First round of Boxlies EN ROUTE!

HUGE news! If you ordered a Kraft or White Boxly kit, it is now on its way to you! Read on for a lot of exciting developments with manufacturing, packout, and assembly lines (and stay tuned for more Connector Set and Mini Boxly updates next week)!

All of our work came down to the last few weeks, where we were coordinating each element of our manufacturing process. We picked up the canvas bags from the screenprinter, hauled over 10,000 connectors by car from SF to LA, and transported over 2,000 pounds of cardboard to a factory that generously lent us assembly space. Once everything was in place, we assembled over 200 Boxly kits. Pictures below!

We’re really excited about the fit of the cardboard to the connectors. It’s loose enough for easy assembly, but tight enough to create solid structures. On the front of each connector, there is a recycling symbol (yes, they are recyclable!) and on the back there are small round marks from the injector pins. The cardboard is standard one-ply as promised, so you’ll be able to supplement your kit with additional cardboard.

We’re incredibly excited about getting Boxly into your hands and to see what you build! In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated with Connector Sets and Mini Boxly as we complete packout this week!

We believe there are always ways we can improve and grow, so please send us your feedback (and pictures and stories) at!

The Boxly Team

When we try to break the connectors...

Our initial prototype connectors had a weak point in the center. We found them continuously breaking in the same spot with relatively little force.

After the next round of iteration, we introduced ribbing to our prototype connectors and did our version of strength analysis (read: how hard did we have to squeeze pliers to break them). This was a huge improvement and led to the introduction of ribs through each section of the connector, front and back, all the way to the ends.

Now, our injection molded connectors are made of a more flexible material, and include the ribs we designed for strength. Now when we try to break them, they bend and twist and turn, but they don't snap! AND they still function! 

We wish we could guarantee they will never snap, but you never know what shenanigans hours of playing with Boxly will lead to. But, a stomp from a shoe or an overly excited builder should be just fine :)

Happy Friday!
The Boxly Team

No more hiatus(es)!

We've moved primarily to Kickstarter for regular updates, but wanted to make sure that our blog stays up to date -- so here's what we've been up to recently!

First batch of rewards

We made Boxly stickers and hand-wrote all of our thank you postcards, marking the completion of our first set of rewards. It's been really wonderful getting notes and pictures from our backers that have received their postcards in the mail all over the world!


One of our most pressing to do items post-Kickstarter has been figuring out the best method to package Boxly, so that the packaging is durable and reusable, as well as a valuable part of the kit. Our cardboard manufacturer has been instrumental in this process, and we've been extremely fortunate to be able to iterate with them towards the final design. (We are close!)

Connector samples

Just yesterday we received our set of connector samples! It was such a great feeling seeing the product becoming a reality; our designs are a professionally manufactured product! Now we are working on finalizing the red color and connector texture so we can move forward to production.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Your first look at the amazing possibilities of Mini Boxly:

Throughout the product development process, it was extremely important to us that we create a product that gets kids building, and building BIG. We wanted to address the fear that many kids associate with large scale building. However along the way, we worked with many little hands and many adult hands and found that perhaps something miniature had a place as well…

We were excited to see kids using the first version we made of Mini Boxly (a ¼ scaled down version of Boxly) to create forts and structures for their toys. They built houses, castles, pyramids, rockets, and spaceships.

We were even more surprised, though, that Mini Boxly pushed us to genuinely question our target age range. While kids saw Mini as a set for their toys, adults saw it as a set for their desk. They took it to work as a thinking-while-programming tool. They played with it to communicate a prototype idea. And they lost themselves in that same nostalgic cardboard box world that we’re so passionate about. Check out their fun-sized creations!


We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the origins of Boxly, so we’ve dedicated this Thursday blog post to #tbt, throwing it back to the very beginnings so that you can get an idea of some of the changes Boxly has gone through since its inception.

The very beginning:

When the 3 of us decided to work together for our senior capstone class, we started off by making individual lists of 100 things we liked/didn’t like/cool design principles. It was the beginning of our tradition of “team homework” and our very first brain dump together. We decided we wanted to work with kids and create some sort of toy or game that allowed them to create their own space. Initially, we decided on modular wood furniture, only to quickly realize how expensive that would be to manufacture and ship. In one of our class brainstorms, we worked through the idea of building with items around the house, focusing on toilet paper/paper towel/wrapping paper rolls. It turns out not too many parents were excited about their kids playing with toilet paper rolls...but along the way, we discovered the love of the cardboard box...

Connecting cardboard:

This was the challenge. The big question was, “what is a simple and intuitive way to connect any standard one-ply cardboard (the most common cardboard people already have in their homes)?” Here are some of our earliest ideas:

The connector has gone through countless iterations. When we look back on our earliest prototypes, we always laugh and wonder what we were thinking--especially with the sharp corners. Throughout the process, we looked at different shapes, sharp and rounded corners, stress risers, holes, and bumps.

The brand:

Three months into product development, we started developing a logo for ourselves. The product at the time was called [stax], a name we were absolutely in love with that unfortunately no longer had anything to do with what we were creating. If you ask any of us, renaming the product may have been one of the most difficult parts…

Kickstarter preparation:

Many difficult aspects come along with preparing to launch on Kickstarter--including pricing out rewards (well first thinking of them), organizing social media, building the campaign page, preparing with vendors, and finalizing the video. For us, the best part of the process was filming, which was integrated into user testing. Whenever we had to “film” we got to watch and play with awesome and adorable kids. We got so lucky! But after all of these user tests, we had an absurd amount of footage that needed organizing. Here’s a look into 1/10 of one of the tabs of our Clip Summary spreadsheet as we put together our video:


And then it was a matter of getting the word out and getting people excited! We had an amazing launch party on Stanford campus the day our Kickstarter went live and got college kids and Stanford visitors building with Boxly. We launched at 8:24am on a Tuesday (after 10 hours of sleep combined between the 3 of us over the 2 days before) and couldn't believe that Boxly was finally live.

Now here we are, still in shock that you’ve made it possible for us to bring Boxly to you. Keep building!

Kickstarter, Cardboard, & Kesem

Hey everyone!

It's been a while since our last post, and so much has happened since May!

First and foremost, we were FUNDED on KICKSTARTER! Thanks to the generous support of 341 backers, we raised $31,425 -- more than $1K over our goal -- which means we can make Boxly a reality! We cannot thank our friends, family, and backers enough.


Second, we are gearing up for production! We had the chance to visit our AMAZING cardboard manufacturer, Bay Cities, at their main facility in SoCal. They share many of our core philosophies such as sustainability, and for every tree they use to make cardboard, they plant seven more. Not only is Boxly itself recyclable, but the processes used to make it are sustainable! We couldn't be happier! It has been truly a pleasure working with them, and we can't wait to continue this partnership. Check out this video of our visit to Bay Cities!

Finally, Cara has just returned from her adventure as a camp counselor at Camp Kesem! It's been incredible to hear about her experience working there and to hear that the partnership we formed with them will have a huge impact on Kesem kids. We can't wait to deliver to Kesem the kits that many of our Kickstarter backers donated!

June is coming to a close, but the Boxly team is ramping up for July. Manufacturing and mass production here we come!

Bigger Boxly for Bigger Kids

This week we were part of an incredible event where we introduced Mega Boxly to the world! We received a grant through the Stanford Arts Institute called MashUp for projects that bring together two different fields or areas in creative and interactive ways. We proposed the creation of Mega Boxly, a 150% scaled up version of Boxly so that grown-ups could understand the scale and relive the nostalgia of the cardboard box for themselves.

And it was an absolutely phenomenal success! Members of the Stanford community came to the Cantor Arts Center where the event was held and built rockets, forts, caves, and just really tall towers. We had an amazing time watching everyone build and even building ourselves. Check it out!

Over Halfway Funded!

Even after raising more than we expected in the first two days, none of us predicted that we would be over halfway funded in just 4 days! It was definitely the highlight of our week, and a great way to kickoff the weekend. We're 56% of the way there! 


We're so happy that our initial outreach was so successful, but we know we have a long way to go! Today marks the sixth day since we launched our campaign -- time to strap in and get ready for week 2!

We're live on KICKSTARTER!


Our second day on Kickstarter is almost over, but we're over 35% funded! Thank you to all our supporters! We're so excited to have you be a part of the Boxly journey!

Months of hard work have built up to this 30-day challenge! We are so grateful to all of our mentors, advisors, friends, and family who have supported us on our journey to make Boxly a reality. 

We opened our launch day with a build-party at Stanford. Most of the kids were our age (naturally), but it was fun seeing how Boxly doesn't have an age limit. Despite our busy academic lives, it was great seeing everyone take some time out of their day to build!


We are SO EXCITED that we surpassed $7,000 on our first day! HUGE shout-out to our initial backers. Thank you so much for helping us get the momentum going!