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!