We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitney Ebert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Whitney, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Blimey Box wasn’t meant to be a business. In fact, my husband and I created the portable escape game kit as a screen-free way to keep our son occupied at restaurants. We simply wanted to find an engaging way to teach some basic learning tasks. But when we saw how he and his friends responded to the excitement of trying to get to the prize, we felt we were on to something. We had figured out how to get kids to do “homework” for fun! We knew that busy parents could benefit from a product that focuses on hands-on educational tasks as opposed to a cartoon on an iPhone. Most options for academic skill practice at home are limited to boring workbooks or screen-time on a learning app, both of which we wanted to avoid. Our love for escape rooms, treasure hunts, and mysteries inspired us to create a portable escape game kit that used math and reading to find secret codes to unlock real locks. We couldn’t believe the academic leaps our son started making once he played our games regularly, so we created Blimey Box to share this idea with other parents!
What should our readers know about your business?
The toughest part about our business is that it really asks a lot of parents. Parents who are busy, anxious, often overwhelmed, but all of whom want the best for their kids. We know that our product is fun for kids because kids like to learn and be challenged. But, it’s hard for parents to put in the time when they feel pulled in many different directions on a daily basis. Why not just turn on the tv or hand over an iPad so that you can get something done? Because we want the best for our kids. Unfortunately, there aren’t many products out there that keep a child’s attention and promote learning. Our games are leveled to keep your child thinking and motivated as they make their way to the prize. To get to the treasure, a child will need to demonstrate patience, grit, and determination. These are the qualities we wanted to teach our son and we’re hoping other parents will pass them on to their children. Was it easy? No, we’ve failed and continued to try to make our product better to serve our customers and that resilience is exactly what we want to instill in our son.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I was born and raised in Carlsbad and I love sharing about our little village! With only one week to spend with our visitors, it would be a great opportunity to introduce them to all the amazingness of Carlsbad. A must-do day would start with breakfast at Don’s Country Kitchen and a dog-friendly hike at the Batiquitos Lagoon. For lunch, we would head to Pollos Marias to pick up some chicken and fish tacos before hitting the beach (probably Beech Street). An afternoon picnic and some boogie boarding in the sun would definitely hit the spot. On the way home, it would be easy to grab some Hazy IPAs from Pure Project and pick up a State Beach Pie from Roosevelt Pizza before heading home for an early night. As the week progressed, we would pack up the RV for a couple of nights at the Carlsbad State Beach Campground to enjoy some awesome views and roasted marshmallows. At the tail end of the trip, it’s nice to take it easy. A morning stroll through the Village with a stop at The Goods for a donut to go with some coffee from Sleeping Tiger Coffees. Later on, after wearing out the kids and dogs at the Lake Calavera Loop Trail, we could head home to take it easy and order in our favorite: Hooked on Sushi!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We want to dedicate this shoutout to our son, Brewer. His curiosity inspired us to create a game that sparks creative thinking and makes learning fun. Without him constantly begging for more games we would have never created over 140 educational escape games!