We had the good fortune of connecting with Josie Feneck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josie, what do you attribute your success to?
My boys – their enthusiasm and pride is contagious. They are completely invested in the process. In a way, I feel like I am planting that entrepreneurial seed like our mom did with me. Entrepreneurialism is in my DNA. My mom was always trying to creatively capitalize on her talents. When it was suggested that one of my boys would benefit from additional sensory play, I recruited my sister and together we combined our marketing and educational backgrounds to create something exciting. My friends quickly took notice, and the demand was there.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
There are LOTS of sensory kit companies out there right now. What I think most people don’t realize, is that making a truly useful kit requires more than just throwing playdough and dollar store junk in a box. Our kits are carefully curated with specific themes and age-appropriate skills in mind. We think through and test every aspect of our kits. My sister’s background is in education – she creates activities specific to each kit and even researches book suggestions to expand on the topics. It has been challenging to highlight that difference to a wider audience. Despite that, we have gained a strong and loyal client base that we deeply value. Our biggest resource is that loyal base and so we make it a priority to nurture that relationship.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This one is hard! Obviously my list is different today than it would have been 10 years ago because…kids. We live out in the burbs and like to explore off the beaten a path. Not sure that qualifies as exciting, but…. The weekend would start with a stop at BB’s Bagels because these are hands down the BEST bagels in the Atlanta area. Totally worth the drive. After a successful and delicious carb coma, I’d take you even further north to Dahlonega. It is basically a real life Hallmark movie of a little town. There are lots of cute shops and delicious restaurants to choose from so we’d definitely stop here for lunch. The kids always enjoy panning for gold here too. After that we’d head to our tiny Getaway cabin just outside of town. These are so fun! If you’ve never stayed in a tiny home, I highly recommend it. My kids and I have been to quite a few and it is always a big hit. The rest of the day would consist of exploring the area, making s’mores, and catching frogs.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Again – my kids! They are not only what inspired me to start this business, but also my constant cheerleaders to keep going! They feel a sense of pride and ownership in ECCO-Kits. I love that they get to see their mom working hard to create an exciting and useful tool for other kids to benefit from too. They see me engaging with customers, going to meetings (they often join me!), and running the day to day logistics – a peek behind the curtain so to speak.
Secondly, my sister Mackie. ECCO-Kits is a sister balancing act. One of us is more daring while the other is slightly more
conservative. I am so grateful she said yes to this adventure with me. Having each other to bounce ideas around and keep one another in check has been highly beneficial.
Melissa Gibson Photography @melissagibsonphotography