people who see the good, create joy for others, and lift people up. I am drawn to people who enjoy a good laugh. I have had a strong support system from my husband, friends, and family who inspired me to try and start my own business, but it took me a while to get there.
These would make excellent activities for beat boredom over April Vacation (or really any time)! Give both of Leslie's pages a like to see what she comes up with for her next kit! You can click the links to find her Facebook Page or Instagram Page.
And don't forget keep following my page, and my blog to see more amazing women owned businesses being featured!
Thanks for reading!